[aprssig] APRS for a motorcycle - radios?

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Mon Feb 13 19:10:28 EST 2006

The Tiny trak is perfect for your application. The compressed position format gives you just as good performance as any other radio solution provided the radio it is hooked to is up to par. The major difference is the Tiny Trak does not decode any packets, it only has a carrier sense input to keep it from transmitting while the frequency is busy. I have found the tiny trak to work better for mobile tracking with it's smart beaconing functions. The idea is you send the packets when they are needed, such as a change in direction above the threshold you set (i.e. 15 degrees) or when you make a large change in speed. The Kenwood's I believe only allow you to send timed position packets. When tracking units on APRS software you can get much more information from a device which uses smart beaconing. This can be abused if you set your parameters in a way that starts to send excess packets when not necessary. The TinyTrak will also be much easier to hide as an installation on the bike and deter theft. Out of sight, out of mind.

Thank You,
Brian N2KGC

-----Original Message-----
From: apratt at bestbits.org [mailto:apratt at bestbits.org]
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 6:02 PM
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: [aprssig] APRS for a motorcycle - radios?


I've been reading about APRS a lot online and lurking on this list for
a little while. I want to put APRS on my motorcycle for tracking, and
I'd like to do it with (A) reasonable reliability and (B) reasonable

I have GPS on the bike already with NMEA out, so that's covered. I am
not a ham (yet) so the radio will be the major investment. I want to
be able to ride and be tracked in most all of California. I live in
the San Francisco area but my travels take my all over the state.

As I see it, there are two basic routes to go: 
  (1) Kenwood D700 or TH-D7A with built-in TNC/APRS
  (2) TinyTrak 3 plus any old radio with a mic connector and ear jack. 

Do I have that right? It seems like the TinyTrak route can be much
cheaper, but is it equally effective? Is the Kenwood "better" for
basic APRS transmit, or does it just have more features? I only need
to transmit APRS packets: I don't need to receive or digipeat or
change my routing or status message on the fly or 99% of the other
features the Kenwood has. I don't need memories or scanning or even

I guess I just want to know whether the TinyTrak 3 solution is less
reliable or "worse" than a mobile or HT with built-in TNC and APRS,
considering only the basic APRS packet transmission task. Thanks.

-- Allan Pratt, apratt at bestbits.org

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