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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: newbie  (Read 9106 times)
KB9ZWS
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Posts: 8




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« on: November 28, 2001, 09:09:11 PM »

What I want:
A graphic on my webpage that shows where my car is.

What I have:
-a tripmate (not yet modified, but soon to be)
-a 2m radio & antenna
-a laptop
-a webserver (in my room)

What do I need? I know I need one TNC for my car, but do I need a second radio and TNC to hook up to the base station? How does my webpage get the information from my car? I saw javaprs, but I saw one site that claimed it (javaprs) is old and the new thing is "findu.com" which I don't understand.

Help!
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KB9YNB
Member

Posts: 115


WWW

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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2001, 12:51:00 PM »

Eric,
   You shouldn't need to setup an "Igate" of your own in Peoria, Il.  I would imagine that there is one close enough to you to do that for you.  It looks like the only other thing you need is a TNC for your car. You might look into the Mic-E available from TAPR.  It is easy to build, and will reduce the clutter in your car considerably.

Once you have the TNC setup and a suitable UNPROTO path, (WIDE3-3 should get you great coverage. (you might need to use RELAY,WIDE if you are mobile)) and you are transimtting position packets, you should be able to go to http://map.findu.com/kb9zws and see your current position.   This will work as long as there is an IGate somewhere within 3 WIDE digipeaters of your position.

Try to get a hold of a TNC that someone near you has laying around, and play with APRS before you try to go mobile.  Once you have the basic operation down, it will save you some headaches later on.

73,
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K9OHI
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2001, 02:23:21 PM »

Hi Eric,

Just a couple of thoughts from someone who just got into  APRS a few months ago.  I'm by no means an expert and still have a lot to learn, but I did manage to get a base station and a mobile tracker working.

You already have almost everything you need to set up an APRS base station. (In fact, you could actually set up an APRS tracker in your car, but that's kind of a waste of a laptop.)

First, download the WINAPRS and AGWPE software.  WINAPRS can be found at http://aprs.rutgers.edu and AGWPE is at http://www.raag.org/sv2agw/

Second, you'll need to make up some cables for the following:

1.  Audio in to your radio
2.  Audio out from your radio
3.  Push to talk

Not knowing what radio you are using, I can't be much help, but if you look through the AGWPE and WINAPRS documentation you should be able to find what you need.  Lots of folks get a plug which fits their radio's microphone connector and do it that way.  I have an Alinco DR-135 and all the connections needed are available on a DB-9 connector on back of the radio.

Third, you will need to make a keying circuit.  Again, the WINAPRS or AGWPE documents will help.  I decided to use a Radio Shack reed relay instead of the usual transistor keying circuit.  I use a reed relay with a 250 ohm coil and it keys just fine from the computer's COM port.

Finally, once you have your cables and keying circuit made up, all you have to do is connect the audio in to your radio to the laptop's headset port, the audio out from your radio to the laptop's microphone port, and the keying circuit to your laptop's COM port.  

AGWPE is a software "TNC."  WINAPRS is the program that displays the received APRS packets.

I'll leave it to you to wend your way through the documentation and get things set up.  It's not complicated, but requires that you actually read the documentation and follow it cause setup is not intuitive.

If you have any problems, I'll be glad to help.  Just drop me an email at tomplichta@home.com

This will get you up and operating on APRS with a total investment of a couple of bucks for cables, a reed relay (or transistor if you go that route), and a DB-9 connector.
 
Once you decide to go mobile, I suggest you try the Tiny Trak II.  It's a transmit only TNC on a small circuit board about 1 in x 1 in.  Go to www.byonics.com for info.  Will cost you $30 plus S/H.  Very easy to build and set up.

As far as the Tripmate is concerned, lots of folks build the Tiny Trak or similar "TNC" right in the Tripmate case.  They remove the battery holder and wire the Tiny Trak up (using a 78L05 voltage regulator to drop the car's 12 vdc to 5 vdc) so it's powered off the car battery.  Sounds like you already have seen those instructions.

I went a different route, however.  I rewired the Tripmate to autostart, removed the battery holder, installed a 5vdc voltage regulator and a female dc power socket and left the Tripmate's data cable intact.  This way, if I want to, I can unplug the Tripmate from the Tiny Trak, plug it into my laptop, and use it with Street Atlas.  If you do it this way, you'll need to buy a DB-9 gender changer to plug the Tripmate into the Tiny Trak.

As far as your question about how your location gets to the internet, it's really pretty simple.  Any reasonably sized metro area, and I'm sure Peoria is no exception, is going to have one or more digital repeaters (called digipeaters).  The nice thing about the digipeaters is that you don't need to know where they are or what their call sign is.  When you set up your UNPROTO path, all you need to do is enter:  WIDE, WIDE and the digipeaters will receive your APRS packets and repeat them. Most digipeaters are also I-gates (or internet gateways) and they put your APRS packet on the internet as well.  

There are several ways you can see what's on the internet.

Go to map.findu.com/k9ohi and you will see my APRS station.  map.findu.com/k9ohi-9 will show you my mobile tracker.  With findu, you have to know the callsign.

Or, you can install WINAPRS, go into settings > TCP/IP Connections > Connect to APRServe Network and you will see APRS from all over the world.  All you need is to be connected to the internet.  You don't need a radio, AGWPW, cables, or a keying circuit.  And if you want, you can enter your station information and put yourself on the internet.  Of course, that's not nearly as much fun as doing it with your radio through a digipeater.

One final thing.  When you're mobile, a lot of times you might not be able to hit a digipeater.  Lots of hams set up their base stations to "relay" APRS packets if you are in range.  If you set up your mobile station UNPROTO path as RELAY, WIDE, WIDE, you can take advantage of any relay stations set up in your area and you will likely get better coverage.  

I realize this probably sounds a bit complicated, but it's really quite easy if you just take your time, read the documentation, and ask for help if you get stuck.  If there is a local ham club or repeater society in Peoria, you might want to go to their webpage or attend one of their meetings.  They are sure to have someone who is knowledgeable about APRS and they will be eager to help you get set up.  And, again, I'm available if you want.

Good luck, and I'll be watching for you on findu.  

73 de Tom, K9OHI in Charleston, SC
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K9OHI
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2001, 02:45:10 AM »

Eric,

Congratulations.  I see you got WinAPRS working and entered your location via the APRServer.

Hope you have success getting your radio interfaced.

73 de Tom, K9OHI in Charleston, SC.
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KB9ZWS
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2001, 07:41:11 AM »

I think I have all the parts working now - I just have to assemble them and I'll be in business.  I actually have an "extra" laptop that could live in my car, but it doesn't have a soundcard, so I'll have to get that TNC

Eric
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KL7IPV
Member

Posts: 984




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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2001, 10:19:20 PM »

Okay, so now I have a Magellan GPS315, the adapter to connect to my laptop, a RigBlaster interface, the radio and the required software. Will that work or do I need to have a TNC unit to interface with the radio and PC? Thanks.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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K9OHI
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2001, 08:36:42 AM »

Frank,

You do NOT need a TNC.

See my reply to KB9ZWS above--it shows you how to use AGWPE and WINAPRS which is a software solution that uses the soundcard as a TNC.  

The fact that you have the Rigblaster makes the interface part easy.  

73 de K9OHI
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KL7IPV
Member

Posts: 984




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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2001, 09:45:54 PM »

Thank you, Tom.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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K9OHI
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2001, 08:35:29 AM »

Good luck, Frank, and I'll be watching for your call on the APRS server.

If I can be of any assistance, don't hesitate to drop me an email:  tomplichta@home.com.

73 and happy holidays.

Tom
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