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Track your movement with APRS

APRS (or Automatic Position Reporting System) is a marriage between satellite GPS and radio technology that enables you to track and report your position. A GPS receiver identifies your position. It sends this data to a transmitter. Transmitted data is picked up and uploaded to a website map. Others can thus see where you are and trace your path if you have been moving.

The two metre (144 MHz) band is most popular for APRS. That is fine in built up areas. A car-mounted APRS station running about 30 watts can transmit up to 100km or so if receivers are favourably located. APRS is a network mode so that other station nearby can be set up to retransmit your position reports.

Equipment needed for APRS includes a 2m FM transceiver, an interface cable and some form of GPS-equipped 'computer' with software. The latter can be as simple as a mobile phone with the APRS app. Some amateur transceivers have an internal GPS receiver rather than needing an external unit.

The videos below demonstrate APRS on foot and when riding a bike. While the 5 watt output power does not permit as solid coverage as higher powers would, APRS still works in some areas tried. Also a better antenna would help.

Pedestrian mobile APRS on the beach

 

Bicycle mobile APRS

 

Summary

These videos give a small insight into APRS activity today. For more information, including a real-time map of what's being heard where, visit aprs . fi.

 

 

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