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APRS Test

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  • Brek Brixius
    I just did my first on air test with my APRS gear. I m running pacterm in DOS mode on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT. The Toshiba is connected to a
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 9, 2006
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      I just did my first on air test with my APRS gear. 
       
      I'm running pacterm in DOS mode on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT.  The Toshiba is connected to a Kantronics KAM all mode TNC Rev. 8.2 on COM1.  I have my Radio Shack Pro 50 scanner attached as the receiving radio.  I am running in DOS mode and I set pacterm to COM1 at 1200bps.
       
      For the tracker I have tried a Tiny Trak3Plus, Garmin Etrex and Alinco DJ-180 2 meter handytalkie.  I also tried an Open Tracker 1x, Garmin GPS 18 and DJ-180 combo.
       
      I was indoors do to cold and rain and the etrex could not acquire a fix on the satellites.  I had configured both trackers prior to use with my call sign.  In the open tracker I added a comment line that says "This is only a test."  I also configured the open tracker to report a fixed long. and lat.
       
      Results:  Both trackers transmitted at the prescribed interval.  Both were received and text was displayed on the laptop screen.  However, I'm not sure if what I'm looking at is right.  I can read the long. and lat.  I can read the comment line.  The information at the start of each transmission though looks like garble - upside down question mark, heart symbol, exclamation point, etc. 
       
      Anybody got an idea what I need to tweak?  I'm thinking it must be close or I wouldn't be able to read the lat. long.  I hate to change something and mess it up.
       
      Any help would be appreciated.
      Thanks.
      Brek KC0YOE
       
       


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    • Mike Manes
      Hi Brek, Sounds like you have the TT3 and OT set to send the compressed MicKey APRS format - it s NOT human readable. You ll need APRS-SA or UIView and a
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 10, 2006
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        Hi Brek,

        Sounds like you have the TT3 and OT set to send the compressed MicKey
        APRS format - it's NOT human readable. You'll need APRS-SA or UIView
        and a mapping app running under Windoze (or Linux?) to see those positions
        graphically.

        Suggest you reconfig the trackers to report in ACCII NMEA or readable
        APRS to get lat/lon and altitude data in a readable format for DOS.

        73 de Mike W5VSI, EOSS


        Brek Brixius wrote:
        > I just did my first on air test with my APRS gear.
        >
        > I'm running pacterm in DOS mode on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT.
        > The Toshiba is connected to a Kantronics KAM all mode TNC Rev. 8.2 on
        > COM1. I have my Radio Shack Pro 50 scanner attached as the receiving
        > radio. I am running in DOS mode and I set pacterm to COM1 at 1200bps.
        >
        > For the tracker I have tried a Tiny Trak3Plus, Garmin Etrex and Alinco
        > DJ-180 2 meter handytalkie. I also tried an Open Tracker 1x, Garmin GPS
        > 18 and DJ-180 combo.
        >
        > I was indoors do to cold and rain and the etrex could not acquire a fix
        > on the satellites. I had configured both trackers prior to use with my
        > call sign. In the open tracker I added a comment line that says "This
        > is only a test." I also configured the open tracker to report a fixed
        > long. and lat.
        >
        > Results: Both trackers transmitted at the prescribed interval. Both
        > were received and text was displayed on the laptop screen. However, I'm
        > not sure if what I'm looking at is right. I can read the long. and
        > lat. I can read the comment line. The information at the start of each
        > transmission though looks like garble - upside down question mark, heart
        > symbol, exclamation point, etc.
        >
        > Anybody got an idea what I need to tweak? I'm thinking it must be close
        > or I wouldn't be able to read the lat. long. I hate to change something
        > and mess it up.
        >
        > Any help would be appreciated.
        > Thanks.
        > Brek KC0YOE
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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      • Al Wolfe
        Brek, If you are stuck with using dos then you may wish to try APRSdos available free at TAPR. It decodes the compressed formats very well and will run on
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 11, 2006
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          Brek,
          If you are stuck with using dos then you may wish to try APRSdos
          available free at TAPR. It decodes the compressed formats very well and will
          run on about any dos machine back to 8088's. Somewhat crude by Window
          standards but does work.

          73,
          Al, K9SI


          Re: APRS Test
          Posted by: "Mike Manes" manes@...
          Date: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:26 pm (PDT)

          Hi Brek,

          Sounds like you have the TT3 and OT set to send the compressed MicKey
          APRS format - it's NOT human readable. You'll need APRS-SA or UIView
          and a mapping app running under Windoze (or Linux?) to see those positions
          graphically.

          Suggest you reconfig the trackers to report in ACCII NMEA or readable
          APRS to get lat/lon and altitude data in a readable format for DOS.

          73 de Mike W5VSI, EOSS


          Brek Brixius wrote:
          > I just did my first on air test with my APRS gear.
          >
          > I'm running pacterm in DOS mode on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT.
          > The Toshiba is connected to a Kantronics KAM all mode TNC Rev. 8.2 on
          > COM1. I have my Radio Shack Pro 50 scanner attached as the receiving
          > radio. I am running in DOS mode and I set pacterm to COM1 at 1200bps.
          >
          > For the tracker I have tried a Tiny Trak3Plus, Garmin Etrex and Alinco
          > DJ-180 2 meter handytalkie. I also tried an Open Tracker 1x, Garmin GPS
          > 18 and DJ-180 combo.
          >
          > I was indoors do to cold and rain and the etrex could not acquire a fix
          > on the satellites. I had configured both trackers prior to use with my
          > call sign. In the open tracker I added a comment line that says "This
          > is only a test." I also configured the open tracker to report a fixed
          > long. and lat.
          >
          > Results: Both trackers transmitted at the prescribed interval. Both
          > were received and text was displayed on the laptop screen. However, I'm
          > not sure if what I'm looking at is right. I can read the long. and
          > lat. I can read the comment line. The information at the start of each
          > transmission though looks like garble - upside down question mark, heart
          > symbol, exclamation point, etc.
          >
          > Anybody got an idea what I need to tweak? I'm thinking it must be close
          > or I wouldn't be able to read the lat. long. I hate to change something
          > and mess it up.
          >
          > Any help would be appreciated.
          > Thanks.
          > Brek KC0YOE
        • Brek Brixius
          Well I m not stuck with DOS. I just want to see the GPS position data in human readable text. I did look at the APRSdos you suggested. For some reason it
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 11, 2006
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            Well I'm not stuck with DOS.  I just want to see the GPS position data in human readable text.  I did look at the APRSdos you suggested.  For some reason it sent my laptop into a beeping fit.  I am also not using Pacterm anymore.  I have switched to the UI-View 2.39 16 bit windows version. 
             
            In UI-View's terminal window with the etrex/TT3 combo this is what I get now. 
            01:49:20R KC0YOE>APT311,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 <UI Len=27>: !000.000/0000.000>000/000
            I have tried nearly all of the various interface options on the etrex.  The etrex was on, clear view of sky, lock on satellites, connected to the TT3 with the cable I bought when I bought the tracker.  Any ideas.
             
            On the other unit (my open tracker rig), I can get temperature and fixed position readings fine.  Once I tell the OT1x to use GPS position instead of fixed and tell it not to transmit if it doesn't have a fix on the satellite, It doesn't transmit.
             
            I bought the OT1x assembled and the Garmin 18 hockey puck with connector together.  It should have been ready to use but, to me it looks like the GPS 18 is not getting power or, is not configured properly or does not work.  I have no idea how to configue the GPS 18 if it needs to be, since it didn't come with software and doesn't even have an led to indicated it is alive.
             
            I went to the local ham club and asked if there is anybody doing APRS in this area and there isn't.  There is one fellow who did packet years ago but doesn't remember much.  He has his equipment in storage and said he would try to set it up if he finds the time.  I'm hoping he does.  I'd like to do some packet chat. 
             
            Anyhow,  I traveled about 8 hours one way to attend the Ak Sar Ben ARC hamfest last weekend in Omaha because they had an APRS forum on the schedule.  I was hoping to figure something out there.  It ended up they did not have the forum.  Instead they had a Dx forum.  It was still fun and worth the trip but, didn't solve my problem.
             
            So, today I ordered the APRS book from ARRL.  I'm not sure it will solve my problem either.  But it can't hurt right?
             
            If you can think of anything else I should try, let me know.
            Thanks for everything.
            Brek.
             
             
             
             
             
            Al Wolfe <k9si@...> wrote:
            Brek,
            If you are stuck with using dos then you may wish to try APRSdos
            available free at TAPR. It decodes the compressed formats very well and will
            run on about any dos machine back to 8088's. Somewhat crude by Window
            standards but does work.

            73,
            Al, K9SI

            Re: APRS Test
            Posted by: "Mike Manes" manes@attglobal. net
            Date: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:26 pm (PDT)

            Hi Brek,

            Sounds like you have the TT3 and OT set to send the compressed MicKey
            APRS format - it's NOT human readable. You'll need APRS-SA or UIView
            and a mapping app running under Windoze (or Linux?) to see those positions
            graphically.

            Suggest you reconfig the trackers to report in ACCII NMEA or readable
            APRS to get lat/lon and altitude data in a readable format for DOS.

            73 de Mike W5VSI, EOSS

            Brek Brixius wrote:
            > I just did my first on air test with my APRS gear.
            >
            > I'm running pacterm in DOS mode on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT.
            > The Toshiba is connected to a Kantronics KAM all mode TNC Rev. 8.2 on
            > COM1. I have my Radio Shack Pro 50 scanner attached as the receiving
            > radio. I am running in DOS mode and I set pacterm to COM1 at 1200bps.
            >
            > For the tracker I have tried a Tiny Trak3Plus, Garmin Etrex and Alinco
            > DJ-180 2 meter handytalkie. I also tried an Open Tracker 1x, Garmin GPS
            > 18 and DJ-180 combo.
            >
            > I was indoors do to cold and rain and the etrex could not acquire a fix
            > on the satellites. I had configured both trackers prior to use with my
            > call sign. In the open tracker I added a comment line that says "This
            > is only a test." I also configured the open tracker to report a fixed
            > long. and lat.
            >
            > Results: Both trackers transmitted at the prescribed interval. Both
            > were received and text was displayed on the laptop screen. However, I'm
            > not sure if what I'm looking at is right. I can read the long. and
            > lat. I can read the comment line. The information at the start of each
            > transmission though looks like garble - upside down question mark, heart
            > symbol, exclamation point, etc.
            >
            > Anybody got an idea what I need to tweak? I'm thinking it must be close
            > or I wouldn't be able to read the lat. long. I hate to change something
            > and mess it up.
            >
            > Any help would be appreciated.
            > Thanks.
            > Brek KC0YOE




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          • David
            a couple of points here. 1. The Garmin GPS 18 can talk in either Garmin format, or NMEA format for the 18PC and 18LVC formats (Garmin sells 3 different types
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 11, 2006
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              a couple of points here.
              1. The Garmin GPS 18 can talk in either Garmin format,
              or NMEA format for the 18PC and 18LVC formats (Garmin
              sells 3 different types of GPS18). There is a tool on
              the garmin website that will allow you to configure
              which one you send. You should also let us know what
              ends the GPS18 has (if you have bare wires, it
              probably does TTL level data out instead of RS232)
              2. There are freeware NMEA decoders out there, use one
              of them to insure your GPS is sending valid data to
              the system. I use VisualGPS
              <http://www.visualgps.net/VisualGPS/> or NMEA agent
              <http://www.iliketheinternet.com/gps.html>
              3. If you think the Opentracker is not decoding valid
              GPS data you can get good support from the opentracker
              support forum, Scott usually replies within a day. If
              you can, try to record a text log file of your GPS,
              and send it in there.
              <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opentracker/>
              Hope this helps
              David
              KC0GFO


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            • Brek Brixius
              Sorry - the GPS18 is model GPS18 LVC, 5m. I went to Garmin.com to look for config software but, I got the following message after getting into the download
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 12, 2006
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                Sorry - the GPS18 is model GPS18 LVC, 5m.  I went to Garmin.com to look for config software but, I got the following message after getting into the download area and requesting the file.
                 
                Internal Error 500:
                The server hosting the URL you have requested has reported an error. It cannot retrieve your document due to server-side problems.
                Please use the links or search feature on this page to continue browsing
                 
                At any rate, I am addressing the GPS18 LVC, 5m problems with the open tracker group.  I ordered it from Scott and he installed the connector so, I don't know how it is wired or anything.  I just got a black hockey puck in a box with no docs, software or whatnot.  Since I have no experience with configuring GPS units it is a little intimidating.  Kind of like an alien artifact.  I'll keep after it and see if I can figure out it's secrets.
                 
                Thanks.
                Brek.


                David <dhuff16@...> wrote:
                a couple of points here.
                1. The Garmin GPS 18 can talk in either Garmin format,
                or NMEA format for the 18PC and 18LVC formats (Garmin
                sells 3 different types of GPS18). There is a tool on
                the garmin website that will allow you to configure
                which one you send. You should also let us know what
                ends the GPS18 has (if you have bare wires, it
                probably does TTL level data out instead of RS232)
                2. There are freeware NMEA decoders out there, use one
                of them to insure your GPS is sending valid data to
                the system. I use VisualGPS
                <http://www.visualgp s.net/VisualGPS/> or NMEA agent
                <http://www.ilikethe internet. com/gps.html>
                3. If you think the Opentracker is not decoding valid
                GPS data you can get good support from the opentracker
                support forum, Scott usually replies within a day. If
                you can, try to record a text log file of your GPS,
                and send it in there.
                <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/opentracke r/>
                Hope this helps
                David
                KC0GFO

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              • Hank
                ... Brek is making good progress with his GPS18 with assistance from the group. He s now getting his GPS output displayed on Hyperterm which is
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 16, 2006
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                  --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Brek Brixius <gofly2007@...> wrote:

                  > At any rate, I am addressing the GPS18 LVC, 5m problems
                  > with the open tracker group.

                  Brek is making good progress with his GPS18 with assistance
                  from the <open tracker> group. He's now getting his GPS
                  output displayed on Hyperterm which is always a simple but
                  effective starting point.

                  Thought GPSL group would like to know the above.

                  Hank
                • Brek Brixius
                  Hank: Things were looking up there for a while. But I think I killed the open tracker. No signs of life there now. I think I ll take a break from it and
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 16, 2006
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                    Hank:
                     
                    Things were looking up there for a while.  But I think I killed the open tracker.  No signs of life there now. 
                     
                    I think I'll take a break from it and decide if I want to try again.
                     
                    Brek.


                    Hank <n1ltv@...> wrote:
                    --- In GPSL@yahoogroups. com, Brek Brixius <gofly2007@. ..> wrote:

                    > At any rate, I am addressing the GPS18 LVC, 5m problems
                    > with the open tracker group.

                    Brek is making good progress with his GPS18 with assistance
                    from the <open tracker> group. He's now getting his GPS
                    output displayed on Hyperterm which is always a simple but
                    effective starting point.

                    Thought GPSL group would like to know the above.

                    Hank



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                  • Brek Brixius
                    Hank and Group: I ended up sending both my trackers back to their makers. Byon discovered that something had changed from his version of the Etrex to Mine.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 2, 2006
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                      Hank and Group:
                       
                      I ended up sending both my trackers back to their makers.  Byon discovered that something had changed from his version of the Etrex to Mine.  It was an easy fix.  He told me what wires to swap and where to jumper and I have a working tracker :).
                       
                      Scott said the OT1x I sent back worked for him (after he fixed the voltage regulator I destroyed).  He returned it to me.  I'm still not able to get it to transmit unless I tell it to ignore the GPS lock.  I'm not sure why.  If nothing else, I figure I can use it as a beacon.
                       
                      My original airframe concept was a styro-cube with coroplast armor exterior and 4 through-tubes (one in each corner).  I covered the coroplast with black foamies with a space blanket ring around the middle.  It looks sharp but weighs over 3 pounds without any electronics.  So, I am abandoning this design which I refer to as Skytanic.
                       
                      I have a new airframe in design that I am really liking.  It looks like it will shake out much lighter and be easier to reconfigure as well.
                       
                      I bought a couple of log tags for temperature sensors.  I was thinking one for internal and one for external.  Now I'm thinking a log tag for external temperature logging and the OT1x beacon will send temperature data for the interior temp.
                       
                      I bought a lighter radio.  An Alinco DJ-S11.  It is handy for listening to the local net and I have been carrying it in my shirt pocket.  It doesn't have much transmit range though.  I hope changing the antenna will improve it a lot.  The plan right now is to fly the DJ-S11 with a roll up j-pole. 
                       
                      The local HAM club asked me to give a presentation for them.  I showed them videos A and C from NSTAR's 2003 season DVD.  Mark was kind enough to send that to me a few months ago.  The guys enjoyed it very much.  I chose to show them video C because it had landing footage.  I think that put a lot of folks concerns to rest.  Thanks Mark for sending the Video :).
                       
                      I have a ballistic nylon parachute on order from rocketman.  I was not sure what size since I don't know exactly what I will be flying yet.  Their suggestion was to order a larger size than I thought I needed and they have some sort of ring that slides up the lines and pulls the chute edges in.  I am aiming to keep my new airframe under 4 pounds loaded.  I think I ordered a 6 foot chute.  I hope it will work. 
                       
                      I haven't been spending all my time on the balloon project.  Matter of fact, I have been spending a lot of time listening to HAMs on the CQ-100 from QSONET.COM.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  It's a virtual HF rig.  Really cool and you can try it free for 90 days. 
                       
                      73 everybody. 
                      Brek.
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       

                      Hank <n1ltv@...> wrote:
                      --- In GPSL@yahoogroups. com, Brek Brixius <gofly2007@. ..> wrote:

                      > At any rate, I am addressing the GPS18 LVC, 5m problems
                      > with the open tracker group.

                      Brek is making good progress with his GPS18 with assistance
                      from the <open tracker> group. He's now getting his GPS
                      output displayed on Hyperterm which is always a simple but
                      effective starting point.

                      Thought GPSL group would like to know the above.

                      Hank



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                    • Mike Manes
                      Hi Brek, Glad you got your APRS module working OK. Re the payload support. The 4-tube scheme works well, especially if you have just the one payload, and the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 3, 2006
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                        Hi Brek,

                        Glad you got your APRS module working OK.

                        Re the payload support. The 4-tube scheme works well, especially if
                        you have just the one payload, and the 4 support lines provide torsional
                        coupling to the parachute shroud lines.

                        But if you plan on carrying any other stuff lower on the string, especially
                        if it's heavy, then a single support tube thru the center works well,
                        since none of the payload line tension stresses the upper payload
                        structure. Separating payloads also does wonders for EMC problems, like
                        3rd harmonic of a 70cm ATV xmtr desensing the GPS receiver front end.

                        I think you'll find that a 300 mW beacon signal will be plenty strong
                        during flight - it is written: "Line of sight is a magic thing." It
                        may be a bit puny once the antenna is lying on the ground after landing,
                        however. One of our old-time members developed a self-erecting 2m ground
                        plane that keeps the radiating element aloft after landing, and the
                        trackers LOVE it! The only payload we've used it on is the crossband
                        repeater, tho, since it works only if the antenna is at the bottom of
                        the flight string. There's a pic on www.eoss.org somewhere under the
                        Hardware button on the home page. Be SURE to use RG-142 coax - PVC jacketed
                        RG-58 embrittles in the cold.

                        73 de Mike W5VSI, EOSS

                        Brek Brixius wrote:
                        > Hank and Group:
                        >
                        > I ended up sending both my trackers back to their makers. Byon
                        > discovered that something had changed from his version of the Etrex to
                        > Mine. It was an easy fix. He told me what wires to swap and where to
                        > jumper and I have a working tracker :).
                        >
                        > Scott said the OT1x I sent back worked for him (after he fixed the
                        > voltage regulator I destroyed). He returned it to me. I'm still not
                        > able to get it to transmit unless I tell it to ignore the GPS lock. I'm
                        > not sure why. If nothing else, I figure I can use it as a beacon.
                        >
                        > My original airframe concept was a styro-cube with coroplast armor
                        > exterior and 4 through-tubes (one in each corner). I covered
                        > the coroplast with black foamies with a space blanket ring around the
                        > middle. It looks sharp but weighs over 3 pounds without any
                        > electronics. So, I am abandoning this design which I refer to as Skytanic.
                        >
                        > I have a new airframe in design that I am really liking. It looks like
                        > it will shake out much lighter and be easier to reconfigure as well.
                        >
                        > I bought a couple of log tags for temperature sensors. I was thinking
                        > one for internal and one for external. Now I'm thinking a log tag for
                        > external temperature logging and the OT1x beacon will send temperature
                        > data for the interior temp.
                        >
                        > I bought a lighter radio. An Alinco DJ-S11. It is handy for listening
                        > to the local net and I have been carrying it in my shirt pocket. It
                        > doesn't have much transmit range though. I hope changing the antenna
                        > will improve it a lot. The plan right now is to fly the DJ-S11 with a
                        > roll up j-pole.
                        >
                        > The local HAM club asked me to give a presentation for them. I showed
                        > them videos A and C from NSTAR's 2003 season DVD. Mark was kind enough
                        > to send that to me a few months ago. The guys enjoyed it very much. I
                        > chose to show them video C because it had landing footage. I think that
                        > put a lot of folks concerns to rest. Thanks Mark for sending the Video :).
                        >
                        > I have a ballistic nylon parachute on order from rocketman. I was not
                        > sure what size since I don't know exactly what I will be flying yet.
                        > Their suggestion was to order a larger size than I thought I needed and
                        > they have some sort of ring that slides up the lines and pulls the chute
                        > edges in. I am aiming to keep my new airframe under 4 pounds loaded. I
                        > think I ordered a 6 foot chute. I hope it will work.
                        >
                        > I haven't been spending all my time on the balloon project. Matter of
                        > fact, I have been spending a lot of time listening to HAMs on the CQ-100
                        > from QSONET.COM. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's a virtual HF
                        > rig. Really cool and you can try it free for 90 days.
                        >
                        > 73 everybody.
                        > Brek.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > */Hank <n1ltv@...>/* wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com <mailto:GPSL%40yahoogroups.com>, Brek
                        > Brixius <gofly2007@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > At any rate, I am addressing the GPS18 LVC, 5m problems
                        > > with the open tracker group.
                        >
                        > Brek is making good progress with his GPS18 with assistance
                        > from the <open tracker> group. He's now getting his GPS
                        > output displayed on Hyperterm which is always a simple but
                        > effective starting point.
                        >
                        > Thought GPSL group would like to know the above.
                        >
                        > Hank
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > We have the perfect Group for you. Check out the handy changes to Yahoo!
                        > Groups.
                        > <http://pa.yahoo.com/*http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=41144/*http://groups.yahoo.com/local/newemail.html>
                        >

                        --
                        Mike Manes manes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                        "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so." A. Einstein
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