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Australian VHF APRS Guidelines

The configurations provided here are the recommendations for best performance across the entire Australian VHF APRS network

Mobile Stations

MOBILE stations should use the following configuration guidelines.

  • DO set your beacon rate to a MINIMUM of 60 seconds. (The preferred rate is 120 seconds for mobiles)
    Why? 
    Because the APRS frequency is a SHARED resource. Beaconing too frequently "hogs" the frequency so that nobody else can get in. If you have SmartBeaconing available in your tracker, USE IT.   SmartBeaconing adjusts your beacon interval based on your speed - the faster you are travelling, the more frequent your beacons.
  • DO set your path to WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1. This will ensure your APRS setup will work throughout Australia.
    Note that in some areas WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2 may be required - check your state APRS site for details.
  • DON'T use any of the following paths - RELAY, WIDE, TRACE, TRACEn-n.
    All of these digipeater aliases are obsolete, and are being progressively phased out across the network

     
  • DON'T set a mobile station up as a digipeater of any kind.

Home / Fixed Stations

Generally, the following guidelines apply to a fixed/home station.

  • DO set your beacon rate to a MINIMUM of 30 minutes.
    Why? 
    Because the APRS frequency is a SHARED resource. Beaconing too frequently "hogs" the frequency so that nobody else can get in. Besides - your house isn't moving, so there is no need to refresh your position as often as a mobile station does.

  • DO check your state page to find out the path to use as a fixed station
    Why?
    Each state has implemented s alightly different methodology for fixed station beacon paths, in order to optimise the network availablility for everyone. 
  • DON'T use any of the following paths - RELAY, WIDE, TRACE, TRACEn-n.
    All of these digipeater aliases are obsolete, and are being progressively phased out across the network

     
  • DON'T use excessive transmission power. 10 watts to 20 watts is more than enough.
  • DON'T put up a WIDE digipeater unless you truly have wide coverage and there are no other WIDEs in your area, and unless you plan to let it run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    Why?
    The APRS network infrastructure needs to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure it remains effective.
    Each state has a co-ordinator or co-ordinating group that has overall visability of the network, and can determine whether digipeaters will help or degrade the existing network. WIDE area digipeaters also operate a dedicated TNC running the UIDIGI firmware. If you think you meet these conditions, please contact your local region co-ordinator before setting up the digipeater.

  • DON'T set your station up as a Fill-In digipeater (WIDE1-1) if there is already one close by. If you think there is a requirement for a Fill-In digipeater, please contact your local region co-ordinator before setting up the digipeater.
  • DON'T set your station up as an IGATE (i.e. DO NOT gate data from the Internet to RF). This will only create traffic loops and problems on the channel.    
    If there is no IGate serving your local area (i.e within 2-3 digipeater hops), or there is no APRS activity at all where you are, please contact your local region co-ordinator so we can integrate your area into the network effectively.

Please refer to your state APRS site for the correct configurations in your area.

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