Equipment, digipeater locations & helpful links
What is APRS ?
There is some dispute about what the "P" stands for...is it
Position or is it Packet?
Either way it's an amateur radio based position reporting system,
sort of like a GPS for your vehicle, but it plots your course usings
'bursts of data' that are tracked via amateur radio.
YOU begin the process by putting a tiny GPS/modem into your vehicle
which senses your location and encodes a short string of text (or a
'Packet') and transmits that information using amateur radio
The transmission is beaconed out in all directions for any listening
stations to hear the signal and interpret it.
The gateways that receives your location information decodes the
packet and places an icon on a map showing the transmitting
A few minutes later you send another message/packet and the icon is
moved on the map, building up a picture, and plotting your course.
Anyone with internet access can view a map showing where you are,
and where you've been... if they know your vehicle 'callsign'.
an overview of BARC APRS capability
BARC has the following APRS installations providing data and
beaconing in South East Queensland.
1. An i-gate at our clubrooms with the callsign VK4BW
2. A digipeater on our Mt Goonaneman repeater site with the callsign
3. A digipeater on our Mt Watalgan repeater site with the callsign
VK4RBW-3. Once this unit was installed it closed the previous APRS
black spot in the region North of Bundaberg.
Australian national APRS frequency is 145.175MHz
** The APRS sites were commissioned in 2010 and the club thanks
members those members who initiated the project: VK4BRG[sk] &
VK4SR, as well as VK4JRO and VK4NEU for the ongoing maintenance
History & the Creator
It was invented and introduced by
an amateur radio operator (WB4APR), and in the beginning it was only
used to report positional information.
In time it expanded to be used for weather reporting and even
starting locations & checkpoints for races. Even Bob is opting to
call it Packet Reporting acknowledging how the message
is transmitted rather than one task it's capable of.
There's more on the full story
at this Australian APRS reference page.
And with a quick web search you'll find a lot more information on
To set up a system in your vehicle you'll need some software and
need to know how to set it up.
Then you need to know what hardware to buy and how to track yourself
or other vehicles.
Below are the some links which will be of use to you.
For our Members who are contemplating an APRS system of their
own....If you need any assistance see the contact information below.
If APRS isn't your thing but you'd like to know a little more....
read on to learn what it's all about.
If APRS interests you, these links may get you started
VK4JRO programing the i-gate at VK4BW shack
Configuring the necessary software
We monitored the progress on a laptop
And there it is!
VK4BW displays as the club i-gate