Sunday, 22 January 2017

FTM-100D Using APRS

This is the first is a series of posts describing what I have leaned about using the FTM-100D dual band C4FM/FM transceiver from Yaesu with a Fusion repeater. The first thing you need to do is download the APRS manual for the radio from the Yaesu web site.

I found setting up APRS by following the manual was quite simple. The radio defaults and the settings the manual guides you through will get you up and running on APRS quite quickly. In fact by the time you get to page 12 you should be beaconing. You can then go through the balance of the manual to set the radio up just the way you like it.

Here are a number of recommendations I have:
  1. You can use the built in GPS for position, or set the position manually. The GPS works very well, even in my home office surrounded by computers so I recommend using it. If you are in a building where the GPS signal is poor you may have to set it manually.
  2. Our digipeater, like most, is 1200 baud.
  3. Don't use the APRS Mute setting, more on this later in the series. APRS.Org recommends using CTCSS tone of 100.0Hz. This keeps the digital traffic quiet but allows the APRS frequency to be used as an alternate calling frequency when you see someone you want to talk to has wandered into simplex range. This is easily configured on the FTM-100D. Using Setup go into APRS then option 25 VOICE ALERT. Set VOICE ALERT to RX-TSQL and TONE SQL to 100.0 Hz. See page 78 of the APRS manual.
I have found the radio performs APRS beaconing very well. The receiver and demodulator seem to be quite good at picking up weak signals and transmitting on low power allows me to reach digipeaters that are quite farm from my home. It is also very nice to have everything you need to start working simple APRS in one rig without managing several devices and the associated cabling. So go get your FTM-100D on the air beaconing and enjoy.


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