APRS

I haven’t posted in quite some time, but not as long as this site will lead you to believe. Although it indicates the last post is some time in 2014, Digital Ocean managed to break my container and lose almost a year of my posts. And since that time, I have been somewhat lazy in posting. Yet, with the birth of my daughter, and the stark realisation that I have not engaged in any large or small projects of late I decided to do something about it.

For years I have wanted to get involved in APRS again, however, my little APRS Opentracker kit has failed me, and I’m either to tired or lazy to figure it out, or the flash has died and hence, reprogramming it does not happen.

I tried many a minute in vain to resuscitate it and then discovered to my astonishment that I have had all the tools I needed to TX my position and more via 2m APRS.

APRSDroid

I’ve been using APRSDroid (https://aprsdroid.org/) for years to track my position on my Android cellphone. Although it is brutal when it comes to battery consumption it works exceptionally well. The small application activates the GPS, determines your location and uploads it and presto, your callsign and location appears on http://aprs.fi.

 

Little did I know this application has a number of other capabilities programmed into its settings. The feature in question is the ability to generate APRS at 1200 baud through the phone speaker. This meant I could connect any handy hand held radio with VOX to the phone and send position information.

Construction

The construction is remarkably simple. Wouxun UV-8D, a handy Android phone, a cheap ZTE phone my wife had lying around, and a 3.5 mm audio jack to connect the audio out from the phone to the radio set to VOX on 144.800 MHz.

The image above is my first test drive around town to see what kind of coverage I can expect. Even though there weren’t many IGates in the area, I still had very good reception from a number of IGates and Digipeaters.

 

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