[OZAPRS] APRS questions from VK6HV

Steve Page vk6hv at westnet.com.au
Sat Dec 5 00:30:56 EST 2009

Hello All,

((I originally sent this to Geoff VK2XJG at his email address from 
QRZ.com but it bounced, so I thought I'd post it here on the mailing list))

Just a short intro. The name here is Steve and the call is VK6HV. I'm 
located in the Pilbara area about 1600 kms. north of Perth in the North 
West of WA. There is no APRS activity in the Nor West that I  know of. I 
believe it's all down in the southern part of the State. I am trying to 
get something going up this way for myself and the 4 other local "hams". 
We here in the North West are all new to APRS and what ever we can 
manage to get going, we'd it to be installed at our repeater site to 
service the 5 surrounding townships of Dampier, Karratha, Wickham, 
Roebourne and Point Samson. 

Here is our problem:          

1) Rack space is at a premium. (Virtually none)
2) The power demand must be an absolute minimum.
3) There is no air conditioning in our repeater hut! (How our 2 meter 
repeater has lasted 10 years in that incredibly hot hut, I can never 
figure out!)
*** So a computer and possibly a monitor are about out of the question 
in our little radio hut ***

So I have taken this approach which is not unique as I have seen it work 
with the AIS ship positioning data.

I have acquired or have access to the following equipment. Tiny 
Tracker3, Tiny Tracker 4, a model BF-430 RS-232 to TCP/IP converter, 
NetComm N3G002W 3G router and a PCMCIA GSM? (2G) Modem. The NetComm 
Router, PCMCIA card and another BF-430 RS-232 to IP are already being 
successfully used in an AIS system almost exactly what I am trying to 
achieve except the AIS system uses a receiver on 161 and 162 Mhz. rather 
then 145.175 Mhz.

The plan is to receive 1200 baud APRS data from mobile stations around 
my local area with a surplus VHF 2 meter radio and patch the radio 
speaker audio into J1 (DB9 connector) on the Tiny Tracker4. Patch the 
19.2 kilo baud RS-232 data output from the Tiny Tracker4 on J2 (DB9 
connector) and wire it to the RS-232 input to the BF-430 RS-232 to 
TCP/IP converter. Patch a Cat5 cable from the Ethernet port on the 
BF-430 into a spare port on the NetComm 3G router. And then transmit the 
APRS data onto the internet via Optus with the PCMCIA card in the 
NetComm router. I also have a Telstra 3G USB modem in hand that has 
successfully worked in the NetComm 3G router but it cost 10 time the 
amount as Optus charges!

What I have accomplished so far...... my Tiny Tracker3 is in the car and 
set to beacon  ever 120 seconds. I have a surplus 2 meter rig in the 
house hooked up to the input of the TT4 and the TT4 output plugged into 
the home computer serial port running Hyper Terminal at 19,200 baud and 
this is what I received from the TT3 outside: 
So far, so good??? I hope.

What I am unsure about is what to set the IP address and port number to 
on the BF-430? I set the RS-232 side of the converter to 19,200 baud,  
8, N,1 On the Ethernet side I am unsure what to set it to? Possible 
options are UDPClient or Server, or TCP/IP Client or Server. I have 
tried most everything but mostly UDP client on on ports 
14577, 14578, 14579 and 14580 but no luck so far. I also tried a few 
other IP addresses and port numbers  but still I could never find 
VK6HV's APRS beacon data on any internet maps such aprs.fi. In an email 
yesterday, I was advised that I may need to be "authorized".  So 
possibly my APRS beacon info above is getting to first.aprs.net.au but 
it's being denied or ignored? Can I pass aprs data onto the internet via 
first.aprs.net.au using this technique? Has anyone seen APRS data sent 
this way without running a computer 24/7 ???  

Is anyone familiar with the Tiny Tracker4? Would you have any 
suggestions for the TinyTracker4 settings to help accomplish the above 
computerless setup.

Basically it's my understanding that what we want is a I-Gate and not a 
digipeater? After all, there is know one up here to digipeat to! All 
townships are in receiving distance of our 2 meter repeater site and 
proposed location of an APRS I-Gate.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. (especially the IP and port address:)

Steve - VK6HV

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