Sainsonic was kind to ask me to review their newest APRS product. A mic with integrated TNC, GPS and BT. In China this device is also known as AVRT8, which has been on the market for a while but not in EU/US. This is my short review about the mic (first thoughts) and I will update it along the way I get more experience with it and also from the feedback of you people who read this blog. So feel free to participate and ask some questions. We got an open line to Sainsonic and from my opinion they are quite helpful people.
Okay, back to microphone itself. Sample kit is packet with:
– prolific-chip based usb programming and charger cable
I must assume that the instruction sheet/manual booklet comes with the actual package.
– compatible with baofeng uv5r, prob also with wouxun and kenwood handhelds with the right connector
– internal tnc based on avrt8
– internal gps
– battery for the tnc/gps (charged via usb-port on bottom)
Mic opened. Picture is from the yo27.com forum:
To get this unit working you need to do few basic steps:
– programming via avrt8 config application which is pretty straightforward once you get it working)
– configuring your basic data: callsign, beacon value, status etc.
– starting to use the mic either with HT only or with HT and iphone/android via BT-TNC interface
Ive had now one week of fun with this device and here is the pros/cons:
– application (as many Chinese based) need work to do before you get it working, for example on this case you need from two to four .dll downloaded separately before the configuration app can start working. This is something that Chinese vendors should already to do better.
– atleast on sample kit USB-port is not protected at all
– there is no indication how big is the internal battery or how long it will hold its charge
+ huge fun factor with this one, just add any* (*baofeng, wouxun) with right connector to your handheld and you have a 5W tracker for bike, hike etc!
+ price is okay
+ sainsonic support is better than the original developers
I will continue to update this post along the summer, so stay tuned!
URL and screenshots for the software: