Real Time Tracking

I am playing with an app on my Android phone that will post my location on a map. Eventually, I’ll do the same with APRS. It would be interesting to be able to merge the two…

View 2011-01-03 21:56 in a larger map

This looks more like what I want, but to get it to post to Google Maps, I have to stop the app and upload the map. You won’t see anything until the end of the day that way and you can only keep so many maps in your Google Maps account.

So, I’m still looking for a better way to track my travels using the phone.

I may have found one. An Android app called APRSdroid lets me add myself to the APRS network via TCP/IP. Should be interesting. I’ve made my phone AE2T-10.

AE2T-7 is the radio. It’s symbol is a bike. AE2T-10 is my Android phone. It sends it’s location to a server over the internet and it gets sent to the map server as if it was coming from a radio. If you see just plain AE2T, that’s a radio at my house. You can see other Hams around the area as well. If you see one with a line trailing it, that’s someone on the move.

Other cycle-tourists

I’ve added a few links in the right sidebar to some of the blogs by some of the people who have inspired, educated and directly and indirectly helped me with my planned ride. If you’d like to read about some of their adventures, plan on spending some time, but they’re worth it.

One is still on the road. Cycling The Globe is about Thomas, a Danish Ham who is on his way from Denmark to Australia. Short on words, but full of excellent photographs.

Two are on hiatus for the winter. Dean McCollum writes The Lemonade Magnate’s Trans America. He has stopped for the winter, but read his introduction about how he came up with the Lemonade Magnate title. Coincidentally, he is also a Ham Radio Operator.

The other one on hiatus is Jen and Ken Ballantine, responsible for three of the links at the bottom of the list. They’ve completed the first season trip by reaching the West coast in Oregon after starting in North Carolina. They plan to continue riding in the spring, but are lucky enough to have been offered what I called “Living the Dream” jobs at a snowshoe rental [and cabin rental] place in Colorado that includes a place to stay and plenty of opportunities to ski.

Two of the remaining blogs are also found at the Crazy Guy On A Bike site, which offers space to people doing extended rides to keep a journal. They were completed a few years ago, but were so entertaining and informative, I enjoyed them a lot. Both North to Alaska and Back Again and Riding the Great Divide were written by Heidi Domeisen from North Carolina.

The oldest of the list is the Nomadic Research Labs link, one of several places you can read about Steve Roberts high-tech nomadic life. Steve rode a recumbent bike pulling a trailer and outfitted with more electronics than I would want to maintain around the country back in the late 80’s. His book Computing Across America tells the story of his first trip. He’s gone through several iterations of human powered transport that include a couple bikes, a kayak and now is about to head out around the world in a sailboat. Steve has become an expert at “taking it with you” by living a minimalist life without giving up the technology he loves.

If that’s not enough, take some time and poke around at the Crazy Guy On a Bike site. There are hundreds of stories there.

The Electronics


This is the radio I’d like to take along. It’s got everything it needs to do both voice and APRS.

The whole point of lugging this solar panel along is to have enough power to not need to compromise on my connectivity. I want to be able to blog, to take copious amounts of photographs, to stay in touch with the world, especially my family and friends and have some left over for luxuries like playing Ham Radio along the way.

Since I’ll be traveling alone, the staying in touch will be important. I hope my family will want to know where I am and that I’m safe! I also want to be able to let the people in the cyber-community know how things are going as well.

Ham Radio will also be a part of that. For those of you not familiar with it, you’ll hear a lot about it as I go here. I’ll be using two types of radio communication – almost three, in a way. Continue Reading…

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