If you read my article "APRS In Your Pocket" in the 2015 May edition of QST, you are familiar with how I combined a Baofeng UV-3R with a Mobilinkd kiss tnc that I take with me everywhere.
As small as this tiny combo is, I recently found myself wondering if I could shrink it down further, allowing it to be placed in a waterproof enclosure that I had in mind.
Well, as the saying goes, "The Proof Is In The Pudding" Yep, what your seeing is the reincarnation of a Baofeng UV3R/Mobilinkd device.
After stripping the UV-3R down to the circuit board, and that included discarding the metal chassis, speaker, battery, and the case, I then did the same thing with the Mobilinkd kiss tnc.
I then spent time combining the two remaining circuit-boards into the one device as seen here, and the all-up weight is less than 2 Oz including the li-ion battery that powers the device.
The dimensions of the re-build are Thickness - 20mm (3/4") x Width - 40mm (1 1/2") x Height - 75 mm (3").
These measurements were taken without the cable, antenna, and knob at the top of the device measured.
The included li-ion battery that powers the new device has on-board charging, and the battery level meter on the display screen indicates the condition of the battery that powers both boards.
Of course it goes without saying that this all in one device retains its Bluetooth capability, allowing it to communicate with the smartphone running APRSdroid.
How does it work you ask......"Perfect", and this included being operated for 6 or more hours under test, while beaconing at 1.5 watts out every 10 minutes on the built in battery without a recharge being required.
Also, I am pleased that the operating temperature reached by the device remained normal over the course of the 8 hours it was being tested, and this is considering that I discarded the metal chassis of the UV-3R that acted as a heat-sink.
Of course, the reincarnation will no longer be operated in voice mode, but strictly as an APRS bi-directional communications device when used in conjunction with my smartphone running APRSdroid.
Interestingly enough, and for some reason that I'm not sure of yet, I believe this new re-build works better than the original devices did as separate units.
I have been running this new device in its new housing sitting on the console of my mobile, and the comparisons that I have made between this device and my Kenwood D710A mounted in the radio-stack of my mobile running APRS have been quite interesting and informative.
After using this new device for some time, it seems to be doing a better job of decoding the captured beacons seen on APRSdroid than it previously did in its separate forms.
Not sure why that is at this point, considering I am still utilizing the same antenna on the device, but as the testing continues, possibly I'll come up with more information as why that is.
The waterproof housing for the device as seen in the insert photo is described here.......
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
APRS In Your Pocket.....