Date   
Re: What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

Bruce Coates
 

Yes, it's definitely electrically connected to the coax braid.  They're stripped the outer insulation for the entire width of the mesh and wrapped the mesh tab around it.  Oddly, either the adhesive is conductive or there's enough metal fibres that pass through the adhesive to conduct.

Here's a shot under a microscope.  (I love my microscope!)

73, Bruce

On 2018-07-12 8:21 PM, Hank Riley via Groups.Io wrote:
The decoupling idea did occur to me, but I did kind of slide over your wording concerning the coax shield.

A few more clue requests:

By "connected," do you really mean connected galvanically to the shield?   Or just folded around the coax tightly?  Can't tell by the photo for sure.  One picture I found looks as if there might be a sliver of shield exposed on the end of the mesh closest to the antenna.  If connected, please describe how that's done (one or two places; by solder?). 

Does the adhesive cover the central area of the mesh at all?

My thought was attaching the mesh to the coax was simply for product packaging purposes and was intended to be only temporary until applied to the antenna. 

Maybe the mesh does both functions.  I don't think the entire mesh area is needed for decoupling.

__________________________________________________________

Hi Hank

Interesting. I was also wondering about it being some attempt at common mode decoupling, like a 1/4 wave stub.

73, Bruce


Re: What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

Bruce Coates
 

Right. Missed that part. Yes, the entire "back" side of the mesh is covered with adhesive. I think that's what holds it to the shield as there no evidence of any soldering or other electrical connection. 


-------- Original message --------
From: "Hank Riley via Groups.Io" <n1ltv@...>
Date: 7/12/18 8:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

The decoupling idea did occur to me, but I did kind of slide over your wording concerning the coax shield.

A few more clue requests:

By "connected," do you really mean connected galvanically to the shield?   Or just folded around the coax tightly?  Can't tell by the photo for sure.  One picture I found looks as if there might be a sliver of shield exposed on the end of the mesh closest to the antenna.  If connected, please describe how that's done (one or two places; by solder?). 

Does the adhesive cover the central area of the mesh at all?

My thought was attaching the mesh to the coax was simply for product packaging purposes and was intended to be only temporary until applied to the antenna. 

Maybe the mesh does both functions.  I don't think the entire mesh area is needed for decoupling.

__________________________________________________________

Hi Hank

Interesting. I was also wondering about it being some attempt at common mode decoupling, like a 1/4 wave stub.

73, Bruce

Re: What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

AE5IB (Kip)
 

I can not put my hands on it right now, but a GPS antenna specification i read last year, recommended the antenna be mounted on a minimum of  40mm x 40mm ground plane to get maximum GPS sensitivity. 

My guess is that they are facilitating that requirement, to make the antenna system easier to ground to a metal plate. 

Kip


On Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM Bruce Coates <bruce.coates@...> wrote:
Right. Missed that part. Yes, the entire "back" side of the mesh is covered with adhesive. I think that's what holds it to the shield as there no evidence of any soldering or other electrical connection. 

-------- Original message --------
From: "Hank Riley via Groups.Io" <n1ltv=yahoo.com@groups.io>
Date: 7/12/18 8:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

The decoupling idea did occur to me, but I did kind of slide over your wording concerning the coax shield.

A few more clue requests:

By "connected," do you really mean connected galvanically to the shield?   Or just folded around the coax tightly?  Can't tell by the photo for sure.  One picture I found looks as if there might be a sliver of shield exposed on the end of the mesh closest to the antenna.  If connected, please describe how that's done (one or two places; by solder?). 

Does the adhesive cover the central area of the mesh at all?

My thought was attaching the mesh to the coax was simply for product packaging purposes and was intended to be only temporary until applied to the antenna. 

Maybe the mesh does both functions.  I don't think the entire mesh area is needed for decoupling.

__________________________________________________________

Hi Hank

Interesting. I was also wondering about it being some attempt at common mode decoupling, like a 1/4 wave stub.

73, Bruce

Re: What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

Bruce Coates
 

Hi Kip

Yup.  The idea of it providing a method for coupling to a ground plane certainly seems to be the most plausible purpose.

73, Bruce

------ Original message------
From: AE5IB (Kip)
Date: Fri, Jul 13, 2018 7:56 AM
To: GPSL;
Cc:
Subject:Re: [GPSL] What's this on the GPS antenna lead?

I can not put my hands on it right now, but a GPS antenna specification i read last year, recommended the antenna be mounted on a minimum of  40mm x 40mm ground plane to get maximum GPS sensitivity! . 

My guess is that they are facilitating that requirement, to make the antenna system easier to ground to a metal plate. 

Kip

On Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM Bruce Coates <bruce.coates@...> wrote:
Right. Missed that part. Yes, the entire "back" side of the mesh is covered with adhesive. I think that's what holds it to the shield as there no evidence of any soldering or other electrical connection. 

-------- Original message --------
From: "Hank Riley via Groups.Io" yahoo.com@groups.io>
Date: 7/12/18 8:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] W! hat's this on the GPS antenna lead?

The decoupling idea did occur to me, but I did kind of slide over your wording concerning the coax shield.

A few more clue requests:

By "connected," do you really mean connected galvanically to the shield?   Or just folded around the coax tightly?  Can't tell by the photo for sure.  One picture I found looks as if there might be a sliver of shield exposed on the end of the mesh closest to the antenna.  If connected, please describe how that's done (one or two places; by solder?). 

Does the adhesive cover the central area of the mesh at all?

My thought was attaching the mesh to the coax was simply for product packaging purposes and was intended to be only temporary until applied to the antenna. 

Maybe the mesh does both functions.  I don't think the entire mesh area is needed for decoupling.

__________________________________________________________

Hi Hank

Interesting. I was also wondering about it being some attempt at common mode decoupling, like a 1/4 wave stub.

73, Bruce

Re: Cheap tracker for possible one-way mission

Mark Garrett
 

I know this is a tad late but maybe you might have something in your collective junk boxes.  
When I first read this it might be suitable for a small signal source oscillator keyed or switched on and off that it is obvious to the tracker and using standard tracking equipment.  I recently flew a clock oscillator as a backup to APRS transmitters on a balloon.  Had no problem hearing it all the way up and down on both the two meter harmonic and the fundamental 28.322 MHZ.  I know that several of these trackers have flown on balloons in the past with pretty decent results for what they were for keeping things light and long term operation. 

So, what do you have?

Mark
KA9SZX

On Thursday, July 5, 2018, 7:10:50 PM CDT, L. Paul Verhage KD4STH <nearsys@...> wrote:





To add to Mark's request...

If you find yourself in the Valentine area of Nebraska around August 9th, we could always use your help chasing after two balloons.

Thanks

On Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 6:03 PM Bruce Coates <@VE5BNC> wrote:
  
  Hi Mark

It's probably not feasible given the time frame but I'm working on an Arduino (Trackuino) based tracker for a floater.  It's definitely a DIY project as it's assembled from individual parts.  The assembled weight should be around 35-40 grams and will run for about 5 hours with a 1 minute beacon rate on a 150mah lipo and up to 2 days if the beacon rate is reduced.  I can post the details and code if anyone is interested.

The parts required are:
Arduino 3.3v 8Mhz
NEO6M GPS module
SR-FRS-1W radio by Sunrise Electronics
DS1820 temperature sensor(s) (Optional)
Solar cells and charge controller (Optional)
3 resistors, 3 capacitors (Some are optional)
150 mAh (or larger) Lipo pack

73, Bruce - VE5BNC


On 2018-07-05 2:59 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN wrote:


  
  
Paul KD4STH and I are looking at doing a launch from the Nebraska Star Party on August 7 from south of Valentine, NE.  The region is fairly devoid of roads, and much more populated with cattle and rough terrain than people.  We are considering a recovery-optional mission for this flight - if it's too difficult to retrieve, we'll skip it.




I have not kept track of the lightweight and low-cost trackers that are out there, and some are probably still in beta.  Ideally I'd like something under $100 to keep our expense down should we choose not to recover it.  Any ideas?  Some of the lower-cost devices seem to have gone out of production.




Obviously it needs a GPS with ~120 kft altitude capability, but can be relatively low-power.  It can also be on 144.39 since the ground APRS infrastructure is nil, so no competition with other stations.  1 or 2 lithium AA batteries for power would be ok as it only has to last a few hours.  Telemetry is not a big deal for this flight either.  Pre-configuration is OK too, I don't think we'll need to fiddle with the setup.  We may have to work out timeslotting with the other flight if necessary, but I think we can do that in advance too.




Feel free to contact me off-list if you'd rather.




73 de Mark N9XTN





Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

We have commitments for GPSL until 2023. Amazing how this is conference is still goong strong after 17 years. Here's the breakdown.

2019: PENS in Pella, IA
2020: NSTAR in Omaha, NE
2021: Bill Brown in Space Port, IN
2022: Bill Brown in Huntsville, AL
2023: EOSS in Colorado

Thanks everyone, I am planning to attend each one.

Re: Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I also want to thank everyone who has helped to make this conference the success it has been.


On Sat, Jul 14, 2018, 11:42 AM L. Paul Verhage KD4STH <nearsys@...> wrote:
We have commitments for GPSL until 2023. Amazing how this is conference is still goong strong after 17 years. Here's the breakdown.

2019: PENS in Pella, IA
2020: NSTAR in Omaha, NE
2021: Bill Brown in Space Port, IN
2022: Bill Brown in Huntsville, AL
2023: EOSS in Colorado

Thanks everyone, I am planning to attend each one.

Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

This is a copy of a message posted recently to the APRSSIG e-mail list.  Google has implemented a new pricing structure for Google Maps that are negatively affecting services like aprs.fi.  The current pricing would result in charges of ~$5000/mo to support aprs.fi's traffic.

Also note that a transition to OSM is not as simple as some believe.

If you are counting on aprs.fi for following ARHABs, you may need to reconsider.  

73 de Mark N9XTN

=============================================

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:15:05 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181206370.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-15"; Format="flowed"


On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Steve Dimse wrote:

>> Is it just here in Reno that we can't use APRS.FI to see the map?
>
> I see a map but it greys out with a tiled message saying "for 
> development purposes only". It seems to work - just hard to read.

Hi,

For some time this morning, Google Maps on aprs.fi displayed a pop-up 
saying "This page can't load Google Maps correctly". The map tiles 
were dark with "For Development Purposes Only" written on them.

This was because of a configuration accident on my part: the aprs.fi 
profile on Google Cloud console was not properly linked to the correct 
payments profile which has my credit card attached. That's now fixed and 
the maps load fine. For a few days (3-5?), starting now.

Due to the volunteer / charitable / non-profit uses in Amateur Radio 
circles (SAR, disaster relief, etc) aprs.fi has had a generous free use 
limit from Google, even after the pricing went up in 2012. With the recent 
pricing model changes for Google Maps APIs, the free use quota got lost, 
because they were not automatically migrated in the transformation. It was 
a bit uncertain whether it'll stay there or not, but now it's obvious it's 
gone.

I'm trying to reach out to them and see if it can be reinstated, or if a 
generous volume discount can be applied. If someone has insider Google 
contacts who are amateur radio operators, please email me and them in 
private.

If not, I might be looking at a bill of 4000-5000? ($4500-6000) per month, 
which obviously is something that I can't do. The billing has now started, 
and I got a small credit for the transition & try-out period, which will 
last for a few days, and I can pay the bill for a few more days after 
that, but then I'll have to turn it off or quickly migrate away.

To reduce the loads a bit, I'll be disabling the Embedded maps feature 
right now.

There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
great.

Remember folks: It's not just about the map graphics - it's the API, and 
all the software from Google to load the graphics and draw things on top, 
and make them pan and zoom nicely.

    - Hessu, OH7LZB

------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:55:26 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181340250.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Heikki Hannikainen wrote:

> There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
> it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
> result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
> great.

And before everyone and their dog yells "Hey, just switch to 
OpenStreetMaps, you have that already in the menu right?", please note 
that:

When you select the "OSM" option from the current aprs.fi menu, it just 
tells Google Maps API to download OSM tiles; that does not stop the paid 
use of the Google Maps API.

The Google Maps API has provided quite a few things:

* The source map material (vector maps drawn by people and algorithms, 
often purchased from other mapping companies)

* PNG map tiles (the source map material drawn and zoomed and rendered as 
small PNG image files), these are what are actually downloaded and 
displayed in the web browser

* The tile servers run in Google's cloud, which convert the source map 
material to the PNG tiles; the web browser downloads the tiles from these 
servers, not aprs.fi!

* The Maps API javascript library, which performs the downloading of the 
tiles in the browser, zooming and panning functions, and draws things like 
APRS symbol graphics on top, and lines between them, when aprs.fi simply 
gives sets of geographical coordinates to the library.

* Address search (what are the coordinates for a street address); need to 
use something like Geonames for that, but it won't be half as good as 
Google's free text address search

>From OSM you only get the first one, the source vector map material. You 
can't simply download map tiles from their tile server all the time (see 
https://operations.osmfoundation.org/policies/tiles/ ).

Then I'll need something like Leaflet to replace the javascript library, 
it's some work to convert to that.

Then I'll need to download the tiles from somewhere, either from one of 
the free or paid tile servers, or perhaps set up my own tile server, which 
takes quite some work and plenty of server capacity to run 
(https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/building-a-tile-server-from-packages/ 
- see below "Import map data" and "Hardware" headlines).

https://switch2osm.org/ describes the process quite well. It's plenty of 
work, but I'll have to look into it.

   - Hessu, OH7LZB


Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Jason Unwin
 

Is there an alternative to aprs.fi? I was counting on aprs.fi for our planned HAB flights in OK. 

Jason 
KF5UEF

Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

I don't know of any other online services like that that don't use Google Maps API in some form or another.

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM Jason Unwin via Groups.Io <generalripper_1999=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Is there an alternative to aprs.fi? I was counting on aprs.fi for our planned HAB flights in OK. 

Jason 
KF5UEF

Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Christopher Rose
 

Maybe use an APRS computer program and live track it yourselves. No suggestion here for any online system.


Chris

KB8UIH

-----------------------------------------

From: "Mark Conner N9XTN"
To: GPSL@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Wednesday July 18 2018 1:05:26PM
Subject: [GPSL] Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

This is a copy of a message posted recently to the APRSSIG e-mail list.  Google has implemented a new pricing structure for Google Maps that are negatively affecting services like aprs.fi.  The current pricing would result in charges of ~$5000/mo to support aprs.fi's traffic.

Also note that a transition to OSM is not as simple as some believe.

If you are counting on aprs.fi for following ARHABs, you may need to reconsider.  

73 de Mark N9XTN

=============================================

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:15:05 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181206370.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-15"; Format="flowed"

On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Steve Dimse wrote:

>> Is it just here in Reno that we can't use APRS.FI to see the map?
>
> I see a map but it greys out with a tiled message saying "for 
> development purposes only". It seems to work - just hard to read.

Hi,

For some time this morning, Google Maps on aprs.fi displayed a pop-up 
saying "This page can't load Google Maps correctly". The map tiles 
were dark with "For Development Purposes Only" written on them.

This was because of a configuration accident on my part: the aprs.fi 
profile on Google Cloud console was not properly linked to the correct 
payments profile which has my credit card attached. That's now fixed and 
the maps load fine. For a few days (3-5?), starting now.

Due to the volunteer / charitable / non-profit uses in Amateur Radio 
circles (SAR, disaster relief, etc) aprs.fi has had a generous free use 
limit from Google, even after the pricing went up in 2012. With the recent 
pricing model changes for Google Maps APIs, the free use quota got lost, 
because they were not automatically migrated in the transformation. It was 
a bit uncertain whether it'll stay there or not, but now it's obvious it's 
gone.

I'm trying to reach out to them and see if it can be reinstated, or if a 
generous volume discount can be applied. If someone has insider Google 
contacts who are amateur radio operators, please email me and them in 
private.

If not, I might be looking at a bill of 4000-5000? ($4500-6000) per month, 
which obviously is something that I can't do. The billing has now started, 
and I got a small credit for the transition & try-out period, which will 
last for a few days, and I can pay the bill for a few more days after 
that, but then I'll have to turn it off or quickly migrate away.

To reduce the loads a bit, I'll be disabling the Embedded maps feature 
right now.

There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
great.

Remember folks: It's not just about the map graphics - it's the API, and 
all the software from Google to load the graphics and draw things on top, 
and make them pan and zoom nicely.

    - Hessu, OH7LZB

------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:55:26 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181340250.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Heikki Hannikainen wrote:

> There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
> it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
> result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
> great.

And before everyone and their dog yells "Hey, just switch to 
OpenStreetMaps, you have that already in the menu right?", please note 
that:

When you select the "OSM" option from the current aprs.fi menu, it just 
tells Google Maps API to download OSM tiles; that does not stop the paid 
use of the Google Maps API.

The Google Maps API has provided quite a few things:

* The source map material (vector maps drawn by people and algorithms, 
often purchased from other mapping companies)

* PNG map tiles (the source map material drawn and zoomed and rendered as 
small PNG image files), these are what are actually downloaded and 
displayed in the web browser

* The tile servers run in Google's cloud, which convert the source map 
material to the PNG tiles; the web browser downloads the tiles from these 
servers, not aprs.fi!

* The Maps API javascript library, which performs the downloading of the 
tiles in the browser, zooming and panning functions, and draws things like 
APRS symbol graphics on top, and lines between them, when aprs.fi simply 
gives sets of geographical coordinates to the library.

* Address search (what are the coordinates for a street address); need to 
use something like Geonames for that, but it won't be half as good as 
Google's free text address search

>From OSM you only get the first one, the source vector map material. You 
can't simply download map tiles from their tile server all the time (see 
https://operations.osmfoundation.org/policies/tiles/ ).

Then I'll need something like Leaflet to replace the javascript library, 
it's some work to convert to that.

Then I'll need to download the tiles from somewhere, either from one of 
the free or paid tile servers, or perhaps set up my own tile server, which 
takes quite some work and plenty of server capacity to run 
(https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/building-a-tile-server-from-packages/ 
- see below "Import map data" and "Hardware" headlines).

https://switch2osm.org/ describes the process quite well. It's plenty of 
work, but I'll have to look into it.

   - Hessu, OH7LZB


Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Joe WB9SBD
 

Maybe it is finally time for someone to re-Make the 20+year old UI-View?

Joe WB9SBD

The Original Rolling Ball Clock
Idle Tyme
Idle-Tyme.com
http://www.idle-tyme.com

On 7/18/2018 5:30 PM, Christopher Rose wrote:

Maybe use an APRS computer program and live track it yourselves. No suggestion here for any online system.


Chris

KB8UIH

-----------------------------------------

From: "Mark Conner N9XTN"
To: GPSL@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Wednesday July 18 2018 1:05:26PM
Subject: [GPSL] Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

This is a copy of a message posted recently to the APRSSIG e-mail list.  Google has implemented a new pricing structure for Google Maps that are negatively affecting services like aprs.fi.  The current pricing would result in charges of ~$5000/mo to support aprs.fi's traffic.

Also note that a transition to OSM is not as simple as some believe.

If you are counting on aprs.fi for following ARHABs, you may need to reconsider.  

73 de Mark N9XTN

=============================================

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:15:05 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181206370.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-15"; Format="flowed"

On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Steve Dimse wrote:

>> Is it just here in Reno that we can't use APRS.FI to see the map?
>
> I see a map but it greys out with a tiled message saying "for 
> development purposes only". It seems to work - just hard to read.

Hi,

For some time this morning, Google Maps on aprs.fi displayed a pop-up 
saying "This page can't load Google Maps correctly". The map tiles 
were dark with "For Development Purposes Only" written on them.

This was because of a configuration accident on my part: the aprs.fi 
profile on Google Cloud console was not properly linked to the correct 
payments profile which has my credit card attached. That's now fixed and 
the maps load fine. For a few days (3-5?), starting now.

Due to the volunteer / charitable / non-profit uses in Amateur Radio 
circles (SAR, disaster relief, etc) aprs.fi has had a generous free use 
limit from Google, even after the pricing went up in 2012. With the recent 
pricing model changes for Google Maps APIs, the free use quota got lost, 
because they were not automatically migrated in the transformation. It was 
a bit uncertain whether it'll stay there or not, but now it's obvious it's 
gone.

I'm trying to reach out to them and see if it can be reinstated, or if a 
generous volume discount can be applied. If someone has insider Google 
contacts who are amateur radio operators, please email me and them in 
private.

If not, I might be looking at a bill of 4000-5000? ($4500-6000) per month, 
which obviously is something that I can't do. The billing has now started, 
and I got a small credit for the transition & try-out period, which will 
last for a few days, and I can pay the bill for a few more days after 
that, but then I'll have to turn it off or quickly migrate away.

To reduce the loads a bit, I'll be disabling the Embedded maps feature 
right now.

There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
great.

Remember folks: It's not just about the map graphics - it's the API, and 
all the software from Google to load the graphics and draw things on top, 
and make them pan and zoom nicely.

    - Hessu, OH7LZB

------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:55:26 +0300 (EEST)
From: Heikki Hannikainen <hessu@...>
To: aprssig@...
Subject: Re: [aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July
        2018
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.20.1807181340250.4231@...>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Heikki Hannikainen wrote:

> There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but 
> it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end 
> result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty 
> great.

And before everyone and their dog yells "Hey, just switch to 
OpenStreetMaps, you have that already in the menu right?", please note 
that:

When you select the "OSM" option from the current aprs.fi menu, it just 
tells Google Maps API to download OSM tiles; that does not stop the paid 
use of the Google Maps API.

The Google Maps API has provided quite a few things:

* The source map material (vector maps drawn by people and algorithms, 
often purchased from other mapping companies)

* PNG map tiles (the source map material drawn and zoomed and rendered as 
small PNG image files), these are what are actually downloaded and 
displayed in the web browser

* The tile servers run in Google's cloud, which convert the source map 
material to the PNG tiles; the web browser downloads the tiles from these 
servers, not aprs.fi!

* The Maps API javascript library, which performs the downloading of the 
tiles in the browser, zooming and panning functions, and draws things like 
APRS symbol graphics on top, and lines between them, when aprs.fi simply 
gives sets of geographical coordinates to the library.

* Address search (what are the coordinates for a street address); need to 
use something like Geonames for that, but it won't be half as good as 
Google's free text address search

>From OSM you only get the first one, the source vector map material. You 
can't simply download map tiles from their tile server all the time (see 
https://operations.osmfoundation.org/policies/tiles/ ).

Then I'll need something like Leaflet to replace the javascript library, 
it's some work to convert to that.

Then I'll need to download the tiles from somewhere, either from one of 
the free or paid tile servers, or perhaps set up my own tile server, which 
takes quite some work and plenty of server capacity to run 
(https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/building-a-tile-server-from-packages/ 
- see below "Import map data" and "Hardware" headlines).

https://switch2osm.org/ describes the process quite well. It's plenty of 
work, but I'll have to look into it.

   - Hessu, OH7LZB



Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Bruce Coates
 

Hi Jason

I use a combination of APRSIS32 with (cached if necessary) maps in the car along with a combination of embedded aprs.if and tracker.habhub.org on our club web page for those watching is from home.

Enteripising hams like Hessu have run into licensing issues like this in the past.  Let's hope that he can find a workable solution. 

73, Bruce - VE5BNC


-------- Original message --------
From: "Jason Unwin via Groups.Io" <generalripper_1999@...>
Date: 7/18/18 11:15 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: gpsl@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Is there an alternative to aprs.fi? I was counting on aprs.fi for our planned HAB flights in OK. 

Jason 
KF5UEF

Re: Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Bruce Coates
 

Hi Jason

I've used tracker.habhub.org along with aprs.if for a web view for a couple of years.  It's quite possible it hahib.org may suffer the same licensing issues in the future.

73, Bruce - VE5BNC


-------- Original message --------
From: "Jason Unwin via Groups.Io" <generalripper_1999@...>
Date: 7/18/18 11:15 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: gpsl@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Important changes to Google Maps API affecting aprs.fi (and others)

Is there an alternative to aprs.fi? I was counting on aprs.fi for our planned HAB flights in OK. 

Jason 
KF5UEF

Re: Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

Mark Garrett
 

Pella, IA was hit by a tornado tonight, did some massive damage to the Vermeer plant where we launched the balloons for GPSL.  Maybe Mike can give us a report on his town when he gets a chance.  

Mark
KA9SZX

Re: Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I'd also like to know that everybody is all right.


On Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 6:49 PM Mark Garrett via Groups.Io <ka9szx=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Pella, IA was hit by a tornado tonight, did some massive damage to the Vermeer plant where we launched the balloons for GPSL.  Maybe Mike can give us a report on his town when he gets a chance.  

Mark
KA9SZX

Re: Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

Marty Griffin
 

This from Mike Morgan, thanks Mike!

 

Yes.  Only 7 minor injuries and all have been released.   Lots of Veermer damage.  Marshalltown, IA. Much worse.  Tornado passed about 1/2 mile north of house but all is ok here. 

 

- Marty Griffin, EOSS

 

From: GPSL@groups.io <GPSL@groups.io> On Behalf Of L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2018 6:55 PM
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

 

I'd also like to know that everybody is all right.

 

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 6:49 PM Mark Garrett via Groups.Io <ka9szx=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Pella, IA was hit by a tornado tonight, did some massive damage to the Vermeer plant where we launched the balloons for GPSL.  Maybe Mike can give us a report on his town when he gets a chance.  

 

Mark

KA9SZX

Re: Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

Chris Krengel
 

Thank God!



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Marty Griffin <mgriffin@...>
Date: 7/19/18 9:41 PM (GMT-07:00)
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

This from Mike Morgan, thanks Mike!

 

Yes.  Only 7 minor injuries and all have been released.   Lots of Veermer damage.  Marshalltown, IA. Much worse.  Tornado passed about 1/2 mile north of house but all is ok here. 

 

- Marty Griffin, EOSS

 

From: GPSL@groups.io <GPSL@groups.io> On Behalf Of L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2018 6:55 PM
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Whoa, GPSL for the next five years!!

 

I'd also like to know that everybody is all right.

 

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 6:49 PM Mark Garrett via Groups.Io <ka9szx=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Pella, IA was hit by a tornado tonight, did some massive damage to the Vermeer plant where we launched the balloons for GPSL.  Maybe Mike can give us a report on his town when he gets a chance.  

 

Mark

KA9SZX

Zero pressure balloon observation

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Last night after sunset I did some stargazing. Lo and behold about 10 degrees to the right of Venus was another and equally bright star. 

At first I assumed it was a an airplane, but noticed that after a minute or so it was not moving. So I aimed my 20X80 binoculars at it and found it to be a brightly illuminated disk. 

This is the first time that I've seen a zero pressure balloon at high altitude and in  flight. As the sky got darker the star became fainter and turned a distinct orange in color.

I've attached a picture taken with a cell phone which of course, doesn't do it justice.

Weather Balloon Photograph

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

The attached picture shows a better view of the balloon. Remember, Venus is to the left and the balloon is to the right.