OK, so this is seriously cool. My buddy Mark pointed this out to me, and I think it’s great. I’d been looking at this Kenwood radio ever since I got my Ham license, but knowing that you can hook it up to an AvMa G5 and track other (aprs equipped) airplanes in flight is too cool for school. Since Mark will be putting one in his plane, and I might be able to arm-twist my buddy Andy to do so too (and I’m pretty sure Jerry will as well), then we can find each other on the way to Oshkosh or the Bahamas. The sense of security knowing someone can see you, and the increase in camaraderie is just great. Check out this video to see what it’s all about. Also note that our incident flight was our first with tracking, so we have a complete record of that flight!

I installed the Micro-Trak 300 in my airplane, though that is obsolete with newer models, which comes on with the master switch. It’s behind my false bulkhead with a small whip antenna, and performs wonderfully even on the low power. There is a local repeater close to the airport so we are received even in the traffic pattern!

AvMap G6 can be paired with a Kenwood radio for tracking aircraft in flight (Tactical Mode)

Kenwood D710A can be paired with a AvMap G5

APRS Location Reporting Transmitter Installation For those of you who interested in broadcasting your current location, speed, heading, and altitude to HAM based ground receivers (and have that data displayed in real-time on the internet), check this out. To see where we are, or our last flight, go to aprs.velocityxl.com

There was a good article in Kitplanes on APRS that turned me on to this technology, and the author maintains a nice website about APRS in aircraft here. The nice thing about this technology is that it is affordable (my transmitter, antenna, and GPS was about $175) to install, and free to operate. You do need to get an Amateur radio Technician license, but that is relatively easy. I recommend hamtestonline.com.

APRS Installation – Antenna is protected by straw

APRS Unit installed, GPS antenna shelf

An Example track

The microtrack 300 from Byoincs

Example Google Earth Presentation. With google earth you can overlay weather, use a sectional as the map base, and other coolness

Example of data gathered by APRS igates


Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Friday May 7th, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Categories: APRS
Tags: APRS Avionics Building Electrical Kitplanes

3 responses to “APRS Ham Radio Tracking of Aircraft”

  1. Document says:

    […] have an APRS ham radio (2 meter) transmitter installed on our airplane, and it’s antenna is mounted to the bottom […]

  2. Document says:

    […] Today we started setting the new wing cores. We’ll finalize the wing repair in steps, we’ve patched the outboard wing as well, and we’ll hard-shell the cores to contour match next, then lay 3 alternating layers of Uni on top, and finally bond the new strobe mount on. Here you can see the outboard repair as well as us buttering the cores and wing/spar with micro. We’re using EZ84 here even though it’s not required, for strength, but will finish up with the Velocipoxy for contouring. It’s coming out quite nice, and we’d probably have it hardshelled tomorrow if I weren’t presenting to our EAA chapter meeting (on APRS). […]

  3. Document says:

    […] down. But, we did get Andy’s alternate air door mechanism tested, and I’ve got my APRS transmitter ready to go into the plane, so if I pass my test next week, we’ll have a neat new feature […]

Please Login to Comment.