[aprssig] RE: APRS and the Garmin Rino

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Wed Jul 6 08:44:44 CDT 2005

Xastir already does this.  Curt and I worked it out and we've used it in
a SCSG drill to test.  Xastir has a timer that downloads waypoints from
a "host" rino unit and transmits the positions as aprs objects.  You
must name your rino with the first 4 characters of APRS, so my rino unit
would be APRSkd4rdb.  xastir will download all waypoints starting with
the first 4 APRS, lop off the APRS, and use the rest of the rino name as
the object name.  In this example the rino unit APRSkd4rdb becomes
kd4rdb on air.  So far this only works under native linux xastir since
it requires the GPSMAN program to talk to the RINO and I haven't been
able to get GPSMAN running under cygwin (windows), although the author
says it will.

There are a few quirks... xastir doesn't keep track of the last update
time on a particular contact, so it treats all as new.  It would be nice
if xastir kept a table of rino contacts and positions and if a position
changed then and only then would it transmit a rino object.  This would
facilitate handoffs where the rino users could wander from one area to
another and if multiple copies of xastir were running the ones you had
gone out of range of would not keep transmitting old positions.  Curt
did a great job getting the rino code working for me when I needed it
back in October last year, so I ain't complaining!

I did speak to Keith Sproul at Dayton this year about supporting the
rino units in the same fashion under winaprs and sent him an email with
the details, but haven't heard a word yet.  I'm sure he's busy
generating new serial numbers for winaprs.

I bought a Basic ATOM processor last year and started tinkering with the
DISC out of my police scanner on 462mhz.  I was able to record many
position reports and see the 600hz data.  My rino unit is able to
maitain lock inside my house, so that makes collecting data so much
easier.  Alas, we had a new baby on Oct 29th, and I haven't had quiet
time to play since.

Also.... FRS rules prevent you from modifying the antenna, but GRMS
units allow for external antennas <ahem> and rino's latest firmware
update lets it send positions when in GRMS mode.... though it won't send
positions via repeaters AFAIK.  Now since modifying the radio upsets the
FCC certification, you can't transmit with it.... so add a good antenna
to the "host" radio, hoist it up on a pole and use it for receive only. 
You won't be able to poll other rino users, but you can eavesdrop on
them as they QSO and send position reports.  The radio can be powered
remotely via the serial cable.


Robert Bruninga wrote:

>Decoding the GARMIN RINO's for APRS:
>Maybe its time to start working on decoding
>the Garmin RINO GPS/FRS radios again for APRS.
>As everyone recalls, there were people on this sig 
>that squashed the effort claiming it would be illegal 
>to try to figure out the proprietary on-air format 
>used by Garmin for receiving and display into APRS
>via a sound-card.  And that pretty well stopped all work.
>But reading below, it seems that Garmin is well
>aware of our efforts and even refers people to
>our project web page...
> http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/APRSrino.html
>>>>"KC0NKP" <kc0nkp at mchsi.com> 07/05/05 10:37 PM >>>
>>I sent an e-mail to Garmin tech support and they 
>>sent me a link to your website as their only 
>>response, so I don't think they would be against
>>it.  They certainly didn't tell me that it wasn't allowed.
>Seems such a waste not to be able to plot these 
>radios just as if they were APRS...
>de Wb4APR, Bob
>aprssig mailing list
>aprssig at lists.tapr.org
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