[aprssig] Can someone make one of these ?

Jason KG4WSV kg4wsv at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 10:12:14 EST 2013

Not going to happen.

First, combine these facts: hams are cheap/broke;there are relatively few hams; and development costs would be significant. 

Built-in radio means handheld device, so now you're talking about a niche within a niche (handheld APRS = subset of APRS, which is a subset of ham radio which is a small market to start with).

The handheld form factor means limited range therefore limited use. We just don't have the APRS infrastructure to give enough coverage.

Basically no one will pay what it would cost if it made it to market. 

If there's a future in data over ham radio it's in SDR, and not the PC type SDR either, IMO (think more FPGA/DSP custom hardware). 

My current idea is using a tablet as the interface (via VNC, etc) to a small single board computer (r-pi, etc) That runs xastir and interfaces to the radios, GPS, etc. 

Unfortunately my latest tracking project (high power rockets) does not use amateur radio.  I've got a GPS tracker that's 900MHz, 250mW, 9600 baud, 1.3oz, 1" x 3.125", runs at 1Hz for more than 24 hours on a single CR123A, that I can build for less than $80. I'm feeding the data to xastir for plotting and am planning to gate to my D7, but honestly I can piggyback a transceiver onto a mapping GPS and have something more tracking friendly.   Your proposed device would be a great ground station, but i just don't see it happening with amateur radio any time soon. 


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