APRS Messaging

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emd001

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I am looking at APRS setups for putting in my truck. Right now it seems like I am torn between getting a NUVI 350 and the OpenTracker2, which would be cool since it can plot the objects on the map and support APRS messaging. On the other hand I am looking at just getting the TinyTrak4 combo with GPS, which that would be a headless install essentially. Does anyone use APRS messaging? Is it worth the extra money, or do most people just run a tracker headless?
 

KE4NYV

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Messaging can be a very useful tool in APRS. I like to use it to catch up with friends for dinner, ect. I also use it to send commands to my digipeater on occasion. It all depends on the area you are in and how active APRS is.

Check out our YagTracker APRS Terminal:

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/yagtracker.php

Just interface it to any 2m radio of your choice and add a serial GPS. See the pictures on the website for some screenshots of the LCD and also check out the .pdf manual for more feature details. If you would like to discuss it off list, please feel free to email me at jason (at) rpc-electronics.com

We do have these in stock and ready to ship!
 

n9mxq

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I run tracker only.. But know plenty of others that run full terminal while driving. Does the Nuvi 350 have NMEA out?? Caveat Emptor, most modern GPS's don't have NMEA out. I'm a fan, and user of TinyTraks.. Have 3 TT3's with the GPS puck that Byon sells. They've never failed, lock on sats fast, and are pretty much fire and forget.

Add to that the superior support from Byon (He has ALWAYS answered my emails), and those in his Yahoo group and you can't go wrong. The TT4 is an excellent APRS device and I hope to have one in my collection soon..

See ya on the maps..
 

kayn1n32008

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I run tracker only.. But know plenty of others that run full terminal while driving. Does the Nuvi 350 have NMEA out?? Caveat Emptor, most modern GPS's don't have NMEA out. I'm a fan, and user of TinyTraks.. Have 3 TT3's with the GPS puck that Byon sells. They've never failed, lock on sats fast, and are pretty much fire and forget.

Add to that the superior support from Byon (He has ALWAYS answered my emails), and those in his Yahoo group and you can't go wrong. The TT4 is an excellent APRS device and I hope to have one in my collection soon..

See ya on the maps..
Before I bought my OT2m and eventually my OT3m with a nuvi350' I did a comparison to the TT from byonics. For the most part they do the same things. There are some features on the OT2/3 that the bionics do not have. The ability to do remote access, for me is a big one. As well as the ability to interface with the nuvi350

All in all they are both excellent products, for me the OT2m and OT3m won out.
 

Jay911

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The original post is nearly a year old - I'm interested in knowing what the OP ultimately did (straight tracker or full capability?).

I have full capability with my TM-D710 and GreenLightLabs GPS710. (Well, I don't have a map display, as my automotive GPS isn't compatible with the trackers.) I have very rarely used the messaging feature, but I can definitely see a number of benefits:

- messaging between users just for 'fun' / casual use
- using the EMAIL-2 gateway, potentially having comms back to "the world" from outside cell range (I can be in places right now where I can't get a cell signal to send a text but can hit the local digi)
- and if you will please not mock me if I drag out the clichéd line about how it could be used as fall-back comms in a major emergency if cell/email/etc gets overloaded or fails.

I made a suggestion a year or so ago when I was first looking at APRS at how it could help the local ham group when we run car rally nets.. rather than spending time tying up the one repeater that's trying to run the actual rally, with timing & scoring info, send that across APRS messaging. There are some drawbacks and potential for points of failure in that concept, but it's another thing to think about.

One more thing you can do if you have messaging, which I've started playing with over the past couple months, is run (or use) a QRU server. QRU servers have a number of objects stored on them, but not overtly broadcast. Instead of beaconing them constantly and spamming the APRS frequency every 15 minutes with your coffee schedule etc., you can query the QRU server and ask it to give you x number of objects of type y nearest you.
 

W9BU

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I made a suggestion a year or so ago when I was first looking at APRS at how it could help the local ham group when we run car rally nets.. rather than spending time tying up the one repeater that's trying to run the actual rally, with timing & scoring info, send that across APRS messaging.
For some ideas along these lines, see:

APRS Event Data
 

KE5UBF

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Current day GPS unit for APRS?

Okay, I know this thread is "old" but I wanted to ask if anyone could tell me this...

Back in the day, the Nuvi 350 was the GPS unit of choice for displaying the location on the screen as it read the APRS data through the fleet management cable from the D700/D710 etc...

My question is this - Is there a "current day" gps unit that will do the same thing the Nuvi 350 did, but perhaps better or with a larger screen and/or better or more features etc..

Bottom line is that I've been "out of it" for a while in this area, so I'm wanting to catch up.

Thanks!
-Lee, KE5UBF
Bedford, Texas
 

W9BU

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I've used a Garmin nuvi 1450 with an Argent Data T3-135 and I've also used the 1450 and a Argent Data GTRANS2 with a Kenwood TM-D710. The 1450 works just fine in both applications however it does not automatically plot received APRS position reports on the map. You have to force the 1450 to redraw the map to see the new reports.
 

KE5MC

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Check the AvMAP Geosat 6 APRS unit. The D710 has an option for AvMAP gps.

Only use my D710 with Green Light Labs GPS cube so I don't have any direct experience with the AvMAP.

Mike

snip...

My question is this - Is there a "current day" gps unit that will do the same thing the Nuvi 350 did, but perhaps better or with a larger screen and/or better or more features etc..

snip...
 
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W9BU

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The D710 has an option for AvMAP gps.
Not really. The TM-D710 sees the lat/lon data from AvMap just like any other GPS receiver. The difference is that the AvMap G5 or G6 can interpret Kenwood's proprietary format for sending APRS position reports to the GPS receiver as waypoints.

However, the AvMap G6/Kenwood TM-D710 combo is useless for APRS messaging. You still have to use the Kenwood user interface for messaging.

...I don't have any direct experience with the AvMAP.
I do. I owned an AvMap G6 for about a year. Didn't care for the user interface or the over $100 cost for updating the map data. I sold my G6 for about 60% of what I paid for it.
 

Cunnerman

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I'm still trying to learn about APRS and how it all works. But I wonder if it's possible to use a smartphone or a tablet with the proper app as the GPS and the map/message display? I'm picturing the radio with APRS capabilities connected to the tablet/smart phone and boom you're good. Just kind of thinking out loud I guess.
 

W9BU

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APRSdroid has the ability to connect to an external TNC which would then be connected to a radio. The Kenwood APRS radios allow outside devices to connect to their internal TNCs, so what you describe is certainly do-able.
 

IndyRick

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Robert, why would APRSdroid need to be connected to the TNC? Since the software is in the program, couldn't be it connected directly to the radio with proper cabling? Or am I missing a step somewhere?
 

W9BU

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You still need a TNC, or something like a TNC, to modulate/demodulate the signals. The radio deals in analog signals. They need to be converted to 1s and 0s in order for the program to do something with them.

With a Windows computer, you can use a "soundcard modem", like AGWPE, to accomplish the TNC functionality. APRSdroid doesn't have that, so you still need a TNC.

As I mentioned, the Kenwood APRS radios let you access the TNC that's in the radio, so the combo of APRSdroid running on an Android phone or tablet with a Kenwood radio would make a pretty sweet APRS set-up that would give you more flexibility than the APRS interface that's built into those radios.
 
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