Sunday, September 27th, 2020
My ROOPHLOCH 2020 Entry
I decided to take part in ROOPHLOCH this y
ear. I'm typing this on a hill just outsid
e Prague. Even though it's just 241 m
above sea level the view is great, because
the terain in Central Bohemia is flat.
Sun is going down, shadows are getting
longer, simply nice. I'm glad I did tis!
Everything between the post title and asterisks was typed on my HAM
dual-band radio Anytone AT-D878UV and sent over the air to the APRS
network . Then it was received by some other APRS-capable HAM
station and relayed to the APRS-IS network. Short PHP script on my
gopher server was connected to the APRS-IS, looked for messages from
my callsign (OK1ZXS-7, the 7 suffix means walkie-talkie / human
portable) and when received one, it appended everything after the
# character to the post file.
As every message can have 43 characters (minus the #), the short text
above needed nine messages to get from the hill to my phlog. It took
almost an hour to send them all - after typing each of them, I
transmitted it, checked at my phone whether it arrived to the phlog,
and continued with the next one. APRS.FI keeps raw messages only for
2 days, so I'm pasting them here:
2020-09-27 18:12:49 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,OK0BBK-2*,WIDE2-1,qAR,
2020-09-27 18:16:05 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
OK1KZE-1:!5013.00N/01428.86E&010/000/A=000837#I decided to take
part in ROOPHLOCH this y
2020-09-27 18:23:48 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
OK1KZE-1:!5013.00N/01428.86E&324/000/A=000822#ear. I'm typing
this on a hill just outsid
2020-09-27 18:30:45 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
OK1KZE-1:!5013.00N/01428.86E&016/000/A=000852#e Prague. Even
though it's just 241 m
2020-09-27 18:44:54 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
OK1KZE-1:!5013.01N/01428.86E&326/000/A=000858#above sea level
the view is great, because
2020-09-27 18:51:21 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,OK0BBK-2*,WIDE2-1,qAR,
SR6NPK:!5013.01N/01428.87E&015/002/A=000855#the terain in Central
Bohemia is flat.
2020-09-27 18:54:58 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,OK0BBK-2*,WIDE2-1,qAR,
OK0BAF-1:!5013.01N/01428.94E&079/000/A=000861#Sun is going down,
shadows are getting
2020-09-27 19:01:03 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
OK1KZE-1:!5013.01N/01428.98E&164/000/A=000870#longer, simply nice.
I'm glad I did tis!
2020-09-27 19:08:01 CEST: OK1ZXS-7>APDR10,WIDE2-2,qAR,
You can see that two stations picked my packets: OK1KZE and OK0BBK.
The first one is HAM station in the south of Prague (~27 km) the
other is a repeater in the north of Bohemia (~72 km).
I did this because ROOPHLOCH means Remote Outdoor Off-Grid Phlogging
Challenge and posting on phlog via commercial mobile/cell network
didn't seem to me to be off-grid enough. These networks can be shut
down, you can be disconnected at any time for whatever reason...
On the other hand, APRS is operated by radio amateurs all over the
world and it's built so that it doesn't need any infrastructure
per se. If the message is received by a station that is able to relay
it over the air, it's relayed (each relay is called 'hop' and every
message has specified how many hops it should do if possible). If
received by an online station, it's relayed to the APRS-IS network
and available everywhere. There even is an APRS station on the
International Space Station.
But all of this is optional, you can as well just send APRS messages
from one station to another. So in an SHTF situation, I consider APRS
to be pretty hard to kill and therefore I like and use it. For some
time I have an APRS-based guestbook on my website, so I just
modified the appropriate PHP script to take only messages from my
own station as an input. That was the easy part - typing messages,
sending them, checking the result, and repeating the whole thing
until my (short) post was complete, that was harder.
I hope you enjoyed my little ROOPHLOCH experiment.
PS: I'm adding two photos from the hill to my phlog folder, to make
the experience complete. I'm also keeping typos in the original text.