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Digital / APRS hand held

I seen a few times people using APRS more for walking , tracking , and also seen you can do a sota spot using APRS . Sounds pretty handy , for a while I been thinking to hop over to digital and have a play with APRS .

Can anyone advise me on some information how APRS is used and set up for portable use and any recommendations handhelds please

Never used any digital on 2m or 70cm or APRS just fm or ssb .

73 Matt 2E0FGX

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Hi Matt,

If APRS messaging for spots is a must have then,

a bit easier.

From Yaesu the FT2DR and FT3DR (FT1DR is not in sale anymore) have APRS onboard including messageing and position beacons. VX-8DR needs an external GPS module for tracking (as far as I know).
User-interface is Yaesu-typical a bit “sub-structured” aka confuse.
I have the FT1 and got used to it.

From ICOM the ID-51E PLUS2 is the only option at them moment for new devices as far as I know.

From Kenwood the TH-D72A and TH-D74E have full APRS compatibility but a bit on the costly side.

Apart from handhelds there are other options. I.e. Bluetooth box that acts as modem and in combination with an Android phone (and APRSDroid) can send and receive APRS.
http://www.mobilinkd.com/tnc2/

Or get a standalone APRS tracker if you don’t need/want a handheld. Matt @OE6FEG has one that can be programmed and transmits the spot on keypress when the summit is reached
See his report here: Pico APRS for APRS2SOTA

The AnyTone AT-D878UV can in analog APRS mode only do position beacons but no messaging. So spots are not possible (I see no info in the firmware changelog that would indicate that this has changed recently).

Theoretically you can also run ARPS via HF with a 300 baud rate. I have not tested that so no clue how well the reception is.
On 2m 144.800 MHz it works pretty good from the summit at least here in OE.

73 Joe

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You can do APRSdroid direct to the radio without the TNC if you want by making APRSdroid generate the audio tones and plugging into the handy you already have. Needs a phone with an analogue audio socket which discounts some new Android phones without a socket.

The Pico APRS works well as a beacon and for transmit, but I’ve found the RX a bit deaf in comparison to a handheld. It just depends what you will use it for.
I’ve heard AX25 doesn’t work very well at HF and that PSK63 is much better. I don’t know of anyone who has managed to spot via PSK63 though. If you figure it out, then please post here and tell us how.
73 Matt

Thanks Andy for the addition. For sending a single spot that might be useful. For position beacons it is not very practical.
APRSDroid can transmit also via Internet/IP without RF… But what’s the fun in that hi

73 Joe

I’ve used the Mobilinkd solution with no issues. Much cheaper than a new HT. You can leave it turned off and then use APRSDroid to send your spot when you reach the summit.

OT: I have just acquired an old Trio/Kenwood TR7200G that works UFB. I want to get this pressed into service as an APRS iGate. So if anyone has a set of 144.800 xtals that suit that are doing nothing and want to see them used for something useful, get in touch.

It’s 300bps AFSK that doesn’t work too well at HF, the TX period is too long for most packet sizes.

Btw. JS8CALL can be used to send APRS messages. But for lightweight activations that’s not practical.

Thanks all for your input but , really i need to start at the basics with APRS as i have never looked into it untill now , is the a idiots guide somewhere to it ?

im in the market for a digital handheld anyway so i thought why not have APRS as well , i have looked at a few DMR handsets but do not like the quality and i imagine the recivers are going to be like a set of barn doors . I have a yaesu 2m monoband handheld for vhf activations if nearby interfearence .

Its looking like going to be leaning towards Yaesu but then i am a yaesu man , but do like the looks of the kenwoods but its the price that puts me off .

When you reach a summit and send a location beacon that is pretty handy , but my question is there a app or software that a non licence holder can use to recieve . Like your family for example so they know where you are .

73 , Matt 2E0FGX

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=aprs+basics

Read those many websites first. Then come and ask more questions.

That’s easy.
One of many:
aprs.fi
There search your callsign. For walking usually with APRS the suffix -7 is recommened.
When operating in other countries there is no need to change callsign as GPS position shows your location anyhow.
I.e. you can see my past moves here with this short link aprs.fi/oe5jfe-7

73 Joe

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Thats brilliant joe ! family was on about get myself a tracker for when i go on sota and walking , but now i see APRS is a very verisitile tool .

have had a read of a few webstes and watched a few videos including these below

But from what i see to start with a handheld with APRS and GPS would be there easier way to go , no tnc , gps unit and cables to carry about .

73, matt 2E0FGX

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APRS system using mono band old FM handheld, phone, 3.5mm cable.

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great , only thing is my phone is getting on in life now and charging socket is broke so i use wirless charging and the battery is not that great . I was thinking to get another android phone and a sim only cheap contract for mapping and 4g but the cost starts to climb .

lots of ways how it is possible though .

73 , matt 2E0FGX

After much pondering I have decided APRS droid probally be best for me for when walking or out activating sota .

I have a yaesu ft25e 2m monoband handheld and a Samsung s7 , what cable do I need ?

73 , Matt 2E0FGX

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