[aprssig] Touchscreen APRS PC - Thanks to all...

Fred Eckert fredeckert at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 31 12:00:05 CDT 2009

Thanks to all for the info. Today is my big 40. It's looking like my girlfriend is going to get me an iPhone, Xastir will do touchscreen, Advantech is coming out with the ARK-1388, and mp3 car has great photos of how to do the hardware integration.


Life is good :-)

Fred ~KJ4LFJ~

-----Original Message-----
From: "Tom Mandera" <tsm1 at tmcom.com>

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:44:54 
To: <aprssig at tapr.org>
Subject: [aprssig] Touchscreen APRS PC - Nokia N810 and Maemo-Mapper

> Message: 31
> From: "Fred Eckert" <fredeckert at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [aprssig] APRS PC w/ touchscreen?
> Does anyone run an APRS app on a PC with a touchscreen interface? I am
> playing with the idea of a "semi-embedded" PC in my car running Xastir. --
> Interfaced to a radio+tnc for RF APRS and tethered to a cell phone for
> APRS-IS. Any words of wisdom?
> Thanks,
> Fred KJ4LFJ
>On Thu, 30 Jul 2009, Bill V WA7NWP wrote:
> Won't the N810 'display' X applications?  So xastir could run remotely...
>Yes.  I saw Ken doing that with his N800 at brunch.
>Also:  Xastir could be re-written to run directly on it but it'd
>require a lot of work.

I own a Nokia 770, and then bought an N810 after reading about folks at
least using it to pipe the GPS output via a USB->Serial adapter to a

Before I finished getting that "dumb" configuration worked out, there was
an update to Maemo-Mapper released that had APRS functionality built in!


Then see:

Maemo-Mapper is a touch-screen GPS application.  It uses various freely
available map repositories (which you cache locally ahead of time, or
download immediately if you have Internet access), supports routes,
tracks, POI, etc.

It doesn't do *routing* particularly well, since it relies on getting a
route from a third party on the Internet (say, Mapquest) - so you need to
be online to do it.

Most of my GPS needs are while four wheeling, and I'm more interested in
knowing "Where am I?" and "Where have I been?" than "Direct me to the
nearest Starbucks" so this is fine.

I fire up my N810 (or an N800 with a bluetooth GPS) and Maemo-Mapper, hook
up my USB to Serial adapter (or eventually a BT Serial) that is then
attached to my OpenTracker+ (now running in KISS mode, instead of as a

MaemoMapper then connects to the serial TNC and begins plotting received
stations on the map, and sending out my own position reports.

It receives messages, but doesn't send them yet.

It pops up an alert on new stations, and allows me to re-center the map on
another station, in addition to just knowing distance and heading from my

So far so good.

I just bought a D710 for the car, and I'm looking at a Nuvi350 because at
times I do want to find the nearest Starbucks when we're in the car, and
it'll be a more permanent package there.  I'm anxious to compare the
OT+/N810 solution with the TM-D710A/Nuvi350.

I'm hesitant to put a D710 into my Scout though - it sits outside with the
doors off a lot, and gets pretty abused.  I use a pawn-shop acquired hand
held for the APRS transceiver instead.

The N810's 800x480 screen is higher resolution than most consumer GPSs,
and it does a lot of other stuff, too (it's a real, mini, computer).

Like you, I am interested in a touch screen netbook or similar as a more
permanent (and cheaper) solution for a few of my rigs.  Perfectly capable
netbooks can be had for $100, but lack the touch screen and I think a
touch screen is key for an automotive application.

-Tom Mandera

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