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Automatic Position Reporting System

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I am an avid APRS user who lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I use all of the listed APRS programs, but currently use the Street Atlas version the most due to my nearly constant mobile operation.

With the Internet taking its share of packet users away from the radio, APRS is a practical use for AX.25 Packet Radio. There are about 30 active users in my area.

If you decide to give any of the programs a try and then register the program, please tell the Author that you saw it here on this Web page.

Thanks!

 

What is APRS

By Ralph Fowler, N4NEQ

September 3, 2000

APRS is a radio based position reporting system written in the early 1990's by Bob Bruninga (WB4APR), an instructor at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. It has been released as shareware. APRS has been used for numerous special events (inlusding a high profile application at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta). It is used daily by thousands of mobile and fixed station systems and has been responsible for the recovery of at least one stolen car.

After APRS became popular, Keith Sproul (WU2Z) wrote a Macintosh version (MacAPRS). A couple of years later, his brother Mark (KB2ICI) ported it over to Windows 95 and 3.1 (WinAPRS).

Not to be outdone, Steve Dimse (K4HG) created JavAPRS, which runs in conjunction with a JAVA capable web browser using online, live Internet data. Dale Heatherington (WA4DSY) wrote a server that allows TNC data from a particular area to flow onto the internet for use with JavAPRS.

In early 1997, Brent Hildebrand (KH2Z) created a new version of APRS. It is called APRS+. The program interfaces with your own copy of DeLorme's Street Atlas 4 through 8 to give street level maps along with full APRS operation.

Mark Sproul also added street level mapping to WinAPRS by interfacing with the Precision Mapping program. Unfortunately, Precision no longer makes the version of their program that works with WinAPRS.

In 1998, a version of APRS for the Palm Pilot was released. Also available now are versions for Linux and Windows CE.

Steve Dimse made headlines again when he created APRServe. Now users of most flavors of APRS can connect their program to the APRS server in Miami. Once connected, their maps fill with stations from all over the World.

One of the latest developments is called the FindUMap Server- (http://www.findu.com) and can be used to locate any APRS station that has been received and archived through the vast APRS wireless network. FindU will plot these stations on your Web browser using web based maps from Mapquest. FindU is also being used for displaying weather information as received by appropriately equipped APRS stations (http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/wxnear.cgi?zip=30144)

Of course, now that the Internet has been married to APRS, new horizons have opened. We can now exchange one line messages and position reports from mobile to mobile anywhere in the World thanks to the numerous RF to Internet gateways that have sprung up. Some cities with gateways include Atlanta (The FIRST), Miami, Los Angeles, and Tampa/St Petersburg.

There are even a two Kenwood radios (a Handie Talkie- The TH-D7A and a mobile - The TH-D700 ) that have APRS built in! Both rigs include both 2 Meters and 440 and has a built in TNC. They have serial ports for both a PC and a GPS receiver. The radios sell for around $400.00 and $600.00

 

Bob Bruninga has written an explanation that goes into more detail on how APRS works and how it can be used

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APRS SIG on TAPR

There is an APRS Special Interest Group (SIG) that can delivered to you via E-mail. Many other users are on the SIG, which is a GREAT place for APRS support and ideas.

If you have E-Mail, you can subscribe to the SIG and receive all of the APRS postings! To subscribe, click below. An email message to TAPR will be created. Send the email as-is, and you should hear back from the list-robot shortly.

TAPR Listserver

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