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[aprssig] iPhone / iTouch / iPad

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Oct 15 16:45:13 UTC 2011

On 10/15/2011 11:55 AM, Stephen H. Smith wrote:
> On 10/15/2011 11:24 AM, ve9nps wrote:
>> There is an Open APRS for the iPhone however it is dependent on a wireless 
>> network to support the maps and the data feed.  This can get expensive on a 
>> data package for long term use and be a draw back when you go "off grid".
>> Does anyone have an thoughts, ideas, or interest in creating such an app for 
>> the iPhone / iPad systems?  Unfortunately, programming is not my forte.
>> 73
>> Peter VE1PS / VE9NPS
> You will have the same problem with any APRS app for the iPhone/iPad -- the 
> lack of a stand-alone completely-local mapping system like Precision Mapping 
> or MapPoint.  Any app on these devices will remain tethered to the Internet 
> for mapping.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some additional thoughts I intended to add before accidentally hitting <SEND> 
at the end of the paragraph above.

Consider a light-weight "netbook" mini-laptop instead.  These devices are 
actual miniature x86 PCs that run normal desktop-type Windows (rather than 
Windows Mobile) programs.   All standard Windows "off-the-shelf" mapping and 
APRS applications will run  on these two-pound laptops as-is.

When the iPad hit the world, the consumer market for netbooks collapsed almost 
overnight.    These machines are now available for around USD $225-250.   
Occasionally, NewEgg or TigerDirect blow them out for under $200.  For this, 
you can get a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Atom CPU, a 150-200 GB HDD, 1-2 GB RAM, 3 
USB ports, sound system   that will work with standard sound card apps 
(including a built-in mic great for EchoLink or Skype), built-in WiFi, an RJ-45 
Ethernet port and a built-in webcam (neat for live on-location SSTV).

The standard screen in these devices is a 1024x600-pixel 10" display (i.e. 
about three-quarters of a traditional 3:4 PC XGA screen). Some even now have an 
HDMI port so you can use any HDTV flatscreen TV as a REALLY BIG monitor.   The 
newer ones with LED (rather than fluorescent) screen back lighting will run for 
5-hours plus on their standard battery pack, or over 12 on an optional oversize 

These devices are small enough to stick on top of many dashboards (the way you 
would with a car navigator GPS) or to Velcro down to a center console.   
Indeed, one of these devices with a cheap USB-interfaced "hockey-puck" GPS 
running Delorme Street Atlas or Microsoft MapPoint or Streets & Trips yields a 
"big-screen" car-navigator GPS system at a fraction of the cost of an AVmap 
device.   And it can run standard ham apps at the same time!

I have had an Acer ZG5 netbook running WinXP/UIview connected to my TH-D7, and 
linked to the Internet via it's built-in WiFi, operating as what I call my 
"porta-mini-igate" system continuously for over three months now.     I have 
successfully run multiple sound card apps (mmSSTV, EasyPal "digital" SSTV, and 
AGWpe) on mine simultaneously for my APRN (combined SSTV and APRS) setup.

These devices consume less than 10 watts. They are great building blocks for 
igates, digipeaters, Echolink nodes or any other device that needs to run 24/7 
with minimum power drain.



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
=== Now relocated from Pasadena, CA back to 8-land (East Lansing, MI) ===
Skype:        WA8LMF
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

=====  Vista & Win7 Install Issues for UI-View and Precision Mapping =====

*** HF APRS over PSK63 ***

"APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating

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