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HC-06 Bluetooth - Windows 10 - and Mapshere Issue

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kcobbva

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If anyone has any tricks to get the Eggfinder LCD with HC-06 Bluetooth Module to work with Windows 10 and Mapshere, I am all ears. I can see the data coming in using Putty and Mapshere initially shows it on COM4 at 4800, N, 1; but then it simply disappears and won’t talk any longer.
Again, any suggestions, other than go to another platform, I’m all ears. I've used two machines and have the same issues.

Thanks in advance.

Kevin
 

ksaves2

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Been a long time since I messed with that program. It hasn't been supported by the originators for years. If you plug-in a USB GPS device it works. I believe you need to see if you can pipe what is being fed to the bluetooth port (redirect) to
whatever com port you're using. The program will likely not recognize a bluetooth source. Will need to set it for 9600,N,1. I lost interest in this program because it couldn't keep track of my local position and the position of the rocket. Plus you have to save the incoming packets to a file then open up an editor to find the positions you're interested in. If you're desperate, get a USB EggFinder receiver and that would likely work but you would have to deal with the cable. I can't remember if the port
speed is fixed to 4800 or if one can change it. Did you try it with a USB GPS yet? I get that debugged and then go from there.

A lot of the map links are no good anymore. At least that was the case when I tried it 4 years ago. After July 11th, the MapQuest photomap source is going bye-bye with a new licensing protocol. I will say one thing though, the program did allow one to download maptiles for off grid use. I was impressed with that.

It was for GPS/geocaching folks and wasn't designed for tracking others. For live tracking the best bet is GPS Rocket locator and hope the developer gets off-grid caching perfected. You could buy a cheap Wifi only internet device with B/T and use that.
Quite frankly, it's a PITA to use a laptop out in the field to track rockets. The WinBlows tablets are better but again, the program selection for live tracking is sparse. Take a look at this thread if you haven't seen it: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...-Mapping-Program-Update&p=1573624#post1573624 Believe me, I've exhausted myself looking for a live photomap solution and there isn't an easily applicable one out there. Take my word for it.

There are some plain mapping solutions like Xastir, the app I show in that link above APRSISCE/32 and YAAC. Xastir is Linux and is a PITA to setup too with limited easy to find maps now, APRSISCE/32 which is equally a PITA to setup but will still be usable with Open Source Maps and YAAC is not ready for prime time on WinBlows due to lack of reliable B/T connectivity on Java/WinBlows. Stick YAAC on a Linux laptop that has Java on it and OMG you can go to town. Linux pairs B/T PERFECTLY!
You can set your B/T GPS for your position and bond the HC-06 from the EggFinder HC-06 and assign the NMEA strings to a second port as if it's an APRS device and track your rocket as long as the 1/sec positions are received. Now if there were cheap Linux tablets this would be the way to go!!
Kurt
 
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kcobbva

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Kurt - Thanks for the response and indepth information! I appreciate that very much. I'll check out the thread. The Bluetooth registered comport for the device is set to 9600,N,1. However when the program starts, it shows it finds it at 4800. Looking at the stream it appears fine. I'll play around. I'm sorry to hear that there isn't another better solution out there. I've not looked around yet; so IF I happen across something, I'll shout it out. Again thank you very much for all the info!

Kevin
 

ksaves2

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Kurt - Thanks for the response and indepth information! I appreciate that very much. I'll check out the thread. The Bluetooth registered comport for the device is set to 9600,N,1. However when the program starts, it shows it finds it at 4800. Looking at the stream it appears fine. I'll play around. I'm sorry to hear that there isn't another better solution out there. I've not looked around yet; so IF I happen across something, I'll shout it out. Again thank you very much for all the info!

Kevin
By all means Kevin, Find a newer program, post a link. The programs I mention above are APRS tracking programs that actually work fine with the Ham radio
Beeline GPS trackers. If I recall correctly, I could only get Mapsphere to work with a plugin USB device and it's very squirrely with port selection.
I was using XP at the time. I went so far to see if I could get it to run on an XP guest system on a Linux laptop using Vbox and it wouldn't connect to the com port.

Only thing that worked was a native XP OS with a USB receiver. Again, Mapsphere would be klutzy to use as one could "see" where the last packet was received from but no information would be available unless one were using an EF LCD. Could just look at the LCD screen and see how high up the rocket was when the last packet was received. Yeah, you can open up a logfile but that's a PITA to do
out in the field. Most APRS programs like Xastir, I click on the map and all sorts of details can be had.

Last thing is a laptop screen, tablet or Android device is very hard to see in the sunlight. I've sized a few cardboard boxes, painted the inside with flat black paint and face the sun. You try to read a screen in direct sunlight and you won't see squat. You put the laptop inside a vehicle to record the flight, you can monitor more easily.

I have a matte screen protector on a Nexus 7 2013 and along with the box, it helps a lot for viewing. The Garmin handheld mapping GPS units are of course
designed to be readable in the sunlight if held appropriately and are very nice to use. You can input the coordinates by hand to the last position and use that to navigate....... Or if one's Android cellphone has an easily readable screen in the sunlight that is a good option. Kurt
 

kcobbva

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Kurt - No luck finding anything else that isn't $$$$. However you are 100% correct about Mapshere being fine. Out of the blue it began working after I tested raw communications with the device again. Then dropped and then acquired again for a long period then dropped and reacquired. Odd. At least I have a Yaesu and Yagi antenna to track the BigRedbee I also have in the nosecone, and the LCD display works to read the Eggfinder. I just wanted this GPS Feature to work nicely and it just doesn't appear to want to do so.
 

ksaves2

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BRB GPS one can use any APRS program but again, a laptop is difficult to carry portable. A tablet is workable though.
For APRS rocket tracking a D72A and any round port Garmin 60Cs(X), 60Cs and I believe a Garmin 78 works. One sets the serial port on the mapping GPS to 4800bps/NMEA and the rocket will be tracked automatically if selecting
"navigate to" the rocket waypoint. A Yaesu VX8GR can use the same cable as the D72A. Stay away from used
D7A(g)'s as they are old and I have two of them. The frequency oscillators have gone bad and aren't worth squat for
tracking anymore. Don't buy used. Any other Yaesu product outside the GR it's hard to get the packet information
out of the units like the direct connect with the GR and 72A. Yeah you can read the data and input it manually but I tell you, it's a heck of a lot easier just to watch the tracking screen once your rocket goes to out of sight land and orient yourself while it's in flight and be prepared to look in the direct the tracker tells you to try to get a visual of the rocket under main. Many times, the altitude readout tells me the main is out but a small rocket with a 36" parachute and .6 of a mile away is sometimes not seen at all even with a nominal flight! Kurt
 

kcobbva

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wow. I can see i'm very green and have a LONG way to go. The Yaesu I purchased was a Yaesu FT-60R. I've not even had a chance to use it yet; hoping to come this fall when our local HPR site becomes available again. Thanks for the ton of great information!
 

ksaves2

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You can buy a Mobilinkd with a matching cable for your rig and rubberband it to the back of the FT60R. http://www.mobilinkd.com/
You can connect to any device via B/T or if you have an Android device, use APRSDroid. APRSDroid you can download a version that can use an Open Source Map, download a mapset and use it entirely offline. Kurt
 

kcobbva

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Excellent. I'm moving to android when my current contract expires next month! Thanks.
 

ksaves2

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Excellent. I'm moving to android when my current contract expires next month! Thanks.
Ahhhhhh, You'll be set then as the author of the "GPS Rocket Locator" app for Android is working on a portable map version. Of course one will be limited by storage size on their Android device but should be able to store a local area and be able to use it at a launch. With no internet, the app will still give two points and a line to follow currently but it's nice to be able to see roads if the last received position is quite a distance away and one can decide to drive to the closest place and shorten the walk to pick up the rocket. Would be nice to have a NMEA and APRS app to handle both formats on a portable device. Looks like we're headed that way. Kurt
 

kevinkal

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Any luck with the Mapsphere Kevin? If you can think of any configuration questions that I can look up on my W10 laptop, let me know.
 

kcobbva

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No sir. Got it to automagically work one day. Was retesting things a few days ago and no go again! :(
 
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