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spexmaniac

More Aprs Questions Probably Ot

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sorry if this is to off topic, but I'm interested in position reporting because we run self drive adventures in the Sahara, and as every vehicle has a GPS then it would be nice to be able to find out where clients had wandered off to.

I have seen it advetised on Kenwood radios, what others -if any support it?

at the moment we rely on UK spec CB sets which isn't very good.

do any other system support aprs such as proffesional pmr radios or I beleive that one of our competitors uses Marine vhf radios, and I have heard these do.

how could we display or track the other vehicles if the radios in them had aprs or similar?

tia

John

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it's illegal to use ham bands for a commercial venture (APRS or voice or whatever) and I'm pretty sure that using a marine frequency while not floating is illegal.

 

Look into using APRS over a business freq - its certainly possible and won't get you smacked by the FCC

Edited by _mo_

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1. Would it be illegal in the Sahara, or is this rule just the FCC's?

 

2. Since one could argue that the drivers of the vehicles are A. friends, and B. interested in knowing where each other is, then C, a HAM in a truck could APRS to another HAM in a truck. Would the gray zone of definitions come into play here?

 

3. I am unaware of any brand of HAM radio that does APRS easily other than the Kenwood models. Others (ICOM) can do it, but the TNC's and the wiring needed make them less attractive since the Kenwood models have TNC's and their software built in so they offer a more "plug and play" solution.

 

4. Rhinos have limited range and would work for trucks that are within a 5 mile LINE OF SIGHT of each other, but a deep valley between sand dunes would prevent those from working. We had trouble communicating on them in Dodge Park which is flat Missouri River flood plain with trees. They didn't impress.

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Check out the Pocket Tracker -- a version of the Tiny Track with a transmitter -- designed to fit in an Altoids tin.

 

www.byonics.com

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1. Would it be illegal in the Sahara, or is this rule just the FCC's?

 

The FCC regs are based on international convention (CCITT?). I don't think anyone is monitoring in the Sahara....

 

2. Since one could argue that the drivers of the vehicles are A. friends, and B. interested in knowing where each other is, then C, a HAM in a truck could APRS to another HAM in a truck. Would the gray zone of definitions come into play here?

 

Sounds gray enough to me :blink:

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Thanks for the input, the Kenwoods are probably a bit pricey,

 

Despite what the US government think their rules don't apply in the sahara :blink:

 

Technically the areas we travel in are covered by various rules mostly enshrined in Moroccan law (based as someone pointed out on international treaty), however the Moroccans don't seem to care as long as its not a HF set, not very long ago they used to not allow anything, then they used to try and rip us off £200 (US$350-400) per set, now they dont seem bothered at all.

 

There is a nice get out in the international laws from the Niarobi confrence that says in an emergency you can legally use any radio or frequency available, hard if your caught chatting on one , but useful if we have a real problem.

 

I'm in the UK and we have a whole raft of radio laws, the only transmitters allowed without a licence is the equivalent of your FRS system, (called pmr 446) EVERYTHING else needs a licence, despite this only 50 people were prosected year before last for no licences, and most of them were just stupid by trying to start pirate radio stations, using licenced PMR frequencies or HF aircraft frequencies.

 

If I was going to use ham equipment I planned to wideband the Tx and use "commercial" frequencies, as upsetting the hams is about the quickest way to get caught.

 

thanks again

John

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Thanks for the wisdom and support, we go prepared, Iridium sat phone, gps and CB in every vehicle, so we do what we can. You guys state side are quite lucky that you don't have to travel quite as far to play out in the desert, depends were in the USA you are I suppose.

It was the rhinos that actually gave me the idea, wondering if we could do a similar thing but bigger :-)

While I was cruising QRZ.com for radio mos I sat the practice tests, I two different ones, and scored 80+% on both in under 15mis per paper, maybe I should consider a ham licence anyway.

 

cheers and thanks for the help

 

John

UK

Edited by spexmaniac

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Yea, get the license! The ham bands are pretty much off limits world-wide for commercial use. It's not just a US thing.

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4. Rhinos have limited range and would work for trucks that are within a 5 mile LINE OF SIGHT of each other

As far as I know, while the Rinos are FRS/GMRS, they use FRS for position reporting. That probably limits the claimed distance to 2 miles. As usual, your mileage may vary.

 

As far as I know, the Kenwoods (one HT, one Mobile) are the only units that are as convenient to use. The Rinos will have limited distance. Other radios can be used, but they'll require an external package to transmit.

 

The legalities of the radio service used are a valid concern, but may pale with the need to be friendly with the locals. <_<

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Regarding which trancievers to use, please also check out the Alinco line.

Alinco

They have several single and dual band VHF/UHF rigs that have TNCs built in. Their prices are lower than Kenwoods.

 

Regarding which frequencies you can use, check the ITU assignments of ham bands, and your country's assignments. You might find commercial frequencies just outside the ham bands and you may be allowed to modify your equipment in a particular country and transmit there. For example, most 2M rigs (144 to 148 MHz in many countries) can transmit from 135 to 174 MHz with usually a simple modification. Buying a single band Alinco on 2M might be the cheapest way to go, if you can leaglly modify and use it.

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