One of the events at the geocaching picnic I attended yesterday was the “closest to the pin” event. People marked their geocaching handles on popsicle sticks, and took a reading on their GPS to find the location of the co-ordinates they are given. Closest to the real spot wins! This photo was taken from the perspective of the pins after the real spot was identified with a flag bearing the Geocaching.com logo.
Well I made a trip out to the radio store yesterday and picked up a nice little handheld radio. It’s a Kenwood TH-D7 series with a TNC and APRS support. This is nifty stuff. Eventually I’ll be able to plug my GPS into this thing and send my location out to others. I wonder if it’s possible to collect this data and record my tracklines on a computer that I can review when I get back home.
First thing’s first though – Industry Canada has to issue me a callsign before I can actually use that “transmit” button. Good thing the radio lets me lock out the TX features so I can play around with it. Already I’ve listened to a few ‘Nets, dialed up the Environment Canada weather forecast (162.400 MHz for that one around here) and even marvelled at the APRS data as it comes into my unit. Can’t wait to hook this thing up to my computer and dabble with packet modes. For now though, the cool stuff is going to have to wait until Industry Canada issues that callsign.
Nothing like walking into an amateur radio club meeting and walking out with a motherboard/cpu combo that’s three times the speed of your webserver – for $10. Well that’s what happened. It took me a week or so to find the time to do it but now it’s done. So now the website is running on a “screaming” 900Mhz machine 🙂
One nice thing about Linux – when I put the new hardware in and booted the server up for the first time, the OS figured out all the hardware without any intervention on my part. The website was back running before I got a login prompt!
After 6 months of studying and reading, I’ve finally taken the basic exam here in Canada and I’ve passed! Just waiting for my callsign and then I’ll be on the air. I’m particularly looking forward to using packet radio and some of the cool things one can do with the digital side of things, like APRS.
First things first though – I’ve got to get my callsign and a radio. Stay tuned – pun intended