APRS Automatic Packet Reporting System

APRS, or Automatic Packet Reporting System, is a digital communications information channel designed for amateur radio operators. It has been in operation for over 25 years and serves as a real-time network for sharing information within the ham radio community.

Key points about APRS:

  1. Purpose: APRS provides a means for amateur radio operators to exchange real-time information, announcements, bulletins, messages, alerts, and weather data. It also includes a map displaying various activities, such as objects, frequencies, satellites, nets, meetings, and hamfests.

  2. Global Network: APRS has grown to encompass most countries with active amateur radio populations, creating a global network for information exchange.

  3. Internet Integration: APRS is integrated with the internet through APRS-IS (APRS Internet System), allowing users to monitor activity worldwide and facilitating point-to-point messaging between APRS users.

  4. Ubiquitous Operations: APRS operates on dedicated frequencies, such as 144.39 MHz in North America, 144.80 MHz in Europe, and 145.175 MHz in Australia. It follows standardized national operating rules.

  5. More Than Vehicle Tracking: While APRS does support vehicle tracking using GPS, it is not limited to this. It serves as a comprehensive resource for situational awareness, including weather reporting, traveler information, direction finding, object pointing to ECHOlink and IRLP nodes, traffic reporting, and emergency response.

  6. Universal Text Messaging: APRS enables text messaging between users using a variety of devices, including cell phones, blackberries, pagers, and DTMF handheld transceivers.

  7. Internet Integration: All local APRS information is injected into the APRS-IS Internet system, allowing global monitoring of local activity and facilitating two-way point-to-point messaging worldwide.

In summary, APRS is a versatile digital communications system used by amateur radio operators to exchange real-time information, monitor local and global ham radio activities, and facilitate text messaging between users. It goes beyond vehicle tracking, serving as a valuable resource for the amateur radio community.


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