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Local Information Initiative

APRS Local Information

APRS was originally developed for much more than simply tracking objects and stations. The ability to pass relevent local information and alerts to travellers through a region is an ideal use of APRS, given the APRS radios and accessories that are available today. Some examples are:

Kenwood TH-D7
Kenwood TM-D700
Kenwood TM-D710

HamHUD

This link details the local information initiative as devised by Bob Bruninga WB4APR. Here in Australia we are using several of these ideas to provide local information for travellers (and of course locals!)

It is very important for all users of APRS to understand the details and purpose of this local info system, and the most important aspect of this system is the word LOCAL. That is, the packet announcing the information is seen DIRECT ONLY - in other words the information can only be seen in the local DIRECT coverage area of the repeater or event being advertised.

Done right, these objects are a great asset to the Traveller/Mobile APRS user with no impact on the network. Done wrong, these objects are just more QRM and SPAM.

Tiny Web Pages

Tiny Web Pages refers to the format of a message to fit neatly on the display of a Kenwood D7, D700 or D710 radio. They can be used to display to users of these radios information on everything such as WX, Satellites, DX, Traffic Problems, Nets, Meetings and so forth. Some examples:

TWP

Recommended repeater frequencies

Within each WIDE digipeater footprint, one or two local voice repeaters are advertised. This information is transmitted by the digipeater itself, and is NOT digipeated via any other station, and not relayed to the internet by the IGate. This ensures that the information transmitted is only seen by the stations in range of that digipeater, and therefore is targetted to the relevent area.

The beacon will advertise the frequency, offset and CTCSS tone of the repeater. This information is presented according to the APRS Frequency Reporting (AFRS) specification, and provides information at a glance incuding frequency, offset, CTCSS Tone, Range and any regular nets conducted on the repeater.

The information transmitted flashes on the front panel for 10 seconds when the packet is received.

1 .. 1

If the driver does not happen to see this display, then the Repeater will show up as an object on the radio's STATION list as shown below on a D700:

D700 Object List

 

IRLP / Echolink frequencies and status

In a similar concept to the Recommended Repeater Frequencies, the current operational status of any participating IRLP node within the local zone is advertised. Since the IRLP node creates the APRS object, it is transmitted to RF by the local IGate. Like the Voice Repeater information, the IRLP node will advertise its frequency, offset and CTCSS tone, as well as its current status (LINK CLEAR, CONNECTED TO STNxxxx, OFFLINE)

The information transmitted flashes on the front panel for 10 seconds when the packet is received.

D700 IRLP display...1

As with the repeater objects, if the driver does not happen to see this display, then the IRLP node will show up as an object on the radio's STATION list as shown below on a D700:

D700 object list

 

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