As part of my involvement with Amateur Radio over the past several years, one area that has intrigued me a great deal is the combination of GPS technology and Amateur Radio. This mix of technologies is currently taking on a life of it’s own. The result is APRS which is an acronym for Automatic Packet (or Position) Reporting System. In simple setups, the data from a GPS is translated into a audio signal that is fed to a radio transmitter input and received by another radio and processed. This used very standard Packet Radio techniques and is not a real mystery. This data may then be seen on a consol screen, or displayed on a map as a waypoint or point-of-interest. Because this uses standard packet protocols, there is also a mechanism for sending short messages from one person to another, or bulletins to a larger group of users.
- APRS – One of the many sites using the Google Maps interface for positions tracking and visualazion.
- APRS – This is another great site to use for finding people on a map via APRS. It also uses Google Maps as the GUI. This site is from Finland, but very fast and quite easy to use.
- Amateur Radio – I’ve recently acquired a ham license and have been active on HF and VHF/UHF. I really enjoy mobile HF and Portable operations.
- Files for APRS – I’ve become interested in APRS. Below are a few links to interesting stuff..
- UIView – A really super program for combining your computer and radio for APRS. It allows you to setup a digipeater, as well as Igate. A digipeater is a simplex repeater for packet radio systems. It receives and retransmits packets that is hears. An Igate is an interface to the internet. This is how packets from the airwaves get transferred to the internet to show up on the aprs.fi or openaprs maps.
- ARGENT DATA SYSTEMS – One of the venders of APRS equipment for HAMS. They sell the Opentracker series of trackers as well as cables, and other accessories. They also have complete self-contained trackers available complete with radios.