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My Ham/APRS Setup is Changed (ongoing)

TL;DR - I'm back to the old antenna, and I'm not longer using APRSDroid.

Not so long ago, I switched from a Diamond NR770HBNMO Mobile Antenna to a STI-CO ROOF-FT-NITI Ham Antenna in order to solve a problem I was having where the coil of the Diamond would catch on tree branches. After running a couple trips with the STI-CO antenna - much shorter and more flexible, with no coil - I found that my APRS beacons weren't getting out quite as well as with the Diamond.

That's to be expected - it was after all, a lower-gain, and shorter (¼ vs. 2/3 wave length) antenna - but I didn't love it. So, I'm back to using the Diamond on trips where I know I won't be in the trees, and I'll take the shorter antenna on trips where I'm worried about clearance.

On a related note, I've stopped using the Mobilinkd TNC and APRSDroid on my tablet for my APRS beaconing, in favor of the built-in TNC on my Kenwood D710G dual-band ham radio. The biggest pro of this new configuration is that I have fewer parts in the system - I no longer need to ensure that my Mobilikd and Android tablet are running/functioning in order for APRS to work. The biggest con is that I can no longer see where my buddies are on a map if we're all running APRSDroid.

It seems like APRS with them has become hit-and-miss over the last few years, and frankly, we're all generally within radio distance of each other anyway, so I'm not sure I really need the map. So, for now, the pros outweigh the cons for me; I'll continue to monitor.


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