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APRS - CE and PocketPC PDAs

Seems as though most hams either really love APRS or couldn't care less. To me, it's one of those things that I've played with here and there (for the novelty), but don't use on a regular basis. Short attention span I guess.  In a nutshell, APRS is a protocol and a system for identifying geographic position information (and other data) via a packet network.

Emergency organizations (ARES/RACES), search an rescue teams, parade organizers, and Fox Hunts are just a few examples of ham radio activities that can be enhanced through APRS. Certainly, most of this apps require ham radio operators to be VERY mobile so PocketPC PDAs fit the task quite well.

To setup a full APRS station, you simply need:

  • A packet station (TNC/2m transceiver)

  • A terminal of some sort (in this case, your PDA)

  • Optional add-ons such as a GPS receiver

Once your packet station is properly running, you are ready to test APRS. Connect to the local APRS node, and away you go. 

The next step, is to download the APRSCE package from http://www.tapr.org/~aprsce/. Installation and setup couldn't be easier as Rob, KZ5RW, has done an excellent job with this (still beta) utility.

APRSCE is smart enough to find the maps in several directories (/My Documents/ for example), so copy the maps to your PDA and use the Map->Refresh Map List command in APRSCE. Enter the rest of the setup parameters and start APRS'ing.

 

 

 

 

   

 

11-Jan-2007

 

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