I have been an amateur radio operator for several years now and I became interested in GPS much more recently. It was interested to see that Icom has now announced that it will be selling the Icom IC-2820 Dual Band mobile FM transceiver that with have optional GPS receiver capability.
D-STAR DV mode + GPS receiver
The optional UT-123 provides D-STAR DV mode operation plus GPS receiver capability. Your location information can be sent simultaneously with the digital voice transmission.
Location information exchange
The IC-2820H sends your location information either when the mic PTT switch is pushed, or at a preset interval (5 seconds–30 minutes). When available from a calling station, the IC-2820H displays the distance and direction to the station.
The GPS alarm alerts you by beeping when a preprogrammed point is within 500m or 1km range from your location or anyone of preprogrammed points is within a preset square range.
GPS location tracking
When connected to a PC* via the optional RS-232C cable, OPC-1529R, your own or the received location information can be plotted by map software* on a PC.
* Serial port and map software (NMEA 0183) are required.
If this were to become popular, perhaps they could consider adding this to a line of FRS/GMRS/MURS radios. That way non-amateur radio operators could enjoy these features with legal, license-free or easy to obtain licensed radios. I know Garmin has their Rino radios with some type of GPS features.
Maybe something like this with a GPS option would be right up some peoples alley for an all-in-one radio:
I got into APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) a few years back and really enjoyed it. I built a couple of APRS interfaces to my 2M mobile and HT that would allow my position to be sent via x.25 packets on 144.390 MHz.
There is a website www.findu.com that will allows you to search on callsign and view the latest position on map. I had my APRS tracker hooked up will driving down to FL from NY to visit my brother and he was able to view my progress on the web.
My latest project is a GPS tracker (http://www.byonics.com/microtrak300/) with a .5 watt 2M trasmitter and TNC. It connects to a small magnet mount GPS. The nice thing about it is that it does not tie up the radio that I use for voice and can be carried.
I have wondered why the features of the Rhino have not been more popular in the FRS/GMRS space. Also why hasn't one a the amateur radio manufactures come out with a Rhino type radio with a built-in gps. I know Kenwood's TH-D7AG 2m/70cc HT has a built in TNC that can accept a GPS serial connection but an all-in-one HT would be pretty cool.
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