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K9CCH
08-04-2013, 11:54 PM
I know what it stands for, and I kinda know what it does. I know it can provide location information, weather information, frequency information, and I know you can send short messages with it.

But let's say that I travel to an area that I've never been to. If I tune to 144.390, will my radio tell me who's in the area and what frequency they are on automatically? Or do the distant stations have to be TX'ing on 144.390 as well?


...and since we're on the subject, how many of you use APRS and what's your favorite feature of it?

Bubba
08-05-2013, 01:43 AM
Dont know, but are you on HF yet ?

KC2UGV
08-05-2013, 06:47 AM
I know what it stands for, and I kinda know what it does. I know it can provide location information, weather information, frequency information, and I know you can send short messages with it.

But let's say that I travel to an area that I've never been to. If I tune to 144.390, will my radio tell me who's in the area and what frequency they are on automatically? Or do the distant stations have to be TX'ing on 144.390 as well?


...and since we're on the subject, how many of you use APRS and what's your favorite feature of it?

All APRS stations need to be on the same frequency (144.390 for 2M), or on a frequency that has an iGate listening (A station that hears packets, and relays them to other iGates, which allows all stations to be viewed on the internet).

So, yes: If you are on 144.390, and drive into a new area, you will see new stations pop up as you hear them. You can only tell they are on 144.390 (Because you heard them), unless they provide more information in the info field. Example: I put mode of operation (Bicycle mobile, mobile, ped, or base) and Simplex Frequency/Repeater Name that I may be monitoring.

wa6mhz
08-05-2013, 08:48 AM
I have been using APRS since it was first conceived back in the 80s or 90s. The Town Car has a Tracker in it and many have followed me to Dayton and back the past 4 years.

This year I had a HARD failure, and I stopped beaconing at Tulsa. I use a Byonics Tiny Trak 3 module which works great, but for some reason, the uP locked the transmitter ON for 8 hours and just about blew it. Imagine transmitting in a sealed box for that long at full power! The radio was just WHITE HOT!!! But, God Bless Kenwood! The TM-261A somehow survived!!! I didn't get it all fixed until I got back to San Diego. The TinyTrak3 IC had failed, and cost me $18 to replace!!!

I use APRS as a Ham Radio lojack! In fact, I even built a Wakeup timer that wakes up every 2 or so hours and gets a fix. Then it beacons out the location a few times and goes back to sleep. Works great, and the car stays on the map 24/7.

The nice thing about it is that I can look with my Smartphone and see where the car is at all times.
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?call=WA6MHZ-9

The car CAN'T be stolen, unless they cram it into a metalized Shipping container and even then, it would show WHERE that is (or was). So if the car ever does get stolen, I just show the police where the car is within 10 feet or so.

I don't use the Receive function very often. I had a APRS computer in the Radio shack, but it flaked out. I used WINAPRS, and everytime there is a power failure, U have to reload Zillions of parameter! And, I can't get the APRSDOS to work right on it.

SO I just use the Cellphone for APRS RX. Works wonderfullly.

N2NH
08-05-2013, 10:22 AM
I've used APRS off and on. It is a great tool and usually I put in my call followed by a "-15" (as per guidelines). APRS-fi is a great tool on the Internet for worldwide APRS watching. It's a Google map based APRS mapper on the web. Of course like anything on the 2 Meter band, APRS transmissions are line-of-sight.

This is a link to the APRS-fi site (centered on zipcode 10001, New York City.) (http://aprs.fi/#!addr=10001)

W7XF
08-05-2013, 10:33 AM
APRSdroid is your friend ...thats what I use. Yeah its on my cell phone, but while I was OTR, cell towers had MUCH more coverage than APRS gateways.

KU0DM
08-05-2013, 11:10 AM
Forget what these cats are saying, UI-View for your computer is the way to go!

K9CCH
08-05-2013, 01:33 PM
I use APRS as a Ham Radio lojack! In fact, I even built a Wakeup timer that wakes up every 2 or so hours and gets a fix. Then it beacons out the location a few times and goes back to sleep. Works great, and the car stays on the map 24/7.

The nice thing about it is that I can look with my Smartphone and see where the car is at all times.
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?call=WA6MHZ-9

The car CAN'T be stolen, unless they cram it into a metalized Shipping container and even then, it would show WHERE that is (or was). So if the car ever does get stolen, I just show the police where the car is within 10 feet or so.
.



So you work across the street from the homo depot? That'd be extremely dangerous for me. I nearly go broke every time I walk into that store.

K6BSO
08-05-2013, 01:56 PM
[...] the homo depot?

Wouldn't "Homo Depot" be a great name for a gay bar?

K9CCH
08-05-2013, 02:16 PM
Wouldn't "Homo Depot" be a great name for a gay bar?


Yeah, but this one takes the cake every time!

http://www.mablepeabodys.com/

wa6mhz
08-05-2013, 04:04 PM
The Town Car can't HIDE!

K6BSO
08-05-2013, 04:09 PM
Yeah, but this one takes the cake every time!

http://www.mablepeabodys.com/

Hey, I used to be a chainsaw repair man for real—in South San Francisco, no less. Didn't get a lot of gay guys in the shop that I recall, although that was thirty years ago, back when it was still a little dicey to be totally out to the general public, even in that area.

W5BRM
08-05-2013, 04:29 PM
Hmmm Looking up that APRSDroid. I might drop that in the phona and see how it works. Not sure if i know how to do that. Dont have any radio gear with me atm.

W5BRM
08-05-2013, 04:59 PM
Well so much for APRSdroid getting setup today. Bought it THEN it tells me i need a passcode and it will take a few days. Shoulda said something about that when i bought it from Play store!!

KC2UGV
08-05-2013, 05:47 PM
Well so much for APRSdroid getting setup today. Bought it THEN it tells me i need a passcode and it will take a few days. Shoulda said something about that when i bought it from Play store!!

Your passcode is: 9371

Seriously, try it. It'll work.

And, to prevent anyone else from having to buy the app (Although, it does support development): http://aprsdroid.org/download/

W5BRM
08-05-2013, 06:08 PM
THANKS!!! N2NKW-5 now in service!!...lol Although I wont be moving til well after midnite tonight. Guess I didnt need that $4 anyway...lol

KC2UGV
08-05-2013, 06:38 PM
THANKS!!! N2NKW-5 now in service!!...lol Although I wont be moving til well after midnite tonight. Guess I didnt need that $4 anyway...lol

FWIW, anyone who has Xastir installed can generate their pass code, using the command 'callpass <call sign>', on any machine :)

K9CCH
08-05-2013, 06:40 PM
I have no idea what y'all are talking about. LOL

wa6mhz
08-05-2013, 06:58 PM
I tried to get the XASTIR but don't know what the deal is on that. Anyone know what the passcode for WA6MHZ would be???

wa6mhz
08-06-2013, 08:48 AM
Here is the CALLPASS link U need!
http://www.george-smart.co.uk/wiki/APRS_Callpass

works great!!

wa6mhz
08-06-2013, 08:50 AM
callpass seems to be a password u need to use the program APRSDROID working great on my cellphone now

K0RGR
08-06-2013, 12:49 PM
I use APRS when travelling, particularly out in the boonies. My family knows how to track me using findu.com, whether I am on the radio (K0RGR-7) or my cellphone (K0RGR-5). I travel out in the boonies fairly often - at least the more traveled parts of the boonies, and I use a Kenwood TMD710. It's pretty amazing where I can and can't find APRS with my 50 watts and a decent mobile antenna. Most of the southern half of Minnesota, and some areas of the north country are covered. I seem to be connected to APRS everywhere in Iowa, even where there are no voice repeaters or cellphones.

Going from here to Denver, I have APRS until at least North Platte, NE, and then pick it up somewhere on I76 in Colorado. Going west on I-80, it's surprisingly good in much of Wyoming, then, it gets more interesting. Once you are out of the mountains in Utah, APRS is solid well into Nevada on I-80, and I found very few places on either I-80 or U.S. 50 in Nevada with no APRS. It's pretty solid in I-10 until you get to western New Mexico, where you lose it until you're closer to Las Cruces. Then, it's there in El Paso, and disappears east of there to about 100 miles from Austin. East of there, it's solid to Florida.

One time, we were driving on I-80 in a desolate part of Nevada, looking for a place to spend the night. My APRS display lit up - it was my brother in California sending me a message about a great motel in the next town ahead of us.

I don't see as many information beacons as I used to on APRS. For a while there, many radio clubs and individuals would send regular beacons with local repeater information. The Kenwood radio has a QSY function will QSY to the repeater frequency in the beacons at the push of a button. It is nice when you're in an area to see these 'advertisements' for the active local repeaters. There are also various kinds of bulletins, WX alerts, etc., sent out this way. I don't text while driving, and APRS messaging is exactly like texting. So if you send me a message, you'll have to wait until I can stop to answer. Since I don't do it often, I always have to figure out how to do it, too, which takes a while.

The last three episodes of Ham Nation featured a project of building a Raspberry Pi - based packet TNC that you can use to run the Xastir APRS software. For $80, $40 for the RPi and $40 for the TNC kit, that's a pretty good deal, and you end up with a full function Linux computer running Xastir, or another packet radio program. I have one RPi dedicated to DSTAR now, I'm thinking seriously about building one of these for APRS, too, and just let it monitor the local activity and send messages to my friends.

W5BRM
08-06-2013, 03:35 PM
Your passcode is: 9371

Seriously, try it. It'll work.


LOL Got my verifcation mail this morning. Yep Thats the code they gave me! Too funny!

W7XF
08-06-2013, 05:01 PM
W7XF-5

Bubba
08-06-2013, 06:27 PM
I don’t recommend mixing chainsaw repair duties with drinking. I have never seen a chainsaw loose that battle.

K9CCH
08-06-2013, 06:31 PM
W7XF-5


What does your street name mean?

W7XF
08-06-2013, 11:05 PM
What does your street name mean?
Loosely: The Little One

wa6mhz
08-07-2013, 04:49 PM
I just found a very big FLAW with the APRSDROID program. Whatever U do, DON'T leave it on!!
I fully charged my Phone yesterday afternoon, and ran the APRSDROID. It ran the pjhone to STONE DEAD just overnight!!!! I know the GPS is on, but the program itself must use a TREMENDOUS amount of battery power. Now, I will only turn it on briefly!!

Bubba
08-07-2013, 05:09 PM
Loosely: The Little One


A loosely little what ??

W5BRM
08-07-2013, 05:42 PM
I just found a very big FLAW with the APRSDROID program. Whatever U do, DON'T leave it on!!
I fully charged my Phone yesterday afternoon, and ran the APRSDROID. It ran the pjhone to STONE DEAD just overnight!!!! I know the GPS is on, but the program itself must use a TREMENDOUS amount of battery power. Now, I will only turn it on briefly!!

I noticed the same thing. I found a little something that helps a bit.

Go to Preferences -> Location Source.
Select "Periodic GPS/Network Position"
Once that is set then select Locations Settings.
Select Minimum Update Time and set to how often u want to have the software update your posit.
Select Minimum Update Distance and set that to how far u want to travel before updating. Set to 0 if u want to disable it

I have mine set to 15 minutes and Distance turned off. I noticed a moderate improvement over having the "Smart Beaconing" turned on. SB keeps the GPS and your internet constantly active and thats a batt killer as well as a data drain. Can be painful if you're on metered bandwidth.

I havent played with it long enough to see HOW big a difference it makes but i did notice some change. I also pretty much run with my phone plugged in while I'm driving the truck so my experience might be a but different then yours.

Hope that helps. Let us know if it does

W3WN
08-07-2013, 08:22 PM
OK. I get that APRS can be used by others to track you.

Other than that... what is it good for? I'm not trying to be cute, I honestly just don't see what else it's useful for.

KC2UGV
08-07-2013, 09:06 PM
OK. I get that APRS can be used by others to track you.

Other than that... what is it good for? I'm not trying to be cute, I honestly just don't see what else it's useful for.

That's basically what it's for... It can also offer information on local "assets" (Ie repeaters). It does come in handy for things like running checkpoint stations for charity runs and the like.

K9CCH
08-07-2013, 09:14 PM
OK. I get that APRS can be used by others to track you.

Other than that... what is it good for? I'm not trying to be cute, I honestly just don't see what else it's useful for.



Let's say you go to a new city where you've never been before, you can tune to 144.390 and it will tell you which frequencies are being used.


at least that's what I understand...

KG4NEL
08-07-2013, 09:47 PM
Let's say you go to a new city where you've never been before, you can tune to 144.390 and it will tell you which frequencies are being used.


at least that's what I understand...

Only if it's a digipeater, right?

I looked up my local area on aprs.fi and see the local digis, but co-located analog machines are left off the list.

I get the public service/special event aspect (for balloon launches, it's kind of neat), but I've never had a burning desire to continually transmit that it's such-and-such millibars at my house.

W3WN
08-07-2013, 10:41 PM
OK. Good to know.

Don't get me wrong... it's kinda neat to see what potentially can be done with APRS, but sometimes you wonder if it's a solution in search of a problem.

KC2UGV
08-08-2013, 06:15 AM
Only if it's a digipeater, right?

I looked up my local area on aprs.fi and see the local digis, but co-located analog machines are left off the list.

I get the public service/special event aspect (for balloon launches, it's kind of neat), but I've never had a burning desire to continually transmit that it's such-and-such millibars at my house.

It's up to the repeater owner if they want to mark their equipment on APRS. It's easy enough to do, and generally inexpensive (When you figure the total cost of a repeater setup).

K0RGR
08-08-2013, 01:58 PM
Yes, it depends on the locality. I don't see as many beacons about repeaters as I used to.

And yes, I think it's a technology that's underutilized. Now that I'm playing with Arduinos and Raspberry Pi, I might pursue a project I've had in mind for a long time - building a device that would receive packet bulletins with local repeater info, and use it to reprogram my mobile rig as I go down the highway. If we could get people to send out properly formatted beacons with their local repeaters, it should work well.

kb2vxa
08-09-2013, 06:47 PM
"I get the public service/special event aspect (for balloon launches, it's kind of neat)..."

K9CCH
08-09-2013, 07:06 PM
I use APRS when travelling, particularly out in the boonies.


I tend to get all excited about something, before I think it through. I'm about to send off a $460 cashiers check for the FTM-350AR that should be delivered on Monday, and I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to purchase the FGPS-1 unit from HRO 1.)while they still have them, and 2.)while they are on sale.

I read about everything that APRS can do (mostly), but if I really think about it, I don't have a true need for it.

-We don't travel much, and if we do its between Houston and Lafayette, LA, or Houston and Dallas. Other than that, I'm not a big road trip person.
-I don't really have an interest in tracking folks in the local Houston area, which is where my radio will be used 97% of the time.
-I don't really have any desire to put my whereabouts out there publicly for the folks in Houston to come violate me or my Jeep.
-Although being able to send messages sounds like a neat feature, the likely hood of me ever sending anything to anyone other than a test message, is slim to none.

There are only two scenarios that I can ever see APRS being used on my radio... if I want to check weather conditions say on the Island before we leave home, or if we ever really do decide to take the Jeep on a camping road trip. However, the likelihood of that is slim to none as well.

I just can't really come up with any justifiable reason for me to spend the $68 for the GPS unit.

Am I severely limiting the performance of the FTM-350 if I DON'T install the GPS unit?

K6BSO
08-09-2013, 07:18 PM
Looks like you're beginning to understand this ham radio thing pretty well, Chris. You analyzed all the available information and came to a logical conclusion.

W5BRM
08-09-2013, 07:20 PM
Well APRS tracking wouldnt work without the GPS i would imagine. Dont know if thats what you're looking for. That makes the transciever just a standard fm mobile. Maybe other digital info would be available but not tracking

KC2UGV
08-09-2013, 07:40 PM
I wouldn't sweat it. You are totally able to do APRS with a plain old radio and a laptop with a USB hockey puck. Or, even one of these: http://www.byonics.com/mt-aio

K9CCH
08-09-2013, 07:41 PM
That makes the transciever just a standard fm mobile. Maybe other digital info would be available but not tracking


And I'm ok with that.

I thought about this early on. I decided that I was going to go with the FT-8800 as they have a significant rebate right now, and I could save myself about $100.

However, I decided that I truly wanted the FTM-350 as its aesthetically more pleasing to me. I think I will enjoy the different color screens that are available, and the large display, and for that I decided that an extra $100 was worth it for me.

AE7RZ
08-13-2013, 03:28 PM
I have used APRS to prove I wasn't speeding when accused. I simply reached over and sent a position beacon as soon as the colorful lights came on behind me. The beacon reported time of day, day of week, lat/long, and MPH. No contest!

K9CCH
08-13-2013, 03:29 PM
I have used APRS to prove I wasn't speeding when accused. I simply reached over and sent a position beacon as soon as the colorful lights came on behind me. The beacon reported time of day, day of week, lat/long, and MPH. No contest!


Howd that work out for ya? I'm sure the officer was PISSED! LOL

W7XF
08-13-2013, 05:31 PM
Don't try that in Oro Valley or Marana.... I know Marana HATES APRS since it cuts into their revenue stream!

kb2vxa
08-13-2013, 06:34 PM
Valley of gold is one thing but look out, in Marana you're in a jungle - snarl-up - dishevelment - tangle - imbroglio.

W7XF
08-14-2013, 11:08 AM
Valley of gold is one thing but look out, in Marana you're in a jungle - snarl-up - dishevelment - tangle - imbroglio.
Yeah...but Oro Valley's source of "gold" is the same as Marana's...and the tax collectors drive Crown Vics with red and blue lights...

K7SGJ
08-14-2013, 11:16 AM
Yeah...but Oro Valley's source of "gold" is the same as Marana's...and the tax collectors drive Crown Vics with red and blue lights...

And all the ones I've had to deal with were all assholes with an attitude. When we had a breach at one of our water turnouts or pumping stations thst was in their jurisdiction, it always seemed like we interrupted their nap, or card game or something. Bastids

W7XF
08-14-2013, 11:27 PM
And all the ones I've had to deal with were all assholes with an attitude. When we had a breach at one of our water turnouts or pumping stations thst was in their jurisdiction, it always seemed like we interrupted their nap, or card game or something happy hour/smoke a joint break. Bastids

FIXED!

K9CCH
08-21-2013, 12:44 AM
I inadvertently discovered another use for APRS a minute ago. Weather reporting! recognized a call as a reporting station and did a little digging.

I wonder what it takes to set up a weather station with the little spinny wind thing and all. Hmmmm.... Maybe I can put this 350 to good use.

10479

KC2UGV
08-21-2013, 06:10 AM
I inadvertently discovered another use for APRS a minute ago. Weather reporting! recognized a call as a reporting station and did a little digging.

I wonder what it takes to set up a weather station with the little spinny wind thing and all. Hmmmm.... Maybe I can put this 350 to good use.

10479

http://wxqa.com/aprs_setup_guide.pdf

wa6mhz
08-21-2013, 08:56 AM
I really wanted to do that too, but that $400 Davis WX Station is pretty pricey! Then add to that the Weatherlink Software for $150! YIKES!

K9CCH
08-21-2013, 01:09 PM
I really wanted to do that too, but that $400 Davis WX Station is pretty pricey! Then add to that the Weatherlink Software for $150! YIKES!


This one was one of the suggestions on Wunderground. Is 50% off right now.

http://proweatherstation.com/

wa6mhz
08-21-2013, 03:13 PM
WOW!! That is more like it!!! If that is guaranteed to work, I might just SPRING for that!

wa6mhz
08-21-2013, 03:22 PM
I have a computer in the shack devoted to APRS, but over the past few years, I haven't been able to get WINAPRS to work. The TIGER maps seem to be useless, and the most painful thing about it is having to REPROGRAM every little parameter every time there is a computer glitch and restart.

So this might be just the trick to devote that computer to. Our Crest WX is sorely missing from the local resources, and maybe a continuous, devoted Weather station like this; and constant reporting to NOAA, will get CREST on the map!

I am ready to pull the trigger and BUY that TP01080WC the moment I find out it is FULLY COMPATIBLE with APRS!

wa6mhz
08-21-2013, 04:39 PM
Still researching the Tycon.
here is Amazon reviews
http://www.amazon.com/ProWeatherStation-Wireless-Logging-Weather-Station/product-reviews/B002K64C0Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_next_2?ie=UTF8&pageNumber=2&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Most favorable, but a few have problems with the batteries. Supposedly, U get 2 years from the Outside batts, and then 1 year from the inside batts. No provision for external powering.
Has a USB interface. Maybe it could be modified to use a power supply, but a year from 2 batteries doesn't seem that bad. That seems to be the only choker on it. A few cranks got bum ones that they wrote up, but the good reviews seemed glowing. There is a better software for it, called CUMULUS
http://sandaysoft.com/

Also free and much better for APRS

KJ4AJP is tickled with it.
http://kj4ajp.mambm.com/WeatherStation/

SO I am just about ready to bite! One thing unanswered is how SENSIIVE is it to RF? Since I run a Kilowatt here at the house, is the KW going to BLAST it into oblivion??? Might need to go in and put lotsa RF BEADS here and there to keep RF from messing with it. I am not scared to modify units, but it does kinda void the warranty