[aprssig] Flying Digipeaster Works (was APRS Question (Drone tracking of downed balloons)

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Jul 15 11:31:19 EDT 2020

On 7/15/2020 10:45 AM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> Since 98% of most APRS traffic any one station hears is from digis, and not 
> direct from actual stations, one way to look only for original packets is to 
> set the drone-digi to digipeat UIDIGI path of "WIDE1-1" and sisable the UIFLOOD 
> or UITRACE that do the WIDEn-N routing.  Then it will only respond to the 
> initial transmitted packet from any given mobile, and tnot the digipeated 
> packete from the surrounding digis.

I can't do much bout this, since the digi function in PicoAPRS is a complete 
"black box" with no changeable parameters.  It is hardwired to respond only to 
"WIDE1-1".  Currently,the only option is to turn the digi function on or off.

Another problem is that the path for PicoAPRS own originated beacons and 
messages is hardwired to "WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2" .   Arrrgh!!!

Reportedly, only about half the flash memory space in the ATmega CPU (same 
processor as used in Arduinos) is currently being used.  I am writing to the 
German author of the PicoDIGI code to ask if he could provide menu options to 
change the beacon paths and UIDIGI options.

The firmware seems to be under fairly active development, with new versions 
every 6-9 months.  The PicoDigi even does over-the-air update checks by sending 
APRS messages with the version number to the developer once a day. If you are 
within range of a bi-directional igate, you receive a return APRS message if a 
new version is available.  (This happened to me the very first time I turned 
the device on.)

You then need a Windows PC with a USB port and an Internet connection to 
download and flash the new firmware.

[The serial-over-USB port on the PicoAPRS uses the Silicon Labs (a.k.a. 
"Silabs"0  CP210x   USB>-->serial interface chip.  This is the same chip used 
in the Kenwood TH-D72 & D74 radios and Yaesu radios witha USB port. If you can 
program Kenwood APRS handhelds, you already have the necessary USB<-->serial 
driver installed to talk to the PicoAPRS.]

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

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