[aprssig] Mobile Off-Air Display

Jason Rausch jason at ke4nyv.com
Sun Aug 9 22:31:32 EDT 2015

Sometimes I take on a personal project that isn't meant to be a product.  (Even though sometimes it goes in that direction).
Last year I took a BeagleBone Black running Debian/Wheezy Linux, XASTIR, 7" touchscreen, TNC-X and some custom hardware to build a nice APRS terminal.
I threw together a quick webpage on my site with the pictures I took during the build:

At some point I'll go back and add in some descriptions.
Jason Rausch - KE4NYVRPC Electronics, LLCwww.rpc-electronics.com

      From: Andrew P. via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org>
 To: "aprssig at tapr.org" <aprssig at tapr.org> 
 Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2015 8:53 PM
 Subject: Re: [aprssig] Mobile Off-Air Display
#yiv1696866145 #yiv1696866145 --.yiv1696866145hmmessage P{margin:0px;padding:0px;}#yiv1696866145 body.yiv1696866145hmmessage{font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;}#yiv1696866145 The best bet would be to get something like a Windows tablet or a cheap laptop/netbook, and then you could load APRSIS32 or YAAC on it, and connect it with an audio cable to the radio (using a software TNC like DireWolf). Not sure if anyone has verified AGWPE or DireWolf will work on a Windows tablet yet. Also not sure if the Windows tablets will support RS232 serial devices; if they do, a Kenwood radio (TM-D710 or TH-D72 in dual-band mode with the built-in TNC) could be connected directly to the tablet, and you'd have a better display than just the Kenwood control head. In this case, the Kenwood could also transmit the position beacon for the SAG wagon, too, eliminating the need for a second dedicated tracker on the SAG.

I hate to bad-mouth my own product, but the Pi's disk storage (on an SD card) is just too slow for map rendering in YAAC on a mobile station (it is up to barely tolerable on a Pi B 2). I've accelerated the rendering code in YAAC about as far as I can, and on a Pi the load is now mostly reading the disk files of mapping data, rather than the actual rendering. I need to conduct some experiments with USB memory sticks to see if they are any faster than SD cards on the Pi as a storage device for YAAC map data. And I've looked at those 7" LCD screens they have for the Pi; nice idea, but how do you scotch-tape and chewing-gum the Pi to one of those screens so it will hold together in the mobile environment?

Andrew, KA2DDO
author of YAAC ("Yet Another APRS Client")

Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 17:25:00 -0700
To: aprssig at tapr.org
Subject: [aprssig] Mobile Off-Air Display
From: aprssig at tapr.org

I'd like to get the latest opinion from this group about putting together a simple mobile APRS display solution.
Our local club does a couple of bike events each year. We have an ad-hoc network to support our trackers over the course area. I have been turning my attention toward broader use of the info. For example, our rest stops now have displays, and we run a Public Info table so that we can make event participants aware of what we do and how we do it.
I am now turning my attention to our radio operators in the sag wagons. For insurance purposes, the bike club provides the cars and drivers. The radio op rides shotgun, using a Go-Box that has battery assist so that the cigarette lighter adapter isn't doing the heavy TX lifting and can be shared for other uses.
I'd like to have simple, non-transmitting display setup so that the operator can "look" around the course as he has need. I'm not sure where to start looking for commercial solutions, if there are any at all. I also have been wondering, given the abundance of R-PI hardware, if a R-PI and display would be enough to run something like YACC. A simple RX and antenna would be enough, and the package could be small enough to occupy little of the precious space in the vehicle and not pose a safety issue. Even nicer if it could be on the dash.
So, what do you folks know? How would you approach such a requirement?
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