It is a five (5) step process to properly setup your APRS Tracker and they are outlined below. There is additional information and tips on APRS setup at the end of the page.
Set the transceiver to the National APRS Frequency.
2-STATION ID / CALL SIGN
Set the call sign of your station to either your tactical call (see chart below) OR your FCC Amateur Radio Call Sign with an SSID of 1-15. Your call sign should be no longer than six (6) characters to comply with the APRS standard. If you select an SSID greater than 15 your station will not be digi’ed.
|CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING|
|USE TACTICAL CALL SIGN||USE FCC RADIO CALL SIGN|
|_ _ _ _ _ _ (6 Characters Max) Example: MSAG23 (see below chart)||_ _ _ _ _ _ – # # (6 Characters Max + Number 1-15) Example: N0XFD-15 Note: This method requires the organizers to create a cross-reference between Call Sign and Tactical Use which may be more cumbersome.|
|IF USING TACTICAL CALL SIGN – USE THESE NAMING STANDARDS|
|APRS Tactical Call||Symbol Character||Vehicle Reference|
|KSAG##||v (Van)||SAG Van ##|
|KBOX##||U (Bus)||SAG Box Truck ##|
|KSUP##||u (Truck 18wh)||Supply Truck ##|
|KMOT##||< (Motorcycle)||Motorcycle Marshall ##|
|KMED##||A (Ambulance)||Medical Rover ##|
|KCOM##||k (Truck)||Comm Support ##|
|KTOU##||> (Car)||Tour Vehicle ##|
|KRM### (bib #)||b (Bike)||Ride Marshal ##|
|K##=Vehicle # 01-99||NOTE – All symbols use the Primary “/” Table|
NOTE – The ‘K’ in KSAG is to differentiate our event from others using the same naming convention. Example: If two “SAG01” are beaconing at the same time at two different events, the unit will bounce from one geographic area to the other.
The “K” signifies the event. Now let’s hope other events will use a different event letter. Commonly, I use 2 letters for the event minimize these duplications.
NOTE – The use of ‘0’ (zero) BEFORE numbers less than 10 is Important
NOTE Even if you are using your FCC Radio Call Sign, please use the symbols of the standard if they apply
3-DIGI PATH / UNPROTO ADDRESS
Set the digi path or unproto address (it depends on the tracker / software used as to what it is called) of your station to WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1. This dictates how many hops your beacon will make. The APRS coverage along the entire route is good so no more than 2 hops is needed. Use the following path on your tracker settings:
NOTE – If you are using UI-View32 or KPC-3 TNCs, then your ‘Unproto Address’ is “APRS, WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1”. This is unique to UI-View32 ONLY.
The transmit rate dictates how often your station beacons. Smart beaconing typically works well when Stationary (speed=0) is set to 5 minutes and 65mph is set to 60 seconds. This gives a balance of distance between position reports, randomization and bandwidth. During our downriver race (See Spring Splash), we need an update at every corner and about 45 seconds at 35mph to use APRS for proactive dispatching. We realize bout 20 seconds delay using the internet as transport media.
|Average 150 Seconds|
The status text on your tracker SHOULD contain your FCC Call Sign if you are using a tactical call sign for your tracker’s ID. This is to comply with your FCC Station ID Requirements.
|Example: “N1ATP – Splash Bus 2”|
NOTE: Change “N1ATP” to YOUR FCC Call Sign