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-   -   APRS radio setup question. (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=16380)

CardinalFJ60 08-26-2011 11:07 PM

APRS radio setup question.
 
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 07:24 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 08:19 AM

excellent info as always.
 
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 04:00 PM

wow! long distance.
 
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 07:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
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 08:25 PM

That's pretty cool! Does it count as a "contact"?

BTW that's about 33 miles/watt

DaveInDenver 02-20-2012 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CO Hunter (Post 204755)
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 07:05 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 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CO Hunter (Post 204810)
TM-D710 huh, thought you were a Yaesu guy ;)

I was talking about the radio on the ISS. I run a FTM-350AR.
Quote:

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 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveInDenver (Post 204826)
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.


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