Ultimeter 2100An early birthday present this year: a Ultimeter 2100 from Peet Bros. I had my eye on one of these for a long time because it can do weather telemetry send on APRS. Ordered one from WiMo.
It arrived the other day (see unpack pics in gallery) with a German and original English manual. Fortunately for me because my German is not that good.
Did the glue-thing with the wind cups and test drive the weather station inside. All works fine. Then moved the sensors outside. Wind meter in my antenna mast and temperature sensor in the shade side of the chimney.
Next thing to do is connect the Ultimeter to my Kenwood TM-D710 so the telemetry can put on APRS. That seems quite simple. I put all the settings in and wait….. and wait….. 5 minutes…. 10 minutes…..an hour. No data in the Kenwood. Weird. Switched between I/O-ports on the Ultimeter. Wait….wait….nothing.
Reset the Ultimeter and did all configuration again. Plug the serial cable in it and a few minutes later: tadaaaaa! Weather station data on the Kenwood! That was last night. But after 2 or 3 beacons everything went dead again. No more updates received by the Kenwood. Also: weird wind values appeared on APRS.
But okay, maybe the Ultimeter suffers from RFI, maybe I need to change some settings. We’ll get there I hope! 😉 Anyway, a very cool birthday present!

The other day I did a complete rebuild-in of my Kenwood TM-D710 in my car (a 1999 Volvo V40 2.0T). Actually I had planned to get a cruise control kit from a junkyard-Volvo. But a late check of my wire tree learned me my car doesn’t have any preparations for a cruise control set. So I blew off that job.
Instead I picked up on another job: build in my Kenwood TM-D710! I did use the radio in the car before. But there where cables over the floor and the main unit was positioned in the spare tire. Not the ideal solution.
I did the whole job again. This time I pulled out the complete back-seat so I could lift the interior trim. This way I could run cables from the dash to the trunk. 2 networkcables for display unit and microphone, 1 speakercable and a dedicated 12 volt cable (fused)from the battery. I terminated the patch cables for display and microphone in the dash into a dummy switch. This way I can remove the display as well as the microphone so everything is out of sight.

Only remaining job is drilling a hole in my roof for a permanent antenna setup. More on that later.

Checkout the result:

GPS logoI did use a bluetooth GPS-mouse with my TM-D710E to send out APRS-packets before. That configuration needs a bluetooth receiver module to convert the data-stream. I don’t like extra boxes especially not in the car (that is where I also use my TM-D710E). So I keep searching for a more compact solution. In the meantime the Kenwood TM-D710G was introduced. But I didn’t had 650 euro for a new radio. The TM-D710G has a GPS-receiver in the head unit. A great idea, maybe it is possible to build such a receiver in my TM-D710E. After googling around a few times I found this Swedish site.
A great solution and exactly what I was looking for. The GPS-receiver in this mod uses plain RS-232-level signals so there’s no need for TTL-RS232-converters as in other mods. Erik Sohlén from the site could send my this GPS-receiver for only 38 euro. I ordered the mod and a few weeks later it arrived. Only three wires need to be installed and the GPS-receiver has to be glued in.
The mod works excellent! The GPS-receiver only starts its data-stream when it has a satellite fix. So when the receiver hasn’t a fix yet, the GPS-sign on the TM-D710 isn’t blinking. That way you can check if there is a fix without seeing the GPS-receiver itself.

Now I’m pretty good track-able via aprs.fi. When I using my car (not everyday) I build in my TM-D710 and set all APRS-settings for mobile use according to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR.