A random collection of objects and subject I am interested in… or as my wife

would say obsessed with !!

Amateur Radio


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APRS Station

I have decided to take the plunge and have a go at setting up an APRS station at my QTH, I had been thinking about doing this for some time and looking at the various options available.

The backbone of the project is going to be a Microsat WX3in1 Plus 2.0 - APRS Advanced Digipeater/I-Gate, the WX3in1 is a standalone device which does not need a dedicated PC to run any software on 24/7 so it should be very reliable in operation and economical to run.

I have been talking to a couple of local amateurs’ via email who currently have APRS stations in the hope that I will be able to lean on them for assistance in the early stages and they both deserve a mention, Dave G4PGO & Alec 2E0BCI have both offered some practical advice.

Something I am currently looking into is the need in some circumstances to apply for an NOV to run the station, I came across an article by Julian Moss G4ILO in his blog regarding this very issue titled APRS absurdity. It makes interesting reading and deserves more investigation.

It makes out that if you are leaving the station for unattended operation you need to nominate three closedown operators who can shut it down within 30 mins.

From what I understand the nominated closedown operators do not need to be radio amateurs, the just need access to the equipment.


APRS wiring

I tried out the Wouxun KG-UVD1P with the WX3in1. The Wouxun had been sitting on my desk not being used until now. Whilst looking for info on the Microsat forum I came across Alec 2E0BCI’s question about a Yaesu FT-1500 set up and found a response by Conor EI4GTB showing how he had connected his WX3in1 to a Wouxun KG-699.

The wiring is the same the on the KG-UVD1P, I used this setup to test the WX3in1 whilst waiting for the Storno to be delivered and I can report that it worked well, should be ok for a portable operation option.

Storno 6000

I have now bought a Storno 6000 ex PMR which I am planing to use as the APRS radio, it was a reasonable price at £35 pre programmed with the northern area 2m repeaters and a selection of 2m simplex channels.

I will still have a go at setting up the Wouxun but the Storno can be set up on a permanent basis if I ever get around to applying for an NOV to run the station unattended.

Making the interface leads for the APRS side should be relatively easy, I just need to get a 25 way D-Type female socket wired up.  

D-Type connections

The connections for the to the WX3in1 are as follows.

Pins 1, 2, 14, are +12v shown in RED. Note pin 15 is also in RED, this is the Ignition input (+12V) which if it is not connected to +12V will result in the Storno not powering up with any control.

Pins 12, 13, 25, are Battery ground (0v) shown in Grey.

Next the connections to MINIDIN for WX3in1.

Pin 4 from the D-type (PPT sense) connects to Pin 6 on the minidin.

Pin 10 from the D-type (RX Line Level out) connects to Pin 4 on the minidin.

Pin 22 from the D-type (TX Line Level in) connects to Pin 2 on the minidin.

Pin 18 from the D-type (Signal ground) connects to Pin 5 on the minidin.

Be careful with the PTT, shorting the PTT output to a positive voltage can burn it out.

Storno with the WX3in1

Initially I found that the Radio RX LED on the WX3in1 would remain on when connected to the Storno, I contacted Mateusz SQ3PLX from Microsat who gave me some advice.

Mateusz advised me to increase the Squelch level on the WX3in1, this did not make much difference but he also advised me me to change “channel busy detect” to digital detect. That did the trick and the WX3in1 now works perfectly.