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Old 15-04-2012, 06:26   #31
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

I wondered where that bug went...

Nick, you should have spoke up when I was there - I have a duplexer on board not being used that takes the 440 and 2M antenna outputs and matches them to a single dual-band antenna. Saves you having to mount two antennas.

Mark
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:46   #32
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
And here some if the power of the system gets unveiled: I just sent my first email message via Winlink with just this radio, no computer used for this!

KI4CIS-9 Messages

cheers,
Nick.

Can't say I was aware of WL2K without the computer. Something else for me to look into. I've only run on a computer with RMS or Airmail (so far). Maybe best I stick with basics on my IC706G or IC718 before I go getting more radios.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:55   #33
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I wondered where that bug went...

Nick, you should have spoke up when I was there - I have a duplexer on board not being used that takes the 440 and 2M antenna outputs and matches them to a single dual-band antenna. Saves you having to mount two antennas.

Mark
Hi Mark, I thought you were off-line, deep in the Darien wilderness etc.

The D710 radio only has one antenna connector, so the duplexer is built-in

The simple thing is that I don't have a 70cm antenna up yet... it's in the heap of stuff to be installed

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:59   #34
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
Can't say I was aware of WL2K without the computer. Something else for me to look into. I've only run on a computer with RMS or Airmail (so far). Maybe best I stick with basics on my IC706G or IC718 before I go getting more radios.
Well, you have to enter the message using the radio knobs and buttons, so a keyboard is nice to have... but the microphone has the DTMF buttons so if you're used to cellphone messaging, it is doable.

I forgot the guide: http://www.winlink.org/aprslink


Nick
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Old 15-04-2012, 07:50   #35
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

Yesterday I procured a Furuno Weatherfax with 2.60 mtr aerial and an Icom R-72.
My question: what is the aerial (antenna) best suitable for receipt of communications?
I cannot use the backstay - there is none.
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Old 15-04-2012, 21:36   #36
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So, I did a reasonable step in the install today:



The two Kenwoods next to each other and both live

I am still having trouble with the GPS. We're moored so SOG is zero. The stupid Furuno just doesn't send any value which the radio interprets as infinite fast. This ruins the algorithms that decide how often position updates are sent. I don't know what a converter like the Actisense would send out but I can see it doing the same thing with the same trouble. I'm ready to order a nifty GPS module for the Kenwood D710 because that one is fully compatible....

I also installed the dual band antenna today but must still pull extra coax. Found a bunch of RG-8X which will do.

The Panamanian HAMs have discovered me and are sending me APRS messages all day They welcomed me to Panama, invited me to use their repeaters etc. Very nice, but language is a barrier for me. I did try their repeaters and had no trouble opening them. I tried the 70cm with 5W power into a marine VHF antenna at 20 meters height and opened the repeater 65km away! This isn't supposed to work

Also playing with all the HAM VHF options that I never used before, like tone-squelch or even digitally coded squelch. All this stuff also works on marine band but ofcourse nobody else has this.... which is a shame because we could filter out other traffic on cruisers calling channel etc.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-04-2012, 21:42   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
Yesterday I procured a Furuno Weatherfax with 2.60 mtr aerial and an Icom R-72.
My question: what is the aerial (antenna) best suitable for receipt of communications?
I cannot use the backstay - there is none.
Hi Mac,

Furuno sells a special active antenna which is very expensive. In the EU they also sell combination antenna for the masthead that does both VHF and HF-receive, which is another option.

I don't have backstays either; I use a long vertical whip and a wire that I hoist while not underway. You can also isolate another stay od shroud. Have a look at how the Amel's do it near the starboard capshroud.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 16-04-2012, 20:59   #38
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

I've been working on the new awning most of the day, but found a little time for HAM radio. I have managed to install UI-View32 and get it to work with the Kenwood TM-D710 radio. Google search came up with some maps of Panama to use, but I needed much more detail and precision.

So I made a map of Fort Sherman myself using Google Earth for the satellite photo. I put two pins in at upper left corner and lower right corner at nice rounded coordinates, which I could use for the calibration within UI-View.

I now have full tactical display



You see UI-View running on my MacMini desktop. UI-View is a Windows application, so I run it under Parallels/Windows-7 here. I use coherent mode so it almost looks like a Mac app. If you look carefully you see an icon for a sailboat in the marina... that is my Kenwood TM-D710 radio. If we grab a handheld and walk away, you see that happen in real time in this application. Remember, there is no Internet or phone or 3G needed for this; it's fully independent, just like modern battlefield technology.

Now I need to log positions with time stamps of the handhelds so that we can geo-tag our photo's from this same info, meaning we don't need to carry GPS trackers anymore while on photography hikes.

There will be some testing tomorrow on a private frequency so that we can do frequent updates (once every minute or so is enough for geo-tagging). We'll need to see how long the battery lasts doing that. I will also test for a setup where the D710 aboard acts as a repeater so that the handhelds can be tracked reliably from the APRS-IS worldwide system.

I'll post about this on my blog where I will make the maps we create for this available.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:22   #39
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

We did some testing today; this is using the local program:


On the Internet you can easily track and also see which path the transmissions take: here you see how the boat repeats the signal after which it travels to another repeater near Panama City:


Here you see that the boat (KI4CIS-9) is the first repeater of the signal:


At the same time, the handy talki is on marine VHF channel 00A with a digitally coded squelch (DCS) so that only I can open the squelch and be heard. Voice communications were crystal clear. The internal GPS held lock in the thick of the jungle too. Not bad for a small radio like this:


Soon I will have the dual-band antenna wired up on the boat so that we can do range comparisons in the jungle between 2m and 70cm band. I think 70cm will do much better.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 22-02-2013, 15:28   #40
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I'm back on this project. I have bought and installed the Green Light Labs GPS for the Kenwood D-710 which piggybacks onto the control head like this:

and this works 100% inside the (fiberglass) boat.

Now I'm about to inspect the serial output and see if I can feed it into a chartplotter...... so keep an eye on this thread
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Old 22-02-2013, 22:09   #41
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

Amazing.
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Old 23-02-2013, 05:23   #42
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The serial output gives $GPWPL (waypoint) sentences for each received APRS station and when that station's position changes. Nice.

I tried feeding it into a Simrad AT10 NMEA0183<>NMEA2000 converter which is supposed to support this sentence but it does not output it onto the N2K bus.

I tried feeding it into OpenCPN which is supposed to use it and while it appears in the monitor-window, nothing seems to happen with it.

That's running out of options fast. I tried two more things that did work:

- feed the AT10 0183 output into OpenCPN and this is the first 0183 capable progam/device that I tried that works with this darn converter.

- the Green Light Labs GPS also outputs it's regular GPS sentences and that looks very cool and also works on OpenCPN.

I also think I can get it to decode AIS traffic if I try hard enough. It should work while scanning both AIS channels on band A while using band B for regular voice communications on another VHF channel, which would make the radio equal to the combi AIS/VHF offerings on the market. Would be a nice program-profile

Today I'll try to feed the WPL sentences to my Furuno plotter and bother our OpenCPN friends here on CF
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Old 25-02-2013, 23:14   #43
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

What you have managed to do is just incredible.

Thanks for posting it.
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Old 26-02-2013, 06:40   #44
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

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What you have managed to do is just incredible.

Thanks for posting it.
Thank you. There are may be 5 CF members who understand what is happening in this thread and the implication it has. As HAM radios become better programmable, we can program them to do many jobs on a boat. I am sure that this Kenwood can be an AIS transponder plus VHF radio just by modifying the software.

Update: The Furuno Navnet3D can output a NMEA WPL sentence, but it does not support it when we send it to it's input.

I did put in a feature request with OpenCPN which looks like to be approved and taken up by somebody so I guess we'll get it somehow.

I wish I would have a development kit for the Kenwood so that I could output a different sentence, like DCS or ARPA tracking which is supported by the chart plotters. I don't want to put a computer in between.

There is an easy way out however: a friendly Italian manufacturer, Avmap, is selling a GPS navigator much like a Tomtom or Garmin but it supports APRS input (!!) and it supports user-created maps (!!!). It is the G6 APRS model:

AvMap WebSite
Here you see it decode a packet from an APRS weather station:


I also found that I can reprogram the Kenwood to receive AIS because it's modem is 9600bps and it allows to tune into the AIS modulation scheme. However, you get the raw packets in the TNC KISS mode, which need to be processed to get to NMEA VDM messages. I'm afraid that I don't have enough time and incentive to travel down that path

I'm also working on finishing my Navnet 3D radar and MaxSea TZ install. Just got it to fully work so I'm now waterproofing cable connections etc. I had pulled a wrong cable before so that got me a bit pissed off with myself

I did get the right cables but also a very nice ethernet switch and USB hub that are both with shielded metal case and wide range DC power input, like 9-24V. The switch now has my Navnet 3D display and radar scanner and the MacMini with MaxSea connected to it and works great. I need to tidy that up.
The USB hub gives you a fool proof externally powered hub, mounted where you can quickly plug stuff in like GPS, hard disk, N2K converter etc. Need to install that too.

I keep finding NMEA 0183 connections even after switching to NMEA 2000. I now have 3 feeds at the navstation: VHF for DSC and two from the Kenwood radio (GPS + APRS). I think my SSB also has NMEA output and DSC... so I will relocate my old 4800bps NMEA mux to the navstation to put all that into one single NMEA stream. I also ordered an Actisense converter so that I should be able to put anything together. I'll just pull some extra cables here and there to make sure that I don't have to open the ceiling again after this.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 26-02-2013, 08:13   #45
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Re: VHF / UHF HAM Radio Antenna ... and AIS?

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I also ordered an Actisense converter so that I should be able to put anything together.
Hi Nick! Would you please report back on the Actisense box when you have experimented with it a bit?
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