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[aprssig] APRS wish list

Bob Burns K4RXR k4rxr_ at rlburns.net
Tue Aug 15 03:00:16 UTC 2006

I am APRS novice. I say that because I have a basic understanding of 
how APRS works and I can make it work in my own situation, but I 
certainly don't know all there is to know. I can see some great 
possibilities for APRS in the public service and weather spotting 
work that got me into amateur radio in the first place. And I also 
see APRS as a means to continue experimenting with new (to me) technology.

I have owned a Kenwood TM-D700 and a Garmin GPS II+ for about 3 years 
now and have dabbled with APRS during that time. I currently have the 
GPS connected directly to the D700 and I occasionally have a laptop 
computer connected to the D700. I have experimented with various APRS 
programs. Currently, I'm using APRSPoint, though I'm open to other 
ideas. APRSPoint seems to work pretty well with the D700 using the 
GPS data pass-through.

I am in the process of re-fitting my vehicle with various radios and 
equipment. The best APRS solution, in terms of equipment and 
software, has proven to be a difficult problem for me to solve, so I 
come to the experts here for your advice.

Here's what I want to do:

1. Send ARPS data with my vehicle's position using SmartBeaconing as 
described by Arnerich and Bragg. Beaconing my position should be a 
"hands off" operation from my point of view.

2. Receive APRS data and display the locations and tracks of those 
stations on a fairly accurate map, possibly on a PC.

3. Receive APRS weather bulletins and potentially display watch or 
warning boxes on a map.

4. Have a "head's up" display of my position. If not "head's up", a 
display that I can mount on the dashboard or console will suffice. 
The screen on my GPS II+ that displays position, speed, and heading 
is pretty good. Even the Kenwood D700 in "position" mode is adequate.

5. Access to maps for locating topographic and geographic features 
and access to trip routing functions. I have been a Delorme Street 
Atlas and Topo USA user for a long time and usually go there first to 
study maps and do trip routing. A laptop computer mounted in a 
position accessible from the driver's seat can be part of this 
solution. Ideally, the mapping program would use the same GPS 
receiver as the APRS solution.

6. Whatever radio that I use for APRS will be dedicated to APRS and 
not have to do dual duty as a voice radio. I would like to implement 
Voice Alert using CTCSS 100 Hz as described in the APRS documentation.

So, what's the answer? What are the possible solutions to my problem?



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