51TNC, review of this multipurpose APRS TNC

 

2014 12 11 13 46 16

 

Hi, today I will be doing a very short review about the mystical 51TNC APRS-box which is made in China.   Just add ingredients such as proper data-cable + HT/Rig and you can  turn it into iGate/Digipeater/Tracker or even WX-Station.  

51TNC-box comes with the following set: 

  • 51TNC-box
  • PSU (without the adapter thought)
  • TTL to USB serial Interface
  • RJ45 network-cable
  • Yaesu/Kenwood compatible 6-pin data cable
  • 51TNC-box should also be equipped with bluetooth (for ie aprsdroid), but my model was lacking it! (damn ebay seller) 

Different usage profiles: (link to bigger picture HERE)

TNC51

 

2014 12 30 09 23 05

Ive been mostly testing and using it as iGate so got no experience on the Digipeater Side. However I have verified it works nicely on both RX/TX. My current setup is SainSonic GT3MK2 handheld, proper  data-cable from taobao-seller, and the TNC-box.  You can track me on:   http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FOH2FXD-10&timerange=3600&tail=3600

PEOPLE having problem to startup program check that you have atleast .NET framework 4.0 installed! This is depency I noticed just a while ago!

Configuration is done via TCP/IP API and this time I need to say that the software provided is actually quite usable.  Here is some screenshots for the application itself. Please bear in mind that default IP is 192.168.1.120 so you need to configure your LAN / routing for that network too 🙂

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 20 43

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 20 51

Screenshot 2014 12 30 10 53 25

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 21 07

 

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 21 15

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 21 23

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 21 38

Screenshot 2014 12 12 21 21 44

Plus:

  • software is ok, its even in english and works quite good
  • box is easy to configure
  • price/quality/usability 

Minus:

  • bluetooth module missing (ebay sellers fault) , not needing it anyway on own projects
  • cabling (yaesu/kenwood cable) was a bit loose, not good quality
  • missing psu-adapter
Few notices after longer use:
  • when you have SQL open on HT it wont TX (not manual or automatic), my friend oh6elf pointed out that it is important to tune audio level not too high. Im using 16ch kenwood VHF HT now as RX and it is a bit less than “nine a clock”.  You can test this yourself by sending RF test on Beacon page, tune your HT volume until TXD light wont anymore light up when you try to send a packet. When it does not lit anymore tune volume a bit down and repeat. Thanks “ELF” for support 🙂 

URL:

Original Site I got my inspiration:

http://9w2svt.blogspot.fi/2014/06/the-network-weather-station-aprs-tnc.html 

Software you will need:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xyuz5yl3a58lybj/APRS%2051TNC-ENG.zip?dl=0

Taobao-Seller for the 51TNC box and wouxun/baofeng/kenwood data-cable:

http://bh4tdv.taobao.com/

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1.w4004-5392156381.4.gKV6jp&id=21564524426

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1.w4004-5392156381.12.gKV6jp&id=15049152761

Taobao-agent site Im using:

http://taobaoring.com

 

Original manual: (in chinese):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3zi71xw5x994sst/APRS%20%E7%BD%91%E7%BB%9C%E7%89%8851TNC%E6%89%8B%E5%86%8C20140302%E7%89%88_BH4TDV.pdf?dl=0

 

NEWS:

I noticed that app needs atleast MS .NET Framework 4.0 installed. Try with that and report back to me if possible!
I have mailed to developer and requested more data about the device: howto aquire newer firmware, and howto update it (serial cable included in box should do it).
I have also requested would there be DNS addition to the TCP/IP settings in the future.  

 

 

Hear you in the APRS-NET! 73 de OH2FXD-7/9/10  

Radio

 

 

PS. Here is more pictures for the item if anyone interested ^__^

2014 12 11 13 46 23

2014 12 11 13 46 35

 

2014 12 11 13 46 44

2014 12 11 13 50 09

2014 12 11 13 50 22

2014 12 11 13 50 49