ARCS_aprs_OSM

ARCS_aprs_OSM is a tool to quickly make APRS maps.  It requires an Internet connection.  The tool is now part of ARCSaprs version 0.97 which was uploaded 9 May.  To make APRS maps for your location very rapidly, go to Tools>Fast OpenMaps in version 0.97.

ARCS_aprs_OSM generates maps for several APRS applications.  The software uses the Internet, the free OpenStreetMap tiles, your latitude and longitude to create jpeg bitmaps of suitable for use with ARCSaprs, UI-View and Xastir.  It also calculates the map corner positions and creates the helper geolocation file used in conjunction with the jpeg map that calibrates the maps.  Xastir users do need to convert the jpeg file to a graphic pixmap (.xpm) as described in Xastir documentation, however, the GEO file (*.geo) is correct. The map generating software uses a latitude and longitude coordinate pair to select the tile containing the coordinates.  OpenStreetMap maps generated for containing either nine or fifteen tiles, at various scales, are can be generated in a few seconds, depending on the speed of your Internet connection. OpenStreetMap tiles are copyrighted but users are free to use them as they want as long as credit is given.

Development is proceeding on a version of ARCSaprs that works with any TNC.

I recently received several favorable comments from North American stations regarding ARCSaprs.  I have not heard from other regions of the World.  Is this software working satisfactoraly outside North America?   Please send me an email to   m y c a l l s i g n at yahoo.com with your comments and ARCSaprs in the email topic.  Thanks.

73,

Steve, WB5KIA

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ARCSaprs version 0.96

ARCSaprs version 0.96a was posted 15 April.  This software is more stable and nearly a release edition.  ARCSaprs is the simplest way TS-2000 radio users can begin to explore APRS activity in their area.  Make sure you have version “a;” there is an issue with the 0.96 file which has been replaced.  Please send comments/bug reports..this is still in development.

ARCS MapMaker-OM is soon to be released.  MapMaker-OM is a simpilified mapmaker for APRS software.  It allows users with Internet access to download various size/scale maps for their locations based on the stations’s latitude and longitude coordinates.  It downloads the free OpenStreetMap tiles and creates both the image and information files required by ARCSaprs and UI-View (*.txt and *.inf files) so that download maps will have the appropriate coordinate information.  This tool significantly simplifies downloading maps for your area over the tool currently contained in ARCSaprs.

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ARCSaprs for APRS with the Kenwood TS-2000

ARCSaprs is an APRS application specifically for use with the internal TNC on a TS-2000.  A version to use with conventional TNCs is planned once the bugs are worked out of this application. Version 0.95 is a beta version, which means everything does not work yet (though a lot does work fine). The software may be very difficult for some users to use.. ARCSsprs is NOT a finished product…I am experimenting. If you get upset when things don’t work or are concerned about possible program crashes, you probably should not use this version of the software.  I am not experiencing crashes, that does not mean they will not occur with the PC hardware you may be using.

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Instructions are contained within the program.  If you are having difficulty, I suggest you try an application like UI-View  instead of ARCSaprs.
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Map posting routines work very well in North America.  I expect the routines East of Greenwich work too but I do not know.  If you create a local area map and are willing to share, I will try to figure out some way of making the maps available to others.  Map files consist of the map.jpg and map.txt file.

Download the zipped file from the ARCS II web page.  Place the ARCSaprs folder in most any folder on your PC except the Program Files folder. If you do put ARCSaprs in that folder, due to elevated security on Vista, Win7 and Win8, you will not be able to save configuration files.  ARCSaprs works on Xp and Win 7 32bit and 64 bit PCs and should work on Win 8.

The application is free at the moment.  There is no registration.  However, I would appreciate comments from users reporting bugs and suggestions for improvements.  If I receive lots of input, development will continue; if not …   use mycallsign at yahoo.com to respond please.

Keep in mind, the TNC in the TS-2000 is not full featured.   I try to compensate for some deficiencies in the internal TNC with software solutions. Not all work seamlessly yet.  Be patient.

73,

Steve, WB5KIA

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New Features and bug fixes in ARCS II version 2.05 and ARCS III version 1.05

ARCS II
The Internet U.S.Callbook improved; Sliderule Dial bug fixes and enhancements;  DXSpider bug fix: DXServer no longer loses lock when PC goes into ‘sleep’ mode as running DXSpider inhibits PC sleep mode;  Memory Select bug fixed (S meter would now works after selecting multiple memories; Other small bugs fixed; added Internet links in the About MENU to link to ARCS News and to check for the latest version of the software.

Major changes are being made to the ARTICULATE logger option including compatibility with ARCS III logbooks, more voice messages and a simpler interface.  During transition the regular ARCSLog database will not be compatible with the NEW Articulate Log database.  To transfer logs, you will have to first create an ADI file, load it to the other software and create a ‘new’ logbook for ARCSLog or Articulate log.  The database used in ARCS II will become directly compatible with ARCS III logbooks. These changes will initially be made by replacing files in a folder with the files in a zipped file.  Eventually, the logbooks in ARCS II will have the same format as those in ARCS III.

ARCS III
The Internet U.S.Callbook improved. Autologbook fill (from the online wm7.net U.S. callbook database) U.S.Callbook>Import Station data to log fields from the database. After typing a call in the station field, Tab to Name–the field will fill-in or you can type over the database info.  Alternatively, use U.S.Callbook>Callbook data for call to look-up the information for a station entry typed in the box.  The address information posts only in the Logger form, it does not automatically post in the logger fields.

A Keyer for transceivers other than Kenwood is now available (The CW keyer is a separate download on the ARCS III web page.  The keyer is controllable from the main software screens). Experimental ‘Sliderule’ CAT dial added.  DXSpider bug fixed: DXServer no longer loses lock when PC goes into ‘sleep’ mode – DXSpiter now inhibits PC from entering sleep mode.  Various other small bug fixes and tweaks. Internet links were in the About MENU to link to ARCS News and to check for the latest version of the software.
 
ARCSaprs
Still in testing.  A feature to poll GPS data from GPS hardware attached to your PC through a COM/USB port was successfully added.  Final release of the software is still anticipated for this Spring.

73,  Steve, WB5KIA

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ARCS II 2.04 and ARCS III 1.04 Released

At the request of numerous users, ARCS II  version 2.04 has a ‘full’ screen display option (Tools>Full Screen).  It still has scaled screens which provide a similar effect . ‘Autoscroll’ on the DX Panel of DXWeb is fixed.  This version includes a ‘soundcard changer’ for Win 7  (Tools>Win 7/Vista Soundcard Selection).

ARCS III ‘s  installer uses a new algorithm to determine if OmniRig is already installed on your PC. The DX Panel is activated (tally your DX and WAS achievements).  Full Screen bugs are fixed (the main form should scale correctly on all PCs).

ARCS II definately will not have an APRS module in Version 2. I am hopeful the stand-alone application ARCSaprs intended to replace the APRS module in ARCS II will be released by the new year. A beta version, one that might be a bit unstable and without the Gps feature, may be released at any time for testing.

Happy Thanksgiving and 73,
Steve, WB5KIA

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ARCS III Version 1.03 and progress on ARCS II

ARCS III version 1.03 is now available.  The latest release fixes major bugs in the contest logger, small bugs in the main application and includes several updated algorithms.  Users have requested a full screen version of ARCS II for several years; ARCS III can now display ‘full screen’  (Tools>Full Screen).  If the ‘full screen’ works on ARCS III as I intend for all versions of Windows and hardware, the capability will migrate to ARCS II.  ARCS III should be compatible with Win 8, if it is not, please let me know using my ARCS registration email address (I do not have a copy of Win 8 to try, however the software should recognize Win 8 provided OmniRig is compatible.  There is a possible fix to issues related to Netbook PC screens; try the revised tool in Tools>Netbook ( I no longer have a netbook to test but am hopeful).  I hope to have a a code keyer integrated for radios other than Kenwood (there is already a keyer for Kenwood radios) by the Christmas holidays and some other new tools including activation of the DX statistics folder.

If you use the ARCSkiamorse CW contest and code practice tool, you can access it directly by
unzipping the software and replacing the kiamorse folder in the ARCS III version 1.03 download with the unzipped kiamorse folder.  Use Contest>Simulator to get there after you install kiaMorse.

The independant aprsARCS software is near to release, it still has bugs.  I have had problems getting it to run on Win7.  Mentioned above, ARCS II may be getting ‘full screen’ capability.  There will be an ARCS II update, sometime in the later part of November.

73,

Steve, WB5KIA

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ARCS II 2.02

The audio scope tool ARCSScope is available again with ARCS II Version 2.02 onwards. Speech is implimented; Command and Control (the ability to ‘talk’ to the radio) is not. Graphical and speed improvements were made using the latest Delphi compiler (largely as a result of bug fixes in the compiler yet again). Some ‘original’ ARCS functions are still disabled in this version. Most functions veteran users are used to having along with more ‘toys’ should become available in the coming months. I redid the basic APRS. ARCS is getting too large to run on PCs with minimal memory so I decided the APRS functions will be a separate application. ARCSaprs should be released in November or sooner. A GPS tool is being added to the APRS software. The tool allows GPS units like Etrex and Microsoft GPS in conjunction with the software. GPS devices will provide automatic positioning information to ARCSaprs packets.

A small change was made to ARCSpsk to eliminate a decimal separator issue that affected users whose PC use a   ‘ , ‘  as a decimal separator. The vast majority of users of ARCSpsk are not affected.

73,
Steve, WB5KIA

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