APRS voice alert

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W9DTC

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Does anybody do this? ie ctcss tone 100.00

During my last road trip I called on 52 frequently and made two contacts in 15 hours of driving. This sounds like a cool alternative.

I tired to setup my vx-8dr, but it doesn't look like tones are compatible with aprs on this unit. Anybody else try?
 

W9BU

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Yes, I've used it occasionally. It's a good audible way of knowing other hams are close by. You have to remember to keep the volume turned up so you can hear the packet data squawk if someone nearby is transmitting the 100 Hz tone. I've run into situations where someone was transmitting the tone, but they weren't listening or had the volume cranked down. That kinda defeats the purpose.
 

W9DTC

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I don't believe the vx-8dr will support the use of tones during aprs operation. I could monitor 144.39 for the tone with the "a" channel, but can't get my beacon to transmit with it. Seems like a design flaw that a firmware upgrade could fix... (Any chances that will ever happen? I don't thInk so either)
 

W9DTC

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Message submitted to yaesu via their website:

I have the VX-8DR. When using APRS I believe that the unit will not allow for use of CTCSS tones. As you may be aware, many amature radio operators are using tone 100 as a "Voice Alert" "channel" (please see http://aprs.org/VoiceAlert3.html). Rather than turn down the volume on the APRS channel, or use the 'APRS Mute' menu option, it would be nice to be able to use tones to selectively mute traffic in order to utilitize the "Voice Alert" structure used by so many others.

Please advice if I have simply misunderstood the manual and functionality of the VX-8DR or if this feature can be enabled via a firmware upgrade or via some other means.

Thanks in advance for your response,

KC9TZT
 

W9DTC

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Also... I did some additional testing today.

It is clear that when the APRS modem is turned on, the ability to adjust the tone settings is lost. So I did the following

1. Programmed a memory entry on a simplex frequency using tone 100.0
2. Setup a second radio listening for tone 100.0 on the same frequency
3. Sent a voice transmission to confirm tone decoding was working properly
4. turned on the APRS modem and sent packet data
5. noticed that the second radio did "hear" the transmittion but didn't make it audible - thereby confirming that the VX-8DR wasn't sending tone even when using a tone programmed memory channel.
6. turned off tone squelch control on the second radio
7. sent data from the VX-8DR again just to confirm that the second radio would make the transmittion audible (of course it did)

SOOOO... unless somebody has another idea, I think I've confirmed that the VX-8DR isn't APRS Voice Alert compatible (which is a pretty big dissapointment for me)
 

W9DTC

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No response from Yaesu. The site says they will respond in 48 hours, but we are well outside that timeframe. :(
 

W9DTC

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Negative. Never received a response from Yaesu. Voice alert appears to be incompatible with this radio. Very frustrating. I see no practical reason that the radio couldn't produce/decode tone while running aprs. Seems like a software issue to me.
 

KK4DFU

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APRS on A Band

I have tried running APRS on the A and B band. Using the B band to TX packets with no CTSS with the volume down. Then running the same frequency on the A band with the CTSS on to RX with volume on but not TX packets.

This seems to work but clearly is not ideal as you still need to QSY after the voice alert contact. It seems as long so you have the modern turned off the CTSS works.

I am still very new with the -DR so I am curious what antennas you have for yours. (don't mean to thread jack here, sorry).
 

Jay911

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The Yaesu (I have the 8GR) appears to not support voice alert, which is a bit of a disappointment. I'm also having trouble getting APRS Mute to work, or else I need to re-read the manual. Even when this option is active, when my 8GR beacons, I hear it faintly. Do I need to set the other ('normal' menu) mute option to 100% to make APRS Mute work?

As for voice alert itself, I used it for the first time the other day and it worked quite well. I'm not sure I understand why I hear packets only if the person is close to me (is it because they're beaconing with the 100 Hz tone?), but besides that, voice alert works fine for me.
 

W9BU

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I'm not sure I understand why I hear packets only if the person is close to me (is it because they're beaconing with the 100 Hz tone?)...
Well, that's kinda the idea behind Voice Alert--to let you know that someone nearby is beaconing on APRS without you having to look at the radio. When you hear their beacon with the 100Hz tone, you can reply by voice on 144.39 also with a 100Hz tone and they will hear your voice. You can use that method to ask them to meet you on another frequency.

Remember that the tone does not pass through a digipeater. So, the APRS station sending Voice Alert beacons has to be close enough for you to hear them directly. I did encounter a digipeater once that a guy was running on a Kenwood TM-D710 with Voice Alert turned on. It was quite annoying to hear every beacon his station digipeated with the 100Hz tone.
 

902

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I always thought the intent of voice alert was having the data packets being transmitted and demodulated in carrier squelch, but having the receiver audio open only to voice transmissions. Kind of like a "Hey, is there anyone around me?" thing. Personally, I can't listen to the packet Brrraps. They're really distracting to me.

I don't know, it seems there are a lot of expectations for a 1.2 kbps data network - mobile position reporting, messaging, static position reporting, beaconing from digipeaters, weather stuff, and voice all on the same frequency in pure ALOHA. It's like 1 Mbps of throughput in a 1.2 kbps bag.
 

kayn1n32008

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The thought of voice alert is: when you start hearing the data with the tone, it alerts you to someone near you, this allows you to call them using the tone and change over to a simplex/local repeater.
 

Xiphos007

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The lack of this feature really annoys me. You would think it would be a pretty easy software fix, but I guess releases are not too frequent. Just need PL tone support for the B band...
 

62Truck

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The lack of this feature really annoys me. You would think it would be a pretty easy software fix, but I guess releases are not too frequent. Just need PL tone support for the B band...
There is PL support for the B band, just not when you have the APRS Modem on.
 

newsphotog

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There is PL support for the B band, just not when you have the APRS Modem on.
So when using the TNC you couldn't do 100 Hz PL encode/decode so only the speaker opens up when receiving a 100 Hz signal? That's silly. Even though I'm not sure the TNC would decode non-100 Hz PL APRS signals anyways with decode on. Yeah, pretty silly.
 

K7TKR

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Okay here is a question. The D710A has a provision for voice alert in the menu under APRS which I set to on with the 100hz tone. Do I need to also set the tone on the A side of the display? I have noticed that I need to use the squelch in order to let the radio transmit or else look at a constant busy indicator. That will also affect how sensitive the radio is to incoming calls on 144.39 so what's the answer? In the last three days I have made O voice contacts either through or in conjunction with APRS so not sure if this voice alert is working or not.

Mark
 

n9mxq

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Okay here is a question. The D710A has a provision for voice alert in the menu under APRS which I set to on with the 100hz tone. Do I need to also set the tone on the A side of the display? I have noticed that I need to use the squelch in order to let the radio transmit or else look at a constant busy indicator. That will also affect how sensitive the radio is to incoming calls on 144.39 so what's the answer? In the last three days I have made O voice contacts either through or in conjunction with APRS so not sure if this voice alert is working or not.

Mark
No. Once voice alert is selected the TNC does the work with the CTCSS tone. Keep the volume up a shade on the side you run APRS on. When you hear a data burst, check your station list to see who may be on 146.52 (Or a local repeater), or you can just go to 52 and call a CQ.

I run it here, and although I've heard hundreds of packets, I've never made a contact..
 

Jay911

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I had a fellow contact me once. I don't actually keep the volume turned up very often, because I get squawks almost constantly in my area (I think someone has got voice alert engaged on his digi).
 
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