They typically use an Arduino and Trackuino for APRS and tracking. We have been planning to use the Byonics MicroTrak AIO for our APRS tracking, but the cost of $320 has been a bit prohibitive. The Trackuino project would cost less than half as much ($120), and John - K8YYZ is an avid Arduino programmer.
I've reached out to a kind member of hab-ham.org who has extra Trackuino shields already printed, and he is shipping me two of them. The rest of the parts for the Trackuino are sourced at the following links
- Mouser BOM for general parts - $13.55 (includes Arduino, which we have, so we can remove that).
- Sparkfun GPS Module for Arduino - $49.95
- RadioMetrix Transmitter - I've emailed the source in the US for this part. Awaiting response. Should be less than $
50actual cost was $70 + shipping. Byonics also sells this part.
In addition, I did some testing with the Baofeng UV5r radio that we were planning on using for our beacon transmitter and termination receiver. Unfortunately, the UV-5r has a time out timer with a maximum value of 5 minutes. This radio generated so much heat that my display turned purple after a 2 minute transmission at it's lowest power setting, and started dropping transmissions. The plan of running the beacon on 5 minutes, off 1 minute (for DTMF termination) is therefore not an option with this radio.
After discussing this with K8PLW - Dan Saputo, I ordered an Icom 2AT handheld used from Ebay. This radio cost me $40, and is known for it's ruggedness. This can be a sacrificial radio that we can gut out what we need. and utilize it for this project.