This small VHF APRS tracker can easily be improved with some simple measures:
- The 1 Watt of output power is often too little to reach the desired APRS digipeater reliably enough. It is much simpler to improve the antenna than to add an amplifier and it can be done as follows:
- Use a longer telescopic antenna. In the picture I have used an antenna that can be extended from 16.5 cm to 45.2 cm. Depending on how you use the tracker, always extend the antenna as much as practically possible.
- Add an external counterpoise or “tiger tail” of length a quarter of a wavelength. That’s about half a meter. In the picture it is fastened on the antenna’s BNC connector by means of an 8 mm ring terminal.
These simple steps have made my AP510 tracker much more useful.
The post “What it takes to make the AP510 APRS tracker useful” first appeared on the LA3ZA Radio & Electronics Blog.