Some years ago, I decided that I wasn’t completely happy with having to carry printed timetables, or having to scroll though big PDF files while chasing Trams on my visits to the Blackpool Tramway.
I figured that it would be better to be able to access the timetables on my phone. As I was incapable of creating Apps for both the Android and iPhone platforms (seriously, have you seen what you have to do to become a developer for iOS?), I decided to do it as a mobile-friendly formatted web page. How hard could it be?
Really, how hard can it be?
Right, this is going to be a long, rambling text about The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion.
The Lord of the Rings was a actually a long text about two hobbits going rambling, but that is not the point here.
If you don’t want to read my badly thought through notions about some overly long books (and a quite short book that was made into three over long films), then look away now.
But I want to read this drivel
The Minos is the version of the Autocab MDT that replaced the Omicron. It is the one that isn’t rubbish.
Normally these are powered from the Radio cable, but if you want to run them without a radio, you’ll need to work something else out.
What do I have to work out?
Despite the SDR IGate having a crap antenna mag-mounted to my server cabinet, I picked up a signal!
Wow, I need to read about this
Ok… Firstly, there are many guides to doing this already on the internet, but most of the use a Raspberry Pi. I’m not using one, for reasons that will be made clear later.
Secondly, I couldn’t find any one of the guides that did exactly what we wanted.
Before you read all this rubbish, it is important that to use it you will need an Amateur Radio License and Callsign, and and APRS-IS Passcode. If you don’t have them, then go and get them before continuing.
So, with that in mind…
On with the motley
I’m going to be playing about with and SDR dongle a lot, so I think it only fair to describe it.
If you insist
I was playing about making audio cables to connect my cheap Baofeng to my PC. To test the recieve cable, I took a walk with the other Baofeng, and an Android App called SSTV Encoder.
Really, some people might find this interesting!
This post is not about the the PC/Baofeng cable that is used for programming the radio. If you want one of those, then try Amazon.
This is about connecting the audio streams twixt the radio and a PC.
The basic mission is to take the Soundcard in/out from a PC and connect it to the Kenwood K2 connector that the Baofengs uses.
These cables are simple, and they work, but they may cause damage to either your PC or radio if used incorrectly. Much like a can of Coke.
UPDATED WITH DIAGRAMS FOR THE MENTALISTS
Only read on if you understand the risks
Everyone needs storage boxes for their bits and bobs of electronic dohickery. You can probably buy something suitable from Amazon, but the chances are that you will have suitable items already in your house.
Washing Tablet containers FTW!
If you are getting started with APRS, then the easiest was will be to do it on your Smartphone. This post is only about using Android phones, obviously. The clue is the “droid” part of APRSdroid.
NOTE: for this you WILL require an Amateur Radio License and Callsign. If you do not have a Callsign, then I suggest you just watch what is going on on the APRS.FI website.
So you’ve got that this isn’t about iPhones?