Ann Arbor area APRS network status, January 2016

APRS is the “Automatic Position Reporting Service”, a system for sharing information about the position of participating amateur radio stations. Clients transmit position reports on 144.39 Mhz; digipeaters repeat these reports to other monitoring stations; and various IGate sites monitor transmissions and send their findings to aprs.fi which collects worldwide data.

In recent memory there has been an APRS digipeater in Chelsea, Michigan with wide area coverage, good enough to pick up travellers on I-94 west of Ann Arbor. The Chelsea digirepeater is currently off the air, which leaves a coverage gap.

There is one station within the city of Ann Arbor. KD8TDF is in southeast Ann Arbor (EN82dg). Its coverage is enough to pick up part of I-94 right adjacent to town. A second station, AB3DC-1 is the Ann Arbor/Ypsi Rx-iGate, w8pgw.org, right near St. Joe’s Hospital (EN82eg).

Discussion at last night’s ARROW meeting included a desire to experiment on 2 meters with digital modes. Dave New N8SBE talked about software defined radio and GNU Radio, and demonstrated monitoring car key-fobs on UHF.

APRS is a very old and useful digital mode, and I am hopeful that local network conditions will improve.