What can I do with APRS messages?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N8MLP, Nov 23, 2019.

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  1. N8MLP

    N8MLP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I noticed this morning VHF Propagation was really good! I was receiving packets from 200+ miles away. (I am sure through hops... still thats awesome)

    Is there a way I can send out a single message.. kind of like a CQ CQ?
     
  2. KE0TNL

    KE0TNL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could put in the comments of your own APRS packets that are beaconing from your station that you are looking for CQs via message or otherwise.
     
  3. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The specifics of sending and receiving messages will vary somewhat depending on what equipment and software you're using. Some gear can't receive anything. Some may not make it so easy to send and receive messages. Some small trackers let you customize the comment field of your position beacons when you program the tracker with the aid of a computer, but make it difficult to alter that while in the field.

    But assuming you have something that lets you send and receive messages, you can send messages to any other APRS user. Whether it reaches the other user depends on propagation, of course. If there are suitable igates, the message may route itself through the Internet for part of the trip. You could look for people showing up on the map near you, and try sending messages. Some won't have the right equipment to receive them, and perhaps some who do receive them will ignore them, but some will reply.

    If you send a message to "SMSGTE", you'll be able to send an SMS text message to a cell phone, and the recipient will be able to reply to send a message back to you via APRS. This does require that you be in range of an igate (if you're showing up on aprs.fi, your signal is reaching an igate). https://smsgte.org/about/

    You can also send and receive e-mail via SMS text messages: http://www.aprs-is.net/Email.aspx

    But my most interesting experience with APRS messages was when I was hiking on a local ridge top, which happens to be a registered SOTA peak. There is no cell service up there, but I was carrying a radio, beaconing my position via APRS. As I got near the peak, I received a text message from DL0QW-12, that said "Welcome AG6QR on summit W6/NC-304 Big Rock Ridge (CM88QB). gl if you activate this reference. 73 de Camilla www.cqGMA.net".

    I didn't actually activate the peak as an official SOTA activation, but I made a few contacts anyway.

    Apparently someone in Germany was running some software that was watching an APRS-IS feed, automatically detecting when people are approaching summits while beaconing APRS, and sending that sort of APRS text message to them.
     

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