APRS Getting Started

If you haven’t tried APRS, you should take a look.

Here are a few things you can do with APRS

  • Short text messages
  • Situational awareness
  • Location of repeaters / hotspots
  • Group messages via ANSRVR (announcement server on the internet)
  • Group messages and APRS net via APRSPH — it supports local RF group messaging supported by internet connectivity when available.
  • Position reports
  • Tracking
  • Current weather
  • SMS gateway
  • SOTA / POTA spotting
  • Email via Winlink link WLNK-1
  • Much more!

Many radios support APRS and they work very well for tracking, but if you want to do messaging a radio can be a little difficult.

For me I want to be able to do messaging when there is no power or internet. You may think that will never happen. Let me tell you I live Rehoboth and it happens all the time. To make things worse, when I loose internet, I loose cell service.

My strategy is to use my Anytone 878, and Signalink plugged into my laptop. Now I am on battery and I’m good to go. You can skip the Signalink if you have a radio with a built in sound card, like the FT-991A. If you are interested in do RF only APRS, let me know, because you will need some software to make it work.

For you who have reliable internet, you don’t need a radio at all. Below is a partial list of software you can use.

ApplicationOperating SystemLink
APRSdroidAndroidhttp://aprsdroid.org/
APRSIS32Windowshttp://aprsisce.wikidot.com/start
PinPointAPRSWindowshttps://www.pinpointaprs.com/
UI-ViewWindowshttp://www.ui-view.net/
findU.comWebhttp://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/entermsg.cgi

If you know of another application, send me the info and I will add it to the list.

Ray / KC1RAY

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