APRS. How I got started fooling around with this mode.
I have heard about APRS for many years but never really red into it at all. Years ago my buddy Matt, N2RER was fooling with it, as was Larry W2LGB.
Larry, as of lately was talking about APRS and what it really was. I thaught it was just some other form of Packet, which i was never heavily into.
Anyhow one day while actually cleaning, and sorting through some old radio cables and stuff, I came across my old TNC. I had and old laptop that I had resurected, so i figured I'd hook it up to the old 726 and load up WinPack. As you can see I was board that day. I found some of my old packet notes, and fired everything up. But no suprise, alot of the old BBS's that visited many years ago wer gone.
Staring at my blank screen, all of a sudden APRS smacked me in the head.
An hous of so on Google turned up some great info to get started. I downloaded Ui-View32 tuned to 144.390 and like magic, the map was slowly filling up with the stations I was hearing on RF.
As you can imagine, I was rather excited. It was cool to see all the WX. stations pop up. APRS was definatly more than i thaught it was. I had no idea there wer so many stations out there.
In passing, I made mention that I was diddling around with APRS to Glenn WB2LMV,
Glenn also checked it out and fell into the APRS trap. He also found that Jimmy WB9OTW and Ron AA9GL wer also messing with APRS.
So with more people involved, there are more people to bounce ideas off. Thanks to these guys they helped me alot, as I had no idea what I was doing at first. And to be honest have little idea now. It is a strange new world. But I will say it is a world worth venturing in to.
If you have ever done Packet in the past, chances are in your closet full of radio gold you alreddy have what is needed to check this mode out.
You do not need a fast PC. So i'm sure that old one in the basement will work just fine. A TNC, or radio with one built in. And an old junky 2 Meter rig. You do not need tone or anything. I beleive there is a way to just use a soundcard and no TNC but I'v yet to explor that route.
Go out on the web and download UI-VIEW32 (there is a link to it in the links section)
Hook everything up. Follow the help menu in the program. That will help you get your basic settings going. Tune to 144.390 This is the national 2 Meter APRS frequency, and watch for stations in your area.
Now if you are connected to the internet, you can connect to a server and see stations from all over the world.
This is just a brief description on APRS. Look throgh the links section on here. Follow the links and there is a world of information out there. I will be adding more links soon. A Google search will turn up a load of info. For something that looks so simple there is actually alot to be learned about this mode ald all that you can do with it.
Now chop chop. Get your gear in high gear. I want to see your Beacons out there.
73 for now. KC2DHU aka. Jimmy The Wrench