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Ham Radio

Thanks to John Sanders, AB5ZR, for introducing me to ham radio.
My call sign is K5DAT.

These days I am not very active on the radio, at least not in terms of
getting on the air and making HF contacts or talking on local repeaters.
There's something about getting married in 2005 and then moving on to
have two children that has a way of re-adjusting priorities.

One of my favorite areas of ham radio is APRS.

For anyone with a Kantronics KPC-3+ or KPC-9612+ TNC, I put together a
script package for taking the TNC in and out of KISS mode. The context at
time of writing was for use with APRSISE/32, but it really doesn't matter
what (Windows based) APRS software is used.
Download Here

 The above are perl scripts converted to binaries that run in Windows without the need
to install ActivePerl.  The source perl scripts are here.  One of these days I'll post the 
LInux versions.

I tend to play with several APRS software applications as follows:
By the way, all of the software below is FREE.


APRSICE/32 is very actively developed and packs a lot of features and
functionality.  It's a very versatile application, and it runs well in Linux under
Wine.  APRSISCE is the Windows Moble version while APRSIS32 is the desktop
version that runs in pretty much any Windows desktop/laptop version including
Windows 10.


APRX is a lightweight Linux application that can be either an IGate, Digipeater,
or both.  It runs in OpenWRT and is one of the more popular applications used
in wireless routers.  It has had some problems with bugs in the past, and I found
that users must be carefull with it.   However it appears as of 2015/2016 it's a
stable and bug free application.  There's nothing smaller for use in platforms
like a router or a Raspberry Pi.


My DIXPRS Downloads

DIXPRS is a digipeater/IGate application written in Python and designed to be
cross-platform.  It's known to work in Windows and Linux including openWRT for
use in wireless routers.  DIXPRS is very similar in functionality to APRX - can be
an IGATE, Digipeater, or both.  After long term use I now prefer APRX because
my relatively old, memory challenged Raspberry Pi Model B is rock stable with it.
On the other hand, it can lock up after a week or so running DIXPRS.


YAAC or "Yet Another APRS Client" is relatively new program that is very cross-
platform.  YAAC is more of a full featured application that supports OSM XML maps.
YAAC is written in java, and I've used it under both Linux and Windows.  My main issue
with YAAC is the lack of access to the same online OSM maps supported by  both
APRSIS32 and Xastir.  Being more of a full featured application in the same vein as
APRSIS32 and Xastir, it seems very suitable as a "ham shack" program.  Therefore it
would be nice to have access to the nicer looking map display when not using it mobile.
The author targets the program more for  "off the grid" use, but I prefer APRSIS32 with
its ability to disable the tile purger and save OSM tiles for use offline.  Still each program
has strengths and weaknesses, so everyone should try each one out and decode for


My XASTIR Downloads

Xastir is also a "full featured" application that's a Linux/Unix only play.  It
specializes in supporting lots of different map formats.  Many people involved in
search and rescue (SAR) organizations use and prefer Xastir, and one reason
for that is the versatile map support.  It's been around a long time and thus is
mature and has some unique features such as support for Garmin Rino's.

I've been known to contribute from time to time to the Xastir project - hence
the items posted above.


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