KA5J-9 APRS Tracker Package


Over the years I have carried various APRS trackers in my vehicle thrown together in whatever box I could find to make it easy to get to/from the car. My tracker consists of these components:

In the past, power for the tracker was provided by packs of 10 AA size nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. One pack would usually last most of the day; longer days would require swapping out the pack.

While searching for something a little more mobile that would keep the contents enclosed safely and facilitate operating portable outside the vehicle, I found the PowerPort TransPorter made by Cutting Edge Enterprises.

The PowerPort TransPorter has three pouches for storing equipment and a 12V 8AH rechargeable battery. As their website states, it is meant to hold radios like the Yaesu FTM-10R, FT-90R or FT-1500. I found the pouches have ample room for the HT, tracker, and GPS. The side pockets have drawstrings over the openings that help keep stuff inside, in addition to the velcro flaps.

When I called to find the dimensions of the pockets in the PowerPort TransPorter, I mentioned to Roger that all of my equipment power cables utilize Anderson Powerpole Connectors, he said one of the battery configurations he offers includes those connectors which makes connecting power easy.

I was interested in having the ability to charge the tracker while driving to conserve battery power, being used to the less than a day capacity of my AA packs. I have since found the tracker will run for over a week on one charge so I no longer drag the tracker into the house every night. Charging is easy with the standard overnight charger that comes with the HM90, simply plugging the 12v plug on the charger into the 12V receptacle you see on top of the battery. I suppose if you operate more equipment from this battery (which you can do) the HM90F fast charger might come in handy, but in my case it's simply not required.

The 8AH battery is a bit heavy so you might not want to carry this around in your backpack, but if I ever do, I can check out a smaller battery with less capacity.

Inside view Outside view

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