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  #1  
Old 03-03-2017, 05:37 PM
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Default APRSdroid and Backcountry Navigator

Wondering how many sledders are using Backcountry Navigator? Also, wondering how much interest there is in having a radio system that will work like the garmin rino. What I'd like to see, is a way to see your friends on a topo map on your smart phone. It can be done...sort of.

Little background.... Ham radio thing called APRS. It is a system that will send and recieve location information as well as text messages. This requires a dedicated radio and a bluetooth device (mobilinkd tnc) that control's the radio, as well as an android device running aprsdroid. Cost, in the ham world, is about $100-$125 including the cheap chinese radio (baofeng ect).

Backcountry Navigator is an android topo mapping gps app. Does not need network service. Works in airplane mode. Maps must be dl'd before going out.

Where I'm heading with this is, myself and several others have been working on BCN/Crittermap software to catch the location info from aprsdroid and display it on bcn. ..... aprsdroid has a map function but, it is rather poor at best however, it does show direction and distance.

This could be done on the MURS channels and be as legal as we are using ccr's on frs/gmrs. The uv3r is a 2 watt radio and very small. The radio and tnc would be a little larger than a pack of cigarettes.

Any interest? Not selling it, just wondering if there is interest in having this system.
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:50 AM
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Default Fcc rule changes for frs/gmrs radios

The new rules will allow data transmission on frs and gmrs channels. Making it some easier to do what I describe in the first post.

Some good things.... The blister pack radios from the big box stores will be 2 watts. Up from the current .5 watt.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:20 AM
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Hummmm . . . sounds interesting!

I have the Beofeng radios already and just beginning to use the Backcountry Navigator PRO android app.

Would this be able to use the FRS and GMRS channels or only MURS channels? It would be nice to be on the same channel as the rest of the guys in my group and have this feature still work.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:07 AM
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Functionally, it will work on any channel. Legally, it can be done on frs and murs. It is not compatible with voice comms. Thus it takes a whole nuther radio. With the new frs/gmrs rules, there may be something resembling the garmin rino coming from other manufacturers. Garmin has been selling the rinos under a special permit from the fcc. Now that the fcc has changed the rules, any of the manufacturers can sell that sort of setup. Something very simple like, sending coordinate at the end of each transmission and the reciving radio being able to display just heading and distance would be very helpful. My speculation.... thinking about possible things that would work for sledders. Start with the bca link, give it gps, bluetooth and an extra button on the mic that sends location info when pressed. That info would be bluetoothed to a smart phone app displaying the location info on a topo map. Won't see it for 2018, more likely 2019, if it gets built at all.

I should take some pics of my aprs setup and post them here with some descriptions. The aprs thing that I tried to describe in the op is not a plug and play setup. There is a learning curve and some trial and error to get it working. My plan is to have it running on 3 members of my group for the next season. See how useful it really is.

If you want to improve the performance of any of the cheap chinese radios, use 19" of wire, ring terminal that will fit over the theaded stud on the antenna. Install the wire ring terminal between the radio and antenna. Let the wire hang. It will give a 10 to 20% improvement. Use a very fexible wire, fine strand, silicon inulation for more durability. The wire becomes part of the antenna, called a counterpoise.... google it.

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Old 06-13-2017, 08:59 AM
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Here is a youtube video on how to do this. Looks like he recommends 19.65" length counterpoise for use on 2 meter band. He also attaches this to a screw on the side of the radio rather than to the threaded stud of the antenna.

Hope this is helpful.

https://youtu.be/N1_BrFOHY6U?t=34s


Last edited by Timbre; 06-13-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2017, 05:13 PM
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BackCountry Navigator now supports aprsdroid. Aprsdroid objects will automatically transfer to BCN map...

Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
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