New APRS receiving station

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

ksaves2

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
398
Location
Central Illinois
Hmmmm,
Just received notice of an APRS Speaker/Mic for Ham fliers who use APRS tracker (example Beeline GPS units). https://www.sainsonic.com/two-way-radio/sainsonic-ap610-bluetooth-talk-speaker-black.html
Can connect to a Baofeng H/T and and bond to a B/T device for APRS tracking. This means any H/T could be used. I think the Baofengs follow the Kenwood pattern of serial connection. Anyone in the know correct
me on that if I'm wrong. For $90.00 can turn any compatible H/T into a ground receive station for 2 meter or 70cm GPS/APRS tracking. Kurt
 

Worsaer

Amateur Propulsionist
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Messages
1,777
Reaction score
89
Location
Central Virginia
Kurt, help me understand what problem this solves. Does this mean that I can receive APRS on a 'plain vanilla' HT, and this device will relay it to an android device for tracking software, etc?
 

ksaves2

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
398
Location
Central Illinois
Kurt, help me understand what problem this solves. Does this mean that I can receive APRS on a 'plain vanilla' HT, and this device will relay it to an android device for tracking software, etc?
Hi, What this means is if one is using an APRS GPS tracker on the Ham Bands as several fliers still do, they could connect this speaker microphone, which has a TNC/Bluetooth/GPS inside and export the received location information to an Android device. For rocket tracking it would be a ground station. If one has an Android phone with APRSDroid a Kenwood type H/T of which the Baofeng UV/5R is, they could have a mapping ground station for $90.00.

It's akin to a Mobilinkd TNC: https://www.mobilinkd.com/?gclid=CNu49dnKzc0CFcYdgQodOwkLHg which is a bit cheaper.

These are options if one doesn't wish to spend the money required for something like a Kenwood D72A: https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-010879

The above devices/TNCs would give real time tracking on the APRSDroid map. Many input lat/long manually into handheld mapping GPS units but being able to follow the rocket is advantageous to direct one where to look to possibly get a visual of where
the main deployment is expected. Inputting the last received position packet is adequate as long as one doesn't make a mistake inputting the data. If the rocket lands a fair distance downrange, the final received position packet might not be where the rocket is actually lying. If it is out of the ground footprint of the tracker, one will have a sense of which direction to proceed if they can see the low level drifting tendency of the rocket on their map. Get within the ground footprint of the tracker and it's a piece o' cake to find then. Kurt
 
Last edited:

ksaves2

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
398
Location
Central Illinois
I stand corrected. The AP610 does have a GPS chip in it: https://oh2fxd.wordpress.com/2016/0...sainsonic-ap610-aprs-microphone-with-a-twist/
There's also a battery in the device to power the TNC. This looks nice. Can use it entirely independently for Ham Radio APRS tracking as it has its own GPS (probably SIRFIV) or if one bonds to
APRSDroid in a Android device, could have a real time map to plot a rockets flight. I got one coming. Now if they only had a selector switch to allow use with ICOM, Alinco H/T's like the Mobilinkd and
it would be near perfect. Kurt
 

ksaves2

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
6,136
Reaction score
398
Location
Central Illinois
I'll be interested in hearing how it works out. I have the Mobilinkd TNC and have toyed with it but I'm still using my Kenwood THD7 for my rocket tracking.
You're in good shape to track with an Android device or laptop then. Laptops are of course difficult to carry portable. I received the AP610 yesterday, charged it up and configured it to send positions out.
Haven't have a chance to connect to an Android a laptop tracking application. They say it's only good for APRSDroid but we'll see. Advantage to this over the Mobilinkd is simply it has a GPS in the speaker/mic
so it can be run totally independent of an Android application. This would be more of interest to a Ham who wants to transmit location with the self contained GPS. Not necessary if one wants to only track rockets
through an Android device. I didn't have much trouble setting it up as I have an AP510 which has a relatively high learning curve. Had to add an OCX file to Windows/system32 and sysWOW to get the setup program to work.
The AP510 online setup video shows how: [video=youtube;qmtVvKav_LU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmtVvKav_LU[/video]

If a Ham flier simply wants to track an APRS rocket (like a Beeline GPS tracker), a Mobilinkd attached to any H/T with the appropriate cable and an Android device running APRSDroid is all that's needed and is a bit cheaper.

If a person would like to do what the Mobilinkd can do plus have the option of being able to just use their H/T and the AP610 as a position reporting device without an Android application the AP610 will allow it. Of course add APRSDroid via Bluetooth
and one can track on a map using the H/T and AP610. Next step is to pair it with my Nexus 7 2013 and fire up APRSDroid. I am also going to attempt to see if I can get it to pair with a laptop and use an APRS tracking program. It is only guaranteed to
work on Android but we'll see. Some of this Chinese stuff has more options than the maker knows of. I'll report back. There is a flier here on this board that has flown an AP510 before on his rockets and loves it. As long as there is room for the
AP510 and it doesn't interfere with the deployment electronics, it's 1 watt out on the 2 meter band and has the potential to carry very far. (It's tunable so one doesn't have to worry about ticking off the APRS Nazis on the
national 144.390 APRS frequency)

If your D7A(g) or D7A still works, great. I have two of them and the oscillators are off and they are no longer useful for tracking. 1/2 block range. I don't recommend anyone buy one used unless they know the seller or do a range test before buying.
Mine were used but worked for several years and then could no longer track at range. Fortunately I had a D72a for backup and that's how I discovered the D7's were not functional anymore. Would cost too much to fix.

Oh, one important thing on the AP610. It's only compatible with the serial control at the speaker/mic jacks of Kenwood devices. A lot of the Chinese imports Baofeng (or Pofung or whatever they call themselves these days) follow that protocol.
The Mobilink has a selection switch so one can use Kenwood or change the switch so other H/T's like Alinco or Icom are usable with the appropriate cable. The AP610 is KW only.

Also, there are varying reports from people who use cheap imports for APRS. Some of the receivers are not so hot so when conditions become difficult at range, their hardware has trouble decoding packets.

If I had choice of one H/T to potentially track all rocket devices it would be an all-mode Kenwood TH-F6A with a Mobilinkd or AP610. I've not field tested with Com-Spec stuff but the B band can receive CW, USB, LSB modes and there is potential
it could be used there for RDF work. Kurt
 
Last edited:
Top