[MLB-WIRELESS] [OT] transcom VTX units

Michael Borthwick holden at netspace.net.au
Wed Jun 27 11:40:12 EST 2007

Last year for www.digitalfringe.com.au we connected one of the old  
Melbourne Wireless bulk-buy RS232 GPS boards to a Powerbook running  
gpsd (a GPS service daemon) http://gpsd.berlios.de/ (and the Macified  
version http://ghw.spade-men.com/gpsdx.html )

This was polled (via a wireless bridge mounted on the roof of a van)  
by a PHP script that then plotted the location of the Mobile  
Projection Unit van in realtime using Google Maps. It worked pretty  
well except when people parked in narrow laneways without sufficient  
view of the sky. It was fun driving FTPing up new files while driving  
around the Kew Boulevard during testing.

And further off topic..people interested in hardware hacking with  
PIC's and AVR's might be interested in the Arduino project http:// 
www.arduino.cc/ Its an ATMEGA8 or ATMEGA168 with a bootloader and a  
free development environment. You can buy made up boards or cobble  
the circuit together yourself with an xtal and MAX232.
I have bunch of ATMEGA8 chips which I can put the bootloader on if  
people want to have a play.

On 26/06/2007, at 4:25 PM, Rowan 2006 wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, Red_Wolf_2 wrote:
>> I guess it would be possible to interface both modules to a different
>> microcontroller, such as one of the PIC or ARM line, but I don't know
>> enough about programming those to do it. Any takers out there? :P
>> It would be nice to make a little unit that could receive an SMS, and
>> respond to it with its current GPS location, or maybe (for the more
>> adventurous) establish a GPRS session and upload trip data to a  
>> server
>> somewhere...
> Hmmm hardware hacking is fun, but wouldn't it be better not to  
> reinvent
> the wheel? ;) I believe that's what the Transcom unit can already do.
> Anyway...
> I have a pocket PC with inbuilt GPS & bluetooth so at this stage I'm
> wondering whether I should just try to find (or write) something  
> that will
> occasionally send off an SMS with my car's location once I'm  
> further than
> X kilometres from home, and I've moved since the last SMS update. I  
> was
> hoping for a more permanent and reliable solution though - the  
> Transcom
> unit (with external antenna) will probably be better at sending  
> SMSs in
> fringe or other difficult areas, compared to a mobile phone in my  
> trouser
> pocket. ;) OTOH, the PPC+phone solution is portable beyond the car.
> Cheers.
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