APRS Digipeaters

What is APRS? Well, it’s not just a mobile tracking protocol it’s an information exchange service!  APRS stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System.  APRS operates on 144.39 MHz nationally.  APRS stations relay weather conditions, send vehicle locations, post frequencies that the driver is monitoring, send text messages, communicate with the international space station, post local repeater frequencies, and announce events/locations for hamfests and club meetings. 

APRS digipeaters rebrodcast the information packet from other stations on a time delay using the same frequecy. Like repeaters, the object of a digipeater is to rebroadcast over a larger coverage area.  APRS also features internet gateways, or I-Gates. I-Gates are stations that transceive the radio packets and relay it to the internet and vice-versa.  So, you can view what’s happening on a networked computer or send free text messages to your friend across the country via RF and I-Gates.

Here’s a map of local APRS activity

Here’s a map of nationwide APRS band openings


Our club operates two digipeaters.

NS9RC (main digi) Northfield

TNC: Kantronics KPC3+ v 9.1 firmware

Radio: Motorola VHF mobile set to 30W

Antenna: Diamond X-50A — 4.5 dB gain at 45 feet

NS9RC-5 (fill-in) Highland Park

TNC: Argent Data Tracker3 internal board for Alinco

Radio: Alinco DR-135T mobile set to 25W

Antenna: J-Pole unity gain at 25 feet


NEW!  Now you can participate in APRS with your Android smart phone using APRSdroid.

If you have an  I-Phone, a similar application called iBCNU works well. 

Remember, smart phones should use the Callsign-5 SSID.  The symbol for the smartphone is /$