“Golden Packet” Volunteers Wanted


Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, is seeking volunteer mountaintop packet operators for the Golden Packet event Saturday, July 20, noon until 4 PM. Primary needs are in New Hampshire, Massachusetts (Mount Greylock), New York (Sam’s Point), and North Carolina/Tennessee (Clingmans Dome, Roan Mountain). “Think of this as packet radio Field Day!” says Bruninga, who developed the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS). “Will you be available to help make history?” The Golden Packet event is an annual attempt to send an APRS packet message from Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian Mountain Chain. “All you need is an APRS radio that can digipeat, a power source and an antenna.” Bruninga says. All of the sites are accessible by vehicle except Sam’s Point in New York. Bruninga points out that the northernmost volunteer, Tim, KA1YBS, will need to start climbing northern Maine’s mile-high Mount Katahdin in the dark in order to reach the summit on time and get back down before sunset. Last year’s fourth annual attempt was nearly successful, with one broken link in New Hampshire. Proposed in the early 1980s, the Golden Packet has never been claimed “since the rise of the Internet that has eclipsed all DX packet attempts,” Bruninga said. “We will do this every year, even beyond success. It is a good test of emergency, long-distance packet techniques.” Volunteers who can activate one of the five locations should visit the Golden Packet site. Bruninga says all sites “have been well surveyed, and we know the links will work, if everyone can get in place.” He also invites volunteers to staff “secondary sites” on Stone Mountain, Georgia, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee and Huntsville Mountain, Alabama. AMSAT BB