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Activators appearing on APRS automatically

I just had a look at the APRS map and found out that an alert for September 10th is appearing on APRS right now.


I’m not sure if it makes sense to show alerts that are 6 days ahead. Perhaps reduce the time span for alerts to 24 or max. 48 hours?

Any info if there will be a proper SOTA-symbol for APRS in the future?

73 Martin, OE5REO

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The current limit is set to 7 days, which seemed to be a reasonable time to allow people who look at APRS maps to know a SOTA activation is planned in the region they look at. Arguably, reducing the announce time would decrease the number of people who will see the information and possibly get interested in SOTA.

On the other hand, spots are shown immediately, with frequency, so that anyone can see in real time the SOTA activities close to them, together with the other local information provided by APRS (repeaters, clubs, etc.)

I am willing to tune all parameters of SOTA2APRS to maximise the visibility it brings to SOTA and the fun of the SOTA participants. Suggestions welcome.

No. We must also take into account that many transceivers have a very minimal display, and can only show the most basic symbols in black an white. Even the “hiker” I use at the moment is not shown the same way on different transceivers or software.

There is an “official” symbol shortcut for SOTA (“S;” ), but as far as I know the associated image is not “standardised” , and will need to be propagated for use by the various manufacturers and software authors.

Could someone help on this topic ?


In YO , we use an object with the X symbol for mark the summits on APRS maps. In the comment field is the date of activation and activator callsign. We do this manually. Making this automatically by SOTA2APRS is a great advantage. Maybe “X” symbol for summits it’s a good choice and acceptable for majority.

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Martin … I really like the idea of using APRS to assist in SOTA Activation =) If your area is within the APRS ( VHF iGate / or RF nodes ) that would be a great help for all =) You could use your Smart phone or second HT or just ONE HT to position you on APRS map =) There are plenty of symbols already on the SID of APRS mapping Symbols so someone pick one that all can reconize =) Thanks for the great idea =)

73’s Pat N5VMO

The “X” sounds like a GOOD OPTION of SID SYMBOLS for a SOTA Activation and just include the number / frequency / with the HEADER to the message as “SOTA” / Number / freq. " in the message beacon =)

I will give that a try :sunglasses:

73’s PAt N5VMO

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Thank you so much for your work on this. I love this feature. I can quickly scan across a region and see if there is any one out this weekend rather than converting summit refs to actual common names to work out distances. There are 2 alerts up for VK1 (Canberra ACT for those looking it up on APRS.FI) and you can see them both there.



@ON6ZQ will it change upon alerting in that spot?


Please read higher in this thread how it behaves.

sweet, I notice our one at VK2/ST005 disappeared over the last few hours.


All spots and alerts containing “test” or “ignore” are… ignored.

As a side-effect of this rule, your alert with comment “2.4GHz 146.5-fm. Test 80m end fed.” was not transmitted.

When your alert was visible on APRS, its comment was “Monitoring 146.5, APRS VK1MIC-7”.

Any suggestions for a better way to limit false reports on APRS welcome :wink:

Thanks. Both our alerts have now been edited to remove the “offending” word. Assuming they will be picked up in the next data “scrape” from SOTA watch ?


Back up **12mins ago.

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Wow, I checked it you and I like it. Great idea.

Now all the alerts for the OE5 SOTA DAY are visible on APRS :slight_smile:


Hessu, who runs aprs.fi, kindly provided the following iinformation:

"The symbol set currently does not have any of these “extended” symbol graphics (additional symbols for overlays), but they could be added, if someone would provide suitable graphics. There are two main requirements:

1. The symbols need to be in vector format (SVG, or .ai), with proper transparency/alpha where applicable, and they must be still recognizable when scaled down to a small 24x24 bitmap.

2. The licensing must be documented and permissive. There must be written/published permission from the author (or other owner of rights, such as the SOTA organisation in this case, if the auther gave them permission to relicense) to redistribute the copyrighted works and use them elsewhere in free and commercial apps.

The attached symbol is a JPEG image, so it is not useful. It’s not scalable to the necessary different sizes like a vector image. It’d appear blurry in many cases. It’s already blurry on the SOTA web site.

It’s surprisingly lot of work to add these, for a relatively small gain. If someone can provide useful symbol graphics meeting the two requirements above, I can add them at some point. Otherwise I’ll concentrate on some higher-priority items at this time."

Would someone be able to help with “requirement 1”, and create a file based on the logo below in vector format ?

If so, I am confident the “requirement 2” will not be a blocking issue.

Per, SM4WJF, the creator of www.aprsdirect.com was extremely helpful and supportive: he managed to draw and implement on his site a dedicated icon for the APRS SOTA symbol in a couple of days.

Hopefully we’ll get this supported by all hardware and software APRS clients in the future.

(Note: you might need to clear your browser cache to display the new image)


Per, SM4WJF, not only created a vector image for the SOTA logo to use on his site, but he also confirmed today:

“I do not have any good contacts to maintainers of other software clients. But you are very welcome to mail them the symbol I have created and suggest that they use them. They do not need to attribute me as long they only use this symbol.”

You can download the symbol from here (it exists as both svg and png)


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I have now implemented an experimental feature that shows automatically a cross at the location of SOTA summits within 10 km of the position of a moving APRS station that uses the “man” symbol.

In practice, you do not have to put your X symbol any longer: if there is APRS activity around a summit, it should show :wink:

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To illustrate, here are screen captures of tracks from aprsdirect.com: the red markers are SOTA summits automatically displayed because there was a moving APRS station using the “man” symbol within 10 kilometres.

Hopefully, this will contribute to

  • encourage SOTA activators to use APRS to report their progress as their destination will be automatically shown
  • make APRS users aware of SOTA summits near them
  • more generally, contribute to the promotion of the SOTA and APRS aspects of the hobby

Feedback welcome.

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Per, SM4WJF, the creator of aprsdirect.com just added a new filtering feature to his site that is ideal for SOTA & APRS enthusiasts.

One can now select the APRS symbols to display on the new menu entry on the left, or using a link such as below, which will show only

  • the SOTA spots and alerts (SOTA symbol)
  • the APRS stations sending the “man/walker” symbol
  • the SOTA summits near the stations sending the “man/walker” symbol (red “X”).


Feedback welcome.