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  #11  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:54 PM
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humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Default The $100 iGate

I finished building a new iGate. It is everything but the outdoor antenna and feed coax.

The trick was to combine the plentiful OLPC XO-1 laptops available from eBay with the new low cost Baofeng radios using a 2.5mm to 3,5mm audio cable. That's it! ... well ... almost.

You can read a short write up of the new system and here is a link to my first iGate a couple years ago.

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  #12  
Old 10-31-2013, 10:56 PM
Dstn2bdoa Dstn2bdoa is offline
 
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Glen,

Thanks for the information. I have a few questions.

The set up you show above, is that at the hangar? Receiving the singals, and forwarding them to the internet? Or is in the plane?

If it's in the hangar, what's in the plane sending the coordinates, etc?
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2013, 11:13 PM
Dstn2bdoa Dstn2bdoa is offline
 
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Ok read everything again. The set up above is an igate, correct? That's what's in your hangar/home etc.

Now off to search how these are installed in the plane.

Thanks
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:13 AM
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Default

Yes, the iGate is a "ground station". Most of today's APRS trackers are about as big as a 1.5 packs of Bicycle playing cards.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:13 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dstn2bdoa View Post
Ok read everything again. The set up above is an igate, correct? That's what's in your hangar/home etc.

Now off to search how these are installed in the plane.

Thanks
All the info you are seeking is in the stickies in the APRS forum.
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2013, 09:03 PM
Dstn2bdoa Dstn2bdoa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
All the info you are seeking is in the stickies in the APRS forum.
So sorry to clutter up this thread. I had not noticed the APRS Forum. I found this thread through the "new posts" button and didn't notice what forum I was in.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Last edited by Dstn2bdoa : 11-01-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-02-2013, 08:32 AM
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Default

I've sold the above iGate (these are made available 'at cost'). I'm about to build a duplicate which will also be available. Here are the details ...

  • radio is a new Baofeng UV-5R+and cost me 48.60 shipped - a recent check shows them for 45.40 + tax.
  • laptop is the OLPC XO-1 from eBay and cost me 46.35 shipped. Current units are selling for about $45 to $60.
  • a 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio cord which are around $6
  • a 2GB SD card which is available for $7

Not included but still needed are three items
  • the outdoor antenna - a nice copper J-Pole is available on eBay for about $32+shipping, or build one as a simple DIY project
  • the feed coax to go from the antenna to the radio
  • the Baofeng requires an RF adapter from the antenna feed to the radio (most likely the feed will have an PL-259 connector so the adapter is a PL-258 to SMA-female adapter which are $6

My total investment is this unit is 107.95 and I suspect it is between $14.50 and $18.50 to ship is CONOS.

I'm happy to sell a finished iGate for about $125 (which is cost) or make an image if the SD card available to you for free and you can order the items listed above.

I'll be honest, if someone buys an iGate setup I'll just build a duplicate. I'll repeat until I have one sitting idle.

There is no commitment to anyone to buy these. I built the first for myself and now build them to help improve the iGate network. If it's still on my bench for more than 2 months, I'll ship it off to a some undisclosed remote location to fill in a hole in the reception network somewhere.
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Last edited by humptybump : 11-13-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2013, 01:37 PM
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Default Cool project..

This looks like a lot of fun to setup .. I'm a ham (KO6CD) and have most of the equipment needed to set everything up, less a small linux box but those are a dime a dozen here in Silicon Valley. KHAF doesn't seem to have any iGates, and it's in the shadow of any on the SF Peninsula because of the coastal range.

I'll see if I can get one online!
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2013, 02:34 PM
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Bill, to keep the cost down, look for a Linux box that has a sound card - then you can use soundmodem software as a software based TNC.

The lightest weight setup uses APRX for the iGate software.

Some people are using a Raspberry PI. I settled on the old OLPC XO-1 machines because they are low power laptops with screens, wifi, wide band audio I/O, camera, plenty of USB ports, and battery and can run a lightweight Debian or Fedora distribution - in my case I start with a base OS called DebXO which is prebuilt for the computer.

I've already ordered another HT and am tracking a couple more laptops to assemble another iGate or two.
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Last edited by humptybump : 11-13-2013 at 03:50 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2013, 05:03 PM
Bevan Bevan is offline
 
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Default

what type of coax, connectors and external antenna are required?

Bevan
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