Stupid Question - Yaesu FTM-350AR Out of Storage & Having an APRS Brain Fade

cpfinlay

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Do people still use RF for APRS? 144.39, right? 1200 or 9600?

I don't see much of anything in my area on the map except for a couple of WX stations and they appear to be using an Internet connection.
 

n5ims

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Yes, APRS on RF is still around. It's on 144.39 with no tone and runs at 1200. While there are several weather stations that post to the database via the internet with a good outside antenna on your APRS station, you should be able to pick up several stations. One thing you might try (assuming you're a licensed ham) is to start sending out some packets and search for your call on the aprs.fi site. That should let you know who is near you and their relative locations to you. Good luck!
 

belvdr

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It's on 144.39 with no tone and runs at 1200.
It has been awhile but I recall there being a 100Hz tone so you could know if someone was close to you, as it would open the squelch. I’m not sure that was ever standardized but I had that on my mobile.
 

AK9R

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I don't see much of anything in my area on the map except for a couple of WX stations and they appear to be using an Internet connection.
If by "map", you mean apris.fi, stop looking at it. ;) You won't learn anything about the local APRS over RF landscape by looking at a map that draws data from the APRS-IS servers.

Set your radio up to operate in APRS on 144.390 MHz at 1200 baud. You can monitor for a while to see who you can hear with your radio. You should be able to tell who is nearby by watching the display or checking the received stations list. If you want to transmit and you are operating as a base station, set the beacon rate to no less than 10 minutes. While the aprs.fi map does show several fixed weather station that are connected only by the Internet, a quick look shows several more stations operating over RF.

Voice Alert over APRS uses a 100 Hz PL tone. In my opinion, it should only be used by mobiles so that base stations or other mobiles will know that someone else is in range.
 
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cpfinlay

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So far I've heard nothing. Antenna at 40'. Tried some beacons and silence. When I look closer to big cities, I see what I had been used to so I may just be in an APRS "dead" area. I'll keep trying, though. Could entirely be an operator issue ;)
 

belvdr

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So far I've heard nothing. Antenna at 40'. Tried some beacons and silence. When I look closer to big cities, I see what I had been used to so I may just be in an APRS "dead" area. I'll keep trying, though. Could entirely be an operator issue ;)
For starters, don't enable to 100Hz tone. Instead, open the squelch and listen to the audio. You'll know it when you hear an APRS beacon. That will at least tell you if there's activity and if it's well into the noise floor, your receiver isn't able to decode it.

For me, I can barely hear any APRS activity at my house, but in my area, 2m seems to be dead overall. A long time ago, I was able to send some APRS messages over 300 miles when the 2m band was really long. It was exciting to send some messages back and forth with an old friend.
 

cpfinlay

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For me, I can barely hear any APRS activity at my house, but in my area, 2m seems to be dead overall. A long time ago, I was able to send some APRS messages over 300 miles when the 2m band was really long. It was exciting to send some messages back and forth with an old friend.
Same here: very quiet on VHF/UHF period!! Back when I lived in Houston it was noisy all the time. Going WAY back in time, I had set up a digipeater in the mid 80s since I was 240' up in downtown Houston. Powered by a Commodore 64 :ROFLMAO:

I'll keep monitoring until I finally hear something.
 
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