Automatic Packet Reporting System

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS)

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio-based system for real time digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area.[1] Data can include object Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, weather station telemetry, text messages, announcements, queries, and other telemetry. APRS data can be displayed on a map, which can show stations, objects, tracks of moving objects, weather stations, search and rescue data, and direction finding data.

APRS data are typically transmitted on a single shared frequency (depending on country) to be repeated locally by area relay stations (digipeaters) for widespread local consumption. In addition, all such data are typically ingested into the APRS Internet System (APRS-IS) via an Internet-connected receiver (IGate) and distributed globally for ubiquitous and immediate access.[2] Data shared via radio or Internet are collected by all users and can be combined with external map data to build a shared live view.

APRS Operations Tip: There are several different ways to optimize your APRS mobile operations depending on the immediate situation. One way to rapidly select between them without having to go through menu's is to simply program several radio channels with the different settings. The beauty of these channel suggestions is that you can always leave the speaker volume turned up on the APRS data band and can move between full audio monitoring, to Voice Alert, or to complete silence simply by changing channels. For the Voice Alert to always be functional and not miss a call, operators should never have their APRS band volume turned down. Instead, they can silence the speaker in the presence of lots of voice alert stations by selecting the APRSmute channel. By the way, here is a chart of APRS on 30 meters.

OVERVIEW: The Automatic Packet Reporting System was designed to support rapid, reliable exchange of information for local, tactical real-time information, events or nets. The concept, which dates back to the mid 1980's, is that all relevant information is transmitted immediately to everyone in the net and every station captures that information for consistent and standard display to all participants. Information was refreshed redundantly but at a decaying rate so that old information was updated less frequently than new info. Since the primary objective is consistent exchange of information between everyone, APRS established standard formats not only for the transmission of POSITION, STATUS, MESSAGES, and QUERIES, it also establishes guidelines for display so that users of different systems will still see the same consistent information displayed in a consistent manner (independent of the particular display or maping system in use). See the original APRS.TXT. The two images below should give you an idea of the kinds of information available to the mobile operator on his APRS radio. On the left is the Kenwood D710 radio showing the station list, and on the right is the attached GPS with map display showing the location of other APRS stations.