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APRS and TomTom 910

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K2WH, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. K2WH

    K2WH XML Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I know nothing about APRS and interfacing to a GPS unit so I'm asking. What equipment does one need to perform APRS reporting? I have a TomTom 910 but I don't think it has a serial port or any ports to use for APRS. Where does one get started in this and what can it do for me?

  2. KF6NFW

    KF6NFW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It will work just fine for an APRS system. I dont recall if a tinytrac was used or not, but I think it was.

    I use to sell these damn things and now cant recall all the details, but if memory serves me, all data functions are done through the USB port.

    you can also power the unit with a handcrank generator and the USB port.
    Just for gigles while working at a RS, I decided to try it and it does work, the only problem was keeping the RPM up enough to keep it powered but it does work.Have no clue why anyone would try to hand power it but killed the boredom at times!
  3. K2WH

    K2WH XML Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    You got me confused here. The GPS has NO USB port and whats with the hand crank generator? Whats a tinytrac?
  4. KF6NFW

    KF6NFW Ham Member QRZ Page

    maybe I have this confused with another GPS unit I played with, for the USB port. But I was sure it did so that it could be updated and such. Then again it may be the one that only had a SD card that was used for such but I was thinking otherwise.

    The hand crank generator again was purely for entertainment value at the moment of event, otherwise has no bearing on what you are doing!

    The Tinytrack is a small device that interfaces with a gps unit and a radio, also known as a TNC, Tinytrac is made by Byonics.

    I would suggest possibly a more dedicated google search for just the topic of APRS, it is likely going to give you many sites to choose from!
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's a good starting point:

    I won't pretend to be a real expert, but I've used APRS a bit, and look forward to doing more soon.

    Some of it's high points -

    - local tracking of ham radio resources by GPS coordinates. This is not limited to mobiles. Beacons can be set up to display the location of anything.
    This is very handy for public service events - you can give APRS users visual directions.

    - global callsign to callsign text messaging via the APRS Internet gateways and/or APRS satellites

    - email capabilities
  6. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have yet to hear of anyone adding the missing NMEA connection to a car GPS receiver to enable the use of APRS.
  7. KE7VUX

    KE7VUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't setup APRS yet, but it's near the top of my list of things to do, so I've been doing some research.

    Most of the consumer GPS units you see (like the deluge of $100 units last week) lack a serial port, but almost always sport a USB port.

    The problem is, the easiest way to get a mobile APRS tracker going is with either a Kenwood TM700/710 radio, or with an OpenTracker/TinyTracker. They all take an RS-232 serial port fed NMEA data string from the GPS.

    Most of the USB equipped GPS units won't do that - even with a USB to Serial adapter - there are exceptions, I think, but the rule is "nope"

    I think there's a possibility that you can pull it off, if you hook the GPS to a computer via USB, and then run some form of APRS tracking software on the computer, and just use a TNC to the radio (the Kenwood has a built in TNC, and various forms of the TinyTracker/OpenTracker can be a regular TNC, too).

    ..but now you have a GPS, a computer, a TNC, and a radio to make it all work. that point, by a Bluetooth GPS receiver and pair it to the computer and run some free GPS/mapping software on the computer and at least save yourself the trouble of having the "GPS" (TomTom) in the mix.

    Personally, I just bought a Nokia N810 portable "Internet Tablet" with a GPS built in and a host-mode USB. I have already confirmed that someone else has used the N810 to feed GPS data to a Tracker.

    There's also MaemoMapper for the N810, which I've used on my Nokia 770 before, which is a mapping / tracking application, and someone's already modifying MaemoMapper to work better with APRS, including messaging n' such.

    So I hope to get my cake and eat it to - regular "GPS Nav" features, plus APRS beaconing ("I'm here") along with receiving - and plotting - everyone else onto the display.

    Bonus.. it runs Linux, has a web browser, streams video, plays music, and so on.

    ..and I hope to use VOIP to control my HF rig at home with it.
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