After messing about with APRS using my mobile and APRS.fi, I decided it was time to-do things properly and ordered the Foxdelta FoxTrak for around £14 plus postage and it arrived 5 days later from India which is pretty darn impressive! and to wire it up correctly I had to get a few extra bits (serial plugs, 3.5mm 4pole and battery connector) from Maplin (I could have bought them online but I didn’t want to wait).
This is where the fun and games started after wiring up the 4 pole 3.5mm jack, I bought from Maplin we (Dad was helping) noticed it didn’t really fit the connector on the VX-150 properly and was causing all sorts of weird ness so take note they don’t work with VX-150 handhelds! we got round this problem by using the 4 pole from the hands free kit (guess I’ll be needing a new one? :P) once we wired this one up with the FoxTrak we was making a lot more progress and on to the next problem.
To supply the Tracker with GPS data I borrowed one of Dads Garmin eTrex’s (Well he has two) what we noticed was that the one I picked (newer model) didn’t seem to be supplying NMEA data, as there was spare I decided just todo a quick check and the older release worked fine.. But it was something I couldn’t explain and I want to test the GPS on the PC to see if there’s a bug somewhere!
Once this was resolved and I’d programmed up the Foxtrak with info (2E0SQL-9) it was sending positions nicely and this afternoon I decided to take it for a spin on my bike (15mins total ride time around the block) and it worked perfectly one thing I did notice was I need to turn on smart beaconing so it picks up if I change direction etc, for this test I left APRSIS32 running on my PC listening for my packets as I’m only using my Yaesu VX-150!
I’m looking forward to cycle rides in the coming weeks and months to see who hears my signal, while out and about on the roads around Oxfordshire.