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CardinalFJ60
08-26-2011, 10:07 PM
I just pieced together a used Yeasu2500 and a byonics tinytrak3+ and gps...neat stuff.

I tested it out on the commute today and have a question about how to set the squelch/vol on the radio. it seemed to work fine but then I started messin' with buttons and came up with questions.

I assumed I'd set it up like I set up the radio kinda like for voice to only hear a signal when it breaks squelch. But I understand aprs will wait for a break, and then transmit...but if it's squelched too high, and there's other traffic, then what?? does it bounce or get bumped? should I have it squelched to nothing or really low? there's no real guidance in the instructions that I've found.

*I've pestered Byon several times with other dumb questions and that guy is great! Go to www.byonics.com if you are interested in this APRS stuff.

FYI - with the wires for the Yaesu2500 I plug one into the speaker jack and one into the mic jack. since one goes in the speaker jack I can't hear it. So here are my other questions:

1. how should I set the vol and squelch?
2. why wouldn't I hit some digipeaters that are really close but then hit one down by parker (like 5-6x the distance to the nearest digipeater). too much traffic? I find that hard to beleive.

DaveInDenver
08-27-2011, 06:24 AM
If you are beaconing only, set the squelch pretty high. You don't care if you hear fringe stations and repeaters will have the signal strength to open your radio. Really you just don't want to step on close-in stations, so I go mid range or higher. If you are tracking other people in simplex, then you'd need to take more care in squelch.

Depends on propagation and range, you might have a better aspect to the Parker repeater. Could also be the Lakewood repeater was busy with other traffic and your packet was stomped on. I wouldn't worry too much which digipeater hears you as long as you are less than 2 hops to an I-GATE and you get at least 50% of your packets digipeated. Some days you'll get almost 100%, others not. If you are getting a lot of dropped packets, then start worrying.

With a mic/speaker interface you do need to be a little more careful setting levels and should listen to your TX on a second radio. RX is a little tougher. Turn it up until the TT looks to be decoding reliably I guess.

CardinalFJ60
08-27-2011, 07:19 AM
thanks again. and since you mention dropping packets, I feel like I am getting quite a few dropped packets.or...maybe not. for instance, I'll only get 4-5 plotted points on aprs.fi on my commute from Lodo up 25 to 36 to Louisville (about 30-45min commute) a couple days it was like 3 points. It's set to tx every 2min. I beleive.

On the other hand it's mapping pretty consistently...not sure if that good or bad...just consistently seems to drop packets in the same spots.

Is it unreasonable to think I should have at least 8-12 points on the map in a 30-40min. commute? with setup?

CardinalFJ60
08-29-2011, 03:00 PM
verrry interesting. and what a long haul! similar to the path of least resistance?

on a related an curious note, today's track was muuuch better. I have noticed that I'll get three static bursts (minor interference) at regular 1 second intervals on some freqs (zzzzt...zzzzt....zzzzt..............zzzt...zzzt....zzzzt) and the effected freq. will change and is unpredictable. when I unplug the MT-RTG it completely stops.

for instance, starting off from the house...it 'interfered' on the CC, then I moved to CRA...quiet. then later in the commute...I heard it on RS1 simplex, everytime I hear it, I change the freq until it goes away. On a scan, it'll pick up the "zxzzzt". and stop on that freq.

It might be a function of that Wouxon radio. I'll switch to one of my Yaesu HTs to test that interference situation.

DaveInDenver
02-20-2012, 06:26 PM
Got one of my APRS beacon packets to repeat through a pretty unique digipeater this afternoon. Total of 1,662 miles in the path and 50 watts to make it.

CO Hunter
02-20-2012, 07:25 PM
That's pretty cool! Does it count as a "contact"?

BTW that's about 33 miles/watt

DaveInDenver
02-20-2012, 08:04 PM
That's pretty cool! Does it count as a "contact"?

BTW that's about 33 miles/watt
Not really, although I did try to exchange APRS messages with another ham (KG6NUB who is listed in the path). But I'm too slow doing it through the radio. Probably need do that at a station with a keyboard, like at home. It would be worthy of a QSL card exchange confirming a contact via ISS. Lots of hams QSL via satellite contacts. When a cosmonaut or astronaut works aboard the ISS, they send QSL cards, though.

I should also think that it cost about $10million per mile. Although the radio itself is just a TM-D710, the expense and effort to get it and keep it there...

CO Hunter
02-21-2012, 06:05 PM
TM-D710 huh, thought you were a Yaesu guy ;)

I've been thinking aobut APRS for a while and haven't researched too much. But what I have found is my GPS Delorme PN 30, which I really like, does not provide a serial/NEMA out option. I was hoping for a USB cable adapter. Bummer, I really don't want to buy another GPS. Fewer GPS units are coming with serial out capability. Maybe that's why you run the TM-D710 but it is pricey.

DaveInDenver
02-21-2012, 08:48 PM
TM-D710 huh, thought you were a Yaesu guy ;)
I was talking about the radio on the ISS. I run a FTM-350AR.
I've been thinking aobut APRS for a while and haven't researched too much. But what I have found is my GPS Delorme PN 30, which I really like, does provide a serial/NEMA out option. I was hoping for a USB cable adapter. Bummer, I really don't want to buy another GPS. Fewer GPS units are coming with serial out capability. Maybe that's why you run the TM-D710 but it is pricey.
Good thing is that old (i.e. cheap!) GPS unit almost all have serial ports and all the trackers and TNC-equipped radios want RS-232. Before I was running a FT-1500M, TinyTrak 4 and a Garmin GPS-18 puck for APRS and that worked well. You don't need a fancy radio necessarily. I just needed to simplify, I was starting to take over the right seat in the truck and there was nowhere to put stuff or for someone else to sit. Downside of having a small cab and just two seats...

smslavin
02-21-2012, 10:04 PM
I was talking about the radio on the ISS. I run a FTM-350AR.

Going to program mine tomorrow with the local repeaters and rag chew stations. Gotta set up APRS on it as well.

CO Hunter
02-22-2012, 07:05 AM
I was talking about the radio on the ISS. I run a FTM-350AR. ..

Ahh...


I made a mistake in typing my previous post, it should have said my GPS does not have serial/NEMA out, I have corrected it above. I was hoping to use my mobile rig (FT 7900) for the APRS with the Tiny Trak or something similar. I was hoping too minimize buying more stuff. My other radio is the FT-60 HT. Obviously, I have more research to do....

smslavin
02-22-2012, 10:21 PM
I run a FTM-350AR.

are you using standard or smart beaconing?

DaveInDenver
02-23-2012, 07:36 AM
are you using standard or smart beaconing?
I typically use smart beaconing. I set E33 values for low speed to 2 and high speed to 45, slow rate to 30 minutes, fast rate to 90 seconds. The intermediate period seems to be typically about 3 minutes but I don't know if that's adjustable.

For regular periodic beaconing I set E14 values for interval to 2 minutes, low speed to 2, decay to 'on' and rate limit to 30 seconds. I sometimes use this for commutes because I'll get in a handful more positions.

rhyary
02-23-2012, 09:58 AM
I was talking about the radio on the ISS. I run a FTM-350AR.
...

Ha, when did you get this one? Like it?

DaveInDenver
02-23-2012, 11:46 AM
So far so good. Got it a month or so ago now, sold some stuff to consolidate a bunch of random bits into one radio. I miss the memory groups from the FT-8800 and the Hyper Memory, but that's about it.

The radio otherwise is pretty neat. I like the voice alert, something that I couldn't do easily with the FT-1500/TT4/GPS-18 combo. Also having the station list and other APRS function built-in is super nice compared to dragging a laptop or the LCD display and keyboard for the TinyTrak.

I'm using the Yaesu FGPS-1 internal chip and it seems to occasionally take a few minutes to get its brains, must be fairly slow when updating its almanac compared to other receivers. Could also be the location, which is right above the rear view mirror under the roof, so might more time to lock on to signals. If it's got up to date almanac data, it seems lock within 15 seconds, which is cool.

I actually interfaced it to a Nuvi 350 and got the stations showing up as waypoints. I don't leave the GPS in the truck but it'll be nice in groups with others who have APRS beacons running.

smslavin
02-26-2012, 04:52 PM
I typically use smart beaconing. I set E33 values for low speed to 2 and high speed to 45, slow rate to 30 minutes, fast rate to 90 seconds. The intermediate period seems to be typically about 3 minutes but I don't know if that's adjustable.

For regular periodic beaconing I set E14 values for interval to 2 minutes, low speed to 2, decay to 'on' and rate limit to 30 seconds. I sometimes use this for commutes because I'll get in a handful more positions.

Thanks for those settings. I've got my low speed at 5, high at 70, slow at 10, fast at 60. Forced a transmit and it shows up at aprs.fi. I need to lower the high a bit since the truck very rarely gets over 65. I'll probably monkey around with it this week.

It was kinda fun, in a geeky sort of way, watching it pick up all the other beacons near the house. Probably won't be on all the time as the non-stop beeping will more than likely drive my wife nuts.

I've got another question for you but it's off this topic so I'll start another thread.

DaveInDenver
02-26-2012, 06:45 PM
That's why I set high at 45, that really IS high speed for my truck...

Bruce Miller
02-27-2012, 07:57 AM
Smart beaconing? Periodic beaconing? Decay to on? Once you've got it all dialed in, do you actually talk to someone on the air? Like the HK dxpedition to Malpelo Island last month?

DaveInDenver
02-27-2012, 09:34 AM
Smart beaconing? Periodic beaconing? Decay to on? Once you've got it all dialed in, do you actually talk to someone on the air? Like the HK dxpedition to Malpelo Island last month?
I heard a few brief pileups from the DXpedition, but summers are much more enjoyable working in the basement without the furnace constantly running (it's a menace both audibly and RF-wise). Plus having to go low key hidden wire has tremendously wrecked my effectiveness at home. :-(

But to the point, you can voice alert on your beacon. This is essentially a 100Hz tone/squelch that when your radio transmits a packet it will momentarily open the squelch of any radio set to listen for CTCSS-encoded signals. So it will stop muting and the operator hears the TX.

You know the sound, like you remember from years ago, the sounds of a modem connecting. When you hear this you can do one of a couple of things. QSS on 144.390 using phone with your call sign. This is just a notification, "AC0VH on 146.520" and that's it. The other station(s) will NOT reply on 144.390 but will QSY to the frequency you announced.

Alternatively, you can check your station list to see if anyone's last position report included something like "VA 146.520", "Voice Alert 146.520" or "Listening to 146.520". No one says anything on 144.390 but does CQ on the frequency listed in the position report. I have my radio beacon (on the secondary side) on every packet in the first optional data field post-pend the other side (main side) frequency the offset and tone. This happens regardless on every packet.

Most commutes I just ragchew and so I do not set the voice alert (e.g. 144.390 with DCS 023 set only on RX so that I never hear anything open the squelch) if I'm chatting, but potentially anyone who checks my packets will see what repeater I'm talking on at that time. Other times when the regular crew is not on or I don't feel like talking about the current subject, I dial up the memory location for APRS with the TX/RX CTCSS tone. I set my primary side to 146.520 most of the time when I do this and I've made a couple of contacts that way.

It would be a great way to let you know if there are other hams you would like to talk to in the area. For example, if more RS hams had APRS beacons running they could set their radio voice side to 146.460 and set a different (than the WB4APR suggested 100) tone on the beacon, say 103.5Hz, which would open the squelch only for any other RS ham within simplex range. If you hear a APRS packet, you then know to call out on 146.460. Think of it as APRS radar in a way.

I have made a few 'contacts' from the YL, but that's via the POTS when she notices I'm moving and near King Soopers. That may not be a selling point, though.

smslavin
02-27-2012, 10:21 AM
I heard a few brief pileups from the DXpedition, but summers are much more enjoyable working in the basement without the furnace constantly running (it's a menace both audibly and RF-wise). Plus having to go low key hidden wire has tremendously wrecked my effectiveness at home. :-(

But to the point, you can voice alert on your beacon. This is essentially a 100Hz tone/squelch that when your radio transmits a packet it will momentarily open the squelch of any radio set to listen for CTCSS-encoded signals. So it will stop muting and the operator hears the TX.

You know the sound, like you remember from years ago, the sounds of a modem connecting. When you hear this you can do one of a couple of things. QSS on 144.390 using phone with your call sign. This is just a notification, "AC0VH on 146.520" and that's it. The other station(s) will NOT reply on 144.390 but will QSY to the frequency you announced.

Alternatively, you can check your station list to see if anyone's last position report included something like "VA 146.520", "Voice Alert 146.520" or "Listening to 146.520". No one says anything on 144.390 but does CQ on the frequency listed in the position report. I have my radio beacon (on the secondary side) on every packet in the first optional data field post-pend the other side (main side) frequency the offset and tone. This happens regardless on every packet.

Most commutes I just ragchew and so I do not set the voice alert (e.g. 144.390 with DCS 023 set only on RX so that I never hear anything open the squelch) if I'm chatting, but potentially anyone who checks my packets will see what repeater I'm talking on at that time. Other times when the regular crew is not on or I don't feel like talking about the current subject, I dial up the memory location for APRS with the TX/RX CTCSS tone. I set my primary side to 146.520 most of the time when I do this and I've made a couple of contacts that way.

It would be a great way to let you know if there are other hams you would like to talk to in the area. For example, if more RS hams had APRS beacons running they could set their radio voice side to 146.460 and set a different (than the WB4APR suggested 100) tone on the beacon, say 103.5Hz, which would open the squelch only for any other RS ham within simplex range. If you hear a APRS packet, you then know to call out on 146.460. Think of it as APRS radar in a way.

I have made a few 'contacts' from the YL, but that's via the POTS when she notices I'm moving and near King Soopers. That may not be a selling point, though.

That's some great info. Thank you. This stuff just gets cooler and cooler the more I get into it. I'll listen out for you on 5-2.

Bruce Miller
02-27-2012, 04:42 PM
Just giving you a hard time. Sounds like you're having fun.

DaveInDenver
02-28-2012, 07:26 AM
Just giving you a hard time.
Yup. :-)
Sounds like you're having fun.
I've tried to avoid mixing computers and radios, generally really, having all the trinkets like GPS. Never felt I needed it, really still not sure I do. But it's been interesting learning the hows & whys and have at least a little bit of a clue. I do see how the tactical/spatial nature of APRS would be quite useful.

Mendocino
02-28-2012, 02:05 PM
Cool stuff Dave!

I heard a few brief pileups from the DXpedition, but summers are much more enjoyable working in the basement without the furnace constantly running (it's a menace both audibly and RF-wise). Plus having to go low key hidden wire has tremendously wrecked my effectiveness at home. :-(

But to the point, you can voice alert on your beacon. This is essentially a 100Hz tone/squelch that when your radio transmits a packet it will momentarily open the squelch of any radio set to listen for CTCSS-encoded signals. So it will stop muting and the operator hears the TX.

You know the sound, like you remember from years ago, the sounds of a modem connecting. When you hear this you can do one of a couple of things. QSS on 144.390 using phone with your call sign. This is just a notification, "AC0VH on 146.520" and that's it. The other station(s) will NOT reply on 144.390 but will QSY to the frequency you announced.

Alternatively, you can check your station list to see if anyone's last position report included something like "VA 146.520", "Voice Alert 146.520" or "Listening to 146.520". No one says anything on 144.390 but does CQ on the frequency listed in the position report. I have my radio beacon (on the secondary side) on every packet in the first optional data field post-pend the other side (main side) frequency the offset and tone. This happens regardless on every packet.

Most commutes I just ragchew and so I do not set the voice alert (e.g. 144.390 with DCS 023 set only on RX so that I never hear anything open the squelch) if I'm chatting, but potentially anyone who checks my packets will see what repeater I'm talking on at that time. Other times when the regular crew is not on or I don't feel like talking about the current subject, I dial up the memory location for APRS with the TX/RX CTCSS tone. I set my primary side to 146.520 most of the time when I do this and I've made a couple of contacts that way.

It would be a great way to let you know if there are other hams you would like to talk to in the area. For example, if more RS hams had APRS beacons running they could set their radio voice side to 146.460 and set a different (than the WB4APR suggested 100) tone on the beacon, say 103.5Hz, which would open the squelch only for any other RS ham within simplex range. If you hear a APRS packet, you then know to call out on 146.460. Think of it as APRS radar in a way.

I have made a few 'contacts' from the YL, but that's via the POTS when she notices I'm moving and near King Soopers. That may not be a selling point, though.

Seldom Seen
03-04-2012, 02:09 PM
Smart beaconing? Periodic beaconing? Decay to on? Once you've got it all dialed in, do you actually talk to someone on the air? Like the HK dxpedition to Malpelo Island last month?

Missed HK∅, but I have managed to work 45/50 for WAS and 27/100 for DXCC on an attic dipole I put up last month. Does that count for anything?

ETA: another country, just got Russia

Belghau
02-05-2013, 05:34 AM
I just pieced together a used Yeasu2500 and a byonics tinytrak3+ and gps...neat stuff.

I tested it out on the commute today and have a question about how to set the squelch/vol on the radio. it seemed to work fine but then I started messin' with buttons and came up with questions.

I assumed I'd set it up like I set up the car dvd players (http://www.robustbuy.com/car-accessories-car-indash-dvd-players-c-492_974.html) radio kinda like for voice to only hear a signal when it breaks squelch. But I understand aprs will wait for a break, and then transmit...but if it's squelched too high, and there's other traffic, then what?? does it bounce or get bumped? should I have it squelched to nothing or really low? there's no real guidance in the instructions that I've found.

*I've pestered Byon several times with other dumb questions and that guy is great! Go to www.byonics.com if you are interested in this APRS stuff.

FYI - with the wires for the Yaesu2500 I plug one into the speaker jack and one into the mic jack. since one goes in the speaker jack I can't hear it. So here are my other questions:

1. how should I set the vol and squelch?
2. why wouldn't I hit some digipeaters that are really close but then hit one down by parker (like 5-6x the distance to the nearest digipeater). too much traffic? I find that hard to beleive.
You must have got your APRS radio. I need one similar radio, so can you tell me a reliable source to purchase it.

CardinalFJ60
02-05-2013, 03:51 PM
There are several ways to set up APRS in your rig.

1. buy an expensive radio that has it built in (Yeasu ft-350) - SWEET RADIO!
2. Go to Byonics.com and get one of there RTG (ready to go) systems: it's an all in one small package 10W transceiver, GPS puck, antenna and power hookup (Cig lighter or Powerpoles). I have this for my 40 and works great and is small...literally plug and play.
3. Piece together a setup using just about any 2m radio, a GPS unit and the TNC module to convert the GPS signal to packet info to send over RF.

I did #3 in my 60 because I wanted to always have a full power backup 2m radio. HTs are good, but I wanted the ability to have a 50w backup. I played the Ebay game and picked up a cheap Yeasu 2500, bought the proper cables from byonics.com and the 'package deal' with GPS puck and TNC thingie.

Here are some links:
Ready To GO package: http://www.byonics.com/mt-rtg

Tinytrak3 (hooks to actual radio): http://www.byonics.com/tinytrak/
(I got the pre-built unit with GPS to hook to my ft-2500 it's the $107 one)

Cables list:http://www.byonics.com/cables/Byonics%20Radio%20Power%20Cable%20Chart.pdf

I'd look for any inexpensive working 2m radio on eBay, QRZ.com or eham.net. I think a 2m radio under $100 is a good deal for this application. I got mine for like $89.

HTH...ask more questions as needed. APRS is pretty cool.

daveIT
04-18-2013, 08:01 AM
So this is a separate radio from what you run for normal comms?

Anyone messed with this Android APRS app?
http://www.4x4ham.com/showthread.php?2078-APRS-with-just-an-Android-phone-and-an-HT-that-supports-VOX

I have the app, but haven't built a cable & hooked it to radio yet...

DaveInDenver
04-18-2013, 08:36 AM
I run a FTM-350, so I have the GPS and modem built-in to run on the background side. Some run a second radio for APRS, but I was having issues with it interfering with my main radio and needed some way to duplex them. It was easier just to sell both radios and replace them with one.

No help on the Android stuff, I run an old Nokia flip phone that doesn't seem to give a rat's rear what my ham radios are doing. I did interface an old Garmin Nuvi 350 to my radio. It displays received station positions as favorites and landmarks. Other stations pop up on the GPS map and I can use them as waypoint to navigate.

jacdaw
04-18-2013, 09:04 AM
I watch people on my tablet at http://aprs.fi/

CardinalFJ60
04-18-2013, 10:23 AM
So this is a separate radio from what you run for normal comms?

Anyone messed with this Android APRS app?
http://www.4x4ham.com/showthread.php?2078-APRS-with-just-an-Android-phone-and-an-HT-that-supports-VOX

I have the app, but haven't built a cable & hooked it to radio yet...

Yep...it's a separate radio. so in my 60 I have the ft-8900 for my 'cockpit' radio and the 2500 is mounted in the back with the APRS junk plugged into it. I have the mic stored as well, just in case my other radio craps out.

At one point those 350's were a smokin' deal. I wish I picked one up. I do, on occaision get interference (zzzt...zzzzt....zzzzt) but the reality is my Fridge is creating so much I don't notice any APRS noise anymore.:hill::thumb:

daveIT
04-18-2013, 11:24 AM
Hmm...wonder which way is cheaper...seems like by the time you buy used radio, add APRS, GPS and Antenna plus wiring you might be up to the price of FTM350? Unless you had a bunch of used stuff laying around...

So the FTM runs APRS on one channel and then comms on other? I guess I'm asking if they run simultaneously.

The one thing I don't like about the FT-2900R is no remote display...I'd rather not have the whole radio out in the open where thieves can see it, so I was thinking of getting something w/ a remote head.

DaveInDenver
04-18-2013, 12:47 PM
Using the FT-2900 for APRS is fine, you can tuck it away out of sight once configured and forget about it. There's no need to watch the radio on APRS, although remember to lock the controls so the frequency can't be changed.

Yes, the FTM-350 can run APRS in the background with regular use on the other side. When it needs to transmit an APRS packet it blanks the other side. If you are currently transmitting it will skip the packet and if you are receiving it goes quiet for a second or so. This is an improvement over the FT-8800/8900, which can listen to two bands at the same time but can only transmit on the selected side. So if the APRS tracker wants to TX, it will do it on the frequency you're using currently and not the secondary side.

It sorta depends on which radios you use, but if you are starting from zero going with a FTM-350 or TM-D710A might be competitive, particularly if you are looking at a FT-8800 or other fairly expensive radio already. If you have any old junk, probably cheaper to build your own. You can use one of those Chinese HTs for APRS, potentially a whole APRS set up might be $100 ~ $150. You'd also need to run two antennas, which can also be a pain.

BTW, the FTM-350 is discontinued, so existing stock is all that's available. Yaesu came out with the FTM-400, which is a 350 with digital modes added. Not sure the cost, but probably not cheap.

CardinalFJ60
04-18-2013, 12:57 PM
My used setup was like $220? ish...less than $100 for the FT-2500, and then the already built package deal from byonics.com. (gps, antenna, TNC module, cable, )

daveIT
04-18-2013, 01:18 PM
You can use one of those Chinese HTs for APRS, potentially a whole APRS set up might be $100 ~ $150. You'd also need to run two antennas, which can also be a pain.

BTW, the FTM-350 is discontinued, so existing stock is all that's available. Yaesu came out with the FTM-400, which is a 350 with digital modes added. Not sure the cost, but probably not cheap.

So you don't need much wattage for APRS? I have a Baofeng 3R (sitting unused) and 5R I carry around.

I've been looking at some digital mode stuff, so I might check out the 400...

CardinalFJ60
04-18-2013, 05:00 PM
I think I run my ft-2500 at low1 or low2 (5 or 10w)

DaveInDenver
04-18-2013, 06:50 PM
I also usually run low power level, which is 5W on the FTM-350. I've never used high power for APRS on any radio.

CO Hunter
04-30-2013, 07:46 PM
I went with the Kenwood TM-D710, what a nice radio. For those not familiar, it is similar to the FT-350 but has been around longer and has a big following. Not intending to start a debate, just offer a solid alternative that has not been mentioned. I made a custom cable, similar to what Dave described, and repurposed on old (mid 1990's) Eagle Explorer GPS unit which can output NEMA 0183.

For normal in town operations low power is fine as other have stated. However, as with any communication, the farther from a repeater the more power you may need. When in the San Rafael Swell a couple of weeks ago my tracking was amazingly good. I did run the power on about 20 watts.

http://forum.ih8mud.com/showpost.php?p=8454314&postcount=92