Friday, November 11, 2016

Baofeng Digital Interface Cable

Like a lot of hams and preppers, I own a Baofeng HT. Last week on Facebook, Baofeng Tech announced the APRS-K2 digital interface cable for their radios. Note that while BF advertises it as an APRS cable, in reality it's not limited to that. Other owners have reported that it works with DroidPSK, for example.

At $18.79 on Amazon Prime I had to order one to give it whirl. I have a 2012 Google Nexus 7 tablet that I can use for Android apps, but I'm primarily an iPhone/iPad user. So, after I got the cable I grabbed the app from iTunes and loaded it on my iPad Mini 2.

The BF APRS-K2 cable is like the KF5INZ Easy Digi interface for iPads, in that it relies on VOX to key the rig to transmit. I programmed UV-5RA with the 144.39 MHz APRS frequency, enabled VOX, and connected everything. had no problems keying the rig with VOX sensitivity set to 2.

Unfortunately I don't seem to be within range of an I-Gate, so although the setup was beaconing, there was no way to port it to the website, other than the app's web connection.

I intend to try the cable with other modes and apps, for example PSKer on the iPad and Fldigi on the Nexus. I'm thinking it might work with the speaker/mic port on my later 2013 MacBook Pro, as well.

Finally, the APRS-K2 is not just useful for Baofeng owners. Since Baofeng radios use the same cables as Kenwood, HTs, the APRS-K2 cable can be used with those as well.

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