[aprssig] APRS Mobile Radio

Mark Earle wa2mct at mearle.com
Mon Jan 26 09:17:17 EST 2009

Jonathan Neher wrote:
> Does anyone know of, or have a suggestion for, a dual vfo mobile rig 
> that would allow
> me to run APRS on one side and still chat on another frequency on the 
> other side
> (besides the Kenwoods)? Currently using a VX5R/Nuvi350/Tracker 2.
> Thanks,
> Jon

1. An HT is NOT a mobile. For safe and enjoyable operation, install a 
radio. Bolt everything down. Do a few test stops in a parking lot, make 
sure nothing becomes a missile in a quick stop. Hide all wires. Fuse all 
power leads. Drill holes for a real antenna -- no mag mounts. No glass 
mounts. For APRS you want as good a signal as is possible.

2. Excluding the Kenwood TM-D710, any dual-bander would work. Caveat: If 
you run such a radio with Vhf on "both" sides (2m voice and 144.39 
datea), there will be times when voice interferes with packet, and 
packet interferes with voice.

3. Kenwood, Icom, and Yaesu make several radios. One other key issue. 
Most modern radios have a 6 pin minidin connector to interface to your 
data modem (TNC, Tiny Track, Open Track, etc). In some radios, there is 
a menu to select which "side" this connector is associated with. In 
other radios, it follows the "side" where you have chosen the mic PTT. 
So that would be bad - the data would "key up" on your voice side. Not 
what you want.

4. I can't speak to specific radios. Pick Y, K, I current radios, get 
the manuals from their web sites, and see what you can find out.

5. My own set up is a commercial radio (GE Phoenix) hidden away in the 
truck. The tracker board is with the radio. A cable extends out when I 
wish to use a TNC with the radio for two-way vs transmit only tracker 
(note that the transmit only tracker DOES monitor the channel to avoid 
transmitting when channel is busy. A Garmin GPS-45XL marine unit gives 
basic navigation (very basic!) and I can see "where I am" and "how far 
to target" type information.
Other radios include an IC-208H for voice, and a Motorola Micor UHF for 

OK, here's what the new FT-8800 Yaesu says in the manual:

Menu #27 [PKT.RXB]
Function: Sets the receiving band for Packet operation.
Available Values: MAIN/R-FIX/L-FIX
Default: MAIN
MAIN: Packet can be operated on the “Main” band.
R-FIX: Packet can be operated on the “right” band only.
L-FIX: Packet can be operated on the “left” band only.
Note: Packet transmit band is fixed on the “Main” band..

So you would have to use the 'Main" band for 144.39 and the other band 
for voice operations.

Other radios offer similar menu choices. AT least this particular one 
states clearly how the "data jack" will behave.

      ) )    de WA2MCT Mark
     ( (     Echolink 221408      Grid Square EL17HQ
      ) )    You will be assimilated... oooh, coffee!!
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