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Author Topic: New GPS units that are APRS compatible  (Read 4167 times)
W0TLP
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Posts: 83




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« on: March 07, 2012, 08:08:06 PM »

I've been considering buying a GPS unit for the vehicle and figure I might as well consider one that would allow me to use it for APRS.

From what I can tell, just about any GPS unit that has an NMEA compatible data port can be used.

The trouble is, I can't find enough details on any current GPS units that support NMEA and would be useable in APRS, other than those made by AvMap, which are beyond my budget and interface with Kenwood radios. I will probably use whatever old HT or mobile I can rig a TNC connection to. I might even just use an old scanner and do receive only.

I'm sure there are are other GPS units out there, I just can't seem to locate them with the detail -- or lack there of -- I see on manufacturer websites.

Any suggestions?

Teak
W0TLP
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NA4IT
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 08:17:04 PM »

One important thing you will need to know is how the software or radio "sees" the GPS data. Most of the older software, and the Kenwood radios "look" for serial data. So if the GPS is a USB device, you may be out of luck.

If you are going to use a TNC as you stated, look for an older GPS unit, maybe on some of the ham radio trader sites, or eBay. I picked up an older "puck" type GPS (no screen) that does serial data for $12 shipped on eBay.

The TNC-X and some other TNCs can take the GPS data directly. For some other TNCs, the software does it. UI-View32 is one example that can have a TNC on one serial (COM) port, and the GPS on another.

Like I said, research is the key here.
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W0TLP
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 08:28:39 PM »

Thank you for the prompt response.

Indeed, research is key. Everything I am finding is leading me to believe that the easiest way to do this interface is with an older GPS.

I don't plan on using this with a computer. I would like it to be a mobile packet station: transciever, TNC and GPS, nothing more.

I would think that, with the great interest in APRS in the ham community the big manufacturers would pick up on it and release a model or two ready for APRS and give AvMap a little pricing competition.

I use OpenAPRS on my iPhone, which works well but it has a fairly small screen.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 04:57:25 AM »

For mobile operation, I highly recommend the TNC-X. It is a base unit with add on boards that do either tracker (with an added GPS) or digipeater. I have built several of them, and I think my build time now for the base TNC-X is about an hour...
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AF6OF
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 05:55:19 PM »

With the introduction of the Avmap G6, I think you will start seeing used G5's on the market soon. Avmap is the ONLY GPS display receiver that is designed and intended to support APRS. Actual APRS Icons appear on the screen, not dots and call signs. The Avmap also supports advanced messaging capabilities when used with the Byonics TT4. Any other display GPS is going to be a major disappointment for you after you see an G5 or G6. Go on Youtube and search for Avmap and you will see Don Arnold, the North American guy for Avmap, doing a bunch of great APRS demos!  The only other better option is a low cost laptop and mapping software, although I admit that setting this up can sometimes be........frustrating. Another great option is Lynn Deffenbaughs APRSIS32 for PDA type devices.

73,

Allen AF6OF
VHS/Byonics
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