APRS Nightmare

APRS is challenging and intimidating but a useful tool in our hobby. discuss APRS in this forum.
User avatar
OLLIE
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:31 am
Call Sign: K6JYB
Location: Sweet Home Alabama!!!

APRS Nightmare

#1

Post by OLLIE » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:36 pm

I have been fighting with my APRS on my Kenwood for nearly 3 weeks now. Something hasn't been right. My GPS hasn't been communicating with the radio and vice versa. I reloaded firmware for both my radio, faceplate, and TNC; I shot the wires for the data-in, data-out, and ground for the GPS communications (checked good); I bought a new radio (still didn't work); and I finally sent my GPS into Garmin to have it rebuilt because after talking their techs I realized it might not be sending out the NMEA-0183 data. :evil:

So while the GPS was out for rebuild I decided to get my laptop set up for APRS to use on my desert preruns. I went in to download the APRS programs and find out that the programs require a minimum of 512 MB RAM to work efficiently. Well my laptop only has 256 MB RAM and isn't upgradable to 512 MB RAM. So it's off to buy a laptop through Best Buy. Low and behold, finding a laptop that's not too big for the truck with a serial port at Best Buy is not happening. Idecide to buy a laptop there and use a USB to serial converter cable. My laptop goes through some delays getting to me (I order it through Best Buy through work) and my GPS gets to me before my laptop. :lol: So I plug my rebuilt like new GPS into the radio and IT STILL DOESN"T WORK!!! Now I'm livid and just walk away not sure what to do... :twisted: :twisted:

I finally got my laptop and was setting it up and the damn USB to serial software keeps timing out on me. WTF...??? So Saturday up in San Jacinto I just relied on my good old SPOT while longing for APRS. On Sunday I decided to mess with my wiring while cleaning out my truck from the San Jacinto trip. I cut the radio GPS data cable out and rewired it back in. I plugged the GPS back in everything started working... :D I was so happy I almost screamed like a little girl but couldn't because I realized how much money I had just wasted on a simple wiring issue. So I buttoned up my truck and the wires, put the GPS back in the mount, pulled the truck in the garage, and went in to spend a day and a half with my family.

On Tuesday I got back in my truck and turned on my radio and GPS to discover the damn thing wasn't working again. I almost ripped the damn radio and GPS out of the truck and threw them across the street. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: I took the GPS out of the mount with the cabling still plugged in and noticed that the GPS started communicating with the radio again. I put the GPS back in the mount and it stopped. Sure enough, there's a short in the cable. It only makes contact with the cable perfectly straight like I was holding it when I was doing the continuity checks. Nearly $1800.00 later and and an empty wallet I will be picking up my new $25.00 cable this afternoon. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

sdnative

Re: APRS Nightmare

#2

Post by sdnative » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:31 pm

OLLIE wrote:I almost screamed like a little girl

....

threw them across the street.
Sorry about your troubles. I can relate.

But... I want to see some pictures. :lol:

User avatar
DaveK
Site Admin
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:33 am
Call Sign: K6DTK
Location: Southern California

Re: APRS Nightmare

#3

Post by DaveK » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:54 pm

Ollie:

Imagine that - APRS and frustration. After going through my own brand of WTF frustration, I've come to realize that APRS was not meant to be easy. The end result has been worth it, but it's been a rough trip. Many thanks to Hector for helping to make it happen.
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

User avatar
cruiserlarry
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 2770
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:23 pm
Call Sign: W6LPB
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: APRS Nightmare

#4

Post by cruiserlarry » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:24 pm

Ollie -

I don't know if it is the problem, but some software (especially older engineered software) doesn't work well with USB - serial conversion; it needs an actual 9-pin serial port (they are different).

You might consider looking for a used Toughbook CF-28 or 29; probably around the same as a new laptop, but all have a real serial port (among other features you already know :D ). Either way, if you don't get this solved by Sat., I'll be ther with my TM-D710A, Toughbook CF-30, UI-View 32, Lowreance Globalmap GPS functioning APRS system, and we can go through yours step by step (and even interchange components) to see what the issue might be... :shock:

Soi, stay cool, Brudda... ;)
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear really bright, until they start talking

W6LPB / WPOK492

Become a DIRTY PARTS FACEBOOK fan !!!

User avatar
OLLIE
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:31 am
Call Sign: K6JYB
Location: Sweet Home Alabama!!!

Re: APRS Nightmare

#5

Post by OLLIE » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:43 pm

cruiserlarry wrote:Ollie -

I don't know if it is the problem, but some software (especially older engineered software) doesn't work well with USB - serial conversion; it needs an actual 9-pin serial port (they are different).

You might consider looking for a used Toughbook CF-28 or 29; probably around the same as a new laptop, but all have a real serial port (among other features you already know :D ). Either way, if you don't get this solved by Sat., I'll be ther with my TM-D710A, Toughbook CF-30, UI-View 32, Lowreance Globalmap GPS functioning APRS system, and we can go through yours step by step (and even interchange components) to see what the issue might be... :shock:

Soi, stay cool, Brudda... ;)
I'll be running a fully functioning APRS before I go to bed tonight. I will still have some things to dial in before running it on my laptop though. I am out of funds for Precision Mappoint 8.1 right now so I need to create some maps to imbed into IU-View or AGWTrcker. I haven't tried running packet through the USB to Serial cable yet, only the Kenwood Programming Software. I eventually got it to work but it took a few tries. I'm curious to see how it works through Hyperlink on the new laptop too. Saturday should be a very fun day... :D

I also found out that I can run my GPSMap 478 through my laptop as well. I usually use my GPSMap 60Cx for my laptop. I want to play with the 478 and figure out if UI-View and AGWTracker can feed off of it etc.
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

User avatar
DaveK
Site Admin
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:33 am
Call Sign: K6DTK
Location: Southern California

Re: APRS Nightmare

#6

Post by DaveK » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:02 pm

OLLIE wrote:I'll be running a fully functioning APRS before I go to bed tonight. I will still have some things to dial in before running it on my laptop though. I am out of funds for Precision Mappoint 8.1 right now so I need to create some maps to imbed into IU-View or AGWTrcker. I haven't tried running packet through the USB to Serial cable yet, only the Kenwood Programming Software. I eventually got it to work but it took a few tries. I'm curious to see how it works through Hyperlink on the new laptop too. Saturday should be a very fun day... :D

I also found out that I can run my GPSMap 478 through my laptop as well. I usually use my GPSMap 60Cx for my laptop. I want to play with the 478 and figure out if UI-View and AGWTracker can feed off of it etc.

I have maps you can use for either UIV or AGW, including NG Topo! level 4 and 5 maps for all of Anza Borrego and surrounding areas. I also have maps for both systems for the southern California area, including SD. I can put them on a flash drive and we can transfer them on Sat.
Alternatively, I can help you create them so that you will know how to do it in the future. Let me know.
.
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

User avatar
OLLIE
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:31 am
Call Sign: K6JYB
Location: Sweet Home Alabama!!!

Re: APRS Nightmare

#7

Post by OLLIE » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:23 pm

DaveK wrote:
OLLIE wrote:I'll be running a fully functioning APRS before I go to bed tonight. I will still have some things to dial in before running it on my laptop though. I am out of funds for Precision Mappoint 8.1 right now so I need to create some maps to imbed into IU-View or AGWTrcker. I haven't tried running packet through the USB to Serial cable yet, only the Kenwood Programming Software. I eventually got it to work but it took a few tries. I'm curious to see how it works through Hyperlink on the new laptop too. Saturday should be a very fun day... :D

I also found out that I can run my GPSMap 478 through my laptop as well. I usually use my GPSMap 60Cx for my laptop. I want to play with the 478 and figure out if UI-View and AGWTracker can feed off of it etc.

I have maps you can use for either UIV or AGW, including NG Topo! level 4 and 5 maps for all of Anza Borrego and surrounding areas. I also have maps for both systems for the southern California area, including SD. I can put them on a flash drive and we can transfer them on Sat.
Alternatively, I can help you create them so that you will know how to do it in the future. Let me know.
.
Sounds like a plan sir. ;)
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

User avatar
BorregoWrangler
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:53 pm
Location: San Diego, CA (El Cajon)
Contact:

Re: APRS Nightmare

#8

Post by BorregoWrangler » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:16 pm

Good grief, I could feel the frustration just reading that. I hate wiring. Glad ya got it sorted out.
-John Graham
1989 YJ & 2000 TJ

View all my trip reports here at my blog: GrahamCrackers

User avatar
OLLIE
OAUSA Board Member
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:31 am
Call Sign: K6JYB
Location: Sweet Home Alabama!!!

Re: APRS Nightmare

#9

Post by OLLIE » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:30 pm

OK... I finally received my $25.00 cable today. I installed it during my lunch break. Iturned everything on and it still didn't work... :evil: I was soooo mad. I called friend who has the same GPS and met him after work to ensure Garmin had fixed my GPS. it still didn't work. By this time I have replaced everything in the system. Irritated, I call Cruiserlarry to vent. We discussed some things and went down the checklist of things of things I could have missed and couldn't come up with anything. Just as we were about to hang up Larry remembered that his wouldn't work until he soldered the wires. The wires are so small that twisting them didn't allow enough contact. What did I have to lose? After we hung up I soldered the wires and turned everything on. Damned if it didn't work!!!

So... All that frustration and money spent could have been avoided with a little solder... :lol:
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

sdnative

Re: APRS Nightmare

#10

Post by sdnative » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:03 pm

Sorry to hear about the troubles, but glad you got it working. What wires did you solder?

Post Reply

Return to “APRS (AUTOMATIC PACKET REPORTING SYSTEM)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest