Track friends in the outdoors.

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57 comments

  • Matt

    Nathan,

    Any headway on this?

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  • tom ryan

    Just found that aprsdroid will send location of a recieved signal to bcn.  Click on the call sign, next screen click on the menu buttons.  You can find the rest from there.  

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  • Hgerhardt

    Tom,  I am one of those looking for such a feature but am not able to get there from your brief description.  I have both APRSDroid and BackCountry Navigator Pro on my smart phone but need more instructions to hopefully be able to discover such a feature.  Please post step by step instructions.  Thanks, Herb

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  • James Bowen

    Thanks for the sharing of location option Nathan. Any chance you can have it default to BCN instead of Google Maps? Just thinking it would be nice for tracking family when we barely have enough cell coverage to send texts for locations but maybe not enough to load Google Maps.

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  • tom ryan

    Hgerhardt and others.  I am using a samsung tab s, running aprsdroid version 1.3.0-88-g83a13bf+  2016-12-02.  It is not the play store version.  I dl'd it from the aprsdroid site.  It is the version that uses osm maps.  https://aprsdroid.org/download/builds/

    How to..... from the main aprsdroid screen,  click on a contact/callsign, now you should see stats for that call sign, in the upper rt corner click the 3 dot menu, then click external map source, choose bcn, then choose create waypoint, goto or center on map...... this also works on my lgv10.   

    Not as smooth as having ALL aprsdroid objects auto appear on bcn, but it is better than copy and paste lat/long.

    Tom

    Kg7otl

    Wqsr556

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  • Kbiddle42

    I just stumbled across the APRS beta option in BCN the other day, and I immediately DL'd APRSDroid to give it a whirl.  I was bummed when nothing happened.

    Nathan, I'm not anywhere near Camas WA, but I'm a ham and I would love to see APRS info showing up on my BCN maps.  Please let me know if I can help in any way, 

    kbiddle42@gmail.com

    KI7KWB

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  • Dan

    From one of our users:

     

    Nathan,

     

    I am one of the ones who would love to have APRS stations show up on my Backcountry navigator screen. I made this post 4 years ago:

     

    · Hgerhardt

    o 4 years ago

    In Ham Radio we already have such a system, it is called APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) which of course requires special radio equipment. A marriage between BackCountry Navigator and APRS would be the cat's meow. That way, we could have satellite maps on our Android device which would also show the locations of other APRS trackers. The way I see it, this would require an external device that would connect to the APRS equipped Ham radio that would be able to accept Bluetooth inputs and be able to send the digital radio packets to the Android device. I know that is too hard and not possible with just a software change to BackCountry Navigator but I can dream, can't I...... Herb KB7UVC

    Now I recently noticed that you have an option of selecting APRSDroid (Beta) in one of your menus and I am also an APRSDroid user. I have tried this option but it does not seem to do anything that I can notice. What I was hoping for was that it would output my location to the APRSDroid program which would put it out on APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) and in turn allow other APRS station to show up on your screen but it would probably be best to have that feature on a selection screen so that it does not over burden the small cell phone screen if there are lots of APRS stations in a particular area. So far I do not believe anything like that is possible via your program but would be a nice feature.

     

    Now as far as a Passcode goes, it is tied to a Ham Radio Call Sign and is used for a very weak control system to assure that only a licensed Ham can transmit on RF (Radio Frequency). In the US our primary APRS frequency is on 144.390 MHz. Yes, I am an APRS user and have been for over 20 years. I also own and operate the SOMTN digipeater on South Mountain west of Shelton on a 3,000 ft peak. I live in Belfair, WA which is not Camas but within a 150 miles of you. If you want to use my Ham call sign for your testing, I am more than willing to allow you to do that. You would have to use KB7UVC-2 with a Passcode of 14580. Like I said, this Passcode is tied to my KB7UVC call sign.

     

    The way I see it, in order to make this all work, your program would have to have a user name added which in order to make it into the APRS network would have to be a Ham call sign. If not a call sign, it would not make it into the ham radio APRS network. Now to make it into the APRS internet network, it would also require a Passcode which is unique to each call sign. So again the way I see it, when an individual selects APRSDroid option, another window should open to ask for the Ham Radio call sign and Passcode. If the person does not have a call sign he would not have a Passcode and he would not be able to use that feature. Hopefully you follow what I am saying...... This feature would only be useable by licensed Ham Radio Operators but there are lots of them out there like me.

     

    Just for info, anyone in the world can follow me on the internet or via RF (radio frequency). If you go to:

     

    Where I live: http://aprs.link/app/aprs/stations/googlemap-KB7UVC

     

    My main vehicle: http://aprs.link/app/aprs/stations/googlemap-KB7UVC-9

     

    Where I walk: http://aprs.link/app/aprs/stations/googlemap-KB7UVC-7

     

    My APRSDroid cell phone position: http://aprs.link/app/aprs/stations/googlemap-KB7UVC-10

     

    Those are the main trackers that I use. I do use others on occasion. These are all different radio devices except for the APRSDroid which is my cell phone and that program feeds my KB7UVC-10 into the internet which in turn puts it out on all internet connected APRS station and some of those I-Gates which receive the info via the internet might retransmit it out on a ham radio into the RF network. I am sure I floored you by now but it is a basic primer on how it all ties together.

     

    If you or your engineer would like to add such a feature, I am more than willing to help. Just ask...... I will be in North Bend WA this coming weekend at our 20th Annual NW APRS Group Summer Gathering but will be back the following Monday. I will also be on my early elk hunting trip in the Town of Bucoda south of Olympia from October 6 through October 14. You can follow my travels via the -9 or -7 or -10 above.

     

    I saw your subscription service postings but did not elect to subscribe to it as I do not use it enough to make it worthwhile for me. I do use your Backcountry Navigator Pro on my cell phone and tablet when out in the field hiking or hunting but those infrequent uses don't justify paying the subscription service. Just allowing me to use my cell phone or tablet in the woods while I do not have any internet service is the cat's meow for me since it allows me to use the GPS function on my phone. When I get an animal down during hunting season and then bring up the satellite map to figure out the best way to bring the animal out, is worth its weight in gold. Now the only other thing I would love to be able to do is run your program on my Win10 laptop which I believe would be possible on your new subscription program but for its limit use, I cannot justify the additional expense......

     

    BTW, I also volunteer for DNR in our area and love mapping their roads and ORV trails on my Garmin 60CSx GPS and their old MapSource program. I recently "upgraded" to their 64s GPS but that was a mistake, since it does not allow me to do my accustomed mapping with the GPS so am still using my 60CSx as my primary GPS unit. I have tried to use your Backcountry Navigator program for recoding my waypoints and tracks and then import that info into my MapSource program to massage that date, but I have not mastered that technique. Not sure if it could be used to replace my Garmin GPS for mapping but sure would be nice if I could figure that all out.

     

    Another thought is that I have a friend, Mike Hemel, WB7WUK, who lives in the Portland area which is fairly close to you who might be willing to help. He is an APRS user but I do not think a Backcountry Navigator user but he could learn Backcountry Navigator and then be able to help you test it on a more local level.

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  • Matt

    Just updated to version 6.6.5 and I'm getting APRS objects on my map!

    How can I submit a screenshot?

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  • Hgerhardt

    FANTASTIC!!!!!

    I did not understand where I could check what version of BCN I had but went to the Play Store and it told me that an update was available to BCN Pro.  Yes, that update is Version 6.6.5.  I updated my BCN and it appears that BCN is now married with APRSDroid.  It now shows the APRS stations on my phone screen running BCN.  It also sends out my position to the APRS network and shows up on my home computer screen where I run the SARTrack APRS program.  Not sure how this marriage is done but it shows me as KB7UVC-10 which is what I have programmed into my APRSDroid program on the same phone.  Keep in mind that you have to be a licensed HAM Radio Operator for this feature to work.  So if you are not a HAM, here is a good reason to become a HAM.

    Thanks you Nathan and Dan for making this happen.....

    Herb KB7UVC

     

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  • Brent

    WOW! This is working for me too! (ver. 6.6.5) This is such a great feature!!! I've been following this for years now and to see this come to fruition is just amazing. I'll definitely be showing this off to all my buddies. 

    Great work Nathan, Dan, and everyone else who supported this!

    Brent KF7UTT

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  • Nathan

    As of today, we appear able to show APRS objects. 

    If you like this, be sure and spread the word to other APRS users in any forums or meetings you go to.

    It counts on having APRSDroid installed and configured, but we can activate their background service and get data from it.

    I can tell you that I've gotten interested in getting licensed now. By October 14th if I can.

    Can you recommend some entry level radio that can interface with the phone? How do they interface with the phone - is it a wire, bluetooth?

    APRSDroid mentions AFSK,KISS,TNC, and NMEA waypoint. I don't know what they all mean and which devices have them.

     

     

     

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  • Matt

    Take a look at this website. http://www.mobilinkd.com/

    A lot of people buy the cheap Chinese radios (including me) and pair them with a Mobilinkd TNC. The cheap radios work better in a remote setting than in an urban environment. Without going into a lot of techno mubo-jumbo it comes down to you get what you pay for.

    I don't have experience with this particular model, but it looks to be the latest model. https://baofengradio.us/ham-radios-41/baofeng-bff9v2-black.html, but do have a few other Baofeng radios models that all work well enough to justify the sub $50 price. Keep in mind, as mentioned above, the radios do not work as good as top tier radios in congested RF environments (urban).

    Kenwood, Icom, and Yaesu are all good, but cost more.

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  • Matt

    Thank You!!!!!

     


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  • Trevor Holyoak

    This is awesome! I had no idea about this new feature until I just got the e-mail newsletter. I am an Extra class ham, AG7GX. I will definitely be using this feature. And for APRS you can just use something as simple as a Baofeng UV5R with a $20 cable that connects it to your phone. Things have come a long way in that area in the last few years.

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  • Milaremi

    https://goo.gl/wFRTiy

     

    Not sure if anyone is aware of these (They just came out of a Kickstarter campaign), but I used 3 of these last weekend to send texts (w/location) via 2 hops across about 5 miles out in the sticks.  No Cell service otherwise and no licensing needed - it uses the 900mhz spectrum range.  

    Nathan would there be any way to incorporate your maps with these guys' open source maps or better yet, replace their maps?

     

     

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  • Nathan

    The gotenna mesh is a great concept. 

    I might have to actually get some before I know more.

    They are now thinking they might ship to me in late September. When did I order them? Last December.

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  • Milaremi

    yeah, the "Kickstarter Kurse"  - months late, but they eventually arrive.  I look forward to seeing what you can accomplish with your set!

    I'm so excited about your Kickstarter project that I was backer #3!   Onwards and upwards!

     

     

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  • Tyrell

    This APRSDroid support is so amazingly cool! Thank you so much for your work on that, it was the push I needed to finally pay for APRSDroid instead of just using the free version from their website. Now I need to go get a passcode for my vanity callsign so I can use it legally :p

    Nathan, I know you are in Camas, you should check out the Clark County Amateur Radio Club's Digital Group; They have monthly meetings, they play with digital modes like APRS, AX.25 (The over-the-air protocol under VHF/UHF APRS, also usable for other networking uses), PACTOR (Another OTA protocol optimized for low-datarate HF use), etc... They would certainly be interested in this kind of thing, and might be a different (From the EmComm) aspect of the hobby that you may find interesting. Here is their info: http://www.w7aia.org/digital.htm

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  • Hgerhardt

    Now that we have this great feature of marrying BCN with APRSDroid, I drove the other day with BCN on my display.  It would be nice to have a selection where the user could decide if they wanted North Up or Track Up.  North Up is great while on foot but a bit confusing while driving.  Can such a selection be added?

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  • Joel Kasper

    First. Thanks!

    I have been using it for the last several days and have noticed a couple of things. Occasionally BCN stops updating. If I re position the map it will do a single update.  To get it to start updating I need to close and restart BCN.

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  • Dan

    Hi Joel,

     

    Do you have a battery saving app/mode running?

    What app version do you have?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Dan

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  • Joel Kasper

    Dan,

    I will need to look but I downloaded the latest version after Nathan said he had it working. I do not have battery save on. I will keep keep trying to pinpoint when it happens and let you know. One other thing that you may think of for later updates is that with topo maps with a green background it is hard to see the black test and the red and black pin.

     

    Thanks Dan!!!

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  • mmidgley

    Nathan, I absolutely love this.  I hope APRSDroid integration moves beyond Beta status (even if the feature-set remains as it is now) AND I hope it is also part of the upcoming XE bcn version!  I built a cable to go from 3.5mm audio to baofeng uv5r handheld radio that works with APRSDroid. I recently bought a Google Pixel 2 (no headphone jack) and will have to investigate whether it works with my bluetooth clip device that is now my "3.5mm jack".

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  • Joel Kasper

    I use it in two setups. One is a ASUS (cell enabled) tablet with APRSDROID that is connected via Bluetooth to a Mobilink TNC  which is connected to an 8 watt Beofeng. It works good.

    The other is a Samsung Galaxy Lite (no cell. wifi only) with APRSDROID that is connected via Bluetooth to a Mobilink TNC which is connected to a Kenwood V71.  The main issue with this is the memory on the tablet to store offline map areas.  It would be great if there was an easy way to store on an SD card.

    One other think I noticed on both that if the system is not restarted periodically the update slows and will actually stop.

    One other request would be a bit larger object. It can be hard to see on a 7" display. 

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  • Nathan

    Last month I passed the exam to get my technician level license.

    No hardware yet.

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  • Milaremi

    Quick reminder - the SDK has now been released for these too:

     

    https://www.gotenna.com/pages/sdk

     

    Thanks and keep up the great work Nathan!

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  • James H. Reinholm

    It may be a little advanced, but here’s a device made by Garmin that interfaces with a smartphone app, and allows you to display not only the location of other users, but also their tracks and waypoints: https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/. Users are also able to communicate and send messages to each other via the Iridium satellite network (so no internet or cell service is needed). An SOS signal can be sent in case of emergency to send in a rescue team.

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