[aprssig] Free Ham Mobile Web Page (MAP.FINDU.COM)

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Tue Mar 25 18:20:39 EDT 2008

Robert Bruninga wrote:
>> A far simpler "lite" installation would consist of 
>> running UI-Instant Messenger on a WiFi-equipped laptop.
> Except that it requires internet access.
Internet access is becoming ever more ubiquitous via WiFi in public 
places and/or over cellphones.  

FYI, quasi-dialup Internet access is available over Verizon or Sprint 
CDMA cellphones connected to a laptop with a USB cable, WITHOUT signing 
up for a data plan.   You set up a standard Windows  dialup "connectoid" 
to dial the number #777 (or you can actually have it dial an existing 
dialup ISP number) using the simulated modem inside the phone.  The only 
cost is airtime minutes, meaning that after 9PM or on weekends, it 
doesn't cost anything.  You get a "blistering" 14.4K connection that is 
nearly useless for web surfing but is entirely adequate for blasting off 
a few APRS packets to a web server.  (It's faster than 1.2K over the 

WiFi access is almost everywhere now on the road. (Highway dept rest 
stops in Iowa and some in Texas offer free acess from your car.)   An 
increasing number of independent coffee shops and restaurants offer free 
WiFi. The latest development is that Starbucks WiFi hotspots previously 
operated by T-Mobile (for an hourly or monthly charge) are being taken 
over by ATT.  If you have ATT/Yahoo DSL service at home, you will be 
able to use the Starbucks hot spots FOR FREE by using your own email 
address and password for login.

> I guess I am still trying to appeal to the ham radio operator
> that does have a TNC somewhere in his piles of junk, and should
> be reminded to exercise it now and then for RF digital comms.
> Hummh... MAYBE...  What we need to define is the minimum setup
> of AGWPE so that a laptop with sound card plugged into the
> mobile Mic jack could do the above, that is, send out a grid
> square posit, some objects, and some messages without all the
> other APRS bloat?

The ]free edition of AGWpe + UI-Instant-Messenger is all you need.  Any 
P-II or higher laptop has enough processor horsepower to run the AGW 
interface.   The most hassle-free soundcard interface would be the 
Tigertronics Signalink.  This $69 interface uses a tone-detecting 
VOX-operated interface to eliminate the hassle of a serial port 
connection to key the radio PTT.   Or my own homebrew tone-keyed 
interface at:


Or "shoot the moon" for the Tigertronics USB interface which 
incorporates an entire second "sound card" and interface at the end of a 
USB cable for about $100. 

Assuming the laptop is a modern one with built-in WiFi, you have all you 
need to message EITHER through the Internet -or- over-the-air since 
UI-Instant Messenger can work over either AGW or TCP/IP. 

If you opt for the paid "Pro" version of AGW (rather than the freeware 
version) , you can even do this on HF with the sound card interface 
since AGW Pro will generate 300 baud packet with standard 1600/1800 Hz 
"KAM-style" packet tones.   [The freeware version of AGW will generate 
300 baud but it does it with the 2100/2300 Hz tone pair that is 
problematic with the SSB passband of many HF rigs.]

> Actually, that would be the better minimilist subset for
> maintaining one's own map.find.com/callsign web page via RF
> while traveling...
> Bob, Wb4APR


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

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