Sainsonic AP-510



  • 1 watt transmitter using DRA818V module.
  • Antenna connector is Male SMA - thus the connecting antenna or cable requires a Female SMA
    • Bellevue's Vetco has a reasonable selection of connectors
    • A better and cheaper connector selection was from Wired Connections who have a large booth at Puyallup Mike and Key Swap Fest
  • The power connector is a USB-Micro - the same as the TW700 and some cameras. Raspberry PI and Droid 1 phone uses a USB-Mini connector.
  • Weight:
  • Power consumption: -


  • Red Light - charging. The light will go off completely once fully charged.
  • Solid Blue - GPS locked
  • Fast Blue Blinking - programming
  • Slow Blue Blinking - searching for GPS
  • Quick Blue single blink off - received packet
  • Long Blue single blink off - just transmitted a packet


Default Smartbeaconing Configuration:

  • Low speed 5
  • Slow rate 999 (Maybe this isn't an error. APRS wiki shows 1800. Is 1800 too large for the AP510?)
  • Turn angle 25
  • High speed 55
  • Fast rate 120
  • Turn slope 255
  • Turn time 15

APRS wiki settings

These entries may be set advertantly to 257 by the firmware configuration tool.

Manual Configuration -

  • I typed "AT+CALL=call-6" to change the call. I did NOT use the caps lock. NO spaces.
  • I typed "AT+FREQ=144.35000" to change the frequency.
  • Buzzer on "AT+BEEP =1 ON" # for off - "0 OFF" Yes - it all must be entered

The 510 responded "OK" in each case. With the Bluetooth terminal program you MUST use the SEND box to send the data.

The @commands in Chirp only work after putting it into programming mode (by sending "@SETUP" during power on, IIRC), and only with the 20141008 firmware. The newer firmware has a different programming protocol. (de kd7lxl)

Other Comments

  • Micro SD memory chip is used for tracks.
    • Heard once that 4 GB is largest supported. Couldn't find a 4 at local Radio Shack so am trying a 8 GB
    • The memory chip is read by removing it from the tracker and reading with a computer.
  • It's apparently OK to use the included USB-serial cable for simple charging with a power module. Similarly it's OK to use any US-to-miniUsb cable for charging.
  • 2015/3/17 de K6JEB We launched SESB-1 (Space Exploration Society at Berkeley) for Pi day (3/14/15) using an AP510 to track and it worked BEAUTIFULLY without any hardware modifications for the High Altitude GPS.
    • All we did was check the high altitude box in the AP510 application and wrote it to the tracker.
    • The one watt with a 5/8 vertical hanging out the side worked splendidly and even when it was on the ground we were getting a good signal.
    • The only hardware mod I made, right away, was to solder the rotating sleeve on the male SMA connector on the tracker , keeping it from turning, allowing us to attach and unattach any antennas without the maddening sleeve turning and turning (seriously one of the few annoying things with the AP510 out of the box).
  • Tracker History - QAL-5 by 7nwp.
    • Tried several times with the October firmware and configuration tool. Appeared to have uploaded firmware but configuration program would not successfully write to the device.
    • Since October software wouldn't work - tried the December release. Programming worked the first time but something was wrong as it was not transmitting as expected. It turns out that it's important to load defaults before any customization is attempted. I didn't do that the first time and it appears that some values were incorrect enough to keep the device from working.
    • Changes to configuration for December firmware. (Note that the Configuation program has a 141208?? date even though it is actually part of the 141215?? release.
      • .5 and 1.0 Watt settings.
  • 150616 release
    • Emergency Mode
    • Fixed missing -0 SSID (-0 is same as no SSID)
  • Enhancement Requests
    • Alex: Would it be possible to implement different paths based on altitude? That way at higher altitude, I won't be hitting every repeater in the county, but once the payload has landed the additional hops will help locate it. For example:
        • Altitude > 1000 ft, use no path or maybe WIDE 2-1
        • Altitude < 1000 ft, use WIDE 1-1, WIDE 2-1
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