APRS is not just a vehicle tracking system. Think of it as a two way communications system between all items (vehicles, handhelds, boats, base stations) within your local area, and also further afield. For us as amateur radio operators it is a brilliant tool for instant information and quite possibly your means of communication when out of phone service.

APRS-IS is APRS connected to the Internet, not only able to provide a graphical overview via APRS.fi but also a means to allow your radio to send emails, text messages, get news, weather reports and a whole load more.

For a brief history of APRS, I recommend reading this article by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

For details on APRS Station IDs (SSID) click here.

The following list of guides will get APRS setup on some common radios:

  • APRS setup for Ailunce HD1 (Brandmeister DMR only)
  • APRS setup for Yaesu FT2D
  • APRS setup for Yaesu FT3D
  • APRS setup for Yaesu FTM400XDE
  • APRS setup for Kenwood D74H

APRSDroid – Android Free Software for position reporting and messaging. Support audio modem and also Bluetooth TNC’s

Unfortunately iOS offerings are slim, there are two contenders but each have issues: PocketPacket is good, however has not been updated since 2014. An alternative but expensive is APRS Pro Ultimate it is able to receive, but to transmit you have to subscribe to an annual plan or pay more for a lifetime unlock.

The following is a list of how-to guides coming soon:

APRS Digipeater

APRS Igate

APRS Beacons

APRS Paths

APRS via the ISS (International Space Station)

Sending APRS text messages

Sending an APRS text message to a phone as SMS (and they can reply)

Sending an email via APRS (and accept reply)

Spotting yourself on SOTAwatch via APRS

QRZ lookup via APRS

Setting up Direwolf to act as an Igate (Raspberry Pi)

Setting up Direwolf as a digipeater (Raspberry Pi)