OpenLog for TinyTrak – drive test

OpenLog07

A drive test of the OpenLog logger collecting raw NMEA data in parallel with the TinyTrak (VHF) was conducted. To maximise the performance of APRS, a fill-in digi / iGate was run at my home. The tracker used a 65W transmitter with quarter wave vertical in the centre of the car roof.

Google Earth googleearth 29/10/2015 , 08:19:01

Above is an overview of the APRS and OpenLog tracks. Click on the image for a scaleable / zoomable view in Google Maps. Continue reading OpenLog for TinyTrak – drive test

OpenLog for TinyTrak

There are a host of factors that contribute to data loss in APRS, to name just some:

  • non-standard / sub-standard / poorly configured digipeaters;
  • defect ridden iGates that lose, duplicate and corrupt packets;
  • poorly configured mobiles;
  • network congestion and interference;
  • unpredictable equipment failures;
  • basic geographical coverage of the network; and
  • dependence on the ionosphere for HF APRS.

This article describes an enhancement to the popular TinyTrak (and its clones) to also capture the GPS stream to an inexpensive local data logger.

The logger does not interfere with normal radio APRS, it coexists with it and creates a properly timestamped fine detail log of positions over a very long time, a log that can be post processed into a range of graphic / map and tabular reports.

Data logger

The datalogger used in an OpenLog. It is a simple logger that writes data to a micro SD card, costs about $A12 (inc post) for the logger and about A$10 (inc post) for a 16GB Class 10 micro SD card. (A slower card could be used, but they aren’t much cheaper.)

OpenLog05

Above, the OpenLog data logger.
Continue reading OpenLog for TinyTrak

A cheap and cheerful data logger

I had need of a portable serial data logger for proof of concept of a supplementary data logger for an APRS tracker.

The requirement is to capture RS232-TTL data at 4800bps, 8N1 to a data file for later extraction. The logger needs to restart automatically and append new records to the existing file.

A spare Raspberry Pi2 was applied to the job as a headless data logger.

cclogger01

 

Above is the RPi2 with an inexpensive FTDI USB/RS232-TTL adapter. Only the ground and RD wires attach to the modified TinyTrak. Continue reading A cheap and cheerful data logger

Adjusting KISS TNC AFSK tx level using an improved isochronous test packet

Adjusting KISS TNC AFSK tx level using an isochronous test packet explained a technique to drive a KISS TNC with a specially constructed packet that contains an ISOCHRONOUS test packet, a packet that will produce equal high and low tone alternation in the transmitted AFSK signal. The improved packet should be repeated by most digipeaters, allowing observation of their modulation performance.

F0000TEK

Above is the waveform recovered from a receiver without de-emphasis (a Motorola R2009D communications analyser in this case).
Continue reading Adjusting KISS TNC AFSK tx level using an improved isochronous test packet

On-air testing of APRS digipeater with a crafted suite of test records

It is one thing to read code, and perform traces of live traffic to test proper function of a digipeater. This is a more valid technique than injecting test records directly into the software as for instance, viscous digi depends on the neighbour digis. Continue reading On-air testing of APRS digipeater with a crafted suite of test records

APRS traffic study – VK2OMD-3 08/02/2015

APRS traffic study – VK2OMD-3 11/10/2014 reported a study of APRS traffic.

This article is an update after configuration changes at VK2RHR-1 to make it a ‘fill-in digi’, it repeats packets addressed to WIDE1 only.

The study of APRS traffic was conducted by analysing the log of VK2OMD-3, a VHF APRS ‘fill-in’ digi and iGate.

The capture period was during from 0700-1700 local time on Sunday 08/02/2015. Continue reading APRS traffic study – VK2OMD-3 08/02/2015

ashim at shell servo

The message “ashim at shell servo” must be an important one.

I have heard VK2UBQ-9 sending this message to VK2XSO-5 for many months, a couple of hundred times a day when VK2UBQ-9 has his radio switched on.

The intended recipient was last reported on aprs.fi in May 2014, seven months ago, yet the APRS system is still wasting bandwidth trying to deliver this message, presumably waiting for a delivery acknowledgement. Continue reading ashim at shell servo

Packet loss by digi collision

It has been apparent to me that the two local digipeaters often collide.

One uses UIDIGI and therefore is conformant with the p-persistence channel access algorithm.

The other is a Argent Data T3-135 which does its own thing.

To discover how many packets are detected with bad CRC, I installed 6PACK on a TNC. 6PACK reports receive CRC failures which are logged by the Linux kernel. Data was collected for seven hours through the middle of the day to ensure that there was traffic, but that channel utilisation was low. Continue reading Packet loss by digi collision

Another Argent Data T3 incompatibility

I have written on incompatibility of Argent Data TNCs with other devices.

In pursuing apparent packet loss, I have run up a Paccomm Tiny-2 MK-2 TNC with 6PACK firmware, and my aprx server using Linux AX25 kernel support and 6PACK driver.

It has become apparent that although the system reliably decodes packets from a multi-packet burst from VK2AMW-1, it only ever decodes the first packet of a multi-packet burst from VK2RHR-1. Frame check errors are logged. Continue reading Another Argent Data T3 incompatibility