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Wiring and Testing Service

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  • Matt
    I m looking at making a purchse for the TNC-x shortly. I m curious, though, as to how much assembly will be required if I do not pay for the wiring and
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 7, 2007
      I'm looking at making a purchse for the TNC-x shortly. I'm curious,
      though, as to how much assembly will be required if I do not pay for
      the wiring and testing service. I'd like to save as much as I can to
      help pay for the rest of the accessories I need for APRS. Thanks!

      Matt, WX4MET
    • VE7GDH
      Matt WX4MET wrote... ... I ve built a couple. The instructions are pretty straight forward and it only takes an hour or two to put together. Keep in mind that
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 7, 2007
        Matt WX4MET wrote...

        > I'm looking at making a purchase for the TNC-x shortly. I'm curious,
        > though, as to how much assembly will be required if I do not pay for
        > the wiring and testing service. I'd like to save as much as I can to
        > help pay for the rest of the accessories I need for APRS. Thanks!

        I've built a couple. The instructions are pretty straight forward and
        it only takes an hour or two to put together. Keep in mind that the
        TNC-X is KISS mode only. Works great with UI-View!

        73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
        --
        "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
      • Matt
        Thanks for the quick response. I guess I ll go ahead and pay the additional fee for the service. I think I know the answer to this question but still need to
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 7, 2007
          Thanks for the quick response. I guess I'll go ahead and pay the
          additional fee for the service.

          I think I know the answer to this question but still need to ask: My
          GPS sends out data in the NMEA format. KISS has only to do with the
          computer side of things, doesn't it? I'm guess my GPS should be no
          worry then?

          Also, I do plan on using UI-View, but I will also be using GRLevel3
          for mobile storm spotting. I still need to see if that program can
          accept the KISS protocol.

          Thanks again for the help.

          Matt, WX4MET
        • VE7GDH
          Matt WX4MET wrote... ... Up to you. It doesn t take that long to build them and I think you learn a bit more about the circuit by studying the diagram and
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 7, 2007
            Matt WX4MET wrote...

            > Thanks for the quick response. I guess I'll go ahead and pay the
            > additional fee for the service.

            Up to you. It doesn't take that long to build them and I think you learn a
            bit more about the circuit by studying the diagram and doing a few
            pre-checks before powering it up. You can save $30 and build it yourself, or
            pay it and save an hour or two.

            > I think I know the answer to this question but still need to ask: My
            > GPS sends out data in the NMEA format. KISS has only to do with the
            > computer side of things, doesn't it? I'm guess my GPS should be no
            > worry then?

            NMEA is the data format from your GPS receiver.

            In KISS mode (keep it simple stupid) the smarts are all in the software in
            the program that you connect to it... e.g. UI-View. Basically, it's just a
            modem with all the tricky things run in software in your computer instead of
            right inside the TNC itself.

            I'm not sure you see the GPS being a factor unless you are getting the
            X-Track add on. If you will have UI-View along, I would use that instead of
            the X-Track. The X-Track turns the TNC-X into a stand-alone tracker which
            you could connect the GPS to. yes, it will understand the NMEA data from
            your GPS receiver. I would use it with the TNC-X connected to UI-View and
            connect the GPS to UI-View if you are going to be mobile with it. If you
            aren't mobile, there isn't any real need for a GPS receiver.

            > Also, I do plan on using UI-View, but I will also be using GRLevel3
            > for mobile storm spotting. I still need to see if that program can
            > accept the KISS protocol.

            I'm not familiar with GRLevel3, but I did a search and found it at
            www.grlevelx.com. With a TCPIP connection, you can run NWSGet in UI-View to
            retrieve and loop weather radar images from the US. A KISS mode TNC will
            work fine with UI-View. While I glanced at GRLevel3 on their site, I don't
            see how it integrates with APRS or a TNC.

            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
            --
            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!" .
          • Bob Burns K4RXR
            ... I run GRLevel3 and I don t think that what you have in mind will work. As Keith explained, you will need to connect your GPS receiver to your computer
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
              At 12:09 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:

              >Also, I do plan on using UI-View, but I will also be using GRLevel3
              >for mobile storm spotting. I still need to see if that program can
              >accept the KISS protocol.

              I run GRLevel3 and I don't think that what you have in mind will work.

              As Keith explained, you will need to connect your GPS receiver to
              your computer running UI-view and then the computer to TNC-X to do
              APRS. GRLevel3 can use a GPS input to show your location on the radar
              maps, but I don't think it knows anything about APRS. I suppose you
              can run UI-View simultaneously with GRLevel3, but you'll need a GPS
              serial port splitter program (the one I see recommended most often is
              GPSGate from Franson) so that both UI-View and GRLevel3 can share the
              GPS position information.

              How are you planning to get the NWS radar data into GRLevel3 while mobile?

              Bob...
            • Matt
              The more I get into this the more complicated it becomes. It s frustrating but I m still looking forward to getting everything running. The computer I ll be
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
                The more I get into this the more complicated it becomes. It's
                frustrating but I'm still looking forward to getting everything
                running.

                The computer I'll be using does not have a seriel port. I'd have to
                buy a USB to seriel converter in order to connect my GPS. I've not
                heard much about these USB adapters, but what I have heard was that
                they have a tendency to not work or cause extra trouble.

                The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.
                I'll only need my computer while mobile every once-in-a-while.

                As far as getting radar updates for GRLevel3, I won't be able to
                unless I run across an open access WiFi connection. Where I am most
                of the time that shouldn't be too big of a deal.

                I've read a few threads on the forums that APRS data can now be used
                with GRLevel3 as long as it is i the form of a place file. I'm not
                sure if that work is completed but know there was some testing with
                it.

                Matt, WX4MET
              • fran miele
                I have my TNX-X connected to my computer and the GPS connected to the TNC-X all the time. Depending upon the GPS, I use one with a serial connection, you may
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007

                  I have my TNX-X connected to my computer and the GPS connected to the TNC-X all the time. Depending upon the GPS, I use one with a serial connection, you may need to make a cable to connect he GPS to the TNC-X but that was easy. Actually you may be able to connect it to the serial port on the TNC-X (I just thought of that), but I’m not sure. There would be no need to buy a usb adapter. The TNC-X has the software you need for a virtual adapter.

                   

                  Check the TNC-X website for more detailed info or contact John Hansen, W2FS directly.

                   

                  Fran, N1GAU


                  From: Matt [mailto:wx4met@...]
                  Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 11:01 AM
                  To: tnc-x@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [tnc-x] TNC-x and GPS

                   

                  The more I get into this the more complicated it becomes. It's
                  frustrating but I'm still looking forward to getting everything
                  running.

                  The computer I'll be using does not have a seriel port. I'd have to
                  buy a USB to seriel converter in order to connect my GPS. I've not
                  heard much about these USB adapters, but what I have heard was that
                  they have a tendency to not work or cause extra trouble.

                  The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                  tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                  wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.
                  I'll only need my computer while mobile every once-in-a-while.

                  As far as getting radar updates for GRLevel3, I won't be able to
                  unless I run across an open access WiFi connection. Where I am most
                  of the time that shouldn't be too big of a deal.

                  I've read a few threads on the forums that APRS data can now be used
                  with GRLevel3 as long as it is i the form of a place file. I'm not
                  sure if that work is completed but know there was some testing with
                  it.

                  Matt, WX4MET

                • Robert
                  Matt, The TNC-X can run as a stand alone tracker, if you have the tracker board installed. Likewise, it can work as a stand alone Digipeater, with the X-Digi
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
                    Matt,

                    The TNC-X can run as a stand alone tracker, if you have the tracker
                    board installed. Likewise, it can work as a stand alone Digipeater,
                    with the X-Digi board installed. Otherwise, it is just a KISS TNC.

                    73,
                    Bob - KA9FLX


                    --- In tnc-x@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <wx4met@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The more I get into this the more complicated it becomes. It's
                    > frustrating but I'm still looking forward to getting everything
                    > running.
                    >
                    > The computer I'll be using does not have a seriel port. I'd have
                    to
                    > buy a USB to seriel converter in order to connect my GPS. I've not
                    > heard much about these USB adapters, but what I have heard was that
                    > they have a tendency to not work or cause extra trouble.
                    >
                    > The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                    > tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                    > wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and
                    GRLevel3.
                    > I'll only need my computer while mobile every once-in-a-while.
                    >
                    > As far as getting radar updates for GRLevel3, I won't be able to
                    > unless I run across an open access WiFi connection. Where I am
                    most
                    > of the time that shouldn't be too big of a deal.
                    >
                    > I've read a few threads on the forums that APRS data can now be
                    used
                    > with GRLevel3 as long as it is i the form of a place file. I'm not
                    > sure if that work is completed but know there was some testing with
                    > it.
                    >
                    > Matt, WX4MET
                    >
                  • Robert
                    Matt, While I m not 100% on the GPS connection of the TNC-X, as I stated previously, you need to have the tracker daughterboard attached to the TNC-X to have
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
                      Matt,

                      While I'm not 100% on the GPS connection of the TNC-X, as I stated
                      previously, you need to have the tracker daughterboard attached to
                      the TNC-X to have it operate as a tracker without a PC.

                      I would however, assume that in order to configure the tracker board,
                      you would need to have a PC at least temporarily.

                      Alternatively, there are many software packages out there that would
                      support the TNC-X and GPS in a "tracker" configuration. The key
                      point with any of these options short of the daughterboard, is that
                      you need a software package that supports KISS TNCs.

                      I don't know which release of TNC-X you have, but an alternative to
                      requiring a serial port PC, you can also use the USB option for the
                      TNC-X.

                      FYI: Not all PC APRS software supports USB connections to a TNC, KISS
                      or otherwise.

                      Personally, I have had real good luck with Xastir, which I now
                      understand it is available in a "Windows" version (if you don't like
                      Unix/Linux).

                      73,
                      Bob - KA9FLX
                    • Bob Burns K4RXR
                      ... The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC s serial port. If that s true, then
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
                        At 11:00 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:
                        >The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                        >tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                        >wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.

                        The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board
                        installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC's serial
                        port. If that's true, then any application running on the computer
                        should be able to see it one application at a time. I still think
                        you'd need something like GPSGate running on the computer in order to
                        share the GPS data between applications.

                        I've not stepped up to a dedicated tracker, yet, so I'm still
                        learning about devices like the TNC-X. However, I do have a Kenwood
                        TM-D700 and have run into a similar problem with sharing GPS data.
                        The Kenwood needs a GPS input when I am running it as a standalone
                        APRS tracker and the computer needs a GPS input for whatever mapping
                        program I'm running. My hardware solution was to build a splitter for
                        the serial cable so that both the Kenwood and the computer see the
                        same GPS data.

                        Bob...
                      • Fran Miele
                        To my knowledge the tnc-x does not pass the gps info. Fran _____ From: Bob Burns K4RXR [mailto:k4rxr_@rlburns.net] Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 9:32 PM To:
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007

                          To my knowledge the tnc-x does  not pass the gps info.

                           

                          Fran


                          From: Bob Burns K4RXR [mailto:k4rxr_@...]
                          Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 9:32 PM
                          To: tnc-x@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [tnc-x] TNC-x and GPS

                           

                          At 11:00 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:

                          >The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                          >tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                          >wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.

                          The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board
                          installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC's serial
                          port. If that's true, then any application running on the computer
                          should be able to see it one application at a time. I still think
                          you'd need something like GPSGate running on the computer in order to
                          share the GPS data between applications.

                          I've not stepped up to a dedicated tracker, yet, so I'm still
                          learning about devices like the TNC-X. However, I do have a Kenwood
                          TM-D700 and have run into a similar problem with sharing GPS data.
                          The Kenwood needs a GPS input when I am running it as a standalone
                          APRS tracker and the computer needs a GPS input for whatever mapping
                          program I'm running. My hardware solution was to build a splitter for
                          the serial cable so that both the Kenwood and the computer see the
                          same GPS data.

                          Bob...

                        • Robert
                          Bob, Yes, completely agree! Xastir and I suppose other PC applications for APRS does have a setting for serial and/or KISS TNC with GPS. However, as you
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 8, 2007
                            Bob,

                            Yes, completely agree! Xastir and I suppose other PC applications for
                            APRS does have a setting for serial and/or KISS TNC with GPS.

                            However, as you state, in order to "share" the GPS information, the
                            active application would have to be capable of exporting it, which I
                            don't believe is the case with most of them.

                            If you have a single GPS receiver, then you really need to have some
                            kind of applet and/or application that provided that data as an
                            addressable resource, be it a local network loopback type interface,
                            or something similar, perhaps "GPS Gate", which I am not familiar with
                            (hmmm sounds like a programming project!). I know Xastir for example
                            is capable of taking in networked GPS data from say a location server.

                            I could be wrong, but I do believe the second serial connection on the
                            TNC-X is strictly for taking in GPS data in a manner similar to your
                            TM-D700 and/or say a KPC-3. That data would (in theory) be available
                            to an external APRS application, but still would not be share-able
                            with other applications. This is because they would have to be
                            connected to the same serial port, which if the communications are
                            bi-directional, can and usually does cause problems.

                            BTW, if the tracker daughterboard for TNC-X acts the same way as the
                            digi board, then you would be able to monitor information coming from
                            the TNC to the PC, but would not be able to talk to the TNC-X.

                            This latter connectivity would allow (again in theory) one to use the
                            TNC-X as an active tracker, while providing the output data to another
                            application, since no tracking application need be connected to the TNC-X.

                            As I plan on picking up a second TNC-X in the near future, I may opt
                            for the tracker board and do some experimenting on my own. I let you
                            guys know of the results in that event. If anybody else does this, I
                            would also like to hear about those results as well!

                            Thanks & 73,
                            Bob - KA9FLX




                            --- In tnc-x@yahoogroups.com, Bob Burns K4RXR <k4rxr_@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > At 11:00 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:
                            > >The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                            > >tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                            > >wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.
                            >
                            > The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board
                            > installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC's serial
                            > port. If that's true, then any application running on the computer
                            > should be able to see it one application at a time. I still think
                            > you'd need something like GPSGate running on the computer in order to
                            > share the GPS data between applications.
                            >
                            > I've not stepped up to a dedicated tracker, yet, so I'm still
                            > learning about devices like the TNC-X. However, I do have a Kenwood
                            > TM-D700 and have run into a similar problem with sharing GPS data.
                            > The Kenwood needs a GPS input when I am running it as a standalone
                            > APRS tracker and the computer needs a GPS input for whatever mapping
                            > program I'm running. My hardware solution was to build a splitter for
                            > the serial cable so that both the Kenwood and the computer see the
                            > same GPS data.
                            >
                            > Bob...
                            >
                          • Robert
                            Fran, With the tracker board I can perhaps see that. However, what about when the tracker board is not installed? Would GPS data on the second serial port be
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 9, 2007
                              Fran,

                              With the tracker board I can perhaps see that. However, what about
                              when the tracker board is not installed? Would GPS data on the
                              second serial port be passed to the application then?

                              The port is directly connected to the 16F628, and for it to get to
                              the tracker daughterboard, it must come out the same place as the
                              decoded packet data, so I would think the data is there?

                              I'm quite interested in this!!

                              73,
                              Bob - KA9FLX


                              --- In tnc-x@yahoogroups.com, "Fran Miele" <fran@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > To my knowledge the tnc-x does not pass the gps info.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Fran
                              >
                              > _____
                              >
                              > From: Bob Burns K4RXR [mailto:k4rxr_@...]
                              > Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 9:32 PM
                              > To: tnc-x@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [tnc-x] TNC-x and GPS
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > At 11:00 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:
                              > >The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                              > >tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                              > >wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.
                              >
                              > The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board
                              > installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC's serial
                              > port. If that's true, then any application running on the computer
                              > should be able to see it one application at a time. I still think
                              > you'd need something like GPSGate running on the computer in order
                              to
                              > share the GPS data between applications.
                              >
                              > I've not stepped up to a dedicated tracker, yet, so I'm still
                              > learning about devices like the TNC-X. However, I do have a Kenwood
                              > TM-D700 and have run into a similar problem with sharing GPS data.
                              > The Kenwood needs a GPS input when I am running it as a standalone
                              > APRS tracker and the computer needs a GPS input for whatever
                              mapping
                              > program I'm running. My hardware solution was to build a splitter
                              for
                              > the serial cable so that both the Kenwood and the computer see the
                              > same GPS data.
                              >
                              > Bob...
                              >
                            • fran miele
                              Bob, I never tried to use the GPS data from the TNC-X. I really don t know the answer. It would be best if you contacted John Hansen directly for that answer.
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jan 9, 2007

                                Bob,

                                 

                                 I never tried to use the GPS data from the TNC-X. I really don’t know the answer. It would be best if you contacted John Hansen directly for that answer.

                                 

                                Sorry,

                                Fran – N1GAU


                                From: Robert [mailto:rshprd57@...]
                                Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 12:18 PM
                                To: tnc-x@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [tnc-x] Re: TNC-x and GPS

                                 

                                Fran,

                                With the tracker board I can perhaps see that. However, what about
                                when the tracker board is not installed? Would GPS data on the
                                second serial port be passed to the application then?

                                The port is directly connected to the 16F628, and for it to get to
                                the tracker daughterboard, it must come out the same place as the
                                decoded packet data, so I would think the data is there?

                                I'm quite interested in this!!

                                73,
                                Bob - KA9FLX

                                --- In tnc-x@yahoogroups. com, "Fran Miele" <fran@...> wrote:

                                >
                                > To my knowledge the tnc-x does not pass the gps info.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Fran
                                >
                                > _____
                                >
                                > From: Bob Burns K4RXR [mailto:k4rxr_ @...]
                                > Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 9:32 PM
                                > To: tnc-x@yahoogroups. com
                                > Subject: Re: [tnc-x] TNC-x and GPS
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > At 11:00 AM 1/8/2007, Matt wrote:
                                > >The way I understood the TNC-x was that I could let it run as a
                                > >tracker all the time and then connect my computer to it when I
                                > >wanted to and see my location from the GPS on UI-View and GRLevel3.
                                >
                                > The question then becomes does the TNC-X with the tracker board
                                > installed pass the GPS position data through to the TNC's serial
                                > port. If that's true, then any application running on the computer
                                > should be able to see it one application at a time. I still think
                                > you'd need something like GPSGate running on the computer in order
                                to
                                > share the GPS data between applications.
                                >
                                > I've not stepped up to a dedicated tracker, yet, so I'm still
                                > learning about devices like the TNC-X. However, I do have a Kenwood
                                > TM-D700 and have run into a similar problem with sharing GPS data.
                                > The Kenwood needs a GPS input when I am running it as a standalone
                                > APRS tracker and the computer needs a GPS input for whatever
                                mapping
                                > program I'm running. My hardware solution was to build a splitter
                                for
                                > the serial cable so that both the Kenwood and the computer see the
                                > same GPS data.
                                >
                                > Bob...
                                >

                              • Robert
                                All, Ok, I stand corrected. I looked at the TNC-X schematic and the data sheet for the MAX232. It seems the second serial port (GPS rcvr), simply connects to
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jan 10, 2007
                                  All,

                                  Ok, I stand corrected.

                                  I looked at the TNC-X schematic and the data sheet for the MAX232.
                                  It seems the second serial port (GPS rcvr), simply connects to the
                                  MAX232 RS-232 in pins (12 & 13) which converts the serial data to TTL
                                  level and outputs it on J5 pins 6 and 5 (Daughterboard header).

                                  Therefore, a TNC-X with attached GPS receiver will not pass GPS data
                                  through to the RS-232 port. It would seem that the tracker
                                  daughterboard apparently takes in the GPS data and does the packaging
                                  for sending the data to the radio as a position packet.

                                  So, as it stands today, connecting anything (GPS) to the TNC-X second
                                  serial port, will do nothing without the optional tracker device.

                                  This does leave the door open for other developers to take advanatage
                                  of all of the information and signals on J5. An ideal board would be
                                  one that does what I thought was possible, that being the combination
                                  of the APRS I/O with an attached GPS receiver, basically making the
                                  TNC-X look/act like for example, a KPC3+ TNC.

                                  Food for thought!

                                  73,
                                  Bob - KA9FLX
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