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Author Topic: Can the new Icom IC-51a be used for APRS?  (Read 32650 times)
KD4EBL
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Posts: 79




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« on: February 19, 2013, 11:08:42 AM »

My understanding is the new ICOM 51a has a built in GPS. What else would I need to transmit my location to APRS? Sorry I am a newbie to this software and mode.
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K0JEG
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Posts: 884




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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 03:01:22 PM »

No, not without an external TNC. The Dstar protocol includes sending of coordinates in a similar way, but in-channel while transmitting. I think it will also beacon from time to time, but I'm not certain about that.

The interesting thing about the IC-51 is that it will have a database of Dstar repeaters and will show you what repeaters are nearby based on your position.
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KB4SHQ
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 12:58:44 PM »

Not sure where K0JEG got his information but it is incorrect. If you go to page 10-18 of the manual, it explains step-by-step how to turn on APRS transmission. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and, once you do, it will transmit your location when you key the mic. I just checked on aprs.fi and THERE I AM. This is SOOO cool!!

KB4SHQ · center · zoom · info
2013-03-22 15:50:49
alt 736 ft
HELLO
[API51 via DSTAR*,qAR,KA4YMZ-B]
start tracking · track in Street View
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K0JEG
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Posts: 884




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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 06:34:27 PM »

Not sure where K0JEG got his information but it is incorrect. If you go to page 10-18 of the manual, it explains step-by-step how to turn on APRS transmission. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and, once you do, it will transmit your location when you key the mic. I just checked on aprs.fi and THERE I AM. This is SOOO cool!!

Glad to be wrong.  Wink I hope they post the manual online soon, because I'm interested in this radio.

You made it to the APRS-IS network through a D-star gateway. You weren't transmitting on 144.390 using 1200 baud AFSK though, and I don't know that iGates on the APRS side will transmit your position to the local APRS RF users like the RF digipeater/iGates will.

I'm not trying to bash D-star, just pointing out that it's not quite the same as APRS and the 2 systems, while combined on the Internet, are not so compatible in the RF world.
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KB0OXD
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Posts: 69


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 11:49:10 PM »

I've been WAITING like FOREVER now for D-STAR & APRS to be brought together in one radio. THANK YOU ICOM !!!  You restored my faith in you Smiley

Now I just gotta get the $$$ to get my butt down to the "Candy Store" & GET one Grin

Cheers & 73 Smiley
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Pat Cook, KB0OXD
Englewood, CO
WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | APRS TRACKER
K9MHZ
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Posts: 1358




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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 04:33:15 AM »

I've been WAITING like FOREVER now for D-STAR & APRS to be brought together in one radio. THANK YOU ICOM !!!  You restored my faith in you Smiley
Now I just gotta get the $$$ to get my butt down to the "Candy Store" & GET one Grin
Cheers & 73 Smiley


OXD....I'm not sure I'm following you.  Icom has NOT combined the two "in one radio".  APRS reporting and DPRS reporting are as apples to oranges as it gets.  Only does the bridging from a D-STAR system with the APRS system mean that you'll show up in that tracking.  Another big issue are the frequencies used to accomplish the above.  APRS uses a dedicated packet freq, whereas DPRS will forward a position when you key up a suitably-equipped D-STAR repeater.  If you decide to set your D-STAR radio in a beacon mode to ping your changing positions, you're doing so on an input frequency of an active repeater, not on a dedicated position reporting frequency as is the case with APRS.  Finally, for trips, you'd need a string of D-STAR repeaters along your route to effectively report.  APRS just takes your pings and reports them, and the network of receivers is far larger in number than the D-STAR system.

Disclaimer....I use D-STAR a lot, with a 9100, 2820, and 51.  But if you main purpose is to position report, go APRS directly and don't hope for a DPRS to APRS bridge.

 
 
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OH7LZB
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 11:07:54 PM »

Not sure where K0JEG got his information but it is incorrect. If you go to page 10-18 of the manual, it explains step-by-step how to turn on APRS transmission. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and, once you do, it will transmit your location when you key the mic. I just checked on aprs.fi and THERE I AM. This is SOOO cool!!

[API51 via DSTAR*,qAR,KA4YMZ-B]

Hi, I'm Hessu, OH7LZB. I run the aprs.fi web service.

Actually, you did not transmit APRS, and the ID-51 does not have APRS. You transmitted a D-star position, which is technically completely different than APRS. You can see this from the "via DSTAR" string above. An APRS radio will not be able to receive your D-Star transmission.

Luckily your D-star repeater runs a DPRS gateway, which converts the D-star position to an APRS compatible format, and passes it on to the APRS-IS network, and it ends up to aprs.fi eventually.

Just to clarify the difference and DPRS and APRS a bit. The gateway works, which is the fun part.
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 1358




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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 05:20:07 AM »

Not sure where K0JEG got his information but it is incorrect.

Not sure where KB4SHQ is getting his information, but it is absolutely incorrect.  Sheez....get smart on something before correcting others, will you?

OK, just so we're clear....Icom radios DO NOT transmit APRS!  If you set one up for DPRS position reporting, it will ping your GPS position in an APRS format that's called GPS-A.  But, the packets will NOT somehow get sent independently to the APRS network.  They will be added to your key-up bit stream to a D-STAR repeater that's suitably-equipped with bridging into the APRS system.  All fine and dandy if you're using the repeater input frequently, but if not, and if you decide to instead set up a beacon, you'll be interfering with others on the input of the D-STAR repeater.


Hessu, thanks for dropping in and also for your great work with the fi web service!


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W4KVW
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Posts: 68




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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 08:29:09 PM »

http://www.pd0hni.nl/pdfdocs/ID-51A_E_Manual.pdf

Here is the manual for the ICOM IC-51A for those who would like it.ENJOY!  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6252




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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2013, 04:35:01 AM »

Thanks for the link, 'KVW.  I've been meaning to search out a D-star radio manual, but I always kept putting it aside.  Thanks again and 73!
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KI7FJT
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 07:04:11 PM »

I've read the manual and can't find anything on APRS for the ICOM ID-51A. I got into APRS from my Yaesu VX-8DR. I bought the Yaesu for other reasons and I love it, but I've come to love APRS the most. It is just fun that you can send texts without the reliance on infrastructure. Plus you can send out your GPS coordinates easily if you have the external GPS which I ended up buying recently. It is awesome. I want more of my family to get into HAM radio and APRS so when we go hiking and sometimes split up we can easily know where everyone is and how far they are. APRS was designed for "Situational Awareness" as you already know.

The ICOM ID-51A I am playing with is my dad's radio. He bought it for D-star mainly since it was a new technology. I was hoping it had APRS so we could both mess around with it. I've played with D-star a little bit and it is fun, but I wouldn't buy a radio that relied on the internet to use it's coolest feature, but it is still a quality radio and is waterproof just like my Yaesu. It has a built in GPS, so I figured it should be able to APRS. Again I read the manual and couldn't find anything on it. However I came across something cool for BaoFeng radios which then led me to learn that any radio can use APRS. I came across this: https://www.amazon.com/APRS-K2-Connector-BaoFeng-APRSDroid-Compatible/dp/B01LMIBAZW It is a cable that you can plug into your smartphone. I have an iPhone 6S. The other end plugs into my extra Baofeng F8HP that I keep in my car as a backup. Then you download an app to act as the modem for APRS. I've used both APRS Pro which is free if you just want to receive APRS. Just download and open the app and then tap on the APRS Monitor option. The app will ask for permission to access your microphone. Be sure to allow it. Turn on the VOX option on your Baofeng so it will transmit when it receives sound. Now the phone will interpret the sound coming on the 144.390 frequency and translate it into everything you normally see on an APRS radio when you receive a packet. Callsign, coordinates, speed, text message, etc. You now have a super cheap APRS radio. It is inconvenient with the extra cables and using your phone, but it will save you a couple hundred bucks or so for the alternative all in one options. Actually transmitting text via APRS is much easier using the app. I actually didn't buy the transmit feature on the APRS Pro app since it was $10 for that ability. It seems like a lot and I couldn't see where the option was on the app to actually use it so I didn't want to risk it. Instead I found another app called Pocket Packet that can transmit and receive. In Pocket Packet you just enter the call sign you want to text then enter your message and hit send. It will then transmit through the cable into your Baofeng and go out to any listening radios. I sent it to myself which my Yaesu received immediately since it was close by.

I then realized that all the cable does is carry the speaker and microphone signals to the phone. You can use your phone's built in microphone and speaker using the same apps to transmit and receive. I struggle getting it to transmit without the cable since my iPhone speakers aren't strong enough to get clear sound into the Baofeng. The Baofeng speaker is plenty loud and the iPhone picks it up perfectly. The app decodes the packets just like it did with the cable. The cable is $18, but it is worth it if you are going to play with this for transmitting. Otherwise you can start receiving APRS for free on your smartphone and Baofeng radio. Or in this case you can use any radio you want. Just tune your radio to 144.390 and put your iPhone microphone near it.

I tried searching for a similar cable for the Icom ID51A and couldn't find anything, but for now you can at least use the speaker and microphone on your phone to do everything else for you. No matter what radio you have if you can tune to 144.390 you can use APRS!
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1258




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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 10:19:34 AM »


Don't buy a new radio. Get an old radio. Your grandma will be proud.

73

Kraus
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AC8ND
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2017, 06:17:18 AM »


The ICOM ID-51A I am playing with is my dad's radio. He bought it for D-star mainly since it was a new technology. I was hoping it had APRS so we could both mess around with it. I've played with D-star a little bit and it is fun, but I wouldn't buy a radio that relied on the internet to use it's coolest feature, but it is still a quality radio and is waterproof just like my Yaesu.

Misconception about D-Star.
You can talk radio to radio simplex D-Star digital just like you can talk radio to radio simplex analog.
You can talk via D-Star repeater locally just like you can talk via a repeater analog.
With a D-Star radio you can do digital or analog.
You don't need the internet to use D-Star locally like you would use analog FM.

With D-Star you can seamlessly connect to the internet through a D-Star repeater or a DVAP/DONGLE to talk all over the world.
In my experience D-Star is easier to setup than DMR.

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