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Author Topic: Why Trackers?  (Read 10921 times)
N4SRN
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Posts: 305




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« on: March 12, 2017, 08:15:36 AM »

Just wondering why one might use a Tracker, like TinyTrak4/GPS for instance. I'm new to APRS and have a car/mobile, fixed base and HT, so am not sure what a Tracker adds to the mix. Thanks for the help!

Bret/N4SRN
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Bret/N4SRN
Bedford, NH  USA
WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 05:33:17 AM »

Hi Bret,
   There could be several benefits to having a tracker on your vehicle. I have had some of my local ham friends track me on a long trip from El Paso to Michigan. I could see using it for county identification in a state QSO Party. It could show progress on a trip to a Hamfest where several hams from one place go to a distant Hamfest. I also have a small personal tracker that can be put on a backpack should I decide to go mountain topping.

73, Larry, WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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NA4IT
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Posts: 42


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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 06:08:02 AM »

The answer is found in the definition of APRS... Automatic Position Reporting System...

Other than a few radios with TNC's built in, most cannot send out an APRS packet.
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N2XIW
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 08:43:10 AM »

Umm, that's not the definition of APRS, which actually stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System.



The answer is found in the definition of APRS... Automatic Position Reporting System...

Other than a few radios with TNC's built in, most cannot send out an APRS packet.
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WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 10:44:42 AM »

It was once Position and is now Packet. I have several TinyTrak3/Gps combos that work with a regular 2 Meter radio in the mobile. I have a Byonics AIO (All in one) for foot tracking and I have APRS-IS for Windows 32 on a home computer that shows my house. I can check activity from APRS.FI or OpenAPRS.Net from any internet computer.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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N4SRN
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Posts: 305




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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 02:03:44 PM »

If I'm out for a hike or bike, perhaps a smaller Tracker (TT4/GPS or AP510) is more practical that a FT2DR HT to bring along? Might that be a utility for a tracker?

Bret/N4SRN
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Bret/N4SRN
Bedford, NH  USA
N2XIW
Member

Posts: 40




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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 03:14:18 PM »

Larry, interesting that it was once called Automatic Position Reporting System

When did it change?

Did not see anything about it reading the history.

http://www.aprs.org/APRS-docs/ARTICLES.TXT

thanks, rc




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WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 08:30:58 PM »

I don't recall the date it changes but that is what I called it many years ago and got corrected on the air one day. There is a history link part of the way down on the page at http://www.aprs.org/ that leads to http://www.aprs.org/APRS-docs/APRS.TXT. I'm not finding when it changed. I looked at a few sites but only found the one text reference.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 11:36:19 AM »

UpDate - I found this http://www.aprs.net/florida/ from the 1996 time frame. It uses both terms. Very seldom is it spelled out.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
 
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W4KYR
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Posts: 1582




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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 01:20:43 AM »

It was once Position and is now Packet. I have several TinyTrak3/Gps combos that work with a regular 2 Meter radio in the mobile. I have a Byonics AIO (All in one) for foot tracking and I have APRS-IS for Windows 32 on a home computer that shows my house. I can check activity from APRS.FI or OpenAPRS.Net from any internet computer.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX


Can the Tiny Trak be used for Packet Radio? Or just for tracking/APRS? What I mean is, can you use Tiny Trak as a tiny TNC?
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The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here. 
https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...
WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 02:36:26 PM »

I think the one I am using (TinyTrak3) can only be a tracker. The TinyTrak4 ( https://www.byonics.com/tinytrak4/ ) is much more flexible and has additional capability and can be used for receiving. At home I am using APRSIS for windows.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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AF7JA
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Posts: 255




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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2017, 08:49:23 AM »

I will throw another one out. I about two weeks I am preparing to begin riding a bicycle / experimental-vehicle from Kansas to Utah. Several people have asked me to keep them appraised of my trip.

As it happens, I was not able to figure out a way to make that goal work with APRS; as such, I will use Ride With GPS. That being said, it is an example of where tracking would be interesting.

I do have a 2M rig with me; but I have never heard any traffic on it. I ker-chunked the repeater to make sure it was transmitting and talked to my hand held on another test; so I know it's working.

Generally, in remote areas I just leave it on 146.520 and give a shout out when I approach a town.

If it worked, I could see APRS adding a lot to a trip like the one I am making. Considering that Amateur radio (in my life time) follows commercial by about 20 years, I expect to see APRS picking up and being reliable method of sending messages, on trips like the one I am planning, in about ten years.

In this trip I just couldn't justify the cost, weight, and power draw, of APRS.
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WB8LBZ
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 07:19:09 AM »

I have seen the use of smart phones running APRS aps plotting the position every few minutes (hour) leaving dots on the map. If you have a smart phone with you maybe that is an alternative to a fullblown 2 Meter rig/tracker/GPS. All you will need is cell coverage.

73. Larry WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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AF7JA
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Posts: 255




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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 11:11:05 AM »

I have seen the use of smart phones running APRS aps plotting the position every few minutes (hour) leaving dots on the map. If you have a smart phone with you maybe that is an alternative to a fullblown 2 Meter rig/tracker/GPS. All you will need is cell coverage.

73. Larry WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX

I may fiddle with this over the weekend. Can you suggest a program?

My main plan is to use my Ride With GPS account.

I went and looked at several (well, there are only three) APRS. I remember looking at them at some point in the past. I don't remember why I rejected it. I think it was too complicated for other users. In that I mean that for a non-technical person to look at my feed was somewhat complicated.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 11:31:49 AM by AF7JA » Logged
WB8LBZ
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 09:30:36 AM »

I have seen Android mentioned in APRS icons and I think there Apple aps as well. Maybe someone that used a smartphone for APRS will chime in.

73, Larry  WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
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