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Sat, Feb 24


Eklund Engineering

HAM 301 - Mobile Amateur Radio APRS Configuration & Mapping

Part 3 of our Ham Radio training series. Bring your APRS-capable mobile radio, Bluetooth to serial connector adapter, and Android tablet or phone, and we will help set you up for APRS position tracking.

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HAM 301 - Mobile Amateur Radio APRS Configuration & Mapping
HAM 301 - Mobile Amateur Radio APRS Configuration & Mapping

Time & Location

Feb 24, 2024, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Eklund Engineering, 2852 Conte Dr, Carson City, NV 89701, USA

About the Event

We are charging $20 per participant to help the club pay for food, drinks, and extra installation gear in case someone needs things they did not purchase.

This is the final event in a three-part series spanning the winter season. The goal is to get as many club members set up for APRS position tracking via ham radio communications as possible. You will need to have an APRS-capable radio for this course.

Sign up now for the SNARS HAMCRAM event on Feb 18 to do a study cram session right before taking the technician's exam. It is inexpensive and fairly easy to pass. Sign-up at

Recommended Radios

The first three radios in this section have detachable control units. This means the bulky "body" of the radio can be mounted just about anywhere in your vehicle. In contrast, the control unit can be mounted on a RAM mount, surface mounted with velcro, or other creative means just about anywhere. This is handy in vehicles that have limited space available around the driver area. The ideal mounting position is key for ease of use, easy access, and visibility while driving. You'll note that all of the recommended radios are Yaesu brand. You are welcome to get another brand, but most of us own and run Yaesu radios and prefer them over other brands. The 300DR is the oldest radio while the 500DR is the newest.

  • Yaesu FTM-300DR. You can purchase the programming accessories here.
  • Yaesu FTM-200DR. You can purchase the programming accessories here
  • Yaesu FTM-500DR. You can purchase the programming accessories here.

There are many other choices for APRS radios, but most of us use and trust Yaesu. The additional hardware required is also known to work with these models.

Additional Hardware/Software Requirements

There are a few things you will need in addition to the APRS radio.

  • Bluetooth-to-SCU-20 adapter - You can find these on ebay, Ali Express, or Venus.
  • Android tablet or smartphone - Passing APRS data to Apple products is not currently possible when considering it for off-grid use. You must use an Android device. This doesn't have to be fancy. A cheap smartphone, or a used one will do just fine as long as it can still connect to WiFi and Bluetooth. I prefer Google Pixel smartphones for their build quality and you can pick up a Pixel 2, 3, 4, or 5 from between $50 to $175. You can still find rugged cases for these from companies like SupCase. Samsung makes good tablets for a relatively low price. I don't recommend attempting to use your navigation tablet as your APRS device. Separate devices is much easier to manage while on the trail.
  • Download APRS Droid and Backcountry Navigator from the Google Play Store. You will want to purchase the premium subscription for Backcountry as well.
  • A mount for your tablet or phone. Ram Mount makes universal x-mounts to fit just about any tablet or phone.


  • Ham Radio 101 Training

    This ticket grants you access to the training event and the fee will help cover the costs of additional installation equipment in the event someone comes unprepared.

    +$0.50 service fee
    Sale ended



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