NorCal FJs

FJ Cruisers of Northern California

So two of my favorite APRS products now work together.

I really dig APRS and the application that it can have with offroading with a group, however to really use APRS to it's full potental you need to have to a laptop running Windowsm to run WinAPRS or UI-View or Linux or Mac you have XASTAIR (which is a PITA to setup) most of it is poorly coded or old and not supported anymore. The other choice which I looked in to was Overland Navagator which is a great looking app and has basic APRS support, but again requires a dedicated computer.


On Android there has been APRSDROID which allowed APRS tracking via th APRS-IS network (no radio) which is cool and all but in my opinion takes some of the fun out of it since you are not using RF just a internet connection.


The iPhone I have no idea what is available since I do not own any iOS devices and input for that platform would be greatly appreciated. you can email me at (josh at norcalfjs dot com) with any input.


Worlds Collide 

Well all this is changing now. Byon at Byonic is devloping a new Bluetooth to Serial plug in module to interface with the the Tiny Tracker 4 and George has added Bluetooth TNC support to APRSDROID. This means the days of having to use a dedicated laptop in the rig for APRS tracking is almost over.


I have been using a beta unit of the Bluetooth to Serial (tt4BT) for a few days now. Byon was nice enough to send me a unit to test out.


My current configuation is an Yeasu FT-7800 with the TT4/tt4BT and APRSDROID running on my Nexus S 4G. What is cool is that the TT4/tt4BT pulls the GPS info from the phone reducing the need for a dedicated GPS receiver. I will be adding an android tablet to this configuration as soon as it ships (that's a whole other story). So the ability to use a 10" tablet for APRS mapping is appealing to me. Since you can get android tablets with GPS for around 200 bucks (note not the kindle fire or nook) and if your are doing this kind of stuff you probably already rooted your phone to enable wifi tethering for your 3g/4g data this really makes for an inexpensive setup for the rig.


What really makes this setup neat is that other APRS users in the area I can hear and plot them in realtime on google maps on my phone so I get the ability to have live mapping via 3g/4g and RF plotting is best of both worlds. You can also change your beacon status message on the fly as well as send APRS messages to other HAMs using APRS.


Now here is where things get even more intresting George has added the ability to use offline maps from The only problem is figuring out how to export the maps to be able to use. It's not quick and easy and requires a bunch of work to get them to convert and I'm just now chipping at that iceburg.


Overall the TT4/tt4BT plus APRSDROID is almost prefect setup with the exception of the offline maps which is still in development.


The TT4BT is not yet for sale from Byonics and I haven't heard a time frame on when Byon is going to have it avaiable for sale.


I will be adding screen shots of the and photos of my setup soon.


This is a living document and I will be updating it as I use this setup more.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey OPG, happy new year!

Any update on your set up? I see the TT4 with BT is now available. Finally got a mobile rig installed in the 80 and was wondering about adding APRS

I've been very happy with my setup. It's a solid setup that works well, and I would recommend to anyone that's interested in APRS.

It will only work with Android since Apple isn't allowing developers to utilize Serial over Bluetooth, so I haven't been able to find a iOS application that will work.

I picked up a TT4 and BT adapter, also got the cable to hook up to the UV5R from Byonics, seems to work pretty good even with the 5w output on the HT with a magnetic antenna. 





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