[aprssig] MIC-e + vx-8r

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Mon Apr 6 13:53:13 EDT 2009

Not that I can find. The manual sucks, but there definitely are lot of  
functions of the D7 that are missing...

I've had mine a week, my prototype D7's display went out, so I figured  
I'd try the new guy, need a handheld before hurricane season. Mostly,  
as APRS goes I'm not overly impressed. Given it has been 12 years  
since the D7 came out, I expected it to be miles ahead of the D7, the  
design of which had actually been done several years earlier and  
shelved. It isn't. It is a more awkward interface, the lack of a four- 
way cursor button is the biggest hit in usability. It is highly modal,  
meaning many buttons don't work unless you put the display into the  
correct mode.

Among the shortcomings is not only that it will not decode Peet Bros  
stand alone weather stations (sad given we have a bunch here in the  
Keys, but maybe forgivable given the relatively small number of these  
worldwide), but it actually misinterprets them as base-91 packets,  
giving locations thousands of miles away! You can ignore rare packet  
types if you want, but there is no excuse for incorrectly decoding  
valid APRS packets. And even 12 years ago people moaned that the  
firmware in the D7 was not user-upgradable. To leave that out today is  
really hard to swallow, maybe they have access through the mic  
connector and will sell a cable to make software updates available.

Given the price of GPS chips these days, it should have been included  
in the unit rather than as an awkward $100 add-on. The GPS does work  
well though, it has excellent sensitivity and locks on in places my  
Garmin handheld won't.

The marketing materials play down the APRS functions, and I'd agree,  
rather than being an APRS handheld, this is a 4 band handheld with a  
few APRS features. My advice is take a good look at the functions, and  
preferably use it for a day, before you jump. I'm hoping Kenwood will  
deliver a replacement to the D7, and I can sell this and get a real  
APRS handheld...

Steve K4HG

On Apr 6, 2009, at 1:02 PM, Michael J. Wolthuis wrote:

> I may have missed the answer, but does anyone know if vx-8r can do  
> mic-e on PTT?  We want mic-e bursts from vx-8r’s on our local  
> repeater if possible.
> Thanks,
> Mike
> Kb8zgl
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