It would be nice to be able to plug my tablet into my Kenwood and be able to do APRS..
Would also be nice to download maps as well..
It seems Android support for USB is problematic - there is no proper API, and most devices do not have USB Host mode anyway. I suppose the best way so far would be to use the audio connection and to wait for AFSK receiving to be implemented in APRSdroid.
Coincidentally, Google recently released official Android support for both a limited "USB Accessory" protocol but also full USB host mode. Unfortunately full host mode is only in Android 3.1, meaning that only Xoom owners get it (officially) until Ice Cream Sandwich comes out. As far as I can tell the "accessory" mode requires explicit support on the connected device and the Android 2.3.4 OS (though the second part is easy for anyone with a fully rooted device).
Why think corded ?
Why not Bluetooth ? (same for audio)
Bluetooth audio can be handled by the Android system, however I am not sure if the bluetooth-capable HTs support more than attaching a headset.
For bluetooth-serial in KISS mode, there is an experimental build for Android 2.x to connect APRSdroid to any TNC using a bluetooth device. As soon as I get some positive reports and the code is a bit more polished, it will become part of the official build.
I am surprised that there are actually NO bluetooth TNC's on the market. I keep think of some of those old Yaesu rigs I have in storage (from a move several years ago), with some sockets on the back.... gee even an alinco dj135 (I think).
Or have I missed them in my searches ?
Bluetooth TNCs are a rather novel idea. I am sure, if you wait some months, you will be able to buy such a device. So far, you can connect a bluetooth-serial device to any existing TNC and start experimenting! :)
Bluetooth TNC is part of the official releases as of 1.1.
Further consideration shows that closing the issue was premature. I will keep it open until I find a solution for devices with USB host mode or until I reach a dead end.
I just got a USB-OTG adapter for my Galaxy Nexus. I tried it with an FTDI USB to serial adapter and a terminal emulator app I found in the market, and it works! Have you played with any USB Host devices lately? More and more of the new hardware supports it. I'd love to be able to use APRSdroid directly (sort of) with a TNC. The app I found takes advantage of this library: http://slickdevlabs.com/slick-usb-2-serial-library/ It's great to see a library available that supports usb serial, but it looks like the license is incompatible with APRSdroid. At least it shows it's possible.
This library does not mention support for the Silicon Labs CP210x (the UART to USB chipset in the D72). I have yet to check if it's supported in my phone's kernel, which would be a prerequisite. At least the FTDI and Prolific chipsets work.
Thanks for the hint. It seems like the library is doing the right thing. I suppose what Slick did was to basically rewrite the usb-serial drivers in Java on top of the Android API. Unfortunately I can not (yet) test it due to lack of Android 3.x.
I hope there will be an open-source compatible project providing USB serial to Android apps. libftdi might be a viable approach, but it does not list the D72 UART either...
I am not generally opposed to spending the 99USD for the slick USB library. However, to integrate it in APRSdroid, their closed-source JAR file needs to be put into the source code directory. This means that either
I have to put the JAR into my git repository, which would be copyright violation, or
APRSdroid can only be compiled by people who spend 99 usd, or
I need to maintain two separate branches of the source code, one completely free, and the other one requiring the usb library.
Variant 3. is probably the most acceptable one, but it would require some additional work, and reduce the functionality of the open-source version. Therefore, I am still hoping for an open-source library to interface USB devices... Currently I do not have very much time for coding anyway, and I have some other important elements on my APRSdroid TODO list, so unless the user pressure for USB will grow higher or an open USB library appears, I'm probably going to push this feature further away.. ;-)
As far as I can tell, the major use case for this feature is to connect a tablet to a D72 (or possibly to a TNC using a USB-serial board, which can be already implemented using a bluetooth-serial adapter instead).
There is a new USB-serial library available. I will evaluate it and provide code to test as soon as I have some time (hopefully in a bunch of weeks).
In the meantime, there is a new experimental build for Kenwood (APK, using OSM offline maps).
With that build, you need to set APRSdroid to "SmartBeaconing" and "Kenwood PKWDWPL", and then it will emulate a GPS receiver and parse Kenwood waypoints via Bluetooth-SPP. This can be used at least with the D7x0 mobiles; USB support for the D72 is not there yet.
succeeded connect to D710 use newest version, and reviced waypoint very well, but I do not know how can I use GPS data which get from D710, other question, my beacon still send from internet when I send my beacon, D710 no any acticons.
This is awesome that you're getting close on a USB serial connection. I would love to mount my old Kindle Fire in my car and use it with my D710. No Bluetooth but it does have USB-Host OTG. Thank you so much for your hard work and I look forward to upgrading!
I have uploaded an alpha version with USB support. Please test if you can connect it to the D72 in "PACKET" mode; APRSdroid is expecting KISS packets over USB.