Bicycle Mobile – Test #2
I conducted the second bicycle mobile test this morning, again with mixed results.
– stuck the 1/4 wave mag mount antenna on the metal plate attached to the rack on the rear of the bike. I looped the feedline in an RF choke, securing the loop to the rack and then ran the feedline up to the handlebars.
– secured the GPS into the mount on the handlebars. The mount works very well.
– powered up the HT, set the “A” band to the APRS freq, started the TNC in APRS mode, changed a setting to enable data flow between the GPS and radio, and changed the frequency of the beacon to once every 20 seconds. I then powered the radio down, powered up the GPS, attached the data cable between the two, attached the feedline to the radio, powered up the radio, verified that data was flowing, then locked the keypad to the radio. I attached the connections for the headset and then placed the radio inside the bag hanging from the handlebars.
– put my headest on, then my helmet. The “B” band was tuned to a local repeater that has a morning commute net. On the “A” band I could hear APRS traffic. All good signs.
I departed the house and everything was going well until…. the battery died. I checked www.findu.com and was able to verify that I had one good packet that had made it out prior to the battery going out. So from the standpoint of validating the setup and getting one packet all the way through – Test #2 was a success.
Although I purchased a new battery at the VA Beach Hamfest, I still don’t have it charged yet and I had run the stock battery down last night noodling with the packet and PocketAPRS stuff. I did find the following excellent idea on one of the Yahoo forums that is specific to the TH-D7A:
Date: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:00pm
Subject: Re: Charging time?
… I’ve gone another route, made up a holder
for 10xAA cells and am looking for some black cordura to enclose it in. And
a 2A polyfuse. (Things the local Rat Shack will never carry.
will be about 2″ taller–but carry an extra 2300mA or so in an external
“foot” that way, at a full 12VDC.
The above sounds like a great idea – and is something I could also store in the handlebar bag.
Another issue I need to deal with is rainy weather. There was a slight drizzle/mist this morning – nothing to worry about. However, if I was to get caught in a downpour, my D7A would be toast. I need to look or a good solution that will allow me to keep the D7A out of the elements but still keep it in operation.