January 18, 2013. In this photo, I just finished installing a new Garmin Montana bi-directional device into my radio stack, and with my newly made up data cable, connecting the Garmin Montana to my Kenwood TM-D710, it was as simple as making a couple of changes in the APRS menu of my Kenwood TM-D710, and one change to the menu of the Montana. and they shook hands, and were off and running. Needless to say I was very pleased, as I couldn't find any information on the Internet, in pairing the two together, so I just ran with it, and I am glad I did, as they are playing nice together.
The Montana proving to be compatible with my Kenwood APRS TH-D72A, and my TM-D710A, provides GPS location information for my transmitted APRS beacons, and it shows the received APRS information on the map. You can set it to navigate to your favorite APRS mobile station and get rerouting instructions when the new position is reported! You also can watch APRS activity right on the screen. Static positions are indicated with a blue icon with the associated call sign, although you may assign a custom Icon for each station. The Montana provides fast and accurate fixes, and you get 2D, 3D and night views. You also get to enjoy turn-by-turn vocal instructions with street names, like on a Garmin Nuvi.
With the Canadian Topo maps enabled, the driving experience is superb, as you have all the mapping as per normal in your driving of urban and rural roads, and highways, but you now have national, regional and local parks, forests and wilderness areas, including points of interest such as campgrounds, scenic lookouts, hiking trails and land contours shown with elevations, as well as your elevation tracks and more.
I also am involved in Geochaching, so when I head out from my mobile, I grab my Montana and hit the trail with my trail maps enabled.
The view that is shown on the Montana in this photo, shows the screen in night-view-mode, with a number of beaconing stations depicted. I also have assigned custom Icons to each station, or at least for the hams in my local area, allowing me to identify them at a glance. I also can change the size of the font for the callsign, allowing for easy reading of the information shown on the screen of the Montana.
Another cool feature, is by touching any of the beaconing stations on the screen, all the pertinent information is high-lighted on the screen, and by touching notes, a keyboard comes into the view, and I am able to include notes for that station, that may be anything of importance to me, like maybe the name of the ham, or possibly his email address and phone number, or anything else I might want to add to his resume, that is saved under waypoint management in the menu.
So to give you a heads up, I now have a view of the objects on the screen of my Montana, that can show repeater frequencies in the area, meetings, nets, events, hamfests, echolink and IRLP nodes and frequencies, traffic speeds, accidents, emergency situations and more. As well, the Montana can show the location of each of these events that are happening now.
I am connected, and loving it!
Editor's Note: We love it! I bet not a lot of people knew that you could set up the Montana this way! Very nice set up!