New to APRS or new APRS gear?

Ive done it through Aprsdroid, UV5R, and a mobilinkd tnc.. it worked quite well but I'd rather have Radio/TNC/GPS all in one and only using APRSDroid via Bluetooth as a User Interface, phones running GPS and Bluetooth non stop dont last long and a HT can hold a much larger capacity battery and are still removable so you could bring extra batteries..

w/Aprsdroid doing tracking I usually have it plugged in, last time out the phone overheated on the dash, and while im sure being in the summer sun was to blame, keeping aprsdroid tracking sure didnt help.. if it just turned off the GPS I'm sure that would help greatly, ideally tho some kinda push notification from the TNC would wake the phone to new message and the phone would not have to be constantly reading the KISS socket for that one packet in a million.. and when you wake your phone the TNC gives it last locations of all SSID's its heard so you can check on people's positions.. now tha'd be really nice and usable in the back country.
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I use APRSdroid on a tablet with a mobilinkd tnc connected to a Yaesu FTM-3100 mobile. Works great. Tracking my Jeep, sending messages to other APRS users, SMS text messages or emails to the wife, through the ISS/Satellite all good stuff.

ISS is just being used as a Digipeater, usually a handheld yagi, a compass and an app on your phone to track the station is all you need to get a few packets out (lock on by opening squelch and then TX once you can hear the station), at night its even easier with a visual siting possible if the ISS if its still in the sun.. inbound msgs wont work through ISS tho.

Use your Google Fu, there's plenty of discussion how to work the ISS w/APRS on the ham boards.. Practice at home and see if anyone gates your packets onto the APRS-IS network, once you can get packets through frequently you can use it anywhere you can see the sky, as long as the ISS is overhead, and operational.

Setup some Aliases on the SMS Gate in advance if your working the ISS, otherwise your broadcasting your wife's phone number to most of the country :p
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@prerunner1982 Which blue tooth serial device/cable did you use? Is there a specific way to SMS-APRS through the ISS/Sat? or just happened to be in clear site?
I use a Mobilnkd tnc that bluetooths to my tablet. Two less wires that I have to have running around the cab of the vehicle.
As long as you are on 145.8258 Mhz and have your path set to ARISS the SMS-APRS procedure is the same as it would be for terrestrial use.
I hit ISS/Satellite digipeaters from my Jeep using my normal mobile set up at 30 watts. I use an app or the AMSAT webpage to know the approximate time of arrival. I don't have to worry about what direction it's coming from since I use an omni directional antenna. You will have to pay attention to the elevation though, too low and you probably won't make it and the pass will be shorter. Normally with a good pass it will last for about 10 mins.

Here is a link on how to set up setup and send SMS and Email via APRS using APRSdroid.
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