Automated Packet Reporting Service

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 frequencies.
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 station's location.
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. We maintain;

1. An i-gate at our clubrooms with the callsign VK4BW

2. A digipeater on our Mt Goonaneman repeater site with the callsign VK4RBU-3.

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 work.**


History & the Creator

It was invented and introduced by Bob Bruninga, 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 using APRS.

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.