21-22 July-2017: BLOG updated to reflect my Yaesu FT1XDR’s GPS activities with APRS.fi. It successfully tracked my travel activities only one time; hence, it still isn’t reliable nor accurate, whereas my Motorola XPR 7550e is 100% reliable and accurate in any environment and circumstances. In my testing, the FT1XDR’s GPS failed and didn’t meet my requirements.
I’ve interacted with my brand new Motorola XPR 7550e for about one week now; and, I wanted to discuss the GPS feature. It’s excellent: reliable, active, accurate, and simple to operate.
I have three devices on APRS.fi: K6ASF XPR7550e (Motorola), K6ASF-7 (Yaesu FT1XDR), and K6ASF – i (iPhone 7 Plus).
I have three GPS tracking devices attached to my call-sign, K6ASF, on APRS.fi. I wanted to test out my Motorola XPR 7550e’s GPS tracking on APRS.fi, and I’m impressed and happy with the results unlike the results from my Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7).
In the following APRS.fi screen-shots from my iPhone 7 Plus, the GPS in my Motorola XPR 7550e is quickly registered onto APRS.fi.
In the screen-shot, supra, look at K6ASF-7 (Yaesu FT1XDR). It has a short tracking line, which means it is not actively tracking me nor is it providing accurate GPS information about me on APRS.fi — the last beacon sent from my Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7) indicates I’m still hanging around in my neigbhood, which is not the case.
Look at K6ASF (XPR 7550e), supra, and you will see my Motorola XPR 7550e is sending my GPS movements onto APRS.fi on a continuous basis — clearly, I have left my neighborhood and in transit to different parts of San Francisco. Both of my hand-held transceivers are set to send my GPS packets to APRS.fi every minute for the purposes of this test.
I decided to test both units, Motorola XPR 7550e and Yaesu FT1XDR, again on another excursion in the San Francisco Bay Area; and, once again, the same results, as shown in the screen-shot, supra…Motorola XPR 7550e sends out my GPS packet to APRS.fi for tracking on the map. Once again, Yaesu FT1XDR fails to get my GPS data to APRS.fi and shows me still in my neighborhood, which I already vacated.
In the screen-shot, below, K6ASF-7 (Yaesu FT1XDR) shows me in my neighborhood; and, K6ASF (XPR7550e) accurately shows my movements within San Francisco. Both devices are on my person during these excursions.
This time, I decide to include my sister’s, Irene Faustino, iPhone 6 Plus’s GPS packets into APRS.fi; in the screen-shot, below, the thin darker blue line is my sister’s GPS tracking packets lined up with the GPS tracking packets sent by my Motorola XPR 7550e. With me, I also brought the Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7), but no GPS tracking packets can be seen on APRS.fi from my Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7) in this screen-shot, below. In this excursion, we were in my sister’s car and driving south of San Francisco.
Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7) for some reason insists I’m at a location that I am not. K6ASF, on the other hand, accurately shows me heading east from my neighborhood.
In the screen-shot, below, K6ASF-7 (Yaesu FT1XDR) is nowhere to be found on APRS.fi — I even did a manual beacon transmission during my round-trip walk from my home to Sports Basement in the Presidio Of San Francisco, and no-show of my Yaesu FT1XDR (K6ASF-7) on APRS.fi during my 6-mile round-trip walk that day. I had to drop off my three Volkl C-10 Pro tennis racquets at the Sports Basement for restringing. Do you play?
So far, my Motorola XPR 7550e proves to be 100% more reliable and accurate than my Yaesu FT1XDR with respects to GPS activities.
Do you recall I mentioned in my past Motorola BLOG something about getting past the upfront challenges of setting up a Motorola hand-held transceiver and being handsomely rewarded after going through all the pain and suffering of overcoming those upfront challenges?
Well, this is one example of being rewarded for my perseverance of taking the time to learn and understand Motorola hand-held transceivers and overcoming the upfront challenges of Motorola hand-held transceivers. I’m rewarded with the use of a high-quality accurate, reliable, and state-of-the-art transceiver.
Sure, Yaesu FT1XDR and their other hand-held transceiver products might be super easy-peasy to use right out-of-the-box, but if it ain’t reliable nor accurate, then what good is it to me and my operations as a volunteer in the police, sheriff, and fire departments, as well as my social HAM operations?
If I happen to get lost in the woods or on the mountains of a ski resort, I need the GPS in my hand-held transceiver to work in all environments in order to aid the people that are trying to find me.
I use to carry both transceivers: Yaesu FT1XDR and Motorola XPR 7550e. After these GPS tests, I only carry one hand-held transceiver…guess which one.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)
Update: Yaesu FT1XDR: GPS Modem Set At 1200 BAUD versus 9600 BAUD
I was truly perplexed about the failed testing results of my Yaesu’s FT1XDR’s GPS system. I would not accept that Yaesu, which is one of the top brands of amateur transceivers, would put out a product that was not operational, based upon the product’s specifications — in this case, GPS.
So, after continued failed GPS results with the FT1XDR after my initial test, I decided to further investigate the GPS settings in my FT1XDR.
I found in the GPS Modem setting two BAUD rates: 9600 and 1200. Mine was set to 9600 BAUD at the time of my first test stated in this BLOG, above, so I got to thinking, maybe the higher BAUD rate was too quick for the APRS.fi to pick up; so, I dropped the setting to 1200 BAUD and guess what? Success!
On 21-July-2017, @ 1516 Hours PDT, my Yaesu FT1XDR showed up in APRS.fi, and it was tracking me, as shown in the screen-shot, below; so, the setting for GPS tracking must be set to 1200 BAUD on the FT1XDR — not 9600 BAUD.
Today, 22-July-2017, @ 1330 hours PDT, I decided to test out my Yaesu FT1XDR again; but, this time in the Presidio Of San Francisco, which is notorious for having little or no mobile phone signals throughout the base. At 1330 hours PDT, I left Eagle’s Nest and ventured into the Presidio Of San Francisco, via my sister’s car, to try out the GPS in my Yaesu FT1XDR; and, once again, it failed. Mind you, I set the modem to 1200 BAUD.
The Presidio Of San Francisco was a perfect test-location; because, it has little to no mobile phone coverage; so, I can best simulate my iPhone 7 Plus going out, due to no mobile signal, and having to rely and use my transceivers.
My Motorola XPR 7550e still out-performed my Yaesu FT1XDR 100% of the time. My Motorola XPR 7550e’s GPS sent out more accurate and reliable location packets along my travels in the Presidio Of San Francisco; my Yaesu FT1XDR’s GPS function did not send accurate GPS packets nor were those packets reliable, as the screen-shots from my iPhone 7 Plus show, below.
As you can see in the screen-shot, supra, my Motorola XPR 7550e tracked me all the way to my final destination: Sports Basement at the Presidio Of San Francisco. My destination time was 1401 Hours PDT. Look at K6ASF-7, which is my Yaesu FT1XDR…it stopped tracking me at Union Street and Divisadero.
22-July-2017, I decided to go with my mum and sis shopping in Daly City; so, I set up my Yaesu FT-857D, my Bioenno portable battery, and my Motorola XPR 7550e in the back seat. My sis was driving, and my mum was in the passenger seat. While they talked and drove, I chatted with operators on CARLA System 2 and 32 in the back seat. Of course, I also accessed the DMR with my Motorola XPR 7550e and spoke to several HAM operators on DMR, while the Motorola XPR 7550e’s GPS was sending my travel location to APRS.fi, as seen in the screen-shot, below. As you can see, K6ASF was tracked round-trip from my Eagle’s Nest to Daly City, California.
I am sick by the lack of performance of my Yaesu FT1XDR that I didn’t even bring it on this drive and wasn’t interested in testing the GPS again.
Well, the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Another saying in with the Motorola HAM operators’ communities is, “that’s the difference between a commercial and professional radios like, Motorola, versus the amateur radios — the commercial and professional radios are built better, more advanced, and more reliable — they have to be — professional and commercial operators’ businesses (e.g., military, law enforcement, aviation, marines, fire fighters, secret service, and so on) rely on accuracy and reliability; so, transceivers like Motorola will always excel over amateur stuff.”
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)