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Presented by: Tim Cunningham - N8DEU Alabama APRS Coordinator HUNTSPAC Chairman AMSAT Area Coordinator Huntsville Hamfest Aug 16, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by: Tim Cunningham - N8DEU Alabama APRS Coordinator HUNTSPAC Chairman AMSAT Area Coordinator Huntsville Hamfest Aug 16, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by: Tim Cunningham - N8DEU Alabama APRS Coordinator HUNTSPAC Chairman AMSAT Area Coordinator Huntsville Hamfest Aug 16, 2014

2 Storm Seasons come and go… Things happen every day... Are you Equipped for Situational Awareness?

3 APRS - What is it ? APRS = Automatic Packet Reporting System Created by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, early 1990’s Local Tactical data communications system Adds value to HAM radio in emergency situations or public service events Provides Situational Awareness Delivers Messaging Capabilities It is a mobile information network Alabama Packet Radio System

4 Delivers instant NWS weather bulletins and coordinates Informs you how close you are to the Area of Maximum Concern See where everybody is located without asking, especially SKYWARN weather spotters (GPS not required) Virtually any 2M or HF radio can be used for APRS more than just a simple tracking system… APRS - What is it ?

5 National APRS Frequencies MHz 2m FM (primary) MHz LSB

6 The New n-N Pardigm It Is not new anymore We are 9 years into the plan (2005) Still a number of non-compliant digi's TRACE is obsolete RELAY was replaced with WIDE1-1 WIDE was replaced by WIDEn-N – WIDEn-N traceable using UITRACE SSn-N state, section, or regional routing – SSn-N used with UIFLOOD

7 N8DEU WIDEn-n WIDE1-1 WIDEn-n No need to know any Call Signs WIDEn-n IGATE N8DEU > APRS,WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 N8DEU > APRS,DIGI1,WIDE1*,WIDE2-1:DIGI1,WIDE1,DIGI2,WIDE2*:WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1: WIDE1-1 Generic Digipeater Routing

8 DIGI1,DIGI2,WIDE2*: N8DEU WIDEn-n WIDE1-1 WIDEn-n No need to know any Call Signs WIDEn-n IGATE N8DEU > APRS,WIDE2-2 N8DEU > APRS,DIGI1*,WIDE2-1:WIDE2-2: Generic Digipeater Routing

9 AL2-2:AL2*:AL2-1: N8DEU ALn-n WIDEn-n No need to know any Call Signs WIDEn-n IGATE State Boundary ALn-n N8DEU > APRS,AL2-2 N8DEU > APRS, Generic Digipeater Routing

10 Local Suggested APRS paths Mobile WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 Home WIDE2-2 Use common sense or whatever it takes to reach an IGATE or intended station in your area or the application requires

11 WIDE1-1 fill-in digipeaters Be a part of the solution If your home station still supports an obsolete RELAY alias, please change it to WIDE1-1 That is all there is to it Your home station is a WIDE1-1 (fill-in digi) If your area is already covered by a digipeater or another WIDE1-1, your WIDE1-1 is not necessary

12 APRS Voice Alert!  Voice Alert is effectively a 3 rd Radio channel for the APRS equipped radios  By setting the APRS Band, A, to PL-100,  but keeping the volume turned up:  You wont hear any packets on *  You will hear a voice call using PL-100 on  And you will hear* an occasional Ping packet if another APRS equipped comes in line-of-site to you, like a proximity radar alerting you to local presence.  Great for long haul traveling and meeting other APRS users. (For all APRS mobiles!)

13 Local Frequency Info Initiative Information for the local area  Objects created to inform everybody  Voice Repeater freq, tone, range  SKYWARN net announcement  Echolink and IRLP nodes  Hamfest objects  Local on the air Nets  Kenwood D710 and Yaesu FTM-350R can autotune a repeater object  Great for out of town travelers

14 APRS – IS - Local Info! Last 100 stations! Direction & Distance Frequency and Tone Mobiles and HT are 100% compatible

15 APRS – IS - Local Info!

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19 Send from APRS Send messages from APRS to Internet . The (OpenAPRS) Method The -2 (javAPRS ) Method Send a message address to or -2 instead of a callsign. In the message field, the Internet address should appear first followed by a space and the message you wish to send. Address: or -2 Message: Hello Huntsville The server will acknowledge receipt of the message and it will return a message, " message delivered OK", in response if the message was delivered properly.

20 WHO-IS Callbook Server Send message to WHO-IS Message just needs to contain a callsign or “f callsign” for full details Callbook server will return details Great for those stations you know, but have a senior moment – Send a quick message to WHO-IS – Nobody will know you forgot their name

21 NWS Weather Bulletins NWS messages are generated by Pete Loveall, AE5PL NWS message format can be found at: –http://www.aprs-is.net/Wx WX county watch boxes can be hi-lighted with Red, Yellow, or Green colors to visibly indicate WX activity type FinduU Server collects WX station data via APRS-IS FindU Server dumps WX data every 15 minutes to MADIS Server MesoWest gets data from MADIS Server

22 NWS Weather Bulletins

23 APRS is Clear and Concise The Severe Weather Warning is immediate on APRS The message is clear and concise Relativity is crystal clear –Maximum area of concern is immediately transmitted on the APRS network –Location of spotters is known Nothing is ambiguous! No repeats required!

24 APRS displays everything Spotter Locations NWS Bulletins WX Stations Digipeaters Repeaters plus frequency and tone Even non-APRS stations

25 APRS users can add objects or other observers to the map Data is transmitted for all stations to see any object or non-APRS user on the map K4QF is added by N8DEU when his location is given on the Voice Net Objects can be added for flooded areas Objects can be added for downed power lines Objects can be added for house fires Everyone on the APRS networks gets the information with no ambiguity

26 APRS - 06-MAY-09 The weather net was activated around 6:30am on 06-MAY-09 Every county in the HUN NWS area in North Alabama had pending warnings except for 2 that had watches posted As the net became active some of the pending bulletins were announced With APRS we have a full view of what was active instantly to augment the Voice Net It was a busy morning All those on the Voice Net did an outstanding job Alabama Packet Radio System

27 N4JDB requests how long it will be before the storm reaches Lawrence County. Net control does not have this information and things are getting busier.

28 Remember Sonny, N4JDB, who requested how soon the storm would reach Lawrence County. His home APRS weather station is right in the path of the NWS bulletin at 1213z, but Sonny does not know it yet and things are so busy nobody remembers his request. With APRS the message is clear and concise. This is information Sonny needs immediately. With APRS we know it immediately!

29 A spotter reports a Tornado heard near Browns Ferry Rd and Balch Rd. An object is placed on the map titled TOR_SPOTD. Just click on the location, select Object Editor from the Action menu, and enter the data and the symbol type. If we know the course and speed of the Object we can make it move and update automatically. This is what APRS does when a beacon is not heard from a moving mobile station if enabled. A new post puts it back on course.

30 The storm spotter report results in immediate action by the NWS to issue a Tornado Warning at 1405z. Now we visibly see what is potentially in the path of the box. It is clear, concise, and immediate on APRS.

31 The third damage report comes in on the Voice Net and intercepted by an APRS users who places object DAMAGE3 on the display for everybody on the APRS network to see. It is tagged with WB8ELK voice report of trees and out-buildings down. A Tornado sighting in the sky is reported at Moores Mill Rd and Winchester Rd on the Voice Net. This report is intercepted by an APRS user and placed on the map. The path starts to visibly take shape.

32 It should be clear APRS delivers real time information We know where the NWS bulletins are located We know where the spotters are located We know where damage has been reported The picture of danger is clear and concise APRS fills in the missing gaps of the picture Messages can be sent via the APRS data network when the voice repeater is out of range for some spotters APRS augments the SKYWARN Voice Net A Voice Net can be up an running quickly with all the NWS bulletins at their fingertips with APRS Why wait until somebody staffs the NWS station The time between danger and death is too short APRS – Get the Picture?

33 Situational awareness is key to precise and timely information What happens when an area is so devastated and there are no street signs –With APRS we know where you are –Reports can be plotted easily –Information is immediat e Want NWS bulletins with more meaning to situational awareness? Get on the APRS tactical communication data network APRS – Get the Picture?

34 The Balloon Chase using APRS

35 Space Applications APRS digipeater is active on the International Space Station Frequencies – Packet: MHz – Packet uplink : MHz – Voice uplink : MHz ISS ground station Internet Gateways are feeding APRServe with ISS digipeated signals International Space Station

36 Space Applications Designed for: – country travelers – sea travelers – travelers in remote areas of the world – mobile or handheld users equipped with GPS Frequencies – MHz downlink – MHz uplink for HT’s (1200 baud) – MHz uplink for mobiles (9600 baud) Launched on 30-SEP-01 from Kodiak Alaska Launch Complex PCSat

37 Alinco DR-135T with T2-135

38 Next Step? Who needs a radio when you have the Internet ? No Radio required with a computer and the Internet What about Software Requirements ? What about Hardware Requirements ?

39 Watch APRS live on the Web at:

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41 APRSISCE It is FREE ! Yahoo GROUPS Developed by Lynn, KJ4ERJ Windows Mobile Phone WiFi Internet enabled phone Will not support Windows Phone 8 Moving to Android

42 APRSIS32

43 What were all those symbols ? Map Symbols –Automobiles –Emergency Vehicles –Satellite Stations –Weather Stations –Houses –Red Cross –Ham Store –too many to list...

44 How active is APRS ? APRS MAP CELL MAP

45 Various APRS Stations (two-way) APRS is a Network intended for real-time Tactical INFORMATION exchange. This means TWO-WAY.

46 TRACKERS (two-way) Trackers have no APRS data display. So the receiver should be tuned to a beaconed Voice frequency so the operator can be involved in the Net! The only value for these units are tracking some non-manned assets at large movement events such as marathons, bike-a-thons, parades and other community events, and maybe search & rescue teams. One-way APRS is not normally recommended. APRS is a Network. We want good communications among all participants for maximum utility.

47 Kenwood TM-D700A Built-in screen display of other APRS stations and front-panel send/receive messaging. Other APRS station locations are sent to the attached GPS map for display. Dual band 144/440 MHz 50/35 Watts Dual band 144/440 MHz 50/35 Watts Built-in 1200/9600 bps TNC including digipeater Built-in 1200/9600 bps TNC including digipeater Kenwood TH-D7A(G) TM-D710 Mobile/Portable Satellite Terminals Adds operation Freq to every posit ! Adds operation Freq to every posit ! Auto tunes to others with Freq! Auto tunes to others with Freq! Shows local Voice Repeaters ! Shows local Voice Repeaters !

48 Supports APRS 2 serial ports for computer and GPS No message display Works as basic tracker (Argent makes a T3-135 drop in TNC to add functionality) 1200/9600 baud built-in TNC option (Argent makes a T3-135 drop in TNC to add functionality)

49 Alinco DR-135T/EJ-41U Allows direct input from any standard GPS. Basic 1200/9600 bps TNC Basic 2 M Radio with optional TNC. Basic 2 M Radio with optional TNC. (Argent makes a T2-135 drop in TNC) (Argent makes a T2-135 drop in TNC) equires a PC to set it up, and there is no APRS display directly on the radio. Unlike the Kenwood radios, it requires a PC to set it up, and there is no APRS display directly on the radio.

50 Argent Data Systems Tracker2/3 KISS Support WX Station support Free Firmware updates Advanced APRS features Intelligent digipeater support Smart beaconing Remote Configuration Built-in voltage and temp monitor Small 5-watt VHF transceiver with integrated Tracker2 available https://www.argentdata.com

51 Byonics Tiny Trak III Plus $33 kit / $42 built Adjustable TX rate Based on PIC 16F628 Carrier detect to avoid collisions Normal APRS or MIC-E operation Time slotted reporting or SmartBeaconing Can power a 5V GPS ( Byonics GPS1, Garmin GPS18 or a Deluo GPS WAAS) $98 kit or $107 built with Byonics GPS2 small GPS

52 Byonics Tiny Trak4 $65 kit / $75 built Field upgradeable TX and RX packet data Analog telemetry support Supports NMEA, MIC-E, and Tracker modes Based on ATMEGA324P20U (40 pin DIP) microcontroller Time slotted reporting or SmartBeaconing Can power a GPS DSP Packet Decoding – 300/1200/9600 baud packet, DTMF, and new demodulation techniques can be added since it is not hardware based Most of TinyTrak3 functions added

53 Byonics WX Trak $33 kit / $42 built Based on Tiny Trak III design Supports connected WX Stations – Radio Shack WX200 – Oregon Scientiic WM-918 – Peet Brothers U100, U800, U2000, U2100 – Davis WX station with WeatherLink APRS adapter

54 OpenTracker+ (OT+) Kit $32 or assembled $46 Based on the Freescale MC908JL16CSPE microcontroller Supports the following features: – Free firmware upgrades – RX capability – Analog inputs – APRS Telemetry output – Supports 1-wire and Peet Bros WX station – SmartBeaconing – PSK31 support for PropNet^31 Operation – On-board temperature and voltage sensors

55 TNC-X KISS only TNC $48 kit Based on Microchip PIC 16F628A and a CML MX614 Bell 202 modem Supports the following options: – uSmartDigi – X-Digi – X-Track – Rasbery Pi – Bleak Beagle TNC can be powered by the USB port BlueTooth now available

56 Supports APRS 1200 / 9600 built-in TNC Displays symbol and distance from other stations Display up to 40 messages 2 serial ports for computer and GPS to display waypoints

57 APRS® ready (position / message / operation frequency etc.) 1200 / 9600 built-in TNC AX.25 Dual receive on same band (VxV, UxU) 1,000 memory channels Support for EchoLink system Decay algorithm when sitting still NMEA0183 GPS port APRS weather station ready SmartBeaconing implemented Auto Tune Repeater Objects (freq, tone, offset)

58 Add Kenwood TM-D710 APRS like capabilities to virtually any 2M FM radio APRS® ready (position / message / etc.) 1200 / 9600 TNC AX.25 Provides full control of TM-D700A and TM-V71A Replaces TM-V71A control head Decay algorithm when sitting still NMEA0183 GPS port APRS weather station ready Requires PG-5J cable interface or equivalent

59 Supports APRS 1200 / 9600 built-in TNC Displays symbol and distance from other stations Display up to 40 messages 2 serial ports for computer and GPS to display waypoints

60 Quad Band HT 6m,2m,220,70cm 5W, 1.2W on 222MHz Slimmer than the VX-7R Dual receive (V+V or U+U) AM/FM broadcast receiver Supports APRS 1200/9600 baud (B band only) Weather Alert receiving High-rez spectrum analyzer +/- 60 channels Optional Accessories – Bluetooth headset support – GPS unit and antenna

61 Dubbed a devoted APRS user version of the VX-8R Smart beaconing added Updated digi path settings from 1 to 7 Updated message buffer from 20 to 30 Updated station list from 40 to 50 Added digi path route indiaction Optional Accessories – Bluetooth headset support – GPS unit and antenna

62 An excellent competitor of the Kenwood D-710 GPS/APRS Bluetooth features Dual band 144 (220) / 430 MHz 50W Built-in barometric pressure sensor 500 independent memory channels Smartbeaconing Cross band repeat / 9600 baud

63 APRS WEB Sites

64 News Groups APRS News APRS SIG APRS HT APRS Spec APRS Sat Sign up at

65 Software for APRS APRSdos MacAPRS (old) WinAPRS (old) javAPRS palmAPRS (old) Waypoint (old) APRS Plus (old) APRSdigi UIView (old) APRSPoint AGWTracker AGWTracker PPC XASTIR APRSISCE Software downloadable from the Web

66 APRS Coordinators Commissioned by WB4APR StateNameCall AlabamaTimN8DEU ArkansasRichard Steve Travis KB4YTM N5JPL KB5ILY FloridaNA GeorgiaNA Mississippi (north)Jeff Richard KB5NMB KB4YTM Tennessee (east)WilliamKI4HDU Tennessee (west)RichardKB4YTM

67 How can APRS Help ? It is clear and concise Repeat of information not required once heard No words need to be spoken or repeated Response time is immediate –Beats NOAA WX radio alert every time –Beats Voice Net Alert every time Relativity is always known –How far am I from the storm –Key spotters are instantly identified –Non-APRS users can be placed on the map –Every APRS user views the same data (RF or Internet) –Nothing compares to the speed of information –Tactical Communications Network Augments a Voice Net with critical Real Time Information

68 Presented by: Tim Cunningham – N8DEU Alabama APRS Coordinator AMSAT Area Coordinator


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