Sunday, March 6, 2016

Deconstructed APRS

Deconstructed APRS
Anticipating a change in our ham fleet, I pulled the APRS equipment out of our truck today. I've run this set-up since Alaska, after I acquired twin Kenwood TM-D700A's from a ham near Anchorage. I picked up a used Garmin GPS III and the rest is nearly plug and play. I like the old Garmin III because it also shows the Maidenhead Grid Square. So, it's dual purpose when I'm running mobile or portable. 

My brother from another mother, Sean KL1SF, got me started in APRS several years ago. I have intentions of installing it in our new truck as soon as possible. I also want to finally put HF in the truck as well. The interior layout of this truck will better accommodate the VHF/UHF equipment along with the HF equipment (Yaesu FT-857D). I have a screwdriver antenna still in the box ready to go. So, once the weather warms up and I have some spare time, my installation will begin. 


APRS'n from Crater Lake National Park
In looking back, it's funny how it took me several hours to install all this equipment and it took me less than 25 minutes to deconstruct it. My deconstructed equipment, as seen in the photograph at the top, will get a brief rest but fear not, it will be beaconing again soon. I will be running the exact same setup in regards to equipment, but I may change my antenna mount. I originally had the mount on the hood but I may opt for a more permanent location on the top of the cab roof. This should extend my range and make for better receiving and transmitting. I have some time to decide on the mount but it will also involve deciding on a location for the HF antenna. I pull our camper so it will have to favor the front portion of the truck bed, if mounted behind the cab. I look forward to sending APRS packets out again but for now, I'm QRT in that capacity. 

2 comments:

  1. Hello Phil, interesting post. Though I have no interest in VHF/UHF at all. I experienced very early APRS back in 1999. I've seen it, I've done it. I know things are much more sophisticated now. In 1999 you didn't have APRS dedicated equipment, all was done over air. See a map I found in my archives. APRS PE4BAS MAP 1999. I remember I download the UIview program via packetradio (7PLUS) as well as the maps. 73, Bas

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  2. Howdy, Bas! The packet equipment on the 90's is now the APRS equipment of the 2000's. Love the map from 1999!!! I remember running packet before the internet. Thanks for sharing my friend! 73!

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