Tag: APRS

Tour d’ Cotton Bicycle Race Fundraiser

Correction: Saturday October 6, 2012

Volunteers Needed!

Tour d’ Cotton is a fund raiser of Childress Theatre Company, a nonprofit corporation, dedicated to the restoration of the historic Palace Theater in Downtown Childress Texas. For more information about the Palace Theatre please click here.

 The Tour d’ Cotton consists of 3 simultaneous bicycle races with distances of 60 miles, 30 miles and 8 miles. Each race begins at 0800, 0815, and 0830 respectively. We are looking for volunteer ham radio communicators to assist with communications at the rest stops. APRS support of the event would also be greatly appreciated.

Enjoy the weekend and put your hobby to good use for a great cause. helping with this event is where the true spirit of Amateur Radio is. Let’s keep active with public service eevents and keep ham radio alive and useful!

For us Amateur Radio operators, the Tour d’ Cotton serves two purposes. First and foremost, it is a fun time to get together and give back to the community. We always have a lot of fun with this event each year. Second, and also equally important, it is practice for an actual emergency situation where Amateur Radio operators would be called upon to provide emergency communications.

Traditionally, we meet at Dawson’s Family Restaurant at 1709 Ave F NW in Childress before the race at 0630 to finalize the communications plan over a plate of biscuits and gravy.


To volunteer please contact:

Jim Moody, AF5S, 940-585-1168 jim.moody.jr@gmail.com

or

Chris Seright, KE5ZRT, 806-231-4227, KE5ZRT@gmail.com

 

Childress Repeater Information: 146.960 (-) with no PL tone.



Packet and APRS in the Panhandle

This post is intended to be tied in with the Feb 7th PARC meeting. The intent is to provide members and others interested in packet/APRS in quickly finding useful links on how to implement a digital station either in your home, vehicle or on the go.

 

This is not indented to go into detail about how to configure your station, rather to give you a general idea and a central resource to find all the applications and equipment we use to make our stations run. Hopefully in the future I can go more in depth on how to configure various items, but for the time being I feel there are enough good articles around the net to get anyone started, Google is your friend!

And of course any of us who are into packet and APRS would be more than willing to answer your questions online, over the radio or in person.

 

For a good introduction to packet radio, read this: http://www.tapr.org/pr_intro.html

 

Now some equipment.

 

For a home station you have two choices when it comes to transmitting and receiving packet data, that is, using a hardware TNC or a software TNC (AKA, sound card interface).

 

Let’s start with hardware

 

The most widely known and used hardware TNC manufacturer is Kantronics, we use them in the majority of our nodes and digi’s here in the panhandle. Second to the MFJ 1270c that we use for real packet nodes where routing is needed.

 

Here is a good article on aprs.net on choosing a TNC for APRS, although most of this would also apply to general packet operations as well. It looks a bit old but still good.

For another good list of usable TNC’s see http://www.packetradio.com/windex/tnc.htm

 

To add to the list www.byonics.com also sells the TinyTrak4 that can be used as either a APRS tracker or a KISS TNC. It’s code is constantly being updated and more and more features are being added all the time. The byonics TinyTrak3+ is likely the most widely used APRS tracking device used today and it quite powerful with tied in to a GPS.

Along with this the Open Tracker is a very nice APRS tracker.

 

Just about any TNC made my MFJ, Timewave (AEA) or PacComm should have no trouble interfacing with just about any radio (even a scanner, if you just want to receive) without much effort, wiring diagrams can be had by doing simple searches for your TNC type and your radio model on the internet.

 

Software TNC’s

(Sound Card Interfaces) come in many shapes, sizes and of course price ranges. They can even be built from parts you might have laying around in your junk box.

The idea behind the software TNC is to transport the audio to and from your radio to your computers built in sound card using the mic/line in and speaker/line out jacks. Doing so moves the task of encoding and decoding the data packets to the PC.

 

Other than building your own interface one of the cheapest available is the RASCAL interface made by Buxcomm (www.buxcomm.com) where you can get a cable to match just about any radio on the planet.

There are also other interfaces by Tigertronics and RigBlaster.

 

KC2RLM.info has tons of useful sound card info available at http://www.kc2rlm.info/soundcardpacket/

 

Software

Last but not least is the software end. The majority of the software that will be listed below can be used for packet and APRS using either a hardware TNC or a sound card interface.

 

The application that I feel does the best job of turning your computer into a huge TNC is AGW Packet Engine, aka, AWGPE (http://www.sv2agw.com/ham/agwpe.htm ). Using this software and any receiver to pump audio into your sound card one can be decoding packets in no time flat.

 

AGWPE is a great software package and allows the user to do many things via a radio and or TCP/IP (this does not mean the internet) For example one could take a small computer with AGWPE installed on it using either a hardware TNC or a sound card interface (or both really), connected to a radio and antenna and plugged into a building wide TCP/IP network and via software such as Winpack or WinAPRS remotely connect to the computer and send and receive data via the TNC just as if were directly connected to your local computer.

This gives you the advantage of connecting many people to the same device using minimal hardware plus keeping coax cables runs short in the process. The other advantage is being able to connect multiple devices to this computer via AGWPE and combining the data into single streams or crossing to other bands or modes. And even multiple AGWPE nodes to each other via TCP/IP. Neat stuff.

 

For straight up packet radio operating I like to use Winpack. As it allows me to configure a serial port for connecting to a TNC directly or a software port for connecting to AGWPE. Add with that if you are using a sound card or limited TNC it can act as a mailbox and BBS.

Almost any terminal program can be used with a hardware TNC. Hyper Terminal that in included with most every windows computer makes a quick and easy terminal should the need arise.

 

For APRS mapping I’m quite partial to WinAPRS, with tiger mapping.

Although AGWTracker and Xastir (for Linux) are very popular as well and can both be used with both types of TNC’s.

 

Some of the other devices that you will need will be things like

 

USB to serial adapters (if your computer doesn’t have a s real serial RS-232 port for direct keying of a radio or connection to a TNC)

USB or PCI or ISA Sound Card (to dedicate to a sound card interface)

GPS for connecting to your APRS Tracker

Misc. cables and parts and pieces from for building your own cables and interfaces can be found at the www.buxcomm.com website.

 

 

If one is looking to check out what APRS is and don’t want to purchase any equipment the best way to do so would be by visiting the www.findu.com webiste and http://aprs.fi website. Type in a callsign or a city name and start exploring.

 

I apologize for the sloppy article, but I hope this gives you an idea of just what’s availabe to one seeking to get in to packet or APRS be it for the first time or as a returning user. 

I’m sure I missed alot of good links, software applications and hardware, please feel free to comment and hopefully I’ll find time to update and clean up this post with the most useful data

 

Adair Winter

KD5DYP


  • Register Here to Receive ARES RACES & SKYWARN Alert Messages to Your Personal Cell Phone

    Phone number

    Carrier

    Include Area Code *Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier*
  • Click here to follow Panhandle ARES on Twitter!

    Follow PanhandleARES on Twitter
  • Upcoming Events

    Loading...
  • Bike MS 2012

    Loading...
  • PARC Field Day 2012

    Loading...
  • SKYWARN Recognition Day 2011

    Loading...
  • Spook-O-Ree 2011

    Loading...
  • Tour D’ Cotton

    Loading...
  • 2011 Tri-State Fair Parade

    Loading...
  • 2011 W5WX Field Day

    Loading...
  • RSS Spotter Network Reports

    • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.
  • PARC ARES on Twitter

  • RSS ARRL News

    • The Doctor Will See You Now!
      “Coping with the Solar Minimum” is the topic of the latest (September 22) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen...and learn!Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone -- whenever and wherever you like!Every 2 weeks, […]
    • Amateur Radio Credited with Helping Injured Cyclist
      Members of the Huntsville Amateur Radio Club (HARC) in Alabama had a role in getting help for a Louisiana cyclist injured in a September 17 group ride in Madison County, Alabama.A representative of the sponsoring Spring City Cycling Club told WHNT-19 News that a number of riders, including Brian Guerrero, fell as a motor vehicle […]
    • “RF Seismograph” Improved to Better Reflect Band Activity
      The Scanning RF Seismograph, a real-time HF propagation-monitoring tool developed by the MDSR Team and Alex Schwarz, VE7DXW, now can show both combined band noise and activity and just band activity. The RF Seismograph, which covers 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 meters, is a project of the North Shore Amateur Radio Club (NSARC).“We […]
    • Amateur Radio Volunteers on Call during Major Puerto Rico Power Outage
    • The K7RA Solar Update
      Sunspot numbers and solar flux were down over our reporting week, September 15-21.Average daily sunspot number was 29.9, down from 50.1 during the previous seven days. Average daily solar flux went down from 88.9 to 83.4.Geomagnetic indices were up a bit, with average daily planetary A index rising from 6.7 to 8.9, and average daily […]
  • RSS FEMA News Releases

    • Louisiana Flood Survivors Can Get FEMA Rebuilding Advice at Home Improvement Stores
      BATON ROUGE, La. — As Louisianans repair or rebuild their homes damaged by August floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local hardware and home improvement stores have teamed up to provide free information on making homes stronger and safer. Language English
    • FEMA Announces Funding Awards for Fiscal Year 2016 Homeland Security National Training Program Continuing Training Grants
      WASHINGTON — Federal Emergency Management Agency officials announced funding awards for the Fiscal Year 2016 Continuing Training Grants program. Language English
    • Smithsonian Experts to Share Tips on Salvaging Family Treasures
      BATON ROUGE, La. – When homes are flooded and lives are upended, treasured keepsakes such as photos, artwork, quilts and family heirlooms become more cherished. Although they may have been damaged in the flood, these treasures may be salvageable. Language English
    • FEMA Help Is Still Available
      BATON ROUGE, La. – It is now more than a month since the record flooding and storms of August caused widespread damage throughout Louisiana. Many families and individuals lost their home or residence and were forced to find other solutions for their shelter. If you or anyone you know is still having problems finding suitable […]
    • Understand the Process for Continued Housing Assistance
      BATON ROUGE, La. –If you’re a disaster survivor who wants to extend temporary housing assistance from FEMA it’s important to provide the proper documents in order to make your request.                                If you’re eligible for an extension, you may use temporary housing assistance to pay for a place to live, such as a house, apartment, hotel or […]
  • Copyright © 1996-2010 PanhandleARES.org. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress