My mobile station is installed in my F150 pickup truck. I run two radios (more coming), currently a Kenwood DM-710 dual band VHF/UHF radio with APRS built in, and a Kenwood TK-981 900 MHz transceiver.

The DM-710 has a built-in GPS receiver and TNC for APRS, which shows up on the site using the -9 SSID. It is a great radio with two transceivers, one side is permanently tuned to 144.39 for APRS, the second is used for simplex or repeater operation. Getting it set up was a little complicated, but a good read of the menus in the manual definitely helps, and don’t forget to enable the beacon mode and internal GPS.

The radio can be programmed either directly or with the use of a remote cable and the Kenwood MCP-6A software. I was able to download all the repeaterbook.com entries for Alberta and upload them to the radio, some 100+ entries, still with room to spare. The download cable from Kenwood requires a ‘real’ serial port, which is hard to come by these days, or instead there are 3rd party cables available from RT Systems, which I think is a better choice as it is USB-based.

Kenwood DM-710 transceiver

I am working on another project to add messaging and tracking to 900 MHz. That is on its own project page. When completed, that will also be going mobile with me.

In the early days I kept discharging my battery due to leaving the radios on all the time. Powerwerx has a nice solution to this problem, called ‘Automotive DC Timer with Low Voltage Disconnect Battery Guard’. It will shut off power to the radios after a few minutes or hours, requiring the ignition to be turned back on to restore power. Never a flat battery again!

PowerWerx timer and low power shutoff

I may add an HF mobile station one of these days…

73.