• APRS Radio Tracking RSS Feed

    by Published on 05/07/2010 05:56 AM

    OK, so this is seriously cool. My buddy Mark pointed this out to me, and I think it's great. I'd been looking at this Kenwood radio ever since I got my Ham license, but knowing that you can hook it up to an AvMa G5 and track other (aprs equipped) airplanes in flight is too cool for school. Since Mark will be putting one in his plane, and I might be able to arm-twist my buddy Andy to do so too (and I'm pretty sure Jerry will as well), then we can find each other on the way to Oshkosh or the Bahamas. The sense of security knowing someone can see you, and the increase in camaraderie is just great. Check out this video to see what it's all about. Also note that our incident flight was our first with tracking, so we have a complete record of that flight!

    I installed the Micro-Trak 300 in my airplane, though that is obsolete with newer models, which comes on with the master switch. It's behind my false bulkhead with a small whip antenna, and performs wonderfully even on the low power. There is a local repeater close to the airport so we are received even in the traffic pattern!

    Avmap G5 which can be used with an APRS capable radio to track moving stations
    AvMap G6 can be paired with a Kenwood radio for tracking aircraft in flight (Tactical Mode)
    Kenwood D710a Mobile 2 meter Ham radio with APRS functions
    Kenwood D710A can be paired with a AvMap G5

    APRS Location Reporting Transmitter Installation For those of you who interested in broadcasting your current location, speed, heading, and altitude to HAM based ground receivers (and have that data displayed in real-time on the internet), check this out. To see where we are, or our last flight, go to aprs.velocityxl.com

    There was a good article in Kitplanes on APRS that turned me on to this technology, and the author maintains a nice website about APRS in aircraft here. The nice thing about this technology is that it is affordable (my transmitter, antenna, and GPS was about $175) to install, and free to operate. You do need to get an Amateur radio Technician license, but that is relatively easy. I recommend hamtestonline.com.

    MicroTrak 300 (from Byonics.com) installed behind baggage bulkead in N44VF picture 1
    APRS Installation - Antenna is protected by straw
    MicroTrak 300 (from Byonics.com) installed behind baggage bulkead in N44VF picture 2
    APRS Unit installed, GPS antenna shelf
    Example of OpenARST.net tracking of N44VF on incident flight
    An Example track

    MicroTrak 300 installed in N44VF from Byonics.com
    The microtrack 300 from Byoincs

    Example of Google Earth tracking page

    Example Google Earth Presentation. With google earth you can overlay weather, use a sectional as the map base, and other coolness

    Example of data gathered by APRS igates

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