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Author Topic: New DGPS Decoder App for Android and iPhone / iPad  (Read 2538 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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New DGPS Decoder App for Android and iPhone / iPad
« on: August 12, 2016, 2233 UTC »
These apps can decode DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) beacon transmissions. DGPS stations transmit the difference between positions indicated by GPS satellite systems and the known fixed position of the station. This allows higher accuracy. DGPS transmissions are 100 or 200 baud and are transmitted on frequencies from 285 kHz to 325 kHz. Hundreds of these stations are operated by the Coast Guard and other agencies, and they can be interesting DX targets.

For the Android: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/droid/dgps.html
For iPhone / iPad: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/ipad/iPad_iPhone_DGPS_Decoder_App.html

To use this app, you need a radio that can tune the correct frequency range, either in SSB or CW mode. Most “shortwave radios” can do this. Ideally you use a cable to feed the audio from your radio into your device, but you can also place the radio speaker near your device’s microphone, or even better yet, plug earphones into the radio, and place them next to the device’s microphone. You may need to experiment to get the best quality audio pickup, without any outside noise or distortion.

To decode the transmission, tune your radio to a DGPS frequency. You can either tune directly to the frequency in CW mode, in which case you set the center frequency in this app to frequency of the tone produced by your radio in CW mode, usually close to 800 Hz, or use USB mode, tune 1 kHz low, and set the center frequency in this app to 1000 Hz.

To assist with practice in setting up the app to decode transmissions, you may wish to first try decoding this recorded DGPS station, set the app for 200 baud and a center frequency of 1000 Hz: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/ipad/DGPS.WAV

A typical decoded message looks like this:

[23:24:00 08/08/16]  806   12   13  289.0 kHz Driver, VA United States     36.9633 -76.5622   306.61 km   172.711 deg

First the current UTC date and time are printed in brackets.
Then the station ID, 806 in this case, as well as the two reference IDs, 12 and 13 in this case.
That is followed by the assigned frequency, 289.0 kHz for this station. You can compare this value to what your radio is tuned to, they should match. If they don’t, then ignore this message, as it was incorrectly received. With weak signals, it is common to receive incorrect messages, because static or other interference has corrupted some of the bits. Just ignore them.
The location of the station is then displayed, the city, state, and country, followed by the station location.
Then the distance and bearing to the station is displayed, providing you have correctly set your location in the app.

Some screenshots:



Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: New DGPS Decoder App for Android and iPhone / iPad
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 1513 UTC »
The DGPS Decoder app is now available for Kindle devices as well, on the Amazon App Store: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Cat-Systems-DGPS-Decoder/dp/B01KBHX21A/
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

 


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