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Adding GPS to the Kenwood TM-D710

One of the features of the D710 is to use a GPS and send data packets to the APRS network. This can be useful for many thing, but you have to have GPS coordinates if you want position to be one of those things. This is no problem if you are using your TM-D710 as a base station. You can just manually enter the GPS coordinates, but this does not work if you are mobile. The D710 needs a signal from an external GPS unit connected to the control head to have real time GPS updating. The format is NEMA0183 and it is connected to the serial port on the control head. Kenwood does not have a GPS for this, but there are a few solutions out there that can work, but they are somewhat pricey if you just want GPS for the coordinate information. So I did what any ham would do, I looked around the junk pile and came up with some ideas. I have a Magellan eXplorist 500 GPS, but it uses a USB cable to their data port on the back of the unit  [pics] And not in serial format. BUT.... I was able to do some searching on the internet and someone was able to build a circuit to convert the signal from the GPS to something the D710 can use.

So here is the collection of parts: eXplorist GPS, a hacked up data cable, the serial cable from the D710, and a small circuit board for the level converter, and a AA battery holder to power the circuit.

TM-D710 GPS Set up

 

It worked well, for what it was. We took it on a family vacation up to Cape Cod in the spring of '11 and it tracked well, only issue was the clunkyness of the contraption. Unfortunately on that trip it meet it's demise. It slid off the dashboard and I think the cuircut shorted out as it no longer supplied GPS data to the radio. It was reall only a temperary solution, more of a proof of concept that it could be done. I will most likely not rebuild it, but look for something a little smaller and a cleaner setup.

 

73

KC2ZPK

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