Setting up APRS to track Spotter Network Location

KI5IRE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
290
I am working on setting up APRS on my Anytone D878 and using it to track and share my location with SpotterNetwork via APRS, but am trying to figure out where to add the station comment "!SN!" for SN to track my beacon. Would this be the "sending text" field in the CPS?

Also I am new to using APRS, so if anyone can help me look over my settings and make sure everything looks correct that would be very helpful.

I am also curious about the destination call sign field, would this have to be changed every time I go out of range from the K5FTW repeater, or would my packet still be received on any repeater regardless, as long as the frequency is the national APRS frequency of 144.39000 MHz?
 

Attachments

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
I think Destination Callsign may be referring to the APRS ToCall field. You can find a list of ToCalls here: http://aprs.org/aprs11/tocalls.txt For the D878, the ToCall should be APAT81.

Your may get better results if you make your APRS Signal Path "WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1" or "WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2". The first choice will get you two hops total and take advantage of any fill-in digis in your area. The second choice will get you three hops total. This is assuming that the digipeaters in your area are configured correctly.
 

KE5MC

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,023
Location
Lewisville, TX
A short Google search and it seems the "sending text" field is the place. On their webpage "spotternetwork.org" they have a reporting criteria. I'm wondering how you report. I always thought 'texting' on APRS would be tedious at best.
 

KI5IRE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
290
So the destination callsign is not the repeater callsign? As I said, I am planning to use the APRS function of my radio when mobile and traveling long ways away from my home APRS repeater.

So using the signal path you're suggesting allows it to be a vice-versa situation, correct?
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,403
Location
California
That software is odd. The destination callsign is hard coded in my radios. Well, I think it is. Perhaps I can change it, but what W9BU noted looks to be accurate for your specific radio. Basically, the destination callsign identifies your radio type on the APRS network.
Destination Callsign: APAT
Destination SSID: 81

That software is also weird because it notes to not add a comma in the APRS signal path. I always use WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1. If I could only use one of them I would use WIDE2-1.

I am unfamiliar with the Spotter Network, but if you need to send !SN! then that is where you put it in the text field.

Also, those GPS coordinates are somewhere in China. You may want to delete that data in those two fields so that your GPS position is sent instead. (Turn on your GPS)

Also, the / > and -9 means that you are a car. That's probably fine.

*** Most Important of all, you are going to need to use an external antenna connected to your handheld radio when in a vehicle. If you're outside the vehicle it may be okay. Resting the radio on the dashboard is definitely not an option for various reasons. Also, you're going to need a battery eliminator for your radio. It's just a 12v cord that plugs into the power port of your vehicle and the other end looks like your battery and fits right on your radio. Constantly sending a signal and using the GPS will drain your battery quicker than you want.
 
Last edited:

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
The whole idea behind APRS is the use of AX.25 UI frames to broadcast unconnected packets. Therefore, "destination callsign" is a somewhat different concept in APRS than in regular AX.25 packet. A destination callsign in packet assumes that you know who you are connecting to. But, you aren't going to be connected and you don't know who is going to digipeat your packet. The APRS ToCall takes the place of the destination callsign and is used to indicate the source of the packet, i.e. the equipment or software used to generate the packet.

A comma is perfectly valid in the APRS path setting. A digipeater will evaluate the path in an incoming packet from left to right and determine what to do with the packet.

WA8LMF has a pretty good tutorial on APRS paths and digipeating on his website. Skip past the section about the old and obsolete RELAY,WIDE method and read up on the "New Paradigm" using WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1, etc. Click on the animated GIF to see how it works.
 

KI5IRE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
290
That software is odd. The destination callsign is hard coded in my radios. Well, I think it is. Perhaps I can change it, but what W9BU noted looks to be accurate for your specific radio. Basically, the destination callsign identifies your radio type on the APRS network.
Destination Callsign: APAT
Destination SSID: 81

That software is also weird because it notes to not add a comma in the APRS signal path. I always use WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1. If I could only use one of them I would use WIDE2-1.

I am unfamiliar with the Spotter Network, but if you need to send !SN! then that is where you put it in the text field.

Also, those GPS coordinates are somewhere in China. You may want to delete that data in those two fields so that your GPS position is sent instead. (Turn on your GPS)

Also, the / > and -9 means that you are a car. That's probably fine.

*** Most Important of all, you are going to need to use an external antenna connected to your handheld radio when in a vehicle. If you're outside the vehicle it may be okay. Resting the radio on the dashboard is definitely not an option for various reasons. Also, you're going to need a battery eliminator for your radio. It's just a 12v cord that plugs into the power port of your vehicle and the other end looks like your battery and fits right on your radio. Constantly sending a signal and using the GPS will drain your battery quicker than you want.
Thank you for the help guys. I was trying to set the destination SSID to 81, as suggested by vagrant, but the options are only 0 to -15?
 
Last edited:

KI5IRE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
290
I'm still confused by destination callsign and SSID and your callsign and your SSID. Vagrant says it should look like
"Destination Callsign: APAT
Destination SSID: 81" but the SSID only goes from 0 to -15. Should I just match my destination and your SSID fields since I'm understanding it as destination is what my radio is?\

This website claims -9 is for HTs and trackers, so should I just set both to -9? APRS: SSIDs, Paths, and Beacons | KB9VBR J-Pole Antennas

This is the video I originally watched about APRS setup.
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
The APRS ToCall assigned to your radio is "APAT81". Note that there is no "-" in the ToCall.

I watched that video and it makes no sense to me that the callsign of your nearest digipeater has to be in the Destination Callsign field. What happens when you our outside the coverage area of that digi? Me thinks that the folks at AnyTone really don't understand how APRS works.

Also, any website that claims to list the SSIDs for APRS is providing old information. In the early days of APRS, the SSID mattered because it was the only way to indicate what kind of station was beaconing (car, truck, home, etc.). Now that we have so many symbols available, the SSID can be whatever you want. I typically use -7 for handhelds and -9 for mobiles based on the type of radio, not how they are used.
 
Last edited:

KI5IRE

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
290
The APRS ToCall assigned to your radio is "APAT81". Note that there is no "-" in the ToCall.
Okay, thank you. Should I need to just leave destination SSID blank then, or match it to my "your SSID" field?
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
I have no idea. Ask AnyTone what the purpose of the Destination Callsign is. It makes no sense to me.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,403
Location
California
I was speculating based on the software having two fields to populate. Perhaps try...
Destination Callsign: APAT81
Destination SSID: (Leave it blank if you can)
 

jwt873

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
937
Location
Woodlands, MB
FWIW, I've never seen a place for 'destination call sign' in the software for my Kenwood APRS radios. I've been running APRS for years and this is the first time I've ever heard of it.. I would do as vagrant suggests in his post above...
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
FWIW, I've never seen a place for 'destination call sign' in the software for my Kenwood APRS radios.
Because it's hard-coded in Kenwood and Yaesu APRS radios based on the APRS ToCall list I referenced above. Both Kenwood and Yaesu have worked with Bob Bruninga WB4APR, the guy who kinda invented APRS. I suspect that the engineers at AnyTone just thought they could read the APRS spec and copy somebody else's APRS radio to come up with their APRS radio without talking to an APRS expert. I could be wrong, though.
 

jwt873

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
937
Location
Woodlands, MB
Because it's hard-coded in Kenwood and Yaesu APRS radios
Yes.. The subject interested me so I did a bit more digging around and discovered the hard coded thing last night.. My THD74 broadcast shows VE4CY-4>U0PX5Y

Looking around Google Maps APRS , I came across someone who was using a Anytone D878. His broadcast had the >APAT81 after the call. That person had obviously added APAT81 to the 'destination' box in the Anytone software.

 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,296
Location
Central Indiana
The APRS ToCalls always start with "AP". Your TH-D74 should be sending "APK004" as the ToCall.

I believe that the S, T, and U "callsigns" have something to do with the APRS-IS and are added by the I-gates.
 
Last edited:

talkpair

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
949
Location
Clinton County, MO
TOCALLS beginning with AP usually indicate the hardware or software the station is using.
Many APRS radios use a compression format called Mic-E where the TOCALL field is used for Latitude and Status information.

U0PX5Y is Mic-E format. Decoded, it means:
Latitude 50 08.59 North with a status of "In-Service"

From the packets I've seen, the Anytone does not used compressed format, so use APAT81 as the Destination call sign with zero or blank in the Destination SSID field.
In the "East and West Things" field, you'll want to change that to W if you're in the western hemisphere.

!SN! in the Sending Text field looks correct to me.

Once you have sent a packet and it's picked up by an i-Gate, we should be able to examine it to see if it looks good.
 
Last edited:
Top