Garmin Montana for APRS Mapping
For the record I also have the Kenwood AVMAP 6 included in my radio stack in my mobile.
The AVMAP 6 is a good APRS device, however it lacks in downloadable inexpensive mapping.
I went looking for a device that I could use with my Kenwood D710A, and would allow me to download maps from the Internet..
I found that In the Garmin Montana that allows for downloading maps without having to purchase them from sources like Garmin although Garmin does have topo maps available for purchase that work fine for APRS usage.
The Montana proved to be the device that I wished for, as I was able to download all the topo maps for Canada at no charge, and they are proving to be indispensable for APRS usage.
I also have the Garmin North American map set loaded on the Montana that when purchased for $70.00, has life-time updates included.
I also have various other mapsets loaded in memory on the Montana that allow for local specialized navigation when I have the Montana paired with my Kenwood D72 while in the field.
A small sampling of the various screens of the Garmin Montana mounted in my radio stack, and paired with my Kenwood D710A is seen in this photo.
The Montana paired with my Kenwood D710A, provides GPS location information for my transmitted APRS beacons, and it shows the received APRS beaconing stations on the map. You also can watch APRS activity right on the screen. Station positions are initially place on the map with a blue flag symbol with the associated call sign.
You may then assign a custom symbol for each beaconing station from the very extensive list included with the Montana, and this assigned symbol is retained in memory and recognized by the Montana when that particular APRS station beacons.
The Montana provides fast and accurate fixes, and you get 2D, 3D and night views.
With the Canadian Topo maps enabled, you have all the mapping as per normal in your driving of urban and rural roads, and highways, but you now have national, regional and local parks, forests and wilderness areas, including points of interest such as campgrounds, scenic lookouts, hiking trails and land contours shown with elevations, as well as your elevation tracks and more.
The views that are shown on the various Montana screens in this photo, shows the screens with a number of beaconing APRS stations depicted. I also have assigned custom symbols to each station, or at least for the hams in my local area, allowing me to identify them at a glance. I also can change the size of the font for the callsign, allowing for easy reading of the information shown on the screen of the Montana.
Another cool feature, is by touching any of the beaconing APRS stations on the screen, all the pertinent information for that station is high-lighted on the screen, and by touching "NOTES", a keyboard comes into the view, and I am able to include notes for that station, that may be anything of importance to me, like maybe the name of the ham, or possibly his email address and phone number, or anything else I might want to add to his resume, that is saved under waypoint management in the menu.
So to give you a heads up, I now have a view of the objects on the screen of my Montana, that can show repeater frequencies in the area, meetings, nets, events, hamfests.
After several years of having the Montana mounted in my radio stack, it has become my most valuable APRS GPS mapping device.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
The Montana paired with the Kenwood D72....
The Montana in action....