I am looking into a new radio for the truck. I want to use the 2m side for APRS. Normal use would be the built in TNC and APRS functions. But I want some options that I can use when I want/need them.
- I want the option to plugin a laptop and use a computer based APRS software, to use during events like the MS-150.
- Connect a mobile weather station, to be part of my APRS traffic without a computer interface.
- Use a non-Yaesu GPS.
I heard you can use a non-Yaesu GPS, and that you can get a data cable for your computer. But can anyone tell me if these functions are possible with the FTM-350?
Phil Brunson, AA0PB
From what I've seen it just requires a standard serial GPS to be plugged into the data port and you select that as the input in the settings. However, you can't use a computer and use the external GPS at the same time as there is only one data port. So if you're using the external GPS then you can have a computer or anything else hooked up to do your own packet data on.
Additionally, I purchased the internet GPS unit for this rig and can use the internal GPS to feed my computer via the data port as well.
Also, if you get the programming cable, it can be used as the data cable between your computer and the radio; you do not have to purchase another cable. It will emulate a serial port on your computer via USB. Unless you'd rather use a serial port on your computer that is.
I'm still playing around with everything on it, but figured I'd offer some of my findings so far.
I was figuring that if I had the computer connected, I would have to have the application feed the GPS / APRS data to the radio. Just did not want to buy another TNC. Also with what you said, it does not look like I would be able to connect a weather station to it and feed weather data. I wonder if I use an internal GPS, that I could feed the weather data into the data port.
How good is the internal GPS? Mine would be mounted in my center console, so not near a window.
Thank you for the reply.
Using the data port on the back of my FT-817ND with a soundcard interface, I've used PC-based packet front-end software, APRS software and a USB GPS for balloon tracking. I was thinking the 350 had a built-in TNC, so this would eliminate one layer of software as far as APRS, assuming you could get it directly from the PC. Might do a quick Google and see if anyone else has done this.
Did you ever figure out if you could plug a weather station directly into the data port on the FTM-350? I'm trying to do this and am stumped so far.... I think I am missing some simple yet critical step...
Anyone have any ideas?
No, I am looking at different radios to purchase. I have not got a yes/no answer yet. If I find out I will post an update.