Difference: APRSTrackingStation (1 vs. 2)

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06 Dec 2011 - Main.RickO
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name="NearspaceBalloon"
-- RickO - 05 Dec 2011

APRS Tracking Station

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  You can choose your map by going to Map -> Map chooser. I usually use Online/OSM_tiled_osmrender.geo. You can highlight as many as you want though, and it seems like it caches all the types you select. I'm not sure how it decides which one you actually see though. The more maps you highlight, the longer it takes to refresh the map screen. Xastir will cache all the maps you view so you can view them later if you lose your Internet connection. This is a good thing if you want to go chasing a near space balloon without an Internet connection. Just be sure to cache all the maps you think you will need.

GPS

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I have yet to hook up a GPS to Xastir but it does support this functionality. I plan on getting this running so I can transmit the vehicle location while we hunt down our nearspace balloon. I just can't find my eTrex anywhere at the moment.
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I was originally going to use my old Garmin eTrex for my APRS station GPS but I have so far been unable to locate it (irony). Instead I was able to figure out a way to tether my Android phone to my laptop and use the phone's GPS for local tracking purposes. It was a bit tricky to configure but it does seem to work so far. I still have to try driving around to make sure it tracks me properly and accurately.

I had to download a free app to my Android phone called ShareGPS?. When you load up the app, you can configure it to share your GPS information via bluetooth or USB. I went the USB route since I don't have bluetooth built into my laptop.

In order to get the USB to work, I had to do a few things. Step one was to install the Android SDK on my laptop. I just downloaded it from Google and unpacked it into my home directory. From there I also had to install java (yum install java). Then I ran the android program (<androidsdk>/tools/android) and told it to install more android tools. This was required so I could get "adb" tool.

Once I had the adb tool, I plugged my phone into the USB port and selected "PC Mode" on the phone side. Then I ran the command "adb forward tcp:50000 tcp:50000". This forwards your Android phone's port 50000 (where ShareGPS? sends your GPS info) to your localhost port 50000. You can verify if this is working by telneting to localhost:50000 on your computer and seeing if GPS data is being dumped in.

Once that works, configure a new "Networked GPS" interface in the "Interface Control" menu in xastir. Just put in "localhost" for the host and "50000" for the port. Make sure you start the interface afterwards. To see if it's working, go to "View -> GPS status". It should tell you how many GPS sattelites are currently in view and also it should say "Fix:Valid".

I've noticed that after a while the GPS status will say "GPS older than 30 seconds!" I noticed that this happens once my phone screen turns off. If I press the power button on my phone to turn the screen back on then I start getting data again. I may have to just force the screen to stay on when tracking. Since it is plugged into my laptop anyway the battery should not die. I will have to play around with this some more though.
 
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