Saturday, 08 March 2014 18:54

Kenwood TH-D72a - APRS Quick Start Guide

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Here's a quick start guide to start using GPS and sending APRS beacons

I plugged the HT into the supplied wall charger included with the radio and left it overnight.  Now I want to start having some fun.  I will be using either MCP-4A or Chirp software to program local repeaters, simplex, FM sat frequencies, but before that I want to turn it on and tune into some APRS.

If you follow these steps outlined from a new (or reset) TH-D72 radio you will be able to send out APRS beacons in only a few minutes.

Each section step assumes the radio is powered On and on the main screen and not in a menu.

Set Date

  1. Press Menu 1 9 4
  2. You should read Auxiliary > Date with blinking cursor on the month
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll Month
  4. Press Right on (up/down/left/right) navigation pad
  5. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll Date
  6. Press Right on (up/down/left/right) navigation pad
  7. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll Year
  8. Press Right on (up/down/left/right) navigation pad
  9. You should read Auxiliary > Date
  10. Press Menu to exit

 

Set Time

  1. Press Menu 1 9 5
  2. You should read Auxiliary > Date with blinking cursor on the hour
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll Hour (24hr Format)
  4. Press Right on navigation pad
  5. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll Minute
  6. Press Right on navigation pad
  7. You should read Auxiliary > Time
  8. Press Menu to exit

 

Set Time Zone/UTC Offset

  1. Press Menu 1 9 6
  2. You should read Auxiliary > Time Zone with blinking cursor on the offset
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll offset
  4. Press Right on navigation pad
  5. You should read Auxiliary > Time Zone
  6. Press Menu to exit

 

Toggle GPS On/Off

  1. Press F (Function) Mark
  2. GPS will show up in the upper right of screen when On

 

View GPS Position

  1. Turn GPS On (if off)
  2. Press POS
  3. Press Right and Left on navigation pad to scroll through information screens
  4. Press POS to exit

 

Save current GPS position into Memory

  1. Turn GPS On (If Off)
  2. Press POS
  3. Press Menu
  4. You should read COPYtoPOS1
  5. Press Right on navigation pad to select OK

 

Set Call Sign for APRS

  1. Press Menu 3 0 0
  2. You should read Basic Set > My Callsign with blinking cursor on the callsign
  3. Press Left and Right on navigation pad to move cursor
  4. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top and scroll letters
  5. Add a - and a Number for your SSID (ie: KC9BUD-7)
  6. Press Menu twice to exit

 

Set Station Icon

  1. Press Menu 3 C 0
  2. You should read Icon > <icon names>
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top to scroll icons
  4. Press Menu twice to exit

 

Setting Beacon Information

  1. Press Menu 3 7 0
  2. You should read BeaconInfo > Speed
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top to turn On/Off speed info in your APRS beacon
  4. Press Right on navigation pad for OK
  5. Turn Tuning knob to Altitude and press Right to select
  6. Turn Tuning knob to turn On/Off altitude info in your APRS beacon
  7. Press Right on navigation pad for OK
  8. Turn Tuning knob to Position Ambiguity and press Right to select
  9. Turn Tuning knob to turn limit position info in your APRS beacon (ie: Off will give full Position 33°50.43, 2-Digit will give broader detail 33°50)
  10. Press Menu twice to exit

 

 Setting a Position Comment

  1. Press Menu 3 8 0
  2. You should read Comment > Position Comment
  3. Turn the Tuning control encoder knob on top to scroll through available messages
  4. Press Right on navigation pad to select
  5. Press Menu to exit
  6. *Note do not use EMERGENCY! during normal operation

 

 Tune to the APRS Frequency

  1. Here in USA APRS frequency is 144.390 MHz
  2. Press A/B to toggle between VFOs, the active VFO will have an arrow next to it
  3. Turn Tuning knob encoder knob on top until 144.390 is shown

 

Turn on the Internal TNC for APRS

  1. Press TNC
  2. You should read Opening TNC and then APRS12 near the top
  3. You will also notice a D icon next to the frequency
  4. To turn off the TNC press TNC (it will goto Packet Mode) and press TNC again to turn off

 

Send an APRS Beacon Manually

  1. Confirm you have the TNC turned On in APRS mode
  2. Confirm you are tuned to the correct frequency (144.390 in US)
  3. Press BCON
  4. If you have your call sign set and followed the steps above it should transmit (red LED should light for a moment)

 

That's it!  If an iGate/Digipeater heard your transmission and everything is correct per these instructions you may receive a response on your radio showing you that your message made it to the APRS network.  You should then goto http://aprs.fi and search for your callsign to see if you can map out your position (remember to use wildcards or correct SSID suffix when searching).  You can also try searching around on http://www.findu.com/ as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read 13711 times Last modified on Thursday, 24 September 2015 15:17
Algis Salys

Creator and owner of algissalys.com.  Linux enthusiast, electronics tinkerer, and likes to spend time in the workshop building and creating new projects.