[aprssig] APRS / Packet board for Arduino

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Fri Jan 23 17:53:19 EST 2009

And aside from being useful for existing hams, one of the larger goals 
of this project (and some of my others) is to show the value of ham 
radio to experimenters and hobbyists in other fields.

Ham radio is in massive decline, largely due to the Internet and cell 
phones taking over both worldwide and local communications functions 
that in the past attracted people to the hobby.  It's still useful for 
disaster response, but we need to bring in more people who can see the 
value of the spectrum that a ham license gives them access to.

I'm hoping to show some stuff at Maker Faire in San Mateo this year, and 
I really want to make the point that hams get free access to the sort of 
radio spectrum that commercial interests are paying millions of dollars 
for - and then selling to consumers through inflated rate plans and 
awful service contracts.


Jason KG4WSV wrote:
> The Arduino is a serial bootloader enabled AVR (ATmega8/168 family)
> microcontroller board.  The high points:
> - lots of microcontroller stuff is all wrapped up, so you can program
> in pretty high level C on a microcontroller.  it's designed for
> non-technical types (e.g. artists), but this lazy technical type
> appreciates the wrapper. (:
> - serial bootloader and built-in USB/RS232 hardware, so no external
> programmer required
> - IDE is free and cross platform (linux, os x, windoze)
> - if you get tired of the Arduino wrapper, peel it back and use the
> avr-gcc toolchain, still free
> - several variants and peripherals.  Plug-in daughterboards are called
> shields and can be stackable.  varieties include protoboard, motor
> controller, ethernet, etc.
> I've used the base system to build several balloon experiments, and
> have flown the software running on custom hardware several times.  I'm
> currently designing a couple of shields to use actual arduino CPU
> boards (instead of custom PCBs) to make a modular hardware library for
> putting together balloon experiments.
> -Jason
> kg4wsv
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