APRS ANSRVR (Group Messaging)

Back in July I activated Apple Orchard Mountain not only for SOTA (and NPOTA and CQ WW and…) but also for the APRS Golden Packet event. This was the first time I had really used APRS in a group setting where messages were being sent over long distances to coordinate communications. In this instance, we used the ANSRVR server which echoed messages sent to it to all the members of the group. This might be useful to the SOTA community.

What’s the ANSRVR server? Well, simply put, it’s a server that allows APRS users to send messages to a group and the server will retransmit the message to anyone subscribed to the group. If everyone that was chasing or activating were subscribed to the group then messages could flow back and forth between field users and home users using APRS.

Using ANSRVR is as simple as sending an APRS message to ANSRVR with ‘J SOTA’ as the text of the message. This will join you to the group. To send a message to all the members of the SOTA group just send a message to ANSRVR with ‘CQ SOTA ’ as the text of the message. The ANSRVR server will then retransmit your message to all those subscribed in the group! It’s that simple.

I should point out that your membership in a particular group will expire 24-hours after you subscribe so you’ll need to resubscribe daily (or when you’re on your way out to a summit!).

I think this would be another great tool, next to APRS2SOTA, for those activating and chasing summits.

I thought radio amateurs used their radios to communicate to each other.

Said the man posting on a reflector :wink:

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Well, I kind of feel the same way. That said, this is still a good way to bridge the distance using APRS. It’s still using RF with additional functionality provided by the Internet.

SOTAWATCH - Internet leading to RF comms (hopefully :blush:).
RBNHOLE - RF leading to internet spot

If there is SOTAWATCH then why bother with another messaging system on APRS. Just duplication as far as I am concerned.

If I understand it correctly, it is two way messaging over APRS. For me that would be quite helpful as there are many areas around VK1 without phone coverage, but APRRS should be quite useful to receive tips on other activators, requests for bands/modes, etc. However, I would want to be able to filter it if the traffic volume is high to cut out messages that are of no interest to me whilst activating. Hang on, can’t APRS currently do that anyway?


Right, there is SOTAWATCH which is great but doesn’t really work if you’re out in the field without Internet connectivity. SOTAWATCH is also only for spots. This potentially supports two-way communications between activators and chasers.