Digipeating via the AE0SS-11 GPS/APRS System

On some special flights we may actually encourage digipeating and packet contacts through our KPC3 equipped payloads (AE0SS-11 and KC0YA-11). These flights will be PLANNED for this activity, and the Tracking and Recovery team will be not be expected to use the payload in recovery operations, other than to rely on the payload's own GPS/APRS beacons for position information.

The DIGI alias will be EOSS.

The frequency of the payload may change from flight to flight so always check the Flight Announcement Page for the latest information of freqs.

If we have planned a DIGI flight you might want to check out the coverage area for the flight. If you are on the fringe of the coverage area you may also want to join the Balloon_Sked mailing list and announce your location and desire to make a long distance contact. Individuals on opposite sides of the coverage circle might have a chance to make contacts as far as 750 plus miles through the digipeater.

There is a ballooning records page keeping track of best distances. At one time, in the distant past EOSS held the two way transponding record (at least an eoss payload facilitated the contact):

EOSS-46 14Jan01 N�KQX<>N7DMO - 526 Miles - 70cm/2m Voice
Recap of EOSS-46

This record was set via the cross band repeater however, digital mode is acceptable for this record too.

Regardless of flight planning, you should always monitor the packet output of this payload and follow directions of a controlling station. This will be someone, probably at the ground station, who may at their discretion open up the payload to APRS beacon digis or perhaps straight packet digis to facilitate digital communications by stations to assist in "DX" contacts via packet. 

This station may beacon out an invitation to digi your APRS location, or make packet contacts. Watch the packet data stream carefully for this invitation. 

Just because you see other stations using the payload as a digi do not assume that we have issued an invitation to digipeat. Often, ground stations are preconfigured to beacon on an APRS frequency. Operators often switch frequencies to our airborne APRS station but forget to disable their beacons. We understand this and don't get too aggravated :-) by this activity. But, we hope you won't just assume digipeating is invited just because you see some stations using the system. Also, even if no one else was inadvertently digipeating through the payload, there would still be legitimate digipeating of the Tracking and Recovery team members who are always invited to use the payload as a digi. So, watch for that invitation. It will be repeated every 10 or 15 minutes. 

Of equal importance, watch for a request to suspend these operations in case the control operator believes that the frequency of position data is being compromised by heavy digipeating.