[aprssig] APRS for a motorcycle - radios?

Ray McKnight shortsheep at worldnet.att.net
Mon Feb 13 20:44:28 EST 2006

Well, here's my solution for motorcycle mobile.
Of course, depending on the bike and your budget
this may not be practical for you.

I've chosen the Yaesu FT-100D for my Honda Goldwing.
The reason is simple:  there is a separation kit allowing the
front control panel to be easily mounted on the handlebar, 
with the radio remotely mounted in one of the side saddlebags.
The control panel is small and lightweight and can fit on a small
bracket bolted to the right side brake cylinder bolts.  Radio audio
connects to the bike's intercom so is available either through the
speakers or helmet.  The Goldwing already has a PTT switch 
mounted near the left index finger, all you need to do is identify
the wires in the harness (I don't car or bother with any CB's,
otherwise the PTT might not be evailable to you).

Since you mention that you travel all over CA, this would give you
coverage for the majority of the time by VHF, and when you're
outside of DIGI coverage you could easily switch to HF (30mtrs
is ideal).  My setup is likely a little more involved than what you need,
as I also am mounting a solid state KW amp in the cargo trailer with
the HF antenna and coupler.  The VHF/UHF antenna is mounted on
the bike's trunk.  

You'll need a TNC that does HF, not all do.
I believe one of either the TinkTrak or OpenTrak
support HF, but I'n not sure how easy it is to switch
on the fly.  Possibly it would be easier to have two TNC's
one on each side HF/VHF, as they're small and easily mounted
almost anywhere.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <apratt at bestbits.org>
To: <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 15:02
Subject: [aprssig] APRS for a motorcycle - radios?

> Folks,
> 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
> cost.
> 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
> voice.
> 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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