Yesterday I put APRS-IS to the test in the mountains on the San Juan Trail, located a few miles way from Ortega Highway 74. In this area there are no digipeaters close enough for RF transmissions, so I tested the SPRINT cellular network to see if I could be tracked in real time (KM6ZPO).
When I first heard about APRS, I had hoped I could use it to replace tracking I already get from my SPOT device. I began my learning curve by testing several APRS apps.
I finally did it! I captured this image from the International Space Station using a Yaesu FT-60 radio with a Diamond SRH77CA whip antenna. I used SSTV for iOS to decode and save the captured audio.
Yesterday I went on a little adventure out in the California desert. I was equipped with a Baofeng UV-5R and a cell phone loaded with APRS.fi software. Our first destination was the Hole-in-the -Wall Rings Trail. Shortly after exiting the 40 highway, I lost cell service,
If you’re in the Southern California area, tune your ham radio to frequency 145.800 between 10PM to 10:15PM PST and have your mobile app ready to listen for a chance at capturing SSTV images from cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The satellite moves quickly from the north just above Oregon to the south near Houston, Texas.
My first ham radio was an 8-watt handheld Baofeng BF-F8HP. Combined with a Nagoya NA-771 15.6″ whip antenna (pretty much the standard for HTs) and a Btech QHM22 speaker mic, I found I was easily able to get an audible signal with some slight noise hitting repeaters 20+ miles away and people didn’t have any trouble hearing me.
Since I’m driving a leased vehicle, I didn’t want to drill holes into the car to mount my ham radio microphone. I was very happy to find an adapter kit that slips over the round part of the microphone mount, creating a sturdy ferrous metal surface to attach to any magnetic mount.