Started by Gambrinus, September 16, 2012, 09:25:45 pm

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I?m about to buy my first radio and it will be a HT.  I?m pretty sure I?ve decided on going with either the Kenwood THD72A dual band with APRS or the TH-D6A tri-band. I?m not interested in a starter rig, I would rather try to buy once and I?ll grow into it as I learn.

The more I search and read about APRS, the more I don?t get the attraction, even for Emcomm, I?m not seeing it. I guess there might be a case for needing the GPS but that is also a big battery sucker.

So what am I missing?


I don't get it either... It reports your position, so what? Maybe useful if you need to call for help and you can't talk, key SOS with the PTT button... You can always get a good dual-band HT.. If APRS is included, oh well.. As long as you can turn it off!



APRS is cool.
In a post disaster situation if your scavenging party used these you would know where they had been.
Where they found whatever and if they needed help where they were.

But this is a double sided sword, imagine someone else listening in and getting your locations.
Now they know where your groups at when they are out foraging, and worst of all where your base of operations is at.

Nothing like broadcasting your location.
I guess I would use a receiver at base and not transmit using APRS, just use it with the foraging party.
That way we would know where they were at and you could log locations of say wild berries patches, water, fuel, bad guys etc...
But as you communicate from base do not use the aprs transmitter keeping your base somewhat secret.


Hum, sounds overkill and too risky to me.. I don't think anyone would use it in an emergency. A "normal" emergency or support stuff like ARES does, sure, but a real SHTF situation, nah.. Just another gadget to sell radios...



September 17, 2012, 12:39:25 pm #4 Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 12:41:41 pm by Mitch
I haven't experienced much APRS yet, but so far I think it is under-appreciated.

The key is in the acronym "automated packet reporting system", most people think that this is just position data (GPS), but any data can be sent in the packet.

The only other example in use I'm aware of is weather data. The more I think about it though the more creative the ideas I get like any sensor data like biometric, security, or maybe just something basic like "monitoring XXX.XXX MHz currently".

However I don't think the automated portion (read that as the internet) is going to be as automated during a disaster... The usefulness seems limited in a SHTF scenario.

Hmm... Maybe how fast my teenager is driving in real time.   ;D


Yeah, the more I?ve been reading about it the more I think it?s not something I would get enough return from the extra money and in the case of the TH-F6A, lose a band in the process.

Thanks for the replies, it?s helped confirm what I?ve been thinking.

I just ordered the F6A, and the Diamond SRH320A antenna.  Now to start thinking about a mobile rig that I will use as a base/portable base and a stealth antenna. 


We use APRS while working bike races and 5k 10k runs and the sort.  We will attach a Tiny Tracker to a bicycle or to one of the escort vehicles and we can know exactly where the lead bike or last bike, if we track the end of the pack, is at all times.  This helps race organizers know how the race is going.  In case of an injury, the EMTs can have an exact location of the accident.  During storm season, on site damage reports can be pinpointed.  We use APRS quite a bit in our ARES/RACES group.


Hi, for something like that, sure, great. For the Lone Ranger, not so much.



This is only about the APRS part, not which radio etc.
I think APRS is fun.  Look at it, Automatic Position Reporting system.  I can think of a gob of reasons it may be useful.  Also several instances where it may not be very useful.  But then, I don't really care if people know where I am.
There are a number of ways of doing APRS.  Using a TNC and GPS receiver with almost any radio will work.  Or there are stand-alone transmitters that don't tie up a radio.  It can be strictly by RF or by both RF and the internet.
Very basically, it's packet radio with information sent in a specific format.  It can be done anyplace 'digital' modes can be used, VHF/UHF or HF.  It can be transmitted using FM, AM, SSB, or any of the other 'voice' modes.
I use it because I do a lot of in town driving and have to be certain places within certain periods of time.  APRS is just one way of verifying that I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be.  'Delorme' makes a program using a GPS receiver that does exactly the same thing with no RF involved at all.  The 'Delorme' program is cheaper if that's a consideration, but I made the APRS thingy work, that's a biggy for me!  (And so have thousands of others.)
Wanna try it?  Have at it.  Not sure?  then don't...
- Paul

Jonas Parker

Aprs could be useful, providing .gov doesn't shut down the GPS system.