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Ham Radio
(This should probably be called the APRS page)


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 the 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 Perl.  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

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

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, and on my old, memory challenged Pi Model B, it's rock stable.

DIXPRS

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 tend to prefer APRX because my relatively old, memory challenged Raspberry Pi Model B has been more stable with it. As of this writing (July 2017), I'm back running DIXPRS as a bit of an experiment using a updated version of the IGate script downloaded from GitHub.  After one week running 7x24 there have been no issues.

YAAC

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 for that thanks to 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 decide for themselves.

XASTIR

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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