WARA’s old VE7VIC-14 APRS system was an RF receive-only iGate, which meant that it listened for RF traffic on 144.390 MHz and sent the received beacons to the APRS-IS internet servers. This was fine for getting local stations into the system, which could be viewed on the aprs.fi website but as an RX-only device, we were missing APRS features that require TX capability.
VE7VIC-14 was moved to the peninsula to help with reception there and VE7VIC-15 is now on Triangle. The new system is a bidirectional iGate so not only does it listen for RF, it can transmit internet data out to RF. This is used primarily for sending text messages between stations (or via cellular SMS). It’s also an APRS digipeater so RF beacons sent on the east side of Victoria can be heard in the west and vice versa. This fills a large void as there were no APRS digipeaters in the area. It doesn’t take much to corrupt APRS data packets so having the digipeater “boost” (re-transmit) the packets helps.
The SSID of 15 was chosen since the APRS organization defines that value for secondary stations or digis. There are other SSIDs that would have worked as well but since 14 was the existing station and will remain in service, making the new one 15 made sense as it’s “one better” than the old one. Thanks to the Tech Committee and other members for their assistance, Jon Jacox VA7JRJ