[aprssig] Mobile Off-Air Display

Eric Lorenz K9LGE k9lge at emlorenz.com
Mon Aug 10 18:28:30 EDT 2015

Hi Charles,

I have been reading all the replies to your question with interest, but
kept coming back with a question of my own...why?

(For some background, for the last 10 years I have been involved with the
ADA Tour de Cure/Chicago bike event, the last 5 as Communications & Safety

You didn't explain, but I am guessing that your SAG vehicles will cover
pre-determined areas of the course, and that you have a net control
operator(s) that are coordinating operations. While it is a nice idea, if
it was me...I want my ops keeping situational awareness of what's going on
in their area (i.e., what's happening outside their vehicle). They really
don't need to know what's going on over the rest of the course- that's the
job of net control (and whoever may be helping them). You are really adding
more complexity than necessary to their job. They can't be watching for
issues if they are studying another screen...

Hope this helps,
Eric K9LGE
On Aug 10, 2015 2:44 PM, "Charles Bland via aprssig" <aprssig at tapr.org>

> Dallas,
> You did nail it that this is a RX-only requirement. We already have
> trackers on the cars.
> I had forgot about APRSDroid. That may indeed be a viable solution.
> Thanks, Dallas, and to everyone else that has chimed-in.
> Chuck
> On Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 11:11 AM, Dallas Clements via aprssig <
> aprssig at tapr.org> wrote:
>> Chuck,
>> Several options have been shared so far to help you with your bike race.
>> I've used AvMap, WinBooks, Bluetooth TNCs, and soft TNCs. All have their
>> merits, but if you're looking for something that will be less expensive to
>> procure for multiple assistance vehicles and rest stops, I'd recommend
>> simply hooking an Android tablet or phone via audio cable to a HT. The app
>> APRSDroid has a connection protocol labeled "AFSK via Speaker/Mic" that
>> will decode the received packets heard on the radio and overlay them on a
>> map on the Android device's screen. The option to use an Offline Street Map
>> is there and with the device's built in GPS, you know where you are in
>> relation to the objects that you're receiving.
>> Simple. Inexpensive.
>> If you wanted to transmit, too, I'd recommend a more capable radio than a
>> HT, but it sounds like you're just trying to bring situational awareness to
>> more people. That being the case, the wattage of the device is irrelevant.
>> Depending on your peer group, it's not hard to find people who have an
>> older Android device gathering dust in their home from the last upgrade
>> cycle or two. That leaves your cost at $4.99 for the app and whatever money
>> you spend making cables. I'm assuming finding HTs and mag mount antennas to
>> borrow will also not be a problem within your local club.
>> This setup that I'm describing is the entry level APRS rig that we use to
>> get new amateurs in our club exposed to APRS. After they use it for a few
>> weeks, they tend to upgrade to something with more transmit power. However,
>> for your purposes, it may be ideal.
>> Here's the "how-to" we wrote for our club. It has a wiring diagram for
>> Wouxun, Baofeng, and some Kenwood HTs.
>> http://www.wcares.org/?page_id=2677
>> Dallas Clements
>> K7DCC
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: Charles Bland <root at blandranch.net>
>>> To: aprssig at tapr.org
>>> Cc:
>>> Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 17:25:00 -0700
>>> Subject: [aprssig] Mobile Off-Air Display
>>> 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?
>>> Chuck
>>> NA6BR
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