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Author Topic: TH-D7A and Garmin GPS 12  (Read 6734 times)
135BOOMER
Member

Posts: 25




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« on: September 02, 2006, 03:24:41 PM »

Recently purchased a Kenwood TH-D7A and have a Garmin GPS 12.  Been trying to get the APRS to work and need a lot of help.

How should the Garmin be setup? Current settings are:
I live in Oklahoma so...
   System Setup
Mode: Normal
Date: 02 Sep 06
Time: 16:35:45
Offset: -05:00
Hrs:  24

   Nav Setup
Position Format:  hddd mm.mmm'
Map Datum:  WGS 84
CDI: +- 0.25
Units: Statute
Heading: E006* Degrees

    Interface
NMEA/NMEA
NMEA 0183 2.0
1200 Baud


The TH-D7A setup looks like:
GPS UNIT          NMEA
MY CALLSIGN       KD5KCD
TX DELAY          500 MS
TIME ZONE         UTC -5:00
PACKET SPEED      1200 BAUD
DATA BAND         A
MESSAGE GROUP     DEFAULT SETTINGS
REPLY MESSAGE    
AUTO REPLY            
TEMPERATURE       F
MILE/KM           MILE
DISPLAY AREA      ENTIRE DISPLAY
BEEP              ON
UNPROTOCOL        APRS
TX INTERVIAL      2 MIN
DATA TX           AUTO
PACKET PATH       RELAY, WIDE
STATUS TX         OFF
STATUS TEXT      
ICON              Jeep
POS LIMIT         OFF
POS COMMENT       OFF DUTY
POS AMBIGU        OFF
MY POSITION      
WAYPOINT          OFF


Not sure what "WAYPOINT" should be set to.

Like I said, these are the current settings and even then I'm not sure if I have the transciever turned on correctly.  I have 144.390 in VHF then I pressed the (2) TNC button and get the little TNC indicator in the top left corner of the display.  Don't know what I'm doin wrong cause nothing shows up at www.aprs.net

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  If any one knows of any sites I can go to as well that also would be appreciated.

Thanks
Dave
KD5KCD
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KA1MDA
Member

Posts: 548




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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 05:05:54 PM »

Try setting the NMEA data rate on the Garmin GPS to 4800 baud. I have the Kenwood TM-D700 mobile, and I believe the NMEA data rate is permanently set at 4800 baud- may apply to your radio as well. Leave the radio setting where it is at 1200 baud: that refers to the on-air data rate, not the GPS data rate.

73 and good luck!
de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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KA1MDA
Member

Posts: 548




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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 05:09:49 PM »

Forgot to mentiom in last post- leave WAY
POINT setting on Kenwood turned OFF. If you turn it on, I beleive it will automatically enter a waypoint in the GPS unit for every station position report received via APRS. This will fill up the waypoint screen on the GPS rather quickly, and it can be quite tedious and time consuming deleting them all!

Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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K9TEM
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2006, 06:26:28 PM »

Boomer:

Like you, I recently purchased a TH-D7A(G) and a Garmin GPS receiver. Mine is a GPSMap 96C, because I also wanted to use the GPS for air navigation. I’ve also had a lot of trouble figuring out the settings. After reading lots of online advice, I think I’ve finally got a fix worked out.

Can’t really help with the Garmin GPS 12 set-up, but your settings look nominal. Just double-check that the interface is set for NMEA in/out.

Most of the settings on your TH-D7A look fine. Where we differ is shown below:

1. Frequency 144.39 – MAKE SURE you set the Offset to 0.00MHz. The default setting is 0.60MHz, which is fine for repeaters, but not APRS data packets. I originally overlooked this point, so may have sent a bunch of packets on the wrong frequency.
2. Activate CTCSS with PL = 100.0. This will give you Voice Alert (http://nwp.ampr2.net/nwaprs/VoiceAlert) capability, which may be very handy for contacting hams using APRS who are within range, via voice. If you make contact, you’ll want to QSY to continue your QSO. This is a very slick concept that needs to be publicized and practiced.
3. UNPROTOCOL = APK002 – I used the Kenwood default setting, and haven’t experimented with the APRS Unprotocol, although by looking at raw data, I see that others have.
4. PACKET PATH RELAY = WIDE3-3. This setting is recommended by APRS guru Bob Bruninga for those of us in rural, less densely-populated areas. You also might try: WIDE1-1,WIDE 2-1, which is the recommended mobile setting if there are more digipeaters in your area.
5. WAYPOINT: 9 digits NMEA – I didn’t know what it meant either, so thought bigger must be better! Will have to research this one further.
6. MY POSITION: I entered my home QTH in the POS1 fields so I can have something to tx if I’m too lazy to hook up a GPS.

Ensure you have a good TH-D7–GPS interface cable. The generic interface cable that came with the D7 looks too puny, so I got one through http://stores.ebay.com/GPSgeek, (or http://www.gpsgeek.com/). Whether it’s a simple interface cable or one that includes a 12v power connection, I think this is a far better solution than trying to solder a cable up myself.

If you don’t already have one, get the Kenwood PG-4W Programming Cable for the D7A. I didn’t think that generic cable would stand up to HT–PC interface abuse either, so went with this much more robust version. I got mine through GigaParts (http://www.gigaparts.com/) and was pleased with their service.

Next, go to the TH-D7 product area at the Kenwood USA site (http://www.kenwood.net/indexkenwood.cfm?do=ProductDetails&ProdID=5018&Group=5), download and install the TH-D7AG (MCP) Memory Control Program Software program on your computer. The Kenwood site also has other D7A-related materials. You’ll find the Memory Control Program helpful as you experiment with various configurations until you find one that works. As you program your D7A, make sure you save a copy of each configuration you’ve written to the HT just in case you get lost and wish you could go back to a configuration that was less problematic. Believe me, I’ve been there *8^) Having saved configurations is especially useful if you decide to do a FULL RESET of your D7. My online research revealed that several users recommend resetting if the problem doesn’t resolve. I decided to do that today, but all I had to do was save the current configuration, FULL RESET, read the configuration back in, double-check all the settings, and I was in business.

Now, to operate your rig:
1.   Turn both your GPS and D7 OFF.
2.   Connect antennas and interface cable to the units. I minimized the rat’s nest with some coiled cable lacing I picked up at RadioShack.
3.   Power up the GPS, acquire satellites, and get a location solution.
4.   Power up the D7, make sure the display window shows the TNC and BCON icons and A: 144.390. If BCON is not displayed, press BCON and check that BCON is displayed. If it displays PACKET, press again until it displays BCON.
5.   In addition to occasional flashes of the red tx LED, you will see MY POSITION flash on the display for a few seconds every couple minutes, indicating that your D7 is receiving your recently-sent packet from nearby digis.

The best APRS database is at FindU.com (http://www.findu.com/). It’s not particularly user-friendly, but you’ll find that several folks have web sites that massage the data quite nicely. The one I’ve used most so far is wulfden: http://www.wulfden.org/APRSQuery.shtml.  

THE authoritative APRS site is that of Bob Bruninga, WB4APR:  http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs.html. You’ll also find good info at APRSWiki:  http://info.aprs.net/wikka.php?wakka=APRS, ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/, Tucson Amateur Packet Radio Group:  http://www.tapr.org/, and of course, eHam.net! If you Google APRS, you’ll find lots of good information sources, although some of it is out-dated. I’d only go with the most recent stuff.

So are you on a KC135 crew? When I was an Army officer on active duty in Germany nearly 30 years ago, a buddy of mine returned to a Stateside assignment and somehow finagled his way onto a KC135 mission. Must be fun to fly all over the world on your belly--I have to do all my flying right side up!

Hope this helps.

73
Tom
KC9IRG
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135BOOMER
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 02:23:24 PM »

Yeehaaa... I'm up and running.  Many thanks to KA1MDA and KC9IRG for all the input.  Don't know what I would have done without ya.  Changed my GPS to 4800 bps and insured the Beacon was on.  It's people like you that make this amateur radio fun and what it is today.

Yea, Tom, I'm a KC-135 Boom Operator recently retired.  Spent my whole career laying on my belly, passing gas, getting chauffeured by three officers and flying the world.  Had a great time and saw many places I would never have been able to visit on my own.

Thanks again :-)
Dave (Boomer)
KD5KCD
AKA TJBoomer
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135BOOMER
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2006, 02:33:31 PM »

Hey Tom,

Forgot to mention that I knew KC-135 Boom Operator who was prior Army.  Don't think it would be the same person but then again the Boom Operator field is a small field and this is a small world especially in the military.  You never know...

Thanks again
Dave
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K9TEM
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 06:24:02 AM »

That's great to hear, Dave!

Now that I've got most of my own APRS start-up problems solved, I'm going to try some other settings and a smaller, more portable GPS unit. KA1MDA was right: if Wsypoint isn't set to OFF, your GPS map gets cluttered with APRS user locations from as far away as you've set your Position Limit!

Got a real kick out of your KC-135 Boom Operator comment! I'm really in awe of what you and your compatriots do up there. Was at EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh) in July, awaiting an announced F-22 Raptor fly-by. I looked up and wondered what that ultralight was doing flying high above the airport. Then I realized it wasn't a high-flying ultralight but a KC-135 with two Raptors in trail, giving them a sip before their show (in the low 20s?) The F-22 fly-by turned out to be an unbelievable capabilities demonstration that I'm still marveling over. After their demo, they reformed on the 135, and as the flight disappeared into the distance, they were topping off before returning to Langley. What a show!

My buddy was an Army captain who got a ride shortly before leaving the service. Last I heard, he became an investment broker in El Paso--I think he would've made a much more valuable contribution to society as a Boom Operator!

All the Best!
Tom
KC9IRG

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