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APRS WOES

Discussion in 'Digital Radio, DMR, Fusion, Wires, DSTAR' started by KD8NSY, Nov 12, 2021.

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  1. KD8NSY

    KD8NSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am hoping this is the right forum to post this, and if it is not I apologize.

    I recently learned about APRS and have been trying my hand as a financially fesable solution, and have not really come up with a good (single radio answer) (See what I mean below)

    Here is a post between me and another member trying to work out a good plan of attack
    I would love any insight from the Pros here who may have used some of these hardware hacks I am thinking of below... Thanks for your wisdom and probably trying this before I thought of it :)


    (From K8XG)
    In the USA APRS is on 144.390. I would get the MobilDlink and put it in on the VX6 or Baopheng. You will get better hardware decoding then you will get with the software only on a BaoPheng especially due to it's direct conversion. APRS is not a weak signal mode. It needs strong signals.

    Frankly , I would use the VX-6 for APRS and a toss away radio to talk on a mic.

    (From ME)
    Well you are totally right about the Baofeng and not working even with the good audio cable. (nothing but trouble for hours)

    Could some time send but not receive and some times receive but not send.

    Back to the drawing board.
    I may have to wait until I have more money but I would like to create a game plan moving forward...

    Some questions I have...
    1. With the Mobilinkd can you also connect a bluetooth headset to it so that I would not have to unplug the Mobilink if I wanted to simply talk on the radio and not use APRS?
    2. Would there be a way to use my phone as an external mic with the Mobilinkd so that I would not have to plug in my external speaker mike?
    3. Would simply buying a splitter and the correct cable for the Yaesu to talk to my cell phone be a better option where I could have the radio scan for Repeaters and the ARPS station and I could jump in on mike if I recieved a call on the repeater and other than that just have my phone talk on ARPS ?

    These are some crazy questions but I do not have the ability to buy another radio and am trying to keep any expenses low.

    thanks for your insight or suggesting this to others who may know

    Peter
     
  2. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are correct, the forum "Working Different Modes" would be more appropriate for A.P.R.S. questions, as opposed to D.P.R.S. The modulation types commonly used for A.P.R.S. would be F.S.K. and Q.P.S.K. ( FSK for 1200 bps standard on 2m FM ). The use of TCP/IP to encapsulate AX.25 packets is typically not done 'on the air', yet rather at digipeaters with I-links. The Mobilinkd documentation claims to use 'more efficient' TCP/IP similar packets by default. It should be possible to find someone who has used it for conventional A.P.R.S., not to be confused with the Digital Packet Radio System ( D.P.R.S. ) that has D-Star(tm) as a basis or a Mobilinkd(tm) proprietary protocol. If not, consider a used PK-232 or similar TNC-2 clone and a matching radio eg. Kenwood TM-G707a, etc. The Yaesu radio may be a match, if in wideband mode. If memory serves, your transmit range may be very limited ( 35-50 watts typically into a decent antenna required ).
     
  3. KD8NSY

    KD8NSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the clarification

    I hate muddying up forums in the wrong areas.
    Do you know if there is a way to get posts moved or reassigned to different forum locations?

    Thanks again for your insight and time.

    Peter
     
  4. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Before you go to a lot of expense and effort, take a look at APRS.FI and verify that there is activity recorded in the areas that you will be frequenting. APRS seems to be dying in a lot of areas and it would be disappointing to get it set up, then discover that the infrastructure is not there any more.

    Martin G8FXC
     
  5. KD8NSY

    KD8NSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is super good to know. I never would have thought that something so useful and kind of disaster proof would be on the way out.

    Are there other types of communication that cover these needs of tracking individuals, sending texts, sending emails, and basic communication that isn't verbal?

    It seems like all these things are pretty darn useful.

    I primarily wanted this for communication abilities when I'm out camping or possibly even out sailing beyond the range of cell phones

    The fact that it also tracks my GPS location is pretty nice if I'm ever out and about and need help

    Thanks again for your wisdom and your warnings. I hope something pops up to replace this I kind of love how it works and how fun it is.

    Of course I wish it worked better with my current setup, or at all LOL

    I have tossed around buying one of those single units that has it all in one. broadcast, Bluetooth, and GPS that simply connects to aprsDroid. Haven't found anybody who has one to know if it still works and how well it works though.
     
  6. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The trouble with APRS is that it is VHF and only really relevant to mobile operation - ok, I could set it up on my home station running into a big antenna, but it will just sit there day after day putting out the same position data. VHF mobile and portable via an HT is short range - often five to ten miles maximum with a 5w HT and not a lot more with a 25w mobile installation. Hence you need a lot of fixed infrastructure running to get a decent level of coverage - and that infrastructure is almost always installed and operated by enthusiasts paying for it out of their own pocket. We oldies are dying off and there seems to be relatively few newcomers to the hobby who are prepared to set up an APRS base-station.

    I have a Yaesu FT-1D HT which includes a good implementation of APRS - I bought it second-hand a couple of months ago. I often turn APRS on - I hardly ever get received. A couple of weeks ago, I had to drive about 300 miles across south-eastern England - a very densely populated area. I hooked the FT-1D up to the mobile antenna in the car and left it on with APRS enabled - in that entire trip, two of my APRS packets were received and recorded on APRS.FI.

    If you take a look at recorded APRS activity round this part of the world, you'll find that almost all the recorded traffic has a "D" marker - digital. These are records that have come in via digital modes - primarily DStar and DMR - into digital repeaters that are configured to send traffic reports into the APRS servers. I have an Anytone 878 which implements both analogue and digital APRS - the analogue pings have never been recorded, but the digital pings are frequently captured and reported via DMR repeaters.

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
  7. KD8NSY

    KD8NSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    hey Martian

    Thanks for the update

    Yeah it is a little sad to hear that it is going and my yaesu vx-6 is probably going to be my only rig for a while. (and like you said it is only 5 watt)
    I was hoping for a little bit of security when I am out in the deep woods and possibly sailing in Lake Michigan (when I get healthier)
    Had an accident 3 years ago that has left me disabled ( https://gofund.me/590d2bae ) But I am fighting back and will go hiking and sailing again.

    I guess an Epirb is the way to go for me I was hoping that APRS would cover it and be a little fun at the same time.

    I must admit a little heart broken. But I do still have APRSdroid and with a network connection I still get most of the fun functionality, just not the help in horrible circumstances. LOL

    Well thanks for your input and for saving me time and energy. (I don't have a lot of either to spare right now) I was hoping to have fun with something not so physical as I recover but if the end result is not what I need there are plenty of other things that haven't gotten done in 3 years of being out of commission

    Thanks again for your wisdom and time

    Peter
     
  8. KD8NSY

    KD8NSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I kind of wish I lived in one of those out of the way areas where there aren't APRS stations. I have and extra antenna and computer (Was an IT guy before my accident) Probably would not be so hard to set one up :)

    Well maybe when I retire there will be one APRS station running in the deep woods off of lake superior LOL

    Thanks again for your input and time.
     
  9. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do take a look at APRS.FI - levels of activity and coverage are patchy. You may find that the infrastructure and usage levels are good in the areas of interest to you - in which case it is a very clever and fascinating system. If you have a radio - even one that does not implement APRS, then tune it to the APRS frequency and leave it there for a couple of hours while you do other things. If there is APRS traffic in your area, you will hear it - bursts of modem tones rather like the way we used to connect to the internet before always-on broadband came along... If there are any APRS users or digipeaters within range of you, you will hear them - if you don't hear any traffic after monitoring for a few hours, then there is nobody there to hear you and your radio will be shouting in vain!

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
  10. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    P.S. speaking as a sailor myself, I would never rely on APRS for emergency communications - a PLB or EPIRB is definitely the way to go for that!

    Martin
     

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