station list / packets 'heard'
I'm new to this forum.
I've had my Kenwood TM-D710GA for a few months. It basically functions as my base station, but I like to play with APRS...and especially the messaging. I've had it with me on one cabin/hamcation so far, with it connected to a roll up J pole 20ft in the air. Running in packet mode, connected to a tablet with Aprsdroid, was lots of fun.
So, here's what I'm experiencing at my QTH that I don't quite understand.
*Sometimes the rig seems to be decoding packets like crazy and the 'station list' is huge. At other times... I can audibly hear what sounds like the squawks of packet activity, but absolutely nothing is being decoded and the station list is empty.
That's been my experience this afternoon. As KD9LAI-9, I've been up and beaconing out from 16:00 to present (about an hour). I'm showing up on APRS.FI... I hear 'activity' on 144.390... but no decodes, nothing in the station list.
I'll admit, the weak link in my system is the outside antenna. It's a dual band Tram, but I've only got it up about 15ft.
Other details, my power level is set to hi (not that that would impact receive), iGPS is blinking, so it's got a sync, the time is displaying accurately.
Note, if I fired up my FT3D and transmitted a beacon, and the 710 heard it perfectly and displayed it in the 'station list,' but.... I'm not sure what that tells me. I'm assuming it didn't go thru a digipeater....since it's right here in the house.
I guess at this point I don't know if something is wrong, or if it's just the weakness of not having my external antenna up very high [but must be close to high enough cuz sometimes it works great].
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If you have times when the radio is decoding packets then my first suspect is either the antenna, or interference from another source. Looking at your -9 station on aprs.fi it looks like there's only three stations in your area hearing you directly (this month) I see a lot of D-Star hot spots in your area but not a lot of APRS stations so I'm wondering if you're hearing a distant station that isn't quite clear enough for you to decode and then it doesn't get digipeated again closer to you.
If your 710 is decoding your FT3D then I'd say the radio is probably fine.
Do you have any APRS computer software hooked up to your 710? If you have a way to track stuff over time you could take a drive with the HT and see how far away you get before your 710 stops decoding. If you're looking for something I recommend aprsisce/32 http://aprsisce.wikidot.com/ They also have an active groups.io page.