Packet Radio Using Remote Control Through SSH Server

Recently I have been messing with APRS and other packet radio transmissions, and I haven’t really found it to be all that enjoyable in its present form. Don’t get me wrong. I have had plenty of fun with it, but it hasn’t been what I want to do. My previous articles about getting Xastir up and running and sending packets through the ISS show that I enjoyed what I was doing, but the problem is that neither situations were very convenient. With APRS, I had to start up a laptop and initialize the TNC or I had to keep it running and risk killing the car battery. With the ISS I had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, and since many of the passes were during work hours, I was not able to leave and drive to the clearing to make contact. Now, I think I’ve come up with a solution. Continue reading

Xastir and my KAM TNC (Went with KISS mode)

I found something to occupy my time the last couple of days. I got tired of typing my own APRS positions into a document and sending raw packets to report my position (@240805/3108.03N/08343.16W>000/000/Robbie kk4fgm.com…). Every time I came to a stop at a parking lot and before I exited the vehicle, I took a look at the GPS and the clock and typed the information into a document. Then I sent the raw data in GtkTerm to the TNC. It made my wife mad to have to wait the three to five minutes once we arrived at a destination. Frankly, it made me even more mad because I had to wait for the GPS, open a terminal and VIM a file, then type in the commands to the TNC. I knew that I was going to have to find an automatic program to do this for me. That program is Xastir.
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Tech-tut: week of January 24, 2012

I have an apparent abundance of computer parts in my home, but the problem is that hardly any of them go together to make a whole. I wonder how many small-time hoarders such as myself have this problem. I occasionally get broken computers given to me, and most times I have to chop shop them and save what seems salvageable. Last night may have been one of those opportunities that was glorious and annoying at the same time. Continue reading