[aprssig] Anyone running APRS on a LCD in a car ?

WB4GQK at aol.com WB4GQK at aol.com
Tue Jan 24 07:30:39 EST 2006

Hi Patrick,

In order to keep power at a minimum I elected to use a 633 mHz PIII processor 
without a fan! Just a very large heat sink. I also installed a Samsung CD RW 
and DVD unit. I also installed a 40 GB HD which is a standard HDD. There is a  
PCI card installed laying on its side.  This PCI card contains two DB9 serial 
ports. I also installed two 512 MB SIMMS. There is no 3 ½ inch floppy drive. 
The system recovery disk is a CD. 

The first DB9 serial port goes to the SCS Pactor unit, the second DB9 serial 
port goes to an ICOM PCR1000 receiver totally controlled by the computer. The 
third DB9 serial port goes to the Autopilot. The first USB is connected to the 
Garmin GPS unit. The second USB port is connected to the Icom M602 marine VHF.

The GPS feeds data into the ITX for use with the navigation program. It also 
feeds data into WinAPRS program  for transmitting to the ICOM 802 SSB radio 
via the SCS TNC and provides EITHER APRS control OR WINLINK for Pactor email. It 
also feeds data to the second USB port that runs to the Marine VHF radio for 
DSC position data!  The ITX runs the CAP'N Navigation program and also  runs 
WeFax 2000 in the background and is programed to select 3 WeFax pictures from 
the USCG HF freq from N.O.,2 times in 24 hours. It also changes frequency and 
records the NAVTEX transmissions 4 times a day out of Miami. All of this is 
performed fully automatically and the results stored in files in the ITX. The 
output of the PCR1000 goes to the sound system in the ITX where the graphics and 
text are decoded. 

 I  installed a very heavy duty Gel Cell battery that feeds only this 
equipment. It is fully isolated from the other batteries. The ITX consumes 48 watts 
on startup and settles back to 43 watts full run time. The panel screen uses 15 
watts. Both the ITX and the screen panel are connected DIRECTLY to the 12 
volt Gel cell. The ITX runs until the voltage drops to 11.1 or .2 and then it 
will shut down. The panel goes blank at 11.5 volts. I did not use any of the DC 
to DC cigarette lighter devices because they made too much RF noise. I wound 
the DC supply thru torrids to reduce any spikes that could come in thru the 
battery charger on the boat.

Very very fortunately nothing happens very fast on a sailboat and 
consequently the 3 programs that are running simultaneously are not too demanding, 
besides the 1 GB of RAM seems to satisfy their demands. I just keep the battery 
charged by running the genset for 30 minutes every 3 hours.

73 Jim

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