Amateur Radio Station K6JEB

from beyond the horizon

Sainsonic AP510 Unboxing

Posted by Jack on January 24th, 2015

Unboxing of the SainSonic AP510 APRS Tracker with Built-in GPS Module, 1W VHF Transceiver Module, VHF Antenna, Bluetooth, Thermometer, and TF Card Support. Price was around $130 shipped (and fast).

These are available from several sources. I bought mine here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JLB94IS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

To help you get over the initial shock of setting one of these bad boys up, Eric KJ4YZI has some helpful videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTM6csDJfvY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmtVvKav_LU

and be sure to drop by the Yahoo Group:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AP510/info

There’s that initial bump but now that I’ve set up one I could set up a hundred. Once you get the latest firmware flashed into the tracker via the USB port, you run the config program and use the suggested settings found on the Yahoo Group (or just bug me for a screen shot).

$130 and this thing WORKS as advertised. No mess of wires. Great battery life. You can connect to it via Bluetooth (so you can run it in KISS mode from your smartphone or tablet). GPS is FAST! The case is SOLID! Stock antenna isn’t that impressive but that’s easily remedied. I also soldered the antenna connector since some goofball thought it was a good idea to use a male SMA connector with the spinning sleeve BEHIND the case.  :)

Look for K6JEB-4 on APRS.FI.

And of course it would be cool to somehow get on the Heard MHeard list as well (rimshot).

Something like this would be a no-brainer to attach to an amp to get a bit more than 1-watt out.

I’m thinking of ruggedizing my AP510 further by putting into a Pelican case (with room for a 35watt 2M amp and a weatherize pass-through hole for either sealed Anderson Powerpoles or just a wire or bolt bus). I’m definitely going to take this setup on the 20 mile FAGES II Scout Hike through Tilden Park and Wildcat Canyon this year. And of course several other field testings.

The battery is lithium Ion and seems to hold a charge while beaconing for over 24 hours. This can be easily extended with a cheap USB charging pack that could extend you for several DAYS. Of course you can use anything with a USB port to charge it. Well, almost anything (don’t plug it into a Raspberry Pi USB port directly).

Also running a quarter wave GROUND wire works wonders on the signal. Having a good antenna even better. But I’ve been tracked with it in my sport jacket inside pocket and the stock antenna while walking between buildings.

Seems like it would be something we could have the team use for the Heard Island 2015 Expedition (VK0EK).  I guess I’m going to have to try it out from within my freezer overnight.  :)

Posted in APRS, DXpedition, Heard Island, soapbox | Comments Off

Heard Island Project

Posted by Jack on January 8th, 2015

I’ve been so busy I haven’t posted anything here in a while. That’s soon going to change. And there’s a lot to fill-in to the past, so watch the archives too (I’ll give you a head’s-up). For now, check out the happenings with the Heard Island Project with which I’m involved:

vk0ek.org

Posted in DX, DXpedition, Heard Island | Comments Off

20121229 EBARC Tour of KPH/KSM

Posted by Jack on December 29th, 2012

Today myself and four other members of the East Bay Amateur Radio Club were privileged to get to tour the KPH/KSM facilities in both Bolinas (the transmit site) and the receive site in Point Reyes. Steve and Richard were TERRIFIC guides. Each time I visit I feel I get a little closer to understanding how much it took, and still takes to (re)build and maintain these facilities; the dedication and commitment are immeasurable.

Posted in History, KPH, KSM, soapbox | Comments Off