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Amateur Radio Data Transmissions - For discussion of all modes used to send data such as APRS and packet.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-21-2017, 11:28 PM
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Default Help understanding APRS?

I did some reading on APRS and from what I gathered the station transmit its information (GPS, WX, message, etc) on a specific frequency (144.39). An iGate station then uploads that information to the internet, assuming it can hear it on that frequency.

Now, we don't have any APRS digipeaters in my neck of the woods. There are a couple APRS stations that people operate from their houses, but they are in low-lying areas, and wouldn't be useful for anybody that isn't very close.


So, does this mean APRS is not really of any utility in my area?
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:00 AM
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Not necessarily.

There are digitpeters that will pick up your signal and forward it out again. Those can often pass it on to a local i-Gate, sometimes via more than one digipeter.

You might want to give 144.39 a listen and see what you hear. Also take a look at the websites and see if they show any activity in your area.

I haven't used APRS in a few years, but when I did I was often surprised at how well it would work, even in places I though it wouldn't.

Other thing you could do is install your own i-Gate and fix the issue yourself.
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Old 09-22-2017, 8:54 AM
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Well, there are a couple APRS stations on aprs.fi, but they are always in the same location, which I assume is their house.

There is no repeater on 144.39.


If I set up my own iGate, what would that accomplish? I would be relying on simplex, which in my neck of the woods is only 1-2 miles, tops (very hilly and lots of trees).

Without a digipeater, does it kind of defeat the purpose? Unless I want to share my location only when I am within a mile or two of my house?

Or can you transmit your APRS info over a standard 2M/70CM repeater?
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Old 09-22-2017, 9:26 AM
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Earlier this month I used APRS to allow concerned friends and family track my evacuation from Florida ahead of Irma. My HT is an older one that doesn't support APRS directly so I signed up and used an app on my smartphone instead.

If you are a licensed amateur radio operator, you can sign up and use cellular data for sending your packets. This would work for folks without the required hardware or coverage in their areas to do it using RF. The downside is lack of coverage where there's no cellphone data network, and any associated data costs.

The latter as well as privacy concerns are why I shut off the automatic reporting once my need was met. I can still fire up the app on my phone to look at the map, and send a one time position report if I want.
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Old 09-22-2017, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oguruma View Post
Well, there are a couple APRS stations on aprs.fi, but they are always in the same location, which I assume is their house.

There is no repeater on 144.39.


If I set up my own iGate, what would that accomplish? I would be relying on simplex, which in my neck of the woods is only 1-2 miles, tops (very hilly and lots of trees).

Without a digipeater, does it kind of defeat the purpose? Unless I want to share my location only when I am within a mile or two of my house?

Or can you transmit your APRS info over a standard 2M/70CM repeater?
You could set up your home station as a digipeater (not repeater) on 144.39, and add to the quality of the network for everyone. I'd suggest WIDE1-1 only, and recommend APRSIS32 Welcome to APRSISCE/32 - APRSISCE/32 The future of Amateur Radio APRS as it's reasonably easy to set up and is still supported.

No, you don't want to send packet data over a normal repeater.. People would get annoyed quickly.

Setting up your own iGate will allow your station to pass local traffic to the internet, once again adding quality to the network.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oguruma View Post
Well, there are a couple APRS stations on aprs.fi, but they are always in the same location, which I assume is their house.
Probably, and if you look at the path they are taking, it'll tell you if they are getting into the network by radio or some other way.
If they are base radios, then it shows that they can access the network with good antennas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oguruma View Post
There is no repeater on 144.39.
That's correct. APRS is simplex, but don't discount it because of that. A properly set up radio and a good antenna will do wonders. Also, it's not voice, so it's a bit more robust.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oguruma View Post
If I set up my own iGate, what would that accomplish? I would be relying on simplex, which in my neck of the woods is only 1-2 miles, tops (very hilly and lots of trees). Without a digipeater, does it kind of defeat the purpose? Unless I want to share my location only when I am within a mile or two of my house?
It would provide coverage in your area. And not just for you, for other APRS users. Part of the hobby is building systems that can help others. And, like I said above, don't discount APRS simply because voice traffic doesn't travel far. The APRS network works quite well. A properly set up radio, as in good coaxial cable, good antenna, mounted up high, will provide quite a bit of coverage. Back when I used APRS, I was impressed with how well it worked. Places I didn't expect to have coverage, often did.



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Or can you transmit your APRS info over a standard 2M/70CM repeater?
You can, but you'll get told to stop pretty quickly.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:39 AM
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Heres an link that will tell you how to set up your own passive I-Gate really cheap,http://home.hiwaay.net/~sbuc/journal/igate.htm
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Old 10-02-2017, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kb5zcs View Post
Heres an link that will tell you how to set up your own passive I-Gate really cheap,Setting Up an APRS iGate
please don't make a passive or receive only igate. If stations are trying to send messages and your igate picks it up the message is essentially dead as there can be no response back from the rx only igate.


for more info check out APRS Messaging EXPLAINED! - APRSISCE/32 The future of Amateur Radio APRS
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Old 10-12-2017, 4:12 PM
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Hello,

Do I ever understand trying to figure out APRS on your own, and not having anyone local even using the service!

I host the HamRadio 360 podcast, and last year I did 2 shows about APRS that have been very well received. Additionally, I now have a few APRS stations running in my county with traffic reporting to the internet as well as moving via RF.

you can find the programs listed here: Search Results for “aprs” – HamRadio 360

I hope it offers you a hand up! 73, K4CDN

Last edited by 4merENGEMT; 10-12-2017 at 4:17 PM..
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