TinyTrak4 & Bluetooth

I was recently contacted by Byon (the developer of the TinyTrak) asking me if I was a user of APRSdroid. As I have an Android phone (HTC Desire A8183) I certainly do use APRSdroid! so I was asked to test out a serial bluetooth device for use with the TinyTrak4.

Here’s an image is of the TT4BT (the name as appears via Bluetooth) The unit draws power from the TinyTrak4 including voltage pass through so you can supply power for your GPS. For my testing I’m using the Byonics GPS2, the Bluetooth adapter is using the HC-05 module, I’m not going to cover the specifics of this module, but to say that Byon has set it for a serial speed of 19200 baud (factory default is 9600 baud) You won’t be needing to make any adjustments to this module!

The setup within APRSdroid is fairly straight forward, The only thing I altered was the channel number used from no entry (auto detect) to channel 1 although because of only having the one device this wasn’t essential. Included below is a rough pictorial guide on how to set up APRSdroid with Bluetooth.

The settings required for your TinyTrak4 (using firmware 0.67) is to simply set AMODE to KISS and ABAUD to 19200 baud. As you will be using APRSdroid to generate your position you’re not required to have a GPS connected to your TinyTrak4 (as APRSdroid is using your phones internal one!)

You can contact the author of APRSdroid via GitHub or on the IRC channel #aprsdroid on the FreeNode network.

Further details on the TinyTrak4 you can contact Byon on the following link

 I’ve purposely kept this brief as there are other resources that cover the specifics of these two devices from their respective developers, I didn’t see the need to recreate their content! 😉

Images in posts?

I’ve just noticed that most of the images that should be visible within posts appear as broken links!  All the images are on the server, there seems to be something wrong within WordPress, or mySQL.

At first I thought no problem, that’s an easy fix…  No its not! as this will require me to edit every post and relink the files. Now having just on two and s half years of blog posts, that would be rather time consuming!

So for the moment, broken image links it is until I either find a semi/fully automated way of fixing the problem it’s going to remain.  😐

Posted from WordPress for Android

IPv6/4 Dual Stack With Billion 7404VGOX

I’ve just enabled IPv6 on my ADSL router (Billion 7404VGOX) So I just need to find out if the IPv6 assigned to me is dynamic or static because if it’s static I can then enable routing for my T2TAS APRS server.

I’ve only been trying to get this working for around 3 months! Amazing what you can achieve in the early hours of the morning!

Now to hunt for IPv6 only sites! 😉
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APRS Client Applications for Android

For us Amateur Radio peeps that have Android phones and wish to play with APRS without the need for a radio or if you are just interested in what it’s all about, then there are currently two applications that will achieve this. However both of them are not currently included in the Google Market so you will need to visit the respective sites to get them…

They are called APRSDroid & U2APRS

APRSDroid:

This has a simplistic terminal like display when in the foreground and has a task icon when active (icon visible in the last image)

The map view (accessed via the menu) uses Google Maps to plot both yourself and heard stations from the APRS-IS feed.

If you are already familiar with configuration for a PC based APRS client, then setting up is quite straight forward

The main thing to note you must have a valid APRS Passcode for your position to be gated into the APRS-IS

Menu button pressed showing options available

APRSDroid in action!

U2APRS:

Has a tabbed main screen allowing quick change without the need to access the menu. However this doesn’t currently support landscape mode! (not critical)

Message screen can be set to display messages just to you or can be set to accept all or be filtered to a specific area.

Map screen uses aprs.fi to render both you and nearby stations.

Configuration is all in one screen (accessed viz the menu key) Some of these items could be consolidated into categories (just my opinion!)

There are two types of beacon modes, Manual & Automatic

Summary:

Both applications do the job of reporting your position and passing it on to the APRS-IS, the one benefit that U2APRS has is that it supports messaging. I currently have both installed so I can select if I want to be able to message or not (to me not an important feature for a phone tracker) The set up options for U2APRS could do with a little clean up. Also as both of these apps are not in the main Android Market you will need to regularly check the respective web sites for updates as neither have an update function check, but if they one day both go into the market then that will no longer be a problem. I must say that I was two versions behind on APRSDroid, the version I had installed didn’t have map support or the task icon when active!

So depending on what your preferences are I’m sure that one of these apps will cover what you want…  🙂

Note: I’m using the HTC Desire (A8183) and Oxygen ROM 2.0.1

Tier2 APRS-IS network…

Below is an image of the current Tier2 APRS-IS network, at a glance you can see how it’s been broken into regions

 

  1. asia.aprs2.net for Asia
  2. aunz.aprs2.net for Oceania
  3. euro.aprs2.net for Europe and Africa
  4. noam.aprs2.net for North America
  5. soam.aprs2.net for South America

As the end user, you can simply choose to connect directly to any T2 server, but should that server suffer from downtime then you will be without service until that server is restored. An alternate way to do things is to use a rotate DNS, that way should one server not be available the next in list is used. This assists in load balancing instead of just one single server being used. Australia & New Zealand do have a secondary rotate DNS of rotate.aprs.net.au this serves the same purpose as the aunz.aprs2.net so you can use either.