Wednesday, November 3, 2010

APRS and the Kenwood TH-D7A(G)

The Kenwood TH-D7A(G) was the last release of their TNC/APRS loaded dual-band HT (handheld).

I will have to go into my notes to see if I wrote about using it for APRS...but the summary is, I have the D7A hooked up through a Argent GTrans cable to a Garmin Nuvi350. It works great...but the Nuvi has to be plugged in for it to work in this setup.

For some reason I had thought that the Nuvi and StreetPilot GPS units were the only Garmin units that could not only send GPS position to the Kenwood radio, but receive position information of other APRS units.

I was mistaken...looking at this capability table, you can see than a lot of Garmin units have the two way capability (in/out on the chart).

Now there are some advantages to the Nuvi 350...but it I want to use it strictly as a portable APRS unit...I will have to include an external battery...which will increase the weight and clumsiness of the unit.

I would like to have a GPS unit ON the HT so I can see the other positions right there, without any other wires and things.

I noted on that list that my Garmin GPS V (that is in a box in a closet) has the two way capability...but it is a bulky unit, and doesn't really fit my needs.

Then I found this web page from Steven Smith (WA8LMF) where he uses a wrist mountable Garmin ForeTrex 201 hooked up to a D7A.

So I am in the process of acquiring one, and will make some kind of mount so that it is part of the radio.

One caveat...after I found the 201 which uses a rechargeable battery and a snap on connector for the serial port...I found out that the 101 uses replaceable batteries, and has a serial connector on the side. So that one may be a better product for my purpose...but I will soon find out.

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