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Monday, 12 March 2018

APRS map display on tablet... another revisit

So about a year or so ago I got my now lost Huawei MediaPad T1 4G to display APRS data from my Yaesu FTM-400XDE on a map, this was done with a different app rather than APRSDroid as this at the time of the test did not work (I don't know if this has changed), utilising nothing more than the data cable the radio came with to connect the two (via means of a USB-OTG adaptor), once this tablet went missing when it did I decided to replace it with a Windows tablet, my specification was very specific in one that had to have 2 full USB ports, though a cheap hub can be added, which is why the Linx 1010 was chosen, however there are other cheap Chinese tablets out there that meet the specification and run a proper Windows 10 (and can dual-boot Android in some models though this sounds more like a gimmick).

A stand is of course needed still and I looked at a seat-runner mounted stand that simply bolts to the vehicle's seat runner using the existing bolt, as my current car has the same internal dimensions as my previous car the design should not change, though a USB extension of suitable length will be needed to run from the boot after I have completed the installation of the radio.

The alternative to the Linx 1010 I have looked at is a bigger tablet at 12" (the 1010 is, as you guessed, 10"), this may well be ideal to run Minos during contests from the car, a wireless keyboard with inbuilt trackpad would work here, Logitech make these and they use an adaptor that pops into a USB port and is left there.

Like the 1010 this Chinese tablet does not have onboard mobile data connectivity, therefore either a USB dongle or WiFi tethering on my phone would be needed (though the latter is bad for running the battery down I may look into EE's in-car WiFi (as I am an EE customer) for this as EE works literally everywhere (as do MVNOs carried on EE's network), doesn't have to have a large amount of data though as APRS doesn't tend to use much in the way of data when sending to the Internet but its map downloads may use more though if this is the case my home WiFi can be used for this.

As I understand it, the APRSIS32 software can take RF packets and put them onto the IS, in other words works as an igate, for a 2-way igate I believe you require an NoV, the domain of full licence holders in the UK, for RF to IS, RX only (which is all you can do with this setup), I have not seen a requirement for an NoV as you're not transmitting other people's packets to RF.

I would like this setup working as soon as possible, but this means I would need a tablet and mount, a data connection though my phone is more than capable of supplying Internet (and disables itself automatically should the limit be reached), and of course the radio, which is currently sat in my living room waiting to be installed into the car, too wet to start today and I need a specific gauge of wire to feed the boot power supply to ensure there is plenty of overhead current wise for the radio and any other items.

Naturally the tablet will be removed from the car to deter theft of the device, just need this weather to clear and I can start the in-boot fittings for installing the radio in to, as soon as the tablet can be ordered it will be ordered and set up on the bench before being put in place.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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