APRS equipment for APRS2SOTA

Hi all,

I use APRS2SOTA because I like packet-radio and it is easy to use. However, lately I have had problems with it and in my last Sota activation, on CT/ES-003, I was not able to self-spotting me (tks HB9BCB/P for spotting me). I have a Tinytrak4, a dynascan db-48 vhf/uhf ht, a GPS antenna (connected to the TT4) and to send Aprs msgs I use APRSDROID software.

At home this setup works quite fine and I do not have big problems with it.
Problems appear when I am in SOTA operation, there is always a small problem:
sometimes I do not have TX, other times I do not have RX, etc etc etc.

So, I wonder to know what you use for APRS2SOTA ?

Do you have a setup like mine or other kind of setup ?

I want to know to improve my setup.

Best 73.

David Quental

Hello David,

seems not too many activators have suggestions for your problem. I wanted to avoid the hassle with all the cables and devices and purchased a Kenwood TH-D72 all in one APRS-HT recently. Did not try out APRS2SOTA up to now but transmitting the position and receiving all sort of packets is fine. Have to play around with messaging in the future.

73 de Michael, DB7MM (-7 with TH-D72)

In reply to DB7MM:
The best is a THD72 because the Yeasu line of GPS handheld cannot send messages to APRS2SOTA because you can’t enter APRS2SOTA in the message screen.

My Yaesu VX-8GE does the job right and Stewarts APRS2SOTA server works very reliable. A few moments after sending your message you receive a “QSL, spotted!”. The following message transmissions are answered with “dupe” because Stewarts server already posted the spot. You just need to send your message to “SOTA”, e.g.

to callsign: SOTA
aprs message: OE/SB-225 14.285 SSB OE2ATN/P comments

It even works if you send the message without your callsign in the message text. So you can also spot a second operator via your HT! I`ve done this sometimes when we were 2 operators with one APRS-HT.
1st message: OE/SB-225 14.285 SSB CQ! >>> spotted as OE2ATN/P
2nd message: OE/SB-225 7.032 CW OE2SNL/P CQ! >>> spotted as OE2SNL/P
…both from my OE2ATN-7 VX-8GE.

Of course your callsign should be on the “whitelist” at Stewarts server.

many 73 de Tom, OE2ATN


In reply to CT1DRB:

Hello David, I also have the Kenwood D72E h/h - it works very well. I did replace the supplied antenna with a whip antenna. Full spec’ on link.

Good luck
Mike G6TUH

In reply to OE2ATN:

I did not know about that. I will try it with my VX8G for sure. Thanks.

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Hi all,

tks for all your answers.

Well, I know about the Kenwood th-d72e and the Yaesu vx-8ge, they work very well for what I want. However, they are both a bit expensive. Next Monday I will phone to Kenwood Portuguese seller to know price.

Anyone using a tinytrak4 ?

Best 73 and till next email.

David Quental

In reply to CT1DRB:

I’ve also used a Kenwood TM-D700 running UI-View from
the mobile and have spotted prior to leaving for the
summit. UI-View has a slick way of sending/RX msgs.

Todd KH2TJ

Hi all,

just to inform all that I have bought a Kenwood TH-D72E. It was a bit expensive but works very well and will perform well for sure.

Best 73 and good SOTA activations.

David Quental

In reply to CT1DRB:

Hello David,

“just to inform all that I have bought a Kenwood TH-D72E”

Yes it is a bit expensive but you get a very good radio. The MCP-4A software works well especially the APRS beacon options - have fun! Hope to track you in the future!
Mike G6TUH

I have AnyTone 878 handheld radio and Yaesu FT-2D handheld radio.
With Yaesu is no problem when i self spotted myself, but I have had a issue vith AnyTone.
AnyTone insists on ID number, and not accept address “SOTA” or “APRS2SOTA” in head of APRS message. It not allows me to type in aphanumeric, only numbers.
Any idea?
Thanks, 73, S59RA


Anytone 878 does not support APRS messages looking at the user handbook. Only position tracking. SOTA spotting will not be possible. Maybe with a new firmware it could be added but no rumors about that. As far as I know.

73 Joe

I just recently purchased a Yaesu FT-2D just for the APRS function and then found out I can spot myself with it as stated above using APRS2SOTA. Works great. Plus the price was pretty good too. $291
Good Luck
Tim - K5DEZ


I have been using the Yaesu FT1XD for the past 3 years. It has saved my activation a few times with being able to APRS2SOTA. Hard to find these, and as I continue to beat this poor radio up, I’ll probably look to the FT2 or maybe the Kenwood TH-D72

I’ m not happy to hear that AnyTone is not designed for SMS messaging via APRS. Yes, FT-2D work great for APRS2SOTA.
Thanks, 73, S59RA

Sorry for reviving such an old thread, does anyone here know if this changed? Can the Anytone be used for self-spotting with APRS?

The new AT-878UVII PLUS can receive now analog APRS position packets but as far as I know and the user manual reveals the messaging to stations is not possible (or at least not described).
A SMS message in digital mode is mentioned but it is not clear if APRS would work too.


Any owners of the Version 2 available?

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Hi David, since March i use a Yaesu FT3D for spotting.
best 73 Andreas, DF1AKR

Anytone 878 is perfectly able to send SMS to SOTA using D-APRS (I mean DMR SMS, using some DMR repeater at sight, better than analogic APRS on 144.800 simplex)
In order to do this:

  1. First you must define new contact, called APRS (in spain is 214999, you can find it in your own country or use this one)
  2. Then, from the menu, messages, compose, to APRS, and message content must be:
    SOTA[space]SUMMIT_REF[separator] FREQ MHZ[separator]MODE[separator]YOURCALL[separator]COMMENTS
    [separator] can be anything as space, comma, slash,etc. You have it docummented on APRS2SOTA website
  3. Send it
  4. If all went well, you will receive an ACK message from SOTA confirming your message was received

For instance:
message to: APRS (214999)

That’s all, I have been using it a couple of years without fail.

73 de Mikel EA2CW


Thanks for the info. Good to know about the feature.

I am not sure about that. Analog I-Gates and digipeaters that don’t need a DMR functions are a lot more common all over the world. But the more options the better :+1:

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