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urbo

WE DID IT! APRS ROVING CACHE IN MIAMI! TRACK IT ON THE WEB!

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we pulled it off folks. pending approval, south florida will have the worlds first internet tracked mobile geocache. the cache consists of a small container hidden behind the spare tire carrier of a honda crv. the crv has aprs running in it so if you find the crv, you find the cache!

cache is called "cache me if you can". hopefully will be approved by tomorrow. callsign on crv is kg4cnm. crv can be tracked on findu.com if you dont have aprs or are out of the south fl area.

 

we hope this will introduce geocachers to some of the cooler aspects of ham radio.

 

73

urbo

ke4mcl

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Can you post some links? I tried finding it on findu.com with no luck.

 

Regards,

Tedoca

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This is fantastic!

 

It could become a new sport. Maybe we could call it "APRS tag"

 

Chris

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Fantastic job Urbo, nicely done.

 

Now, the question on everybody's mind...

 

I want one too, how do I do it?

 

Spare no details.

 

I've got a 2-meter radio in the truck, what else do I need?

 

Thanks!

 

Regards,

Tedoca

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basically its nothing more than an ordinary aprs station. an aprs station can be setup for under $100 if your real frugal and/or resourceful. for this application the best thing is just to build a tracker. the crv has a full blown station in it but a tracker is the cheapest method that will get the job done. my favorite is the "tiny trak" unit. there about $30 in kit form and take about an hour to build. the finished product is aprox the size of a pack of cigarettes and connects your radio to your gps.

 

for the tiny trak the best thing to use is an ht. an old ht will work just fine. dont need anything fancy. i prefer the htx202 from radio shack. good radio and it runs off 12vdc. the tiny track will run off 12vdc also. next thing you need is a gps. for this application the best bet is a standalone gps data engine like what comes with the old delorme mapping programs or the randmcnally unit that looks like a mouse. the randmcnally unit is available on ebay for around $50. the nice thing about these is that they output data as soon as they see power, no human intervention needed. you will need the pinout for the randmcnally unit for deciphering the db9. the pinout is all over the web. just search for rand mcnally gpr pinount and you should yeild something.

 

the tinytrak requires a few little adjustments and thats it, youre one the air. this setup will only transmit your position, it wont let you view aprs data. this setup is ideal for tracking things like people, boats, cars, etc. i have one of these built into a waterproof aluminum container and it goes out in the woods with me when we do our search and rescue excersizes or i'm out with the scout troop. it runs off two yuasa 6v batteries in series for over a week. i will post pics later on.

 

urbo

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Now that the cache is up and working, I'll be spending some time on a page explaining the entire car's technology (beyond just the APRS aspect.) and finding a good replacement for the local APRS IGate that seems to be causing the delay in findu.com.

I'll post a link to the main page when it's done.

 

-- SilverCRV

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Congratulations! I'm anxious to read more about your set up and maybe get one going in SE Wisconsin.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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Let me know if you would like to be able to set up periodic updates to Geocaching.com of the coordinates. I'll create a new cache icon for you.

 

A very unique idea. I've been looking into using this technology in a similar way. icon_smile.gif

 

Jeremy

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Let me know if you would like to be able to set up periodic updates to Geocaching.com of the coordinates. I'll create a new cache icon for you.

 

A very unique idea. I've been looking into using this technology in a similar way. icon_smile.gif

 

Jeremy

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Let me know if you would like to be able to set up periodic updates to Geocaching.com of the coordinates. I'll create a new cache icon for you.

 

A very unique idea. I've been looking into using http://www.gpstracker.com/ in a similar way. icon_smile.gif

 

Jeremy


 

Great to see someone finally pulled this off, and I agree it deserves some sort of unique icon.

Not sure about updating the coordinates, seeing as once the info is entered into the GPS it becomes static anyway, and this type of cache is even more dynamic then usual.

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Let me know if you would like to be able to set up periodic updates to Geocaching.com of the coordinates. I'll create a new cache icon for you.

 

A very unique idea. I've been looking into using http://www.gpstracker.com/ in a similar way. icon_smile.gif

 

Jeremy


 

Great to see someone finally pulled this off, and I agree it deserves some sort of unique icon.

Not sure about updating the coordinates, seeing as once the info is entered into the GPS it becomes static anyway, and this type of cache is even more dynamic then usual.

 

Illegitimus non carborundum!

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"cache me if you can" uses similar technology as some of the commercial gps tracking systems available like the tigertronics unit referenced in jeremy's post. theres one big difference..

 

we dont pay for service!

 

as ham radio operators you have certain benefits and one is free usage of allocated bandwith and certain technologies.

 

why buy lojack or one of these tigertronics devices when you can do your own thing and pay only for what you want and tailor it to do what you need?

 

all you need is a ham license to grant you access to a plethora of radio bandwith in which you can experiment with radio telemetry, radio location, radio data devices, television, and of course regular old person to person voice com.

 

jeremy, if your really interested in the tigertronics stuff i would strongly recomend you look into getting a ham license and doing your own thing and taking advantage of the existing (free) infrastructure that has been put in place by other hams. the silver crv is doing just that, it links to a digipeater (radio data repeater) and then gets put on the web by a gateway. doesnt cost the users a dime except if you want to help the guy who runs the stuff when something breaks.

 

you can take practice tests for the entry level ham license at www.qrz.com look for the section on practice tests and click on the technician test. it doesnt involve morse code and will grant you access to the most popular freqs used for APRS (tracking). its about $10 to take the test and its good for 10 years.

 

radio shack also has some books called "now your talking" which are good intro books for those interested in getting their ham license.

 

silver crv will be dropping you a line about the icon thing and posting updated data (COOL!)

 

URBO

ke4mcl

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Jeremy, a special icon is a very cool idea, I'm all for it!

 

Co-ordinate updating is a good idea as well, if you can figure a way of poling the findu.com data, or directly off an APRS IGate server.

There are a few APRS IGates dump their data off their telnet port, if that helps any.

If you really want to get conplex, how about a java applet that updates the co-ordinates so you don't have to refresh?

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Work has gotten in the way of things once again, it seems I will be away for a few days and will be leaving the cache at the airport.. Since it does run off the main car battery, I have to de-activate it temporarily until late monday. (03/18/2002)

However, this doesn't mean you still can't find it.. if you look hard, enough 'cuz I'm only paying $5/day for parking... (hint hint)

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What happens if a cop sees someone removing stuff from the vehicle while it is parked? Hope they like your explanation .

 

Also I would like to see someone find the cache while it is in motion....I guess a skateboard or inline skates would work. :rolleyes:

 

TTC

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You could use big words to scare the cop away,

"it's a geocache that frequency modulates a two meter

signal to a recieveing digi-peater etc.. etc.. blah,

blah,blah. or maybe that would make him think it was

a bomb or something. better not get seen.

 

That's "mister" radio to you.

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what to tell the bacon.. bad cop! no donut!

just kidding..

 

actually honesty full of technical terms seems to work. at the miami dade community college we planted a micro music cache and the rent-a-cop came by and asked us what we were doing. we told him we were obtaining gps coordinates. he went away. it was after 11pm mind you.

 

urbo

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Very nice use of findU.com!

 

There is a way non-hams can track this, if you have an internet-enabled cell phone, findu.com can supply WAP pages, enter this URL into your phone (tested on Sprint and ATT Wireless, but should work on any WAP phone):

 

wap.findu.com/find?kg4cnm-3

 

Steve K4HG

(creator of findU.com)

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OK- this is very cool. I'm an aprs'r who just recently became a geocacher. I have a full time tracker in my rig as well. In fact, I found out about geocaching from reading about your mobile geocache on findu.

 

Do you have any security concerns with letting everybody (ie- outside the aprs hams) know your whereabouts and having people poke around your rig? I'm not trying to be a ham elitist here, just wondering if you thought about that. I tjink its a great idea and might even consider following your lead and setting the same thing up here in SW Houston.

 

73

KB9WV

 

[This message was edited by kb9wvg on April 07, 2002 at 06:14 AM.]

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KB9WVG: To answer your question I am a little concerned and at the same time I'm not. Most hobbists aren't malicious people, and the car is too hard to see into due to the metalized tints on all the windows.

 

If someone wanted to get the grand tour, all they need to do is ask.

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Hey Silver I'm new to Geocaching and just read about your roveing cache. Wish I lived in FL. It'd be kind of fun to sit on the hood of a friends car at 65 MPH on the highway trying to open a tuperware container and write in a log book. Sigh... Oh well... Colorado will have to do. Did anything ever come of that special cache icon? How's the project going?

 

Ryan

KB0YMA

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