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Mobilinkd TNC 2 failure (APRS)

TL;DR - My APRS stopped working, because my Mobilinkd TNC 2 died early in the trip.

The Mobilinkd TNC 2 has been a great little APRS TNC and I highly recommend it. Its weak spot - like so many battery powered devices - lies in its battery. I leave it plugged in to USB (for charging) at all times, and that means the battery is either fully charged - when I'm plugging away on a trip, or basically dead - when the truck sits for a week or two at home between trips.

This is terrible for LiIon batteries, and my Mobilinkd is essentially at the point where it doesn't hold a charge. And that means, each time I turn on the truck, the TNC comes on; and each time I turn off the truck, it shuts down. Or really, it crashes, because the power just stops.

This happened when we were getting lunch on our way through Oregon on this latest trip, and the result was that the TNC somehow lost some of its programming. It still seemed to be functioning when I looked at APRSDroid, and beacons were being received correctly, but it wasn't actually broadcasting any beacons - so no one knew where we were.

The indicator that something was wrong, was that when I connected to the TNC with the Mobilinkd Android Configuration app, it was unable to read the firmware version from the device.

I discovered that I could flash Mobilinkd TNC 2 with the current firmware to fix the problem - which I did - but I need to come up with a better, more long-term solution. I don't know if this means getting a replacement battery or what, but it's something to look into.


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