D-Star from Hermit Lake
May 2012

I pushed off from shore around 5:15pm. I had the Icom 92-AD on 2 meters
with the GPS mic. It's a 5-watt hand held radio.  I worked Texas,
Florida and Kansas during my quick kayak trip across the lake and
I beaconed my position on APRS.

In the kayak, I'd placed a mag mount with a half-wave whip on the
front cowling. Some odd pieces of steel underneath held the mount
fast. The real secret to the outing was the station I had running at
home, nearly 4 miles away. I was using a hotspot board (a GMSK
modem) plugged into the data port of an FT-8800 that was running
about 15 watts into a Diamond X50. Together with a computer, it
creates a Dstar access point.

As I gazed across the lake I heard a special event station W5C
in Texas calling for contacts.

The station was operating from a World War II POW camp in
Bryan, Texas. The operator came back to me and said he copied
just fine. I told him I was marine mobile in the middle of a lake and
I turned on my GPS so he could see my position.
He looked it up on http://www.aprs.fi. Unfortunately, I forgot
to change the icon from a car to a boat. Here's what he saw.

It's not exactly what I saw as I approached a log near some small

Doubtless this guy never guessed that the location of his secret retreat was being beaconed around the world.
After finishing with W5C, a station from Florida called to say he could also see my position on the APRS map.
Then I received a call from W0RWC in Kansas. Richard could also see my position on the APRS map, and
he just wanted to say "Hello." In the middle of our conversation, I must have hit a dead spot because
I dropped out and he couldn't hear me.

When I came around the next island, all was well again. We exchanged
some information about my setup and the hotspot board I was using and
we signed after I promised to send him some photos from out in the lake.

73 Jim W1PID