APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

APRS is challenging and intimidating but a useful tool in our hobby. discuss APRS in this forum.
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Chazz Layne
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Call Sign: KF7FEN
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APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#1

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:18 am

I picked up a VX-8R last week to free myself from NiMH and start tinkering with APRS, I'm having two problems (I think) getting it set up. With a little help from the programming software, I think I've got everything configured properly... or at least close to it. The GPS is up and running (wow fast acquisition) and I had the radio (B) tuned to 144.390 and set up on a 5-minute beacon, Wide2-2, at 9600, which was transmitting as expected. I let that sit for 20 minutes or so then went to go look for myself on APRS.fi and OpenAPRS with no success. On both of these sites I was able to watch other APRS-equipped mobile units driving around through the area (all using Wide2-1, not sure how much power or what kind of setup). My first thought is that I'm just not in range of anything I can hit with a mere 5-watts since in addition to being in a somewhat remote town (Yucca Valley, CA) I'm way out on the outside edge of it. Then again, being at the outside edge puts me at about 3800-feet with a view down into most of the surrounding area. I'm at the base of the local repeater's mountain and have line of sight from about 2 miles out, but I haven't been able to figure out if that repeater has what I'd need. I can also reach Keller, but just barely. I have a trip out to Costa Mesa on Friday so I'm going to take the radio with and see if I can get it to work in a more saturated area.

The second problem happened after I had everything set up and then started fiddling with it trying to make it work. As far as I can tell I still have it all set up right, but the A96 indicator keeps flashing now and it no longer auto-sends the beacon (even though it is still set to do so). If I press the button to manually send it does indeed make it so, but auto-send still doesn't work. I've read the manual twice now and am kind of at a loss... any thoughts before I do a factory reset and start over?
Chazz Laynedotcom

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Fetus
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Re: APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#2

Post by Fetus » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:06 pm

Chazz,

Try WIDE 1-1, WIDE 2-1 instead.

Also set your APRS modem baud to 1200. You should have a flashing A12. The flashing A12 means it's active.

Then also make sure on the screen that says STATION LIST, there is a bullseye looking icon. If not, hit MODE to make it appear.

Also make sure you are in range of a digipeater. You can look on APRS FI and look for the green star which typically denotes a digipeater.

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Chazz Layne
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:39 pm
Call Sign: KF7FEN
Location: Prescott, Arizona
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Re: APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#3

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:21 pm

I've got the changes made to the settings now. Looking at APRS.fi for the green stars again (in terrain view) it seems like home is just in a really bad location. If I'm reading it right all the areas I occasionally see traffic in have a good clear view of a few different digipeaters, and it looks like I'm around a corner with a whole lot of rock between here and there. I'm guessing all will be well on my trip Friday. I'm going to have the wife drive so I can sit on the notebook and see if it's working. :mrgreen:
Chazz Laynedotcom

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Chazz Layne
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:39 pm
Call Sign: KF7FEN
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Contact:

Re: APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#4

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:32 pm

It's working! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Chazz Laynedotcom

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Fetus
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:13 pm
Call Sign: K6NVG
Location: Antelope Valley, CA

Re: APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#5

Post by Fetus » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Congratulations, the vx8r can be tricky. :D

I would opt for the extended battery,if you don't already have it.

User avatar
Chazz Layne
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:39 pm
Call Sign: KF7FEN
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Contact:

Re: APRS and the Yaesu VX-8R?

#6

Post by Chazz Layne » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:02 pm

Yup, I took one look at the anticipated runtime, and ordered it with the radio. It sits charged and ready in my pack. :)



I was mistaken last night with my settings. For some reason I was thinking the extra spots in the digipath menu were just preloaded settings that aren't active unless selected, so I was running WIDE3-3 still when it started working last night. I was only going through one digipeater to get to an iGate, said digipeater looks to be about 35 miles away. I fixed that this morning and am using WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 with (usually) no issues. I also changed the beacon to 10 minutes, as 5 seemed excessive for a HT used primarily on foot... :D

I say "usually" because of an odd issue this morning which lasted 3-4 hours. There was this "new" "digipeater" showing up on the map this morning only about 4 miles away and no matter what I tried I could not seem to show up on APRS.fi. That "digipeater" disappeared about 30 minutes ago, and magically everything is fine now...
Chazz Laynedotcom

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