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Nuvi 350 and OT2m as mobile, what do you all think?

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  • Ron K7CDL
    this is for people that already use this setup. i m thinking of changing my setup. right now i have a Rino 130 hooked to TT4. not saying anything bad about TT4
    Message 1 of 30 , Oct 28, 2009
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      this is for people that already use this setup. i'm thinking of changing my setup. right now i have a Rino 130 hooked to TT4. not saying anything bad about TT4 but i have a Nuvi 350 that is new and i'm so ready to upgrade and use that so i can see other aprs stations when driving the semi truck i drive. my main reason for emailing the group is to see what problems you all have had with the Nuvi 350 and OT2m setup as a mobile setup? how many of you do messageing on them? i stop a lot in the middle of nowhere where there is no cell phone service but there is great aprs service. please let me know about all the good and bad that you all have had about this compian setup. i have a GTRANS Garmin to NMEA Translator Cable (D-Sub Style) on order but really thinking about seeing if i can change my order fo the OT2m type of setup.
      thanks,
      73s
      K7CDL
      Ron Swart
    • Al Waschka
      I have been using the setup for a month or so.  The biggest drawback that I can t figure out how to get around is you don t know when another station was in
      Message 2 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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        I have been using the setup for a month or so.  The biggest drawback that I can't figure out how to get around is you don't know when another station was in the position plotted on the map.  As long as that person remains in range and continues to operate the position moves.  But if they run out of range, turn the radio off, or whatever, the position you see on the map may be from an hour or longer ago.  If you drive somewhere today and drive back tomorrrow, tomorrow you will see positions plotted today.  I have managed to mitigate that somewhat for road trips by setting maxrange in the ot2 to 25 miles and clearing out the waypoints periodically.  That way I know that as I drive any position within 25 miles of my location is fresh.  I really wish that Scott could come up with a way to age the waypoints out of the Nuvi, but as best I can tell that would require the OT2 to keep the full list of waypoints onboard and upload it to the Nuvi periodically.  There doesn't seem to be a way to delete individual waypoints from the FMI.
         
        I have never received a message.  I don't see that capability as very useful for general hamming, but it is ideal for public service and emergency net use.
         
        Just my opinions, others may vary.
         
        Al K5TAN

      • Wes Johnston, AI4PX
        This makes me wonder.... if Garmin won t allow for deletion of items, why not move them to 0N/0E or 0N/180W ? or 90S,0W? I m going to bet there s not enough
        Message 3 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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          This makes me wonder.... if Garmin won't allow for deletion of items, why not move them to 0N/0E or 0N/180W ? or 90S,0W? I'm going to bet there's not enough memory to keep up with 40 or so waypoints in the tracker, but it would be cool to be able to know that the stations on your map were _current_. 
           
          Wes

          On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 08:15, Al Waschka <awaschka@...> wrote:


          I have been using the setup for a month or so.  The biggest drawback that I can't figure out how to get around is you don't know when another station was in the position plotted on the map.  As long as that person remains in range and continues to operate the position moves.  But if they run out of range, turn the radio off, or whatever, the position you see on the map may be from an hour or longer ago.  If you drive somewhere today and drive back tomorrrow, tomorrow you will see positions plotted today.  I have managed to mitigate that somewhat for road trips by setting maxrange in the ot2 to 25 miles and clearing out the waypoints periodically.  That way I know that as I drive any position within 25 miles of my location is fresh.  I really wish that Scott could come up with a way to age the waypoints out of the Nuvi, but as best I can tell that would require the OT2 to keep the full list of waypoints onboard and upload it to the Nuvi periodically.  There doesn't seem to be a way to delete individual waypoints from the FMI.
           
          I have never received a message.  I don't see that capability as very useful for general hamming, but it is ideal for public service and emergency net use.
           
          Just my opinions, others may vary.
           
          Al K5TAN






          --
          Wes
          ---
          God help those who do not help themselves.
        • Mark Cheavens
          Scott has mentioned that he would like to add time stamps to the packets. This should be able to be done. At the very least you could then seen when the packet
          Message 4 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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            Scott has mentioned that he would like to add time stamps to the packets. This should be able to be done. At the very least you could then seen when the packet arrived (age).

            IF the packet had the age, AND the tracker could read AND delete if needed, it could READ each item individually, read the age, delete if older than x.

            Mark
            KC5EVE
            At 07:56 AM 10/29/2009, you wrote:
             

            This makes me wonder.... if Garmin won't allow for deletion of items, why not move them to 0N/0E or 0N/180W ? or 90S,0W? I'm going to bet there's not enough memory to keep up with 40 or so waypoints in the tracker, but it would be cool to be able to know that the stations on your map were _current_. 
             
            Wes

            On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 08:15, Al Waschka <awaschka@... > wrote:


            I have been using the setup for a month or so.  The biggest drawback that I can't figure out how to get around is you don't know when another station was in the position plotted on the map.  As long as that person remains in range and continues to operate the position moves.  But if they run out of range, turn the radio off, or whatever, the position you see on the map may be from an hour or longer ago.  If you drive somewhere today and drive back tomorrrow, tomorrow you will see positions plotted today.  I have managed to mitigate that somewhat for road trips by setting maxrange in the ot2 to 25 miles and clearing out the waypoints periodically.  That way I know that as I drive any position within 25 miles of my location is fresh.  I really wish that Scott could come up with a way to age the waypoints out of the Nuvi, but as best I can tell that would require the OT2 to keep the full list of waypoints onboard and upload it to the Nuvi periodically.  There doesn't seem to be a way to delete individual waypoints from the FMI.
             
            I have never received a message.  I don't see that capability as very useful for general hamming, but it is ideal for public service and emergency net use.
             
            Just my opinions, others may vary.
             
            Al K5TAN






            --
            Wes
            ---
            God help those who do not help themselves.
          • Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
            Unfortunately, that s a lot of IFs and the biggest one that isn t happening on the Nuvi 350 (or any other FMI-interfaced device yet), is the final one that
            Message 5 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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              Unfortunately, that's a lot of IFs and the biggest one that isn't
              happening on the Nuvi 350 (or any other FMI-interfaced device yet), is
              the final one that allows an individual delete of a waypoint.

              Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Loving my pair of Nuvi 350/T2-135s!

              Mark Cheavens wrote:
              >
              >
              > Scott has mentioned that he would like to add time stamps to the
              > packets. This should be able to be done. At the very least you could
              > then seen when the packet arrived (age).
              >
              > IF the packet had the age, AND the tracker could read AND delete if
              > needed, it could READ each item individually, read the age, delete if
              > older than x.
              >
              > Mark
              > KC5EVE
              > At 07:56 AM 10/29/2009, you wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >> This makes me wonder.... if Garmin won't allow for deletion of items,
              >> why not move them to 0N/0E or 0N/180W ? or 90S,0W? I'm going to bet
              >> there's not enough memory to keep up with 40 or so waypoints in the
              >> tracker, but it would be cool to be able to know that the stations on
              >> your map were _current_.
              >>
              >> Wes
              >>
              >> On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 08:15, Al Waschka <awaschka@...
              >> <mailto:awaschka@...> > wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >> I have been using the setup for a month or so. The biggest
              >> drawback that I can't figure out how to get around is you don't
              >> know when another station was in the position plotted on the
              >> map. As long as that person remains in range and continues to
              >> operate the position moves. But if they run out of range, turn
              >> the radio off, or whatever, the position you see on the map may
              >> be from an hour or longer ago. If you drive somewhere today and
              >> drive back tomorrrow, tomorrow you will see positions plotted
              >> today. I have managed to mitigate that somewhat for road trips
              >> by setting maxrange in the ot2 to 25 miles and clearing out the
              >> waypoints periodically. That way I know that as I drive any
              >> position within 25 miles of my location is fresh. I really wish
              >> that Scott could come up with a way to age the waypoints out of
              >> the Nuvi, but as best I can tell that would require the OT2 to
              >> keep the full list of waypoints onboard and upload it to the Nuvi
              >> periodically. There doesn't seem to be a way to delete
              >> individual waypoints from the FMI.
              >>
              >> I have never received a message. I don't see that capability as
              >> very useful for general hamming, but it is ideal for public
              >> service and emergency net use.
              >>
              >> Just my opinions, others may vary.
              >>
              >> Al K5TAN
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >> --
              >> Wes
              >> ---
              >> God help those who do not help themselves.
              >
              >
              >
            • grholderbein@sbcglobal.net
              I have been able to delete all favorites at once or single targets using the edit function in the nuvi 350 Gary Holderbein ki6pit ... if ... items, ... on
              Message 6 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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                I have been able to delete all favorites at once or single targets
                using the edit function in the nuvi 350
                Gary Holderbein
                ki6pit
                --- In tracker2@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)"
                <ldeffenb@...> wrote:
                >
                > Unfortunately, that's a lot of IFs and the biggest one that isn't
                > happening on the Nuvi 350 (or any other FMI-interfaced device yet), is
                > the final one that allows an individual delete of a waypoint.
                >
                > Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Loving my pair of Nuvi 350/T2-135s!
                >
                > Mark Cheavens wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Scott has mentioned that he would like to add time stamps to the
                > > packets. This should be able to be done. At the very least you could
                > > then seen when the packet arrived (age).
                > >
                > > IF the packet had the age, AND the tracker could read AND delete if
                > > needed, it could READ each item individually, read the age, delete
                if
                > > older than x.
                > >
                > > Mark
                > > KC5EVE
                > > At 07:56 AM 10/29/2009, you wrote:
                > >>
                > >>
                > >> This makes me wonder.... if Garmin won't allow for deletion of
                items,
                > >> why not move them to 0N/0E or 0N/180W ? or 90S,0W? I'm going to bet
                > >> there's not enough memory to keep up with 40 or so waypoints in the
                > >> tracker, but it would be cool to be able to know that the stations
                on
                > >> your map were _current_.
                > >>
                > >> Wes
                > >>
                > >> On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 08:15, Al Waschka awaschka@...
                > >> <mailto:awaschka@... > wrote:
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>
                > >> I have been using the setup for a month or so. The biggest
                > >> drawback that I can't figure out how to get around is you don't
                > >> know when another station was in the position plotted on the
                > >> map. As long as that person remains in range and continues to
                > >> operate the position moves. But if they run out of range, turn
                > >> the radio off, or whatever, the position you see on the map may
                > >> be from an hour or longer ago. If you drive somewhere today
                and
                > >> drive back tomorrrow, tomorrow you will see positions plotted
                > >> today. I have managed to mitigate that somewhat for road trips
                > >> by setting maxrange in the ot2 to 25 miles and clearing out the
                > >> waypoints periodically. That way I know that as I drive any
                > >> position within 25 miles of my location is fresh. I really
                wish
                > >> that Scott could come up with a way to age the waypoints out of
                > >> the Nuvi, but as best I can tell that would require the OT2 to
                > >> keep the full list of waypoints onboard and upload it to the
                Nuvi
                > >> periodically. There doesn't seem to be a way to delete
                > >> individual waypoints from the FMI.
                > >>
                > >> I have never received a message. I don't see that capability
                as
                > >> very useful for general hamming, but it is ideal for public
                > >> service and emergency net use.
                > >>
                > >> Just my opinions, others may vary.
                > >>
                > >> Al K5TAN
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>
                > >> --
                > >> Wes
                > >> ---
                > >> God help those who do not help themselves.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Tray Murphy
                ... i have a Nuvi 350 that is new and i m so ready to upgrade and use that so i can see other aprs stations when driving the semi truck i drive. my main
                Message 7 of 30 , Oct 29, 2009
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                  "... i have a Nuvi 350 that is new and i'm so ready to upgrade and use that so i can see other aprs stations when driving the semi truck i drive. my main reason for emailing the group is to see what problems you all have had with the Nuvi 350 and OT2m setup as a mobile setup?"

                  I use the nuvi 350 with a FMI cable into my OT2m and a Yaesu ft-2800. It works great. It took no time to set up, and works extremely well. The messaging is very cool, and with EasyGPS, I can manage the waypoints, etc. and keep the screen clear.

                  Tray Murphy
                  N4PAT
                • n1kcg
                  Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71. It works and gives me waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location, but also noted it is not
                  Message 8 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                    Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71. It works and gives me waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location, but also noted it is not super reliable. All in my toyota avalon while driving to work, and home. Set my beacon interval to 15 seconds, and my power medium. Seems to work to get some location beacons out. Tried smart beaconing, but that resulted in less packets transmitted, and a poor breadcrumb trail plotting on aprs.fi .

                    One trick I found was to make sure your gps (nuvi 350) has a lock on the location. My beacons do not seem to start until a few minutes after the gps is locked.

                    Have to experiment more. Also need to experiment with digipeating while mobile, as did not realize I could have more problems. Need to turn digipeating off while mobile.
                  • Mohd Hamid Misnan
                    Hi there, I ve the same setup in my pickup, and it seems to work great with smart beaconing. You may need to play around with the audio out from the OT2, put
                    Message 9 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                      Hi there,

                      I've the same setup in my pickup, and it seems to work great with
                      smart beaconing. You may need to play around with the audio out from
                      the OT2, put it at the middle or less and you might find that your
                      track will be much nicer since many digipeaters could decode your
                      transmissions. I've found out that bringing the audio in (you can't
                      use the radio control panel to do this, need to do via programming)
                      will help OT2 in decoding too.

                      Regards,
                      Mohd/9W2TPT

                      On Oct 30, 2009, at 6:04 PM, n1kcg wrote:

                      >
                      > Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71. It works and gives me
                      > waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location,
                      > but also noted it is not super reliable. All in my toyota avalon
                      > while driving to work, and home. Set my beacon interval to 15
                      > seconds, and my power medium. Seems to work to get some location
                      > beacons out. Tried smart beaconing, but that resulted in less
                      > packets transmitted, and a poor breadcrumb trail plotting on aprs.fi .
                      >
                      > One trick I found was to make sure your gps (nuvi 350) has a lock on
                      > the location. My beacons do not seem to start until a few minutes
                      > after the gps is locked.
                      >
                      > Have to experiment more. Also need to experiment with digipeating
                      > while mobile, as did not realize I could have more problems. Need to
                      > turn digipeating off while mobile.
                    • Mohd Hamid Misnan
                      ... Missed a word there .. bringing down .. 73, Mohd/9W2TPT
                      Message 10 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                        On Oct 30, 2009, at 7:13 PM, Mohd Hamid Misnan wrote:

                        > transmissions. I've found out that bringing the audio in (you can't
                        > use the radio control panel to do this, need to do via programming)
                        > will help OT2 in decoding too.

                        Missed a word there .. "bringing down" ..

                        73,
                        Mohd/9W2TPT
                      • Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
                        ... I use smartbeaconing on both KJ4ERJ-9 and KJ4OVQ-9 which are Nuvi350s hooked to T2-135 cards inside Alinco DR-135 radios. The tracks look good, better in
                        Message 11 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                          n1kcg wrote:
                          > seconds, and my power medium. Seems to work to get some location beacons out. Tried smart beaconing, but that resulted in less packets transmitted, and a poor breadcrumb trail plotting on aprs.fi .
                          >
                          >
                          I use smartbeaconing on both KJ4ERJ-9 and KJ4OVQ-9 which are Nuvi350s
                          hooked to T2-135 cards inside Alinco DR-135 radios. The tracks look
                          good, better in fact with fewer packets than my fixed-interval Kenwood
                          D7 running as KJ4ERJ-8 in the same vehicle.

                          Of course, your coverage is based on how well tuned your OT2m is, the
                          radio and antenna you have on it, whether it is decoding and listening
                          before transmitting (yes, if you're not decoding, you'll be transmitting
                          over top of other packets resulting in yours not being heard), and the
                          local APRS infrastructure. When all the parts are playing well
                          together, the results are worth writing home about!

                          > Have to experiment more. Also need to experiment with digipeating while mobile, as did not realize I could have more problems. Need to turn digipeating off while mobile.
                          >
                          >
                          The mobile digipeating might actually be a factor in your packets not
                          getting tracked. If you want to mobile digipeat, it is recommended that
                          you set up for TEMPn-N, not WIDE anything. That way APRS source
                          stations can change their path to take advantage of any pre-configured
                          TEMPn-N digis nearby while those digis silently wait for the opportunity
                          rather than clogging the channel routinely.

                          I think of the Digi/IGate network of APRS as a fabric. Once the local
                          operators get it functioning well, it can really get twisted up in knots
                          if a mobile digi comes driving through doubling up the local traffic
                          with (most likely unnecessary) digis of packets.

                          Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Quite pleased with T2 technology!
                        • Keith VE7GDH
                          N1KCG wrote... ... You need to find and fix the underlying problem. Beaconing every 15 seconds is just QRM, whether you are being decoded or not. Shortening
                          Message 12 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                            N1KCG wrote...

                            > Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71. It works and gives me
                            > waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location,
                            > but also noted it is not super reliable. All in my Toyota Avalon while
                            > driving to work, and home. Set my beacon interval to 15 seconds, and
                            > my power medium. Seems to work to get some location beacons out.
                            > Tried SmartBeaconing, but that resulted in less packets transmitted,
                            > and a poor breadcrumb trail plotting on aprs.fi .

                            You need to find and fix the underlying problem. Beaconing every 15
                            seconds is just QRM, whether you are being decoded or not. Shortening
                            your beacon will improve success rates. Switch to compressed beacons
                            and if you really need to tell the world that you are in a black Avalon
                            Cruiser, just send it every 10 beacons. Your problem isn't that
                            "SmartBeaconing sends less packets". That is a good thing as it makes
                            sure you beacon one or more times when you change course, more often
                            when travelling faster, and less often when travelling more slowly.
                            Again, you need to fix the problem instead of beaconing more often to
                            compensate for it.

                            > One trick I found was to make sure your gps (nuvi 350) has a lock on
                            > the location. My beacons do not seem to start until a few minutes
                            > after the gps is locked.

                            If you have the time, turn it on before you start moving, but I find
                            that the Nuvi is quite quick to get a lock.

                            > Have to experiment more. Also need to experiment with digipeating
                            > while mobile, as did not realize I could have more problems. Need to
                            > turn digipeating off while mobile.

                            Most of the time, the digi function should be disabled while mobile.

                            Most of the time, you are being digi'd first by KB1AEV-15. Are you just
                            always near that digi, or is it the only one that can decode your tones?
                            What is your deviation? Even if you don't have a meter, it should be
                            fairly easy to get it in the ballpark by ear.

                            http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=N1KCG-9&limit=1000

                            Are you using a path of WIDE2-1? Give WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 a try... in
                            conjunction with SmartBeaconing using reasonable (not abusive) settings.

                            How are you connecting to the TM-V71? are you transmitting
                            pre-emphasized audio?

                            What is your transmit delay?

                            Are there a reasonable number of well placed digis near where you
                            usually travel?

                            Is the frequency quite or very busy?

                            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                            --
                            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                          • Scott Miller
                            More often than not, I don t run SmartBeaconing at all. Lately I ve been running 5 watts (on a T2-301) with a 30 second interval and NICE set to 3 so the
                            Message 13 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                              More often than not, I don't run SmartBeaconing at all. Lately I've
                              been running 5 watts (on a T2-301) with a 30 second interval and NICE
                              set to 3 so the effective beacon rate is every 2 minutes as long as it's
                              getting into the network. Works really well around town and out on the
                              highway. I'd probably go with a longer interval anywhere that has a
                              more congested network, though.

                              Scott


                              Keith VE7GDH wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > N1KCG wrote...
                              >
                              > > Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71. It works and gives me
                              > > waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location,
                              > > but also noted it is not super reliable. All in my Toyota Avalon while
                              > > driving to work, and home. Set my beacon interval to 15 seconds, and
                              > > my power medium. Seems to work to get some location beacons out.
                              > > Tried SmartBeaconing, but that resulted in less packets transmitted,
                              > > and a poor breadcrumb trail plotting on aprs.fi .
                              >
                              > You need to find and fix the underlying problem. Beaconing every 15
                              > seconds is just QRM, whether you are being decoded or not. Shortening
                              > your beacon will improve success rates. Switch to compressed beacons
                              > and if you really need to tell the world that you are in a black Avalon
                              > Cruiser, just send it every 10 beacons. Your problem isn't that
                              > "SmartBeaconing sends less packets". That is a good thing as it makes
                              > sure you beacon one or more times when you change course, more often
                              > when travelling faster, and less often when travelling more slowly.
                              > Again, you need to fix the problem instead of beaconing more often to
                              > compensate for it.
                              >
                              > > One trick I found was to make sure your gps (nuvi 350) has a lock on
                              > > the location. My beacons do not seem to start until a few minutes
                              > > after the gps is locked.
                              >
                              > If you have the time, turn it on before you start moving, but I find
                              > that the Nuvi is quite quick to get a lock.
                              >
                              > > Have to experiment more. Also need to experiment with digipeating
                              > > while mobile, as did not realize I could have more problems. Need to
                              > > turn digipeating off while mobile.
                              >
                              > Most of the time, the digi function should be disabled while mobile.
                              >
                              > Most of the time, you are being digi'd first by KB1AEV-15. Are you just
                              > always near that digi, or is it the only one that can decode your tones?
                              > What is your deviation? Even if you don't have a meter, it should be
                              > fairly easy to get it in the ballpark by ear.
                              >
                              > http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=N1KCG-9&limit=1000
                              > <http://aprs.fi/?c=raw&call=N1KCG-9&limit=1000>
                              >
                              > Are you using a path of WIDE2-1? Give WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 a try... in
                              > conjunction with SmartBeaconing using reasonable (not abusive) settings.
                              >
                              > How are you connecting to the TM-V71? are you transmitting
                              > pre-emphasized audio?
                              >
                              > What is your transmit delay?
                              >
                              > Are there a reasonable number of well placed digis near where you
                              > usually travel?
                              >
                              > Is the frequency quite or very busy?
                              >
                              > 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                              > --
                              > "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                              >
                              >
                            • James Ewen
                              ... You re new to APRS and this forum, huh? You ve just done the equivalent of throwing chum into shark infested waters, slicing your wrists, and then going
                              Message 14 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:04 AM, n1kcg <ktjensen@...> wrote:

                                > Use a Nuvi 350, OT2m, and a Kenwood TM-V71.  It works and gives
                                > me waypoints of nearby stations, plus puts out beacons of my location,
                                > but also noted it is not super reliable.
                                > Set my beacon interval to 15 seconds, and my power medium.
                                > Seems to work to get some location beacons out.  Tried smart beaconing,
                                > but that resulted in less packets transmitted, and a poor breadcrumb
                                > trail plotting on aprs.fi .

                                You're new to APRS and this forum, huh? You've just done the
                                equivalent of throwing chum into shark infested waters, slicing your
                                wrists, and then going for a swim! 8) BTW, don't try making this same
                                comment on the main APRS forum...

                                The first thing you need to do is to put a radio on 144.390, and turn
                                up the volume... do you hear anything? More to the point, do you hear
                                much in the way of quiet time? Just looking at the APRS map of your
                                area, I have a hard time seeing the map under all the APRS icons.
                                http://aprs.fi/?lat=41.2847&lng=-72.9522&mt=m&z=9&timerange=3600

                                You have to share the frequency with all those other people out there.
                                If every one of them were to send a packet every 15 seconds, do you
                                think that there would be any chance of decoding anything usable?

                                For simplicity sake, APRS can handle about 40 average users on the
                                channel reliably. Add more users, and something has to give. Usually
                                what happens is that packets start colliding (one station transmitting
                                over another.). This destroys both packets. Boosting your power output
                                might get you into the local digipeater better, but you are simply
                                walking over other stations to win the fight. Sending packets at a
                                faster rate might up the number of packets seen from your station, but
                                it's the equivalent of walking down a crowded sidewalk, and simply
                                swinging your elbows more. You might get more room on the sidewalk,
                                but you're going to piss off a lot of people in the process.

                                If you live in a congested area, you have to live with the fact that
                                you might not be able to get every packet into the network. When it
                                gets busy, the solution is to have everyone slow down their reporting
                                rates. Just like a crowded freeway, more traffic means slower speeds
                                as congestion builds. If you get one guy still driving at full speed,
                                you get a bunch of smashed cars, and then throughput on the freeway
                                stops.

                                So, if you want to check to see if your APRS tracker is working well,
                                I would suggest moving off 144.390, and using an alternate frequency
                                for your testing. Yes, you would need to put another station on the
                                same frequency to monitor the success of your packets. Yes, if you are
                                driving out of range of that station, you'll need a digipeater or two
                                on that frequency as well.

                                In the Seattle area where 144.390 got really crowded, they build
                                another 1200 baud network on a VHF frequency, as well as a couple 9600
                                baud networks, both on VHF and UHF.

                                I live in a virtual APRS desert, and I would not think of trying to
                                run a 15 second rate on a regular basis, it's totally inappropriate.

                                James
                                VE6SRV
                              • Kevin Jensen
                                1) 15 seconds only matters, if someone can hear my packets. That is still an issue, as they are not getting through for some reason. Maybe 5 to 10 get
                                Message 15 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                  1) 15 seconds only matters, if someone can hear my packets. That is
                                  still an issue, as they are not getting through for some reason.
                                  Maybe 5 to 10 get through and are displayed on APRS.FI for the 20
                                  minute trip to work in the morning. Nothing else gets through. The
                                  packet frequency is not that busy. I can hear packets from several
                                  other stations, and they all display on my Nuvi 350.

                                  2) Have tried setting SMART to ON with appropriate parameters (as
                                  suggested here), and an INTERVAL of 2 minutes. With these settings, I
                                  get two or three packets through on my 20 minute trip.

                                  3) Do I have something wrong? Does a packet contain all the last
                                  several coordinate breadcrumb trails in it (several gps coordinate
                                  sets that are stored over the last several minutes)? Or does a packet
                                  only contain the last single coordinate set, for the moment? I think
                                  the latter.

                                  4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with
                                  APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do need
                                  to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that the
                                  modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet, with
                                  my audio from the TRACKER?

                                  5) Also need to check my radio and its baud rate. Do not recall if
                                  it is set to 1200 or not. It should be at that setting I assume?

                                  Thanks for all the comments. They all make sense during investigation
                                  of optimal APRS.
                                • Fred Hillhouse
                                  4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do need to adjust the volume
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                    4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do need  to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that the  modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet, with my audio from the TRACKER?
                                     
                                     
                                    My guess is that under modulating the packet is rarely the problem. In actually the greatest fault is too much modulation. More means better, right? No. Many directions say to start at max and work down until the signal sounds good again. I have never been successful doing that. I can't hear the difference between an over modulated signal to one that is good.
                                     
                                    My method of setting the output is to turn the TXLEVEL to 0 and work up from there. When I hear a signal, I stop and that is usually good. I have bumped it up a couple of levels but I have not found it to be detrimental. What is a 'good signal' to me? Glad you asked. I listen with another radio and when I can hear the audio, I am happy.
                                     
                                    You are better off not being as high as 3.5 kHz, than being over it.
                                     
                                    I did recently get a deviation meter and will have to go in a measure my current settings. I am curious where they really ended up.
                                     
                                     
                                    Best regards,
                                     
                                    Fred
                                  • Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
                                    I ve found this page (http://www.febo.com/packet/layer-one/transmit.html) to be VERY helpful at understanding the deviation (loudness) issues as well as
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                      I've found this page
                                      (http://www.febo.com/packet/layer-one/transmit.html) to be VERY helpful
                                      at understanding the deviation (loudness) issues as well as providing a
                                      step-wise procedure to fix it. They recommend starting low and going UP
                                      until you hear no change and then backing DOWN a bit. YMMV

                                      Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ

                                      Fred Hillhouse wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > 4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio,
                                      > with APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do
                                      > need to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that
                                      > the modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet,
                                      > with my audio from the TRACKER?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > My guess is that under modulating the packet is rarely the problem. In
                                      > actually the greatest fault is too much modulation. More means better,
                                      > right? No. Many directions say to start at max and work down until the
                                      > signal sounds good again. I have never been successful doing that. I
                                      > can't hear the difference between an over modulated signal to one that
                                      > is good.
                                      >
                                      > My method of setting the output is to turn the TXLEVEL to 0 and work
                                      > up from there. When I hear a signal, I stop and that is usually good.
                                      > I have bumped it up a couple of levels but I have not found it to be
                                      > detrimental. What is a 'good signal' to me? Glad you asked. I listen
                                      > with another radio and when I can hear the audio, I am happy.
                                      >
                                      > You are better off not being as high as 3.5 kHz, than being over it.
                                      >
                                      > I did recently get a deviation meter and will have to go in a measure
                                      > my current settings. I am curious where they really ended up.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Best regards,
                                      >
                                      > Fred
                                      >
                                    • Ron K7CDL
                                      i have found from doing a lot of playing around with service montor 2.75 is the best for being herd. i fianlly gave in today and placed a big order with Argent
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                        i have found from doing a lot of playing around with service montor 2.75 is the best for being herd. i fianlly gave in today and placed a big order with Argent Data Systems.
                                        K7CDL
                                        Ron Swart

                                        --- In tracker2@yahoogroups.com, "Fred Hillhouse" <fmhillhouse@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > 4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with APRS. They
                                        > should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do need to adjust the
                                        > volume settings (what is that command?) so that the modulation is improved.
                                        > Maybe I am undermodulating the packet, with my audio from the TRACKER?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > My guess is that under modulating the packet is rarely the problem. In
                                        > actually the greatest fault is too much modulation. More means better,
                                        > right? No. Many directions say to start at max and work down until the
                                        > signal sounds good again. I have never been successful doing that. I can't
                                        > hear the difference between an over modulated signal to one that is good.
                                        >
                                        > My method of setting the output is to turn the TXLEVEL to 0 and work up from
                                        > there. When I hear a signal, I stop and that is usually good. I have bumped
                                        > it up a couple of levels but I have not found it to be detrimental. What is
                                        > a 'good signal' to me? Glad you asked. I listen with another radio and when
                                        > I can hear the audio, I am happy.
                                        >
                                        > You are better off not being as high as 3.5 kHz, than being over it.
                                        >
                                        > I did recently get a deviation meter and will have to go in a measure my
                                        > current settings. I am curious where they really ended up.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Best regards,
                                        >
                                        > Fred
                                        >
                                      • James Ewen
                                        ... Sure, if you are in the middle of no where, hundreds of miles from anyone on 144.390, this is true. You re not quite in that situation in West Haven. There
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                          On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM, Kevin Jensen <ktjensen@...> wrote:

                                          > 1)  15 seconds only matters, if someone can hear my packets.

                                          Sure, if you are in the middle of no where, hundreds of miles from
                                          anyone on 144.390, this is true. You're not quite in that situation in
                                          West Haven. There are a LOT of stations within 20 miles of you. You
                                          are very probably being heard over that kind of range. Digipeaters
                                          with good HAAT will easily hear you over that distance.

                                          > That is still an issue, as they are not getting through for some reason.

                                          Getting through is a totally different issue than being heard. While
                                          it is true that you "won't get through" without being heard, the
                                          opposite is not true. You could very well be heard by MANY stations,
                                          but because of issues such as deviation misadjustment, you won't "get
                                          through". Being heard and being decoded are related but not equal.


                                          > Maybe 5 to 10 get through and are displayed on APRS.FI for the 20
                                          > minute trip to work in the morning.  Nothing else gets through.

                                          So, some stations are able to hear AND decode your packets. This tells
                                          us that for the most part everything is working on your setup... this
                                          could still indicate an improper deviation, low power output/bad SWR,
                                          or something like that causing problems.

                                          >  The
                                          > packet frequency is not that busy.  I can hear packets from several
                                          > other stations, and they all display on my Nuvi 350.

                                          The packet frequency is not that busy from your perspective. You can
                                          only hear the activity that is within simplex range of your station.
                                          Let's say that for arguement's sake that is a 20 mile radius around
                                          your vehicle. Digipeaters are usually located where they have a pretty
                                          good view of the area around them. Let's say a digipeater 10 miles
                                          away can hear an area with a 30 mile radius. That digipeater can hear
                                          everything you can, and a whole lot more. If there are stations within
                                          range of the digipeater that are sending packets at the same time you
                                          are, at best, one of the two stations are going to be heard by FM
                                          capture effect. Worst case, both packets are garbage. Now consider
                                          that neighboring digipeaters will usually be able to be heard by the
                                          local digipeater, even if they are further than 30 miles away simply
                                          due to the fact that the digis are up on high spots.

                                          Digipeaters are hubs of activity, repeating packets like crazy. They
                                          listen to all activity on the frequency, and only digipeat those
                                          packets asking for another hop. Packets that have paths that are used
                                          up are still heard, but not digipeated. This still takes up time on
                                          the digipeater even if it's not going to digipeat the signal. For you
                                          as a user in the digipeater area, it might sound like there's not a
                                          lot of activity, but for the digipeater, it might be another story.
                                          Try driving up on a hilltop nearby one day and have a listen to
                                          144.390 for a while. See if it still sounds really quiet.

                                          > 2)  Have tried setting SMART to ON with appropriate parameters (as
                                          > suggested here), and an INTERVAL of 2 minutes.  With these settings, I
                                          > get two or three packets through on my 20 minute trip.

                                          Yes, because SmartBeaconing is going to send fewer packets than your
                                          15 second interval. Throwing hundreds of baseballs at a dunk tank
                                          target gives you lots of opportunity to hit the target, but a couple
                                          well aimed baseballs that hit the target means your arm is not as sore
                                          at the end of the day.

                                          > 3)  Do I have something wrong?

                                          Most likely... first culprit to look at is deviation, as it is a very
                                          common setting to have set wrong.

                                          >  Does a packet contain all the last
                                          > several coordinate breadcrumb trails in it (several gps coordinate
                                          > sets that are stored over the last several minutes)?  Or does a packet
                                          > only contain the last single coordinate set, for the moment?  I think
                                          > the latter.

                                          You are correct. The packet only contains the current GPS information.
                                          Regular APRS does not do any buffering of information. APRS is a fire
                                          and forget protocol. There's no way for your station to know if the
                                          packets you are sending are being heard by anyone.

                                          > 4)  I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with
                                          > APRS.  They should like everyone elses packets.  But maybe I do need
                                          > to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that the
                                          > modulation is improved.  Maybe I am undermodulating the packet, with
                                          > my audio from the TRACKER?

                                          Using OTWINCFG, and playing with the modulation control will let you
                                          test... I'd listen on another radio, and if possible watch another
                                          APRS radio to see if the packets are being decoded, or as a last
                                          resort watch the computer to see if you are making it to the APRS-IS.

                                          > 5)  Also need to check my radio and its baud rate.  Do not recall if
                                          > it is set to 1200 or not.  It should be at that setting I assume?

                                          No need to worry about a baud rate in the radio. You said you were
                                          using a TM-V71 and an OT2... you should be feeding audio tones into
                                          that radio, not digital data.

                                          > Thanks for all the comments.  They all make sense during investigation
                                          > of optimal APRS.

                                          Let's keep going to see if we can get you better reliability so you'll
                                          reduce your packet rate from 15 seconds down to something reasonable.

                                          Right now it's like you're standing in the middle of a room shouting,
                                          but none of those around you can understand what you are saying. We
                                          need to help you reduce the volume, and increase intelligibility. The
                                          end result is better communication all around.

                                          James
                                          VE6SRV
                                        • Keith VE7GDH
                                          Kevin (callsign?) wrote... ... It depends what you mean by matters . If there are no other APRS users around you, and no digis, a 15 second beacon rate won t
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                            Kevin (callsign?) wrote...

                                            > 1) 15 seconds only matters, if someone can hear my packets. That is
                                            > still an issue, as they are not getting through for some reason. Maybe
                                            > 5 to 10 get through and are displayed on APRS.FI for the 20 minute
                                            > trip to work in the morning. Nothing else gets through. The packet
                                            > frequency is not that busy. I can hear packets from several other
                                            > stations, and they all display on my Nuvi 350.

                                            It depends what you mean by "matters". If there are no other APRS users
                                            around you, and no digis, a 15 second beacon rate won't affect anyone.
                                            If you are in a busy area, a 15 second beacon rate is abusive, whether
                                            your tones are being decoded or not. You say the frequency is not that
                                            busy. Are you listening at your location to determine that, or at the
                                            location of the digis all around you? If they are much higher, the
                                            frequency may appear to be a lot busier than it appears to be to you.
                                            You need to do some troubleshooting to determine if you have a problem
                                            or not. So far the only symptom appears to be that when you look at
                                            somewhere like aprs.fi, you think your "success" rate should be higher.
                                            We have no idea where you are, what the APRS infrastructure is around
                                            you, how many IGates there are, and so on or the real reason that your
                                            success rate is so low.

                                            > 2) Have tried setting SMART to ON with appropriate parameters (as
                                            > suggested here), and an INTERVAL of 2 minutes. With these settings, I
                                            > get two or three packets through on my 20 minute trip.

                                            That seems like a pretty low success rate. The question is why?

                                            > 3) Do I have something wrong? Does a packet contain all the last
                                            > several coordinate breadcrumb trails in it (several gps coordinate
                                            > sets that are stored over the last several minutes)? Or does a packet
                                            > only contain the last single coordinate set, for the moment? I think
                                            > the latter.

                                            So far, we have no idea if you are doing anything "wrong". A position
                                            report only contains the current position, usually as output by your GPS
                                            receiver. The T2 doesn't store any past position reports that you sent.
                                            They are sent on their way and that's it. They are either heard or they
                                            are not.

                                            > 4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with
                                            > APRS. They should like everyone else's packets. But maybe I do
                                            > need to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that
                                            > the modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet,
                                            > with my audio from the TRACKER?

                                            Checking the deviation should be the very first thing done when a
                                            tracker or TNC or whatever is first put on the air. Not everyone has a
                                            service monitor, worth perhaps $10-30,000. A few people (myself
                                            included) have a deviation meter worth a couple of hundred or whatever
                                            it was. Some have made their own for virtually no cost. Setting
                                            deviation by ear should at least get you in the ballpark. If you crank
                                            the level all of the way up (hopefully not on 144.390 if the frequency
                                            is busy around you) and then keep turning it down until it sounds
                                            quieter on a nearby receiver. Then turn it down some more. It certainly
                                            doesn't hurt to compare your deviation to other signals that you hear,
                                            but keep in mind that many of them could be over-deviated. The other
                                            thing to check is the transmit delay. Too short and no-one will be able
                                            to decode your tones. Too long and it's a waste of bandwidth, which is a
                                            valuable thing on a shared network. I usually go with 100-125 ms and
                                            have good success. I would consider anything over 250 ms as being too
                                            long, but you need to determine what "works" for you. It would be a
                                            shame if you used 500 ms thinking it improved your success rate if all
                                            it did was cause your beacons to be half a second longer than they
                                            needed to be.

                                            If I was asked to guess about your deviation, I would guess that it's
                                            over-deviated rather than under-deviated. Of course, that's just a
                                            guess. The odds would be in my favour though.

                                            > 5) Also need to check my radio and its baud rate. Do not recall if it
                                            > is set to 1200 or not. It should be at that setting I assume?

                                            If you were sending tones at 300 "baud" no-one on 144.390 would be able
                                            to decode your tones. Or are you referring to a "1200 / 9600" setting in
                                            the radio? Most radios that have this setting use pre-emphasis for the
                                            1200 setting. That is what you should be using.

                                            > Thanks for all the comments. They all make sense during investigation
                                            > of optimal APRS.

                                            Optimal APRS means a high success rate for you while not undermining
                                            the success rate of stations around you. You need to do some
                                            troubleshooting. Don't forget... the T2 could be "perfect" but if your
                                            radio is putting out 50 mW because of a blown final, or if your SWR was
                                            sky high because of an open or shorted coax feed, or if the antenna
                                            itself was sub-par, your success rate could be abysmal.

                                            You could give your callsign so others on the list could do more than
                                            speculate. With a callsign, we could at least see where you were, look
                                            at the APRS infrastructure around you, and see what was in the beacons
                                            that did make it to an IGate. While deviation and transmit delay are
                                            extremely important, using a bogus path would cause the digis around you
                                            to completely ignore you. Like I said... you need to do some
                                            troubleshooting.

                                            73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                            --
                                            "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                                          • Kevin Jensen
                                            thought I gave my call sign, as some one hear did look at my tracking on aprs.fi. Look at N1KCG-9 please. My HT is N1KCG-7, when I turn it on and let it
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                              thought I gave my call sign, as some one hear did look at my tracking on aprs.fi.  Look at N1KCG-9 please.  My HT is N1KCG-7, when I turn it on and let it beacon.
                                               
                                            • James Ewen
                                              ... Keith s eyes are getting old... even I found the callsign in the messages. That s how I knew you were in West Haven. It s usually me that misses the
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 1:04 PM, Kevin Jensen <ktjensen@...> wrote:

                                                > thought I gave my call sign, as some one hear did look at
                                                > my tracking on aprs.fi.  Look at N1KCG-9 please.
                                                > My HT is N1KCG-7, when I turn it on and let it beacon.

                                                Keith's eyes are getting old... even I found the callsign in the
                                                messages. That's how I knew you were in West Haven. It's usually me
                                                that misses the callsign in the title or something.

                                                Gotcha Keith!

                                                Kevin, you'll notice the similarities between my post and Keith's
                                                post... we're both headed towards the same problem areas, and pointing
                                                out similar issues with your observations/methodology.

                                                Trust me, we and many others have been through this many, many times
                                                before. Every once and a while we get thrown a curve ball, but for the
                                                most part it's the same type of issues over and over again. We always
                                                aim for the low hanging fruit, while trying to educate everyone about
                                                polite usage of the APRS network. It's a shared resource and we all
                                                need to play nicely together in the sandbox.

                                                James
                                                VE6SRV
                                              • Keith VE7GDH
                                                Kevin N1KCG wrote... ... You must have given the callsign at some point as your callsign was still in my browsers search box - hi! I just listed all messages
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                  Kevin N1KCG wrote...

                                                  > thought I gave my call sign, as some one here did look at my tracking
                                                  > on aprs.fi. Look at N1KCG-9 please.

                                                  You must have given the callsign at some point as your callsign was
                                                  still in my browsers search box - hi! I just listed all messages from
                                                  the email address that you posted from and couldn't see a callsign.
                                                  Looking back a bit further, I now see postings you that had N1KCG
                                                  showing as the "name" associated with your email address. Very often, I
                                                  don't even bother offering suggestions when no callsign as given as I
                                                  don't even have a starting point to see what is making it to an IGate.
                                                  Knowing your callsign, I see that I posted a reply to you early this
                                                  morning. Rather than try and guess further, I'll wait for you to reply
                                                  to that message as I don't have anything new to add.

                                                  73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                                  --
                                                  "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
                                                • Keith VE7GDH
                                                  James VE6SRV wrote... ... Naah... I m just getting more cranky! Kevin had posted 3 recent messages under the Nuvi 350 and OT2m as mobile, what do you all
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                    James VE6SRV wrote...

                                                    > Keith's eyes are getting old...

                                                    Naah... I'm just getting more cranky!

                                                    Kevin had posted 3 recent messages under the "Nuvi 350 and OT2m as
                                                    mobile, what do you all think?" thread. He posted one under "Tarcker2
                                                    and Nuvi 350 - not accepting commands?". The "from" address was "Kevin
                                                    Jensen" <ktjensen @ gmail.com>. He had also posted a couple under "Nuvi
                                                    350 Waypoint Management with SD Card" from "n1kcg" <ktjensen @
                                                    gmail.com>. When I list messages based on the "from" address, it doesn't
                                                    list N1KCG in alphabetical order with "Kevin Jensen". As near as I can
                                                    see, he never did give his email address in the body text until today
                                                    under the current thread.

                                                    It was from the name embedded in his email in the earlier postings that
                                                    I got the callsign N1KCG from. Looking back on Oct 20, he did post a
                                                    message under "OT2 with Nuvi 350 how to get smartbeaconing working?"
                                                    where he gave the callsign N1KCG in the body of the message. Different
                                                    thread! Yeah, I could have looked harder, but I sometimes get annoyed at
                                                    guessing or having to go digging to look up a callsign just because
                                                    someone didn't include it in their posting. And then over on the VX8R
                                                    forum, he said... wait, that isn't Tracker 2 stuff!

                                                    The moral of the story is "include your callsign, or some people will
                                                    ignore you" or something like that. See? I said I was getting more
                                                    cranky!

                                                    73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
                                                    --
                                                    "I may be cranky, but I'm also lazy!"
                                                  • Pete Lilja
                                                    Thank you, Lynn! That is fantastic! While I ve read the instructions for my OT+ and T2 in setting the deviation / audio output this primer really helps me
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                      Thank you, Lynn!  That is fantastic!  While I've read the instructions for my OT+ and T2 in setting the deviation / audio output this primer really helps me understand the whys and hows.
                                                       
                                                      Now I need to check and probably adjust downward the outputs of my two Argent TNCs.  Maximizing the settings is becoming an obsession.  8)
                                                       
                                                      If I keep learning like I have been lately from this list I'm gonna have to upgrade my ham license!  These mysterious, magical radios become less so the more I read and play with them.
                                                       
                                                      Pete
                                                      KCØGPB
                                                       
                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 12:36 PM
                                                      Subject: Re: [tracker2] Re: Nuvi 350 and OT2m as mobile, what do you all think?

                                                       

                                                      I've found this page
                                                      (http://www.febo. com/packet/ layer-one/ transmit. html) to be VERY helpful
                                                      at understanding the deviation (loudness) issues as well as providing a
                                                      step-wise procedure to fix it. They recommend starting low and going UP
                                                      until you hear no change and then backing DOWN a bit. YMMV

                                                      Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ

                                                      Fred Hillhouse wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio,
                                                      > with APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do
                                                      > need to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that
                                                      > the modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet,
                                                      > with my audio from the TRACKER?
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > My guess is that under modulating the packet is rarely the problem. In
                                                      > actually the greatest fault is too much modulation. More means better,
                                                      > right? No. Many directions say to start at max and work down until the
                                                      > signal sounds good again. I have never been successful doing that. I
                                                      > can't hear the difference between an over modulated signal to one that
                                                      > is good.
                                                      >
                                                      > My method of setting the output is to turn the TXLEVEL to 0 and work
                                                      > up from there. When I hear a signal, I stop and that is usually good.
                                                      > I have bumped it up a couple of levels but I have not found it to be
                                                      > detrimental. What is a 'good signal' to me? Glad you asked. I listen
                                                      > with another radio and when I can hear the audio, I am happy.
                                                      >
                                                      > You are better off not being as high as 3.5 kHz, than being over it.
                                                      >
                                                      > I did recently get a deviation meter and will have to go in a measure
                                                      > my current settings. I am curious where they really ended up.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Best regards,
                                                      >
                                                      > Fred
                                                      >

                                                    • James Ewen
                                                      ... It s only magic until you figure out where the guy hides the card/ball/handkerchief... It can be overwhelming if you jump in the deep end, but if you keep
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                        On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:40 PM, Pete Lilja <plilja@...> wrote:

                                                        > If I keep learning like I have been lately from this list I'm gonna
                                                        > have to upgrade my ham license!  These mysterious, magical
                                                        > radios become less so the more I read and play with them.

                                                        It's only magic until you figure out where the guy hides the
                                                        card/ball/handkerchief...

                                                        It can be overwhelming if you jump in the deep end, but if you keep
                                                        after it, the fog dissipates slowly.

                                                        Keep reading, learning, and asking if you need more information.

                                                        James
                                                        VE6SRV
                                                      • Scott Miller
                                                        This (troubleshooting why you re not getting heard) would be a good topic for a Wiki article. I ll start it myself when I have a chance, but if someone else
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Oct 30, 2009
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                                                          This (troubleshooting why you're not getting heard) would be a good
                                                          topic for a Wiki article. I'll start it myself when I have a chance,
                                                          but if someone else wanted to take a shot at it that'd be great.

                                                          Scott

                                                          James Ewen wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM, Kevin Jensen <ktjensen@...
                                                          > <mailto:ktjensen%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > > 1) 15 seconds only matters, if someone can hear my packets.
                                                          >
                                                          > Sure, if you are in the middle of no where, hundreds of miles from
                                                          > anyone on 144.390, this is true. You're not quite in that situation in
                                                          > West Haven. There are a LOT of stations within 20 miles of you. You
                                                          > are very probably being heard over that kind of range. Digipeaters
                                                          > with good HAAT will easily hear you over that distance.
                                                          >
                                                          > > That is still an issue, as they are not getting through for some reason.
                                                          >
                                                          > Getting through is a totally different issue than being heard. While
                                                          > it is true that you "won't get through" without being heard, the
                                                          > opposite is not true. You could very well be heard by MANY stations,
                                                          > but because of issues such as deviation misadjustment, you won't "get
                                                          > through". Being heard and being decoded are related but not equal.
                                                          >
                                                          > > Maybe 5 to 10 get through and are displayed on APRS.FI for the 20
                                                          > > minute trip to work in the morning. Nothing else gets through.
                                                          >
                                                          > So, some stations are able to hear AND decode your packets. This tells
                                                          > us that for the most part everything is working on your setup... this
                                                          > could still indicate an improper deviation, low power output/bad SWR,
                                                          > or something like that causing problems.
                                                          >
                                                          > > The
                                                          > > packet frequency is not that busy. I can hear packets from several
                                                          > > other stations, and they all display on my Nuvi 350.
                                                          >
                                                          > The packet frequency is not that busy from your perspective. You can
                                                          > only hear the activity that is within simplex range of your station.
                                                          > Let's say that for arguement's sake that is a 20 mile radius around
                                                          > your vehicle. Digipeaters are usually located where they have a pretty
                                                          > good view of the area around them. Let's say a digipeater 10 miles
                                                          > away can hear an area with a 30 mile radius. That digipeater can hear
                                                          > everything you can, and a whole lot more. If there are stations within
                                                          > range of the digipeater that are sending packets at the same time you
                                                          > are, at best, one of the two stations are going to be heard by FM
                                                          > capture effect. Worst case, both packets are garbage. Now consider
                                                          > that neighboring digipeaters will usually be able to be heard by the
                                                          > local digipeater, even if they are further than 30 miles away simply
                                                          > due to the fact that the digis are up on high spots.
                                                          >
                                                          > Digipeaters are hubs of activity, repeating packets like crazy. They
                                                          > listen to all activity on the frequency, and only digipeat those
                                                          > packets asking for another hop. Packets that have paths that are used
                                                          > up are still heard, but not digipeated. This still takes up time on
                                                          > the digipeater even if it's not going to digipeat the signal. For you
                                                          > as a user in the digipeater area, it might sound like there's not a
                                                          > lot of activity, but for the digipeater, it might be another story.
                                                          > Try driving up on a hilltop nearby one day and have a listen to
                                                          > 144.390 for a while. See if it still sounds really quiet.
                                                          >
                                                          > > 2) Have tried setting SMART to ON with appropriate parameters (as
                                                          > > suggested here), and an INTERVAL of 2 minutes. With these settings, I
                                                          > > get two or three packets through on my 20 minute trip.
                                                          >
                                                          > Yes, because SmartBeaconing is going to send fewer packets than your
                                                          > 15 second interval. Throwing hundreds of baseballs at a dunk tank
                                                          > target gives you lots of opportunity to hit the target, but a couple
                                                          > well aimed baseballs that hit the target means your arm is not as sore
                                                          > at the end of the day.
                                                          >
                                                          > > 3) Do I have something wrong?
                                                          >
                                                          > Most likely... first culprit to look at is deviation, as it is a very
                                                          > common setting to have set wrong.
                                                          >
                                                          > > Does a packet contain all the last
                                                          > > several coordinate breadcrumb trails in it (several gps coordinate
                                                          > > sets that are stored over the last several minutes)? Or does a packet
                                                          > > only contain the last single coordinate set, for the moment? I think
                                                          > > the latter.
                                                          >
                                                          > You are correct. The packet only contains the current GPS information.
                                                          > Regular APRS does not do any buffering of information. APRS is a fire
                                                          > and forget protocol. There's no way for your station to know if the
                                                          > packets you are sending are being heard by anyone.
                                                          >
                                                          > > 4) I can hear the packets fine with my stand alone HT radio, with
                                                          > > APRS. They should like everyone elses packets. But maybe I do need
                                                          > > to adjust the volume settings (what is that command?) so that the
                                                          > > modulation is improved. Maybe I am undermodulating the packet, with
                                                          > > my audio from the TRACKER?
                                                          >
                                                          > Using OTWINCFG, and playing with the modulation control will let you
                                                          > test... I'd listen on another radio, and if possible watch another
                                                          > APRS radio to see if the packets are being decoded, or as a last
                                                          > resort watch the computer to see if you are making it to the APRS-IS.
                                                          >
                                                          > > 5) Also need to check my radio and its baud rate. Do not recall if
                                                          > > it is set to 1200 or not. It should be at that setting I assume?
                                                          >
                                                          > No need to worry about a baud rate in the radio. You said you were
                                                          > using a TM-V71 and an OT2... you should be feeding audio tones into
                                                          > that radio, not digital data.
                                                          >
                                                          > > Thanks for all the comments. They all make sense during investigation
                                                          > > of optimal APRS.
                                                          >
                                                          > Let's keep going to see if we can get you better reliability so you'll
                                                          > reduce your packet rate from 15 seconds down to something reasonable.
                                                          >
                                                          > Right now it's like you're standing in the middle of a room shouting,
                                                          > but none of those around you can understand what you are saying. We
                                                          > need to help you reduce the volume, and increase intelligibility. The
                                                          > end result is better communication all around.
                                                          >
                                                          > James
                                                          > VE6SRV
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                        • Kevin Jensen
                                                          Did some more tracking on myself last night N1KCG-9 and notice that while driving slow I got lots of beacons through. But as soon as I start moving fast, my
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Oct 31, 2009
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                                                            Did some more tracking on myself last night N1KCG-9 and notice that while driving slow I got lots of beacons through.  But as soon as I start moving fast, my beacons start getting really wide spaced and not heard.  Terrain is very hilly, with lots of trees.

                                                            Given all the other symptoms (not being heard), any suggestions?  Some are saying my antenna- radio might not be tuned up (poor swr)?  Looking at the successful transmission sequence yesterday night, I notice that I was right next to a great gateway station, that picked up every beacon packet sent, when everything was running well. 

                                                            Am watching my radio transmit beacons, and it slows down transmitting when I drive fast.  Almost like the TRACKER just stalls with its beaconing, while driving fast.  As soon as I slow down at an exit, and start driving slow city streets, I start to get lots of beacons through (as recorded in the APRS.FI view). 

                                                             Again my interval is set to once every 15 seconds (--INT 15) and my transmit level is 200 (--TXL 200).  SMART is OFF. 

                                                             
                                                          • kb9lgs
                                                            I am using the Muvi 350 and OT2m tied to a MFJ data radio. It works very well. One issue when I first started. The OT2m seems to be a bit sensitive to
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Oct 31, 2009
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                                                              I am using the Muvi 350 and OT2m tied to a MFJ data radio. It works very well. One issue when I first started. The OT2m seems to be a bit sensitive to stray rf, and I had the two boxes on top of each other in the back of my jeep under the rear seat. The OT2m kept locking up with the transmit line on. I fixed this by putting the OT2m on one side and the radio on the other side and used the Driveshaft tunnel as a bit of an RF shield.


                                                              > this is for people that already use this setup. i'm thinking of changing my setup. right now i have a Rino 130 hooked to TT4. not saying anything bad about TT4 but i have a Nuvi 350 that is new and i'm so ready to upgrade and use that so i can see other aprs stations when driving the semi truck i drive. my main reason for emailing the group is to see what problems you all have had with the Nuvi 350 and OT2m setup as a mobile setup? how many of you do messageing on them? i stop a lot in the middle of nowhere where there is no cell phone service but there is great aprs service. please let me know about all the good and bad that you all have had about this compian setup. i have a GTRANS Garmin to NMEA Translator Cable (D-Sub Style) on order but really thinking about seeing if i can change my order fo the OT2m type of setup.
                                                            • Scott Miller
                                                              It really *shouldn t* be that sensitive to stray RF, not in its case anyway. I would check the routing of your radio cables, and maybe add a ferrite clamp.
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Nov 2, 2009
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                                                                It really *shouldn't* be that sensitive to stray RF, not in its case
                                                                anyway. I would check the routing of your radio cables, and maybe add a
                                                                ferrite clamp. There are ferrite chips on the board for all of the
                                                                radio and serial connections, too.

                                                                Ordinarily I can't get one to lock up with 50w of RF right next to it.
                                                                But the new board revision's got extra protection - multilayer transient
                                                                voltage suppressors that are mostly there to bleed off ESD and save it
                                                                from momentary wiring mistakes, but they also add some capacitive filtering.

                                                                Scott

                                                                kb9lgs wrote:
                                                                >
                                                                >
                                                                > I am using the Muvi 350 and OT2m tied to a MFJ data radio. It works very
                                                                > well. One issue when I first started. The OT2m seems to be a bit
                                                                > sensitive to stray rf, and I had the two boxes on top of each other in
                                                                > the back of my jeep under the rear seat. The OT2m kept locking up with
                                                                > the transmit line on. I fixed this by putting the OT2m on one side and
                                                                > the radio on the other side and used the Driveshaft tunnel as a bit of
                                                                > an RF shield.
                                                                >
                                                                > > this is for people that already use this setup. i'm thinking of
                                                                > changing my setup. right now i have a Rino 130 hooked to TT4. not saying
                                                                > anything bad about TT4 but i have a Nuvi 350 that is new and i'm so
                                                                > ready to upgrade and use that so i can see other aprs stations when
                                                                > driving the semi truck i drive. my main reason for emailing the group is
                                                                > to see what problems you all have had with the Nuvi 350 and OT2m setup
                                                                > as a mobile setup? how many of you do messageing on them? i stop a lot
                                                                > in the middle of nowhere where there is no cell phone service but there
                                                                > is great aprs service. please let me know about all the good and bad
                                                                > that you all have had about this compian setup. i have a GTRANS Garmin
                                                                > to NMEA Translator Cable (D-Sub Style) on order but really thinking
                                                                > about seeing if i can change my order fo the OT2m type of setup.
                                                                >
                                                                >
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