[aprssig] "Smart" vs. "dumb" trackers

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Mon Jun 23 17:29:58 CDT 2014


On 6/23/2014 5:01 PM, Andrew Pavlin wrote:
> I'm the original poster.
>
> Just FYI, I did say that message reception/display at the tracker was a "plus", not mandatory.
>
> But since apparently the Argent OpenTracker USB can do all of my original requests (including the "plus" items), looks like there is at least one device that can do the job other than the Kenwood and Yaesu HT's (and actually do it better by being a canned tracker instead of an HT with too many buttons for the end-user to screw up). But can it do it cheaper?

The Argent Opentracker is only a sophisticated fully bi-directional TNC with 
telemetry and control capabilities -- not a radio.  You still need to provide a 
transceiver, a GPS and (for interactive bi-directional messaging) a Garmin Nuvi 
350.

[There is a naked board version intended as a direct drop-in replacement for 
the OEM TNC in the Alinco DR-135T mobile rig.]

The unique capability of the Opentracker is that it can activate the Garmin's 
built-in "FMI" (Fleet Management Interface) firmware to do two-way text 
messaging on the Garmin's touch screen.   (It uses the same virtual on-screen 
keyboard you normally use to look up addresses for navigation).   It also will 
plot incoming posits on the Garmin's map display.


Unfortunately, all this "coolness" only works with the now-discontinued Nuvi 
350.  (Garmin screwed up the waypoint handling, used to plot the posits, in 
later versions of the Nuvi.)

___________________________________________________________


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Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
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