Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Upgrading Router to Support APRX 2.00

After a few emails from APRSIS Server administrators complaining that my iGate was over logging on telemetry. I decided it was time to either take my igate down, or upgrade it. For some reason, at random intervals, it would belch out a blank telemetry burst every second. The only fix was a reboot, which I automated, but it happened every few days, grumble grumble grumble.  

I attempted to download an APRX 2.00 package and install it with little success. Then after I researched a bit more, I found that the newest release candidates of OpenWRT supported APRX 2.00 in its available packages. I figured, I could just update to the latest, and run the easy package install from the web interface. I also remembered how I would have to re-install X-WRT web interface to make it all easy, but getting there would be tricky. I dug around a bit more and found images of the newer OpenWRT with X-WRT integrated. That version didn't have the version of APRX I wanted in the available packages, but I still decided this would be worth a try.

First I downloaded the image with X-WRT integrated, and went through the firmware upgrade path. This maintains the main settings of the router. It was a bit frustrating, because it doesn't reboot itself, or tell you to reboot it, so I waited at least 20 minutes, and powered it off and back on. The new version was online, with my network settings intact. 

Next, I dug through the newest version of the packages from the site, and fed the URL into the web interface. The package installed successfully, and I was able to start rebuilding the config file.

Excerpts of my config file:

mycall  KI6PSP-10

# APRS-IS server name and portnumber.
server    14580
server    14580
server    14580

#filter "possibly multiple filter specs in quotes"
filter "m/1"

   serial-device /dev/tts/1  9600 8n1    KISS
   callsign     $mycall  # callsign defaults to $mycall
   #tx-ok        false    # transmitter enable defaults to false
   initstring "\xC0\xC0\xFF\xC0\r\nMO 0\rKISS $01\r"

beaconmode aprsis
beacon symbol "R&" lat "3536.84N" lon "11741.06W" \
     comment "PHG0130/WRT54GL w/APRX 2.00-iGate Rx Only"
beaconmode aprsis
beacon raw ">TinyTrak4(KISSTNC)-WRT54GL iGate"
beaconmode aprsis
beacon raw ">SysOp:KI6PSP@GMAIL.COM"
beaconmode aprsis
beacon raw ">http://KI6PSP.BLOGSPOT.COM"

Now I have the capability to add a real radio to this setup, and either 2-way iGate, and/or Digipeat. Hopefully I wont have problems with the random telemetry belches again.