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VX-8DR GPS and Smart Beaconing issues

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Sinder, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Sinder

    Sinder
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    KD0KYO

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    My Callsign is KD0KYO (didnt register with my callsign as my login so if a mod wants to change it that would be nice)

    I bought a VX-8DR a couple months ago and have since then accessorized my HT with the Speaker/Mic, GPS, and the CT-136 as well as a diamond SRH77CA antenna. This was my first radio after earning my license and so there could be some experience factors at play in my issues. I most frequently travel with the ct-136 and GPS attached to utilize the aprs. I have only used the speaker/mic with the gps once and I dont think I noticed too much of a difference in the performance so I dont think my issues are with the ct-136 mount that I saw in another thread.



    I have been noticing that my radio will attempt to transmit a beacon yet when I check the aprs.fi site for the beacon it frequently does not shown up. seeing as this is my first radio and my beginning uses of APRS i figure it could either be a user error, settings error, or a transmit/signal error. so here is the information on the latter 2 issues and hopefully we can see if any of them correct the issue.

    APRS Settings
    My Position: GPS
    Beacon TX: Smart
    Digi Path:p3(2) 1 Wide1-1
    1 Wide2-1
    SmartBeaconing Settings:
    -Status: Type3 (vehicle)
    -Low SPD: 10mph (i modified this from 5 because i noticed when i would move the radio sometimes it would spike over 5mph and try to beacon)
    -High SPD: 15mph
    -Slow Rate: 30min
    -Fast Rate: 120sec
    -Turn Angle: 28deg
    -Turn Slope: 7
    -Turn Time: 15sec

    Im also going to be recieving a DIAMOND CR-320A 2M/220/440 6/7/8 mobile antenna for my diamond K702M magmount, as well as a Maldol MH510 to try attaching for transmitting. i have the SMA-SO239 for switching to an SMA for the magmount. Later this week I also have a mirage BD35 amp coming in that ill install in my car. Any suggestions on settings for the APRS or troubleshooting tips would be much appreciated.

    http://aprs.fi/?call=kd0kyo-7&mt=roadmap&z=14&timerange=604800
    http://aprs.fi/?call=kd0kyo&mt=roadmap&z=14&timerange=604800
     
    #1 Sinder, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010

  2. depark

    depark
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    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    A couple of questions. Is it that your beacon never displays on aprs.fi or is there a delay in displaying it? What power setting are you transmitting on 144.390? You should try using the 5W setting. Your settings seem fine to me however beaconing every 3 minutes will really spread out your path.
     
  3. KE5MC

    KE5MC
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    5 watts and stock antenna inside your car(assumption) is the mostly likely reason for intermittent beacons seen. Your soon to arrive antennas will improve the situation. On the VX8 after you beacon you should see your beacon repeated by the digipeter, but not sure what the indication will be. On my D710 it indicated MY POSITION in the top line of the screen. Saves time looking up on the net if you see your beacon repeated on the radio's display.

    KE5VYU, Mike
     
  4. Sinder

    Sinder
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    KD0KYO

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    not stock antenna but still inside car which i could see as being part of it. the mobile ant i assume will help. its transmitting at the 5 watts. ill update this if it doesnt seem to work at the end of the week with the mobile ant. and the amp installed.
     
  5. Moleculo

    Moleculo
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    I live in the L.A. area and can almost never make it into a digipeater with a handheld antenna - especially inside the car. In this location there is just too much competition from other stations. However, when I attach a good mobile antenna (if I'm in the car), it works pretty good. If I also attach my 30 watt brick amp, it gets in every time. Realistically, 10-20 watts with the external antenna is all it really takes for me.

    The point is, there could be nothing wrong with your settings - it could just be the terrain, competing stations, or just the range to the closest digipeater.
     
  6. Sinder

    Sinder
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    KD0KYO

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    awesome, thanks for the info! oh and i read your review on the FT-897D as I've been looking at snatching that up in the next couple months. Thanks for your posts on the site!
     
  7. k4ghp

    k4ghp
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    vx8dr aprs problem

    One item that I didn't see in your setup is setting the modem "on". (factory default is "off") It is option 4 in the aprs menu. You have to set it to "on" and select either 1200 or 9600 baud. That step is not obvious from reading the manual. Don't feel bad about missing it. It took me about an hour to figure out why my data wasn't showing up on the map after repeated attempts to send an aprs beacon according to the instructions in the manual. Also don't forget that aprs will not transmit if the frequency is already in use. If you have another receiver, you may want to listen to see if a signal is actually being transmitted when you press the manual "send aprs packet" button. If the vx8dr hears another signal when you press the button it will suppress transmission.
     
    #7 k4ghp, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  8. AK321

    AK321
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    I'm waiting on mine to be delivered so I can get lost in the user manual :)
     

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