[Linux-ham] Tracker project

sjackson at radarfind.com sjackson at radarfind.com
Mon Jun 5 11:33:50 EDT 2006

If anyone has hesitation, I can say it's a good bit of fun to build such a
gizmo up.  I have had active GPS tracking of at least one of my vehicles
since 1995, with adaptations to APRS once that system had caught up to my
capabilities in the late 90s.

My truck has a similar system to what is being looked at now, consisting of
a GPS engine (Motorola), a support interface for the Motorola engine, a
roof-mounted, active GPS antenna in the form of an NMO base 'hockey puck'
sealed unit, a Byonics TinyTrak 2, an Icom IC-2SAT, and a Hustler "Buck
Buster" 2 meter 5/8 loaded antenna.

The truck immediately starts tracking once the GPS RX gets lock, often by
the time I leave my street and turn on to the main road.  It identifies as
KZ1X-5.  The whole enchilada is 100% independent of the other radio
equipment in the vehicle.

Equipment rationale:

1.  The Motorola GPS unit was one that was very popular in the TAPR circuit
a few years ago, so, it was highly supported.  I got it for what was then a
good price on eBay, and I got a kit to support the board (voltage
regulators, level shifter, sockets, etc.) also from a project supplier.
Today, you can do this a LOT easier than what I had to do.

2.  The Antenex GPS antenna was just too cool to pass up.  And, boy, does it
work great!

3.  The Byonics TT2 is a super kit, although a bit long in the tooth now.
Still a good deal though.

4.  The Icom 2SAT is a 6W output radio that is small, readily available
used, and which runs directly off 13.8V DC.  Another good choice, off hand,
would be the HTX-202.  Just program the thing to lock on the one (APRS)
frequency and don't do anything else.

5.  The Hustler model SF-2 is the lowest cost, high performance,
easy-to-mount 2 meter antenna on the market.  At around $16 new, this
product is too good a deal to pass up ... And by the way, it also works as a
6 meter loaded quarter-wave, if you need such a thing.  What, you never
heard of the Hustler SF-2?  Well, that's because Hustler doesn't spend any
money on marketing!

See you on APRS ...

Steve KZ1X/4

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