APRSdroid (Software)

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Lars

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Advocate II

2,093
Wyldwood, TX
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0654

This feels like cheating, but during our Christmas trip back to the Midwest we took my wife's car. She has a Yaesu FT-8800r in the car, and we brought a Yaesu VX-7R with us as well, but I don't have an APRS unit for her car yet like I have in the truck.

I wanted a way for my dad to track our progress, so I installed APRSdroid from the Android App Store. After generating an APRS-IS code for my callsign, and configuring the software to use W9ZEB-5 (for phone, and to not conflict with my truck W9ZEB-9) I had a working solution.

The cheating part is there's no Amateur radio involved anywhere in this solution. However it worked brilliantly. In the image below you can see the 48h tail.



Now, If I had planned ahead a little bit better, I would have gone to the Mobilinkd shop, and would have purchased the cable for my Yaesu VX-7R. I would have then connected the radio to my phone, and would have used it's transmitter to send and receive APRS traffic, rather than just using the phone's internet connection.

All in all, for the $4.95 that APRSdroid costs, I think it's a good bit of software. When connected to a radio, or to the internet APRS-IS you can switch to map mode, and it will display other APRS stations in your area. A few HTs and Android Tablets (GPS Required) shared in a caravan could be very useful.
 

Lars

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,093
Wyldwood, TX
Member #

0654

Normally we would have headed through St. Louis, down to Joplin, and over to Tulsa, but I-55 was closed at several points due to flooding on the Mississippi. We spent the night in Leavenworth Kansas, Saturday night. Neat city, with a lot of interesting history!
 

1Louder

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Steward I

3,974
AZ
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Chris
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K
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K1LDR
A little bump for this old thread. I have purchased a new cable for the Baofeng radios which is supposed to allow to radio to send and receive APRS packets via apps like APRSDroid and APRS Pro SE for the iPhone. I have yet to get either to work consistently.

In APRSDroid you tell the app to send via ASFK vs TCP (Which would be your phone data plan)

In APRO Pro fo iOS there are options for sending and receiving via radio or internet.

As the original author mentioned without radios you can use the system with these apps but as soon as phone service dies you are done.

I am waiting on an antenna adapter so I can use a roof mounted antenna and will give this a try again laster in the week. Hopefully I can get everything to work properly. Then I will do a write up on what is required.
 

Chris Arnesen

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Off-Road Ranger I

2,025
Hillsboro, OR
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Chris
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Arnesen
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3839

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KU7PDX
I love using APRSdroid with my Bluetooth Mobilinkd TNC and a $20 Android phone I got off of Amazon.com. I think the most useful feature is the text messaging, especially since it is pretty much what you would expect (with the notifications and all).
 
E

expeditionnorth

Guest
never got into APRS since I didnt want others to know my moves every minute of every day

but we use it a lot in several public service events I participate in each year
 

Chris Arnesen

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

2,025
Hillsboro, OR
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Arnesen
Member #

3839

Ham Callsign
KU7PDX
never got into APRS since I didnt want others to know my moves every minute of every day
I don't even use the positioning function of APRS, instead focusing on the messaging portion. It's not Automatic Position Reporting System, it's Automatic Packet Reporting System! :-)

From the APRS.org website: "APRS is not a vehicle tracking system. It is a two-way tactical real-time digital communications system between all assets in a network sharing information about everything going on in the local area. On ham radio, this means if something is happening now, or there is information that could be valuable to you, then it should show up on your APRS radio in your mobile."
 

1Louder

Rank VI
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Steward I

3,974
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I was not impressed with using a handheld and cable in conjunction with both APRSDroid or APRSPro for iOS. Just didn't work. There is not enough power from the radio to connect reliably. Using cellular both worked reasonably well. This however defeats my purpose of having a backup APRS system. I will post a more formal review when I have time.