Help Information for DOS TinyTrak Configuration Program TTCONFIG.EXE

The TinyTrak (c) Circuit and Software comes from N6BG, Byon Garrabrant
TTCONFIG.EXE (c) DH2MIC ( is Freeware for Ham Radio User.

Most of this Info comes from Byon's TINYTRAK.PDF or the
APRS Protocol Reference APRS101.PDF - Version 1.0 - 29. Aug 2000 (0.8MB)

Syntax: TTCONFIG.EXE [ /1 | /2 | /3 | /4 | /? ]
        where /1../4 sets the COMx: port and /? displays this help only.

Keys:   PageUp/PageDown or Up/Down -> move through the Help
        Home/End -> jump to the Top or End of the Help
        F1..F4 -> jump to the beginning of Part 1..4 respectively
        All Selection Keys (e.g. C for Call) -> move to Help of that setting
        F10 -> terminates and copies Help Information to a Printer or File
        Esc, Alt-X or Return -> terminate the Help.

Preface: Programming the TinyTrak

The PIC 16F84-10P contains Program Code of 1k words (14 bits wide) in Flash EPROM and 64 bytes of Configuration Data in EEPROM. To reprogram or update the Program Code a PIC Programmer is necessary. If this is a problem, you may consider building your own Programmer for the Parallel Port out of a few standard components within an hour or two. Get F1BIU's circuit and QBASIC Program from my German homepage:

To set or modify user options in EEPROM, such as call signs and transmit rates, use the Win95/98 file TinyTrakConfig.EXE issued by N6BG or this DOS program.

Part 1: Configuring User Options

First, connect TinyTrak to a computer serial port. Launch TTCONFIG.EXE, and select the connected serial port. You may define this on the command line by one of the switches /1 to /4 or during the start-up phase of the program.

The program then reads the TinyTrak Version from the circuit to confirm the Configuration Program and circuit are communicating. If the process fails a warning message is displayed. If this happens, please re-check that...

  - the TinyTrak circuit is powered and the PIC is inserted properly,
  - the proper serial port is selected and connected, and
  - the TXD and RXD lines are not exchanged (both pins 2 and 3 must show
    RS-232 levels below -3 volts).

The TinyTrak uses inverted TTL levels (0 & 5 volts) for serial communication, rather than true RS-232 levels (-12 & +12 volts). This may cause communication problems with some GPS receivers and computers, especially laptops. A RS-232 level converter, such as a MAX232, may be used, but the TTL levels will need to be un-inverted, with transistors or a TTL inverter chip. A very simple level converter can be built out of a few components, if it is located very close to the computers serial port:

RS 232 Level Converter

Note: R=10k and Schottky Diode HPA2800 are optional and protect the TinyTrak input
against negative voltages. Another protection Diode to + 5V is recommended (on TinyTrak board).

Part 2: Read and Modify Settings

Click (R) 'Read Data' to upload the current configuration, edit all fields for desired options, and click (W) 'Write Data' to download options to the chip. Reading the Configuration is always performed twice and compared in the program to insure correct data. Writing the configuration is always followed by a read and compared to insure correct data. If either process fails, it will be retried. A dialog will notify the user when the read or write is complete, and if it was successful. Detailed information about each configuration parameter is included below.

Callsign (C)

This is the identification of the transmitting station. It can each be an amateur radio call sign such as KD6BCH, or a tactical call such as SHUTLE.
No more than 6 characters (excluding SSID) may be used. If a tactical call is used, an amateur radio call sign should be included in the beacon for FCC identification requirement compliance. As with normal packet radio, an optional SSID between 1 and 15 can be included, such as KD6BCH-9 or SHUTLE-15.

Path (P)

This optional path will allow the transmission to be repeated by digipeaters. It should be entered in the form of call signs or aliases with optional SSIDs, separated by commas, such as RELAY,WIDE,WIDE . The number of call signs in the path is limited by the length of the beacon message or vice versa (see below).


The timing parameters affect when and how the transmissions occur. There are two transmission rates, primary and secondary, selected by Switch 1 (connected to pin 12 of the PIC).
The primary rate is used for normal transmissions (Switch open), the secondary rate (Switch closed to ground) may be used for alternate transmissions, e.g. when a car's engine is not running.
The two KeyUp Delays are used for normal and alternate transmissions (TXD1) and for manual, after-voice transmissions (MIC-E style), triggered with the Mic PTT input (pin 11 of the PIC) going high after a voice transmission (TXD2). When sending position beacons after unkeying on a voice channel is desired, the radio microphone input should be interfaced to the Mic PTT input. The line should be grounded when PTT is active, and floating at other times.

Normal (N) and Alternate (A) Transmission Rates

These settings control how often, in seconds, a position transmission will occur, rounded to 10 seconds. Valid ranges are between 10 seconds and 2550 seconds ( 42.5 minutes ).

KeyUp Delay (TXD) (K) and (D)

This sets the delay in milliseconds after the transmitter is keyed, until the data begins. During the key-up delay, the AX.25 flag byte (0x7E) is sent. It is similar to the TXD setting in most TNCs. A value of 100 ms would be equal to 1/10 second or 15 flag bytes of 6.667ms (8 bits at 1200 bps) each. Valid range is between 10 and 1700 ms, below 120 ms the tx frequency of the trcvr may not have been settled and/or a slow DCD/Squelch circuit activated, above 240 ms channel capacity may be wasted.

Quiet Time (Q)

This setting controls the delay in seconds that must occur after the receiver squelches, before a transmission will occur. It can keep transmissions from occurring on a busy channel. It requires the carrier detect components to be included (R9, C2, D1, R10 )

Calibration BYte (Y)

This setting is included to help compensate for inaccuracies in the ceramic resonator. By adjusting the value, packet rates can be sped up or slowed down. A value of 63 (60 in version v1.4) represents no correction. Experiment with different values to see which has the best results on a receiving TNC.

Beacon Message (B)

TinyTrak can send a text beacon message after periodic location transmissions. The length of the beacon message is limited by the number of digipeaters in the path: 40 characters with no path, 33 characters with 1 call, 26 with 2, 19 with 3, 12 with 4, and 5 characters with 5 calls.

Beacon Every (E)

This setting controls how often a beacon is sent, in units of normal position transmissions. A setting of 1 would send the beacon with every position transmission, a setting of 2 would beacon with every other position.

APRS/MIC-E Messaging

The following four settings set special APRS settings which were introduced by the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) Microphone-Encoder (MIC-E). For additional information about these settings, refer to TAPR's web page at

MIC-E Message (M)

This setting selects one of the 8 (15) pre-assigned MIC-E messages. Caution should be used when selecting this setting, as beaconing with the 'Emergency!' setting will alert most APRS receiving users to your emergency. Messages C0 to C6 can't be set and transmitted with TinyTrak Versions below 1.4.

MIC-E Path (I)

This setting selects one of the 16 pre-assigned MIC-E paths. In order to use the digipeater path entered above, this should be set to 'Conventional'.

Symbol Character (S)

This setting sets the symbol most APRS programs with display when this beacon's position is received. A symbol setting of '>' will display a car, 'k' will display a truck, 'v' will display a van. Other symbol characters can be found in the APRS documentation or in the on-line help to this setting.

Symbol Table / Overlay Character (T)

This setting selects between Symbols from the APRS Standard Symbol Table or icons from the APRS Alternate Symbol Table. The identifiers are '/' or '\' respectivily. For normal use, the Standard Table will be selected (mostly stations). Some Symbols of the Alternate Table may be amended by an Overlay Character (0-9, A-Z) that replaces the '\' during transmission. Refer to APRS documentation or to the on-line help to this parameter for more information on this setting.


The following 10 functions control communication with the TinyTrak, and will allow the setting selected above to be configured into the TinyTrak. The test tone transmissions are not available with version 1.0

Com Port # (#)

This setting selects which communication port the TinyTrak is connected to during configuration. Currently only the first four serial ports are supported.

Get Version (V)

This button will get the current firmware version from the connected TinyTrak. This is a useful, simple test to confirm the computer and TinyTrak can communicate. It will be executed automatically before each Data Transmission from and to TinyTrak.

Read Data (W)

This button will upload all configuration settings from the connected TinyTrak into the setting fields above. This step is useful to change a single setting on the TinyTrak configuration.

Write Data (R)

This button will download all configuration settings entered above into the TinyTrak. The settings are stored in non-volatile memory, so they will persist when power is removed from TinyTrak.

Load Data (L)

This function will load all configuration settings from a file on floppy or hard disk. This function is useful if different pre-recorded settings shall be transferred to TinyTrak. See Save Data (>) command.

Save Data (>)

This function stores all configuration settings into a file on a floppy or hard disk. The default file extention is .TTC (TinyTracConfiguration). The File is 93 bytes long. The first 27 bytes are 'TinyTrak Configuration Data' followed by CR and LF (2 bytes). Then th 64 bytes follow as they appear in the TinyTrak EEPROM.

Send 1k2 (1)

This function sends a 1200-Hz-tone with PTT active to the tx or trx. To swith the tone off select 'Send Off (0)'. Transmission also ends before any other communication between TinyTrak and the PC can take place.

Send 2k2 (2)

This function sends a 2200-Hz-tone with PTT active to the tx or trx. It is useful to check the frequency response of a TX or RX compared to 1200 Hz.

Send Alt (3)

This function sends alternate tone bursts of 1200 and 2200 Hz with a duration of one bit (1/1200 sec.) each. This should be decoded into an alternating 1-0-1-0 sequence.

Send Off (0)

This function sets any test tone transmission to the Off state.

UI-Frame P/F-Bit (U)

This function is for experimental use only, because the different signalling bits of the PR Protocol have no meaning in combination with the UI Frame. Therefore the MSB's in the SSID-Byte of the Source and Destination Call as well as the P/F-Bit in the UI-Frame Control Byte will all be Zero.
The following combinations of these 3 bits are possible:

  Signalling         None     (S)...   (C)ommand   (P)oll   (R)eady   (F)inal
  MSB(Source-SSID)     0         0         0         0         1         1
  MSB(Dest.-SSID)      0         0         1         1         0         0
  Poll/Final-Bit       0         1         0         1         0         1

Warning: Please reset this Signalling to " None" before reading the Control
         Information back from TinyTrak by another Configuration Program
         because this has not yet been tested.

Part 3: TinyTrak Adjustment

There are only a few adjustments required for proper operations TinyTrak.
The transmit audio level should be adjusted at R6 for proper deviation. You can listen on a separate receiver, and start the resistor at maximum drive. When transmitting, lower the drive until there is a noticeable change in the receiver. It may help to temporarily set a long transmit delay (TXD) during this step in order to have more time to adjust the level or to make use of the 1200 Hz and/or 2200 Hz Test Tones. Overdriving the transmitter is a common cause of failure to decode.
The other adjustment point is R11, which is used to adjust the carrier detect base level. This should be adjusted such that Carrier Detect LED is usually off, but turns on when the radio opens squelch. Radio receiver volume should be set to maximum, and the radio can NOT have a constantly open squelch.

Part 4: Symbol Tables, Identifier, their associated Icons and Overlay Symbols

Symbol Table Identifier    Selected Table or Overlay Symbol
/                          Primary Symbol Table (mostly stations)
\                          Alternate Symbol Table (mostly Objects)
0-9                        Numeric overlay. Symbol from Alternate
                           Symbol Table (uncompressed lat/long
                           data format)
a-j                        Numeric overlay. Symbol from Alternate
                           Symbol Table (compressed lat/long data
                           format only). i.e. a-j maps to 0-9
A-Z                        Alpha overlay. Symbol from Alternate
                           Symbol Table

In the generic case, a symbol from the Primary Symbol Table is represented
as the character-pair /$, and a symbol from the Alternate Symbol Table as \$.

Symbols and description of their associated Icons


/! Police, Sheriff                    \! Emergency
/" [reserved]                         \" [reserved]
/# Digi (green star w/ white center)  \# Digi (green star) [with overlay]
/$ Phone                              \$ Bank or ATM (green box)
/% DX Cluster                         \%
/& HF Gateway                         \& HF Gateway (diamond) [with overlay]
/' Small Aircraft (SSID -7)           \' Crash Site
/( Mobile Satellite Groundstation     \( Cloudy
/)                                    \)
/* Snowmobile                         \* Snow
/+ Red Cross                          \+ Church
/, Boy Scouts                         \, Girl Scouts
/- House QTH (VHF)                    \- House (HF)
/. X                                  \. Unknown/indeterminate positition
// Dot                                \/
/0 Numerical Circle with 0 )          \0 Circle [with overlay]
/1 Numerical Circle with 1 ) Obso-    \1
/2 Numerical Circle with 2 ) lete!    \2
/3 Numerical Circle with 3 ) Use \0   \3
/4 Numerical Circle with 4 ) with     \4
/5 Numerical Circle with 5 ) overlay  \5
/6 Numerical Circle with 6 ) symbol   \6
/7 Numerical Circle with 7 ) 0...9    \7
/8 Numerical Circle with 8 ) instead. \8
/9 Numerical Circle with 9 )          \9 Gas Station (blue pump)
/: Fire                               \: Hail
/; Campground                         \; Park/Picnic Area
/< Motorcycle (SSID -10)              \< NWS Advisory (gale flag)
/= Railroad Engine                    \=
/> Car (SSID -9)                      \> Car [with overlay]
/? File Server                        \? Information Kiosk (blue box with ?)
/@ Hurricane Future Prediction (dot)  \@ Hurricane/Tropical Storm
/A Aid Station                        \A Box [with overlay]
/B BBS                                \B Blowing Snow
/C Canoe                              \C Coastguard
/D                                    \D Drizzle
/E Eyeball (eye catcher)              \E Smoke
/F                                    \F Freezing Rain
/G Grid Square (6-character)          \G Snow Shower
/H Hotel (blue bed icon)              \H Haze
/I TCP/IP                             \I Rain Shower
/J                                    \J Lightning
/K School                             \K Kenwood
/L                                    \L Lighthouse
/M MacAPR                             \M
/N NTS Station                        \N Navigation Buoy
/O Balloon (SSID -11)                 \O
/P Police                             \P Parking
/Q                                    \Q Earthquake
/R Recreational Vehicle (SSID -13)    \R Restaurant
/S Space Shuttle                      \S Satellite/PACsat
/T SSTV                               \T Thunderstorm
/U Bus (SSID -2)                      \U Sunny
/V ATV                                \V VORTAC Nav Aid
/W National Weather Service Site      \W NWS Site [with overlay]
/X Helicopter (SSID -6)               \X Pharmacy Rx
/Y Yacht (sail boat) (SSID -5)        \Y
/Z WinAPRS                            \Z
/[ Jogger                             \[ Wall Cloud
/\ Triangle (DF)                      \\
/] PBBS                               \]
/^ Large Aircraft                     \^ Aircraft [with overlay]
/_ Weather Station (blue)             \_ WX Stn with digi (green) [w/ overlay]
/' Dish Antenna                       \' Rain
/a Ambulance (SSID -1)                \a (A=ARRL, R=RACES etc) [w/ overlay]
/b Bicycle (SSID -4)                  \b Blowing Dust/Sand
/c                                    \c Civil Defense (RACES) [w/ overlay]
/d Dual Garage (Fire Department)      \d DX Spot (from callsign prefix)
/e Horse (equestrian)                 \e Sleet
/f Fire Truck (SSID -3)               \f Funnel Cloud
/g Glider                             \g Gale Flags
/h Hospital                           \h Ham Store
/i IOTA (Island on the Air)           \i Indoor short range digi [w/ overlay]
/j Jeep (SSID -12)                    \j Work Zone (steam shovel)
/k Truck (SSID -14)                   \k
/l                                    \l Area Symbols (box, circle, etc)
/m Mic-repeater                       \m Value Signpost {3-char display}
/n Node                               \n Triangle [with overlay]
/o Emergency Operations Center        \o Small Circle
/p Rover (puppy dog)                  \p Partly Cloudy
/q Grid Square shown above 128m       \q
/r Antenna                            \r Restrooms
/s Ship (power boat) (SSID -8)        \s Ship/Boat (top view) [with overlay]
/t Truck Stop                         \t Tornado
/u Truck (18-wheeler)                 \u Truck [with overlay]
/v Van (SSID -15)                     \v Van [with overlay]
/w Water Station                      \w Flooding
/x X-APRS (Unix)                      \x
/y Yagi at QTH                        \y
/z                                    \z
/{                                    \{ Fog
/| [Reserved -- TNC Stream Switch]    \| [Reserved -- TNC Stream Switch]
/}                                    \}
/~ [Reserved -- TNC Stream Switch]    \~ [Reserved -- TNC Stream Switch]

End of Help - Version 1.0 - 05. May 2001 - DH2MIC - Hartwig Harm
HTML Version 1.0 - 15. Dec. 2004