APRS on SOTA activation

OE5REO/P seems to be hiking in Finnish Lapland now and was heard yesterday on APRS in Rovaniemi


I did not have success with APRS on OH/KI-013 and OH/KI-017. Probably the situation is even worse on OH/KI-005 and OH/KI-001 unless there is some special propagation going on. The best path for the packets is probably to Norway Tromso or Sweden Kiruna digipeaters if there are any there. I was thinking also ISS (VIA ARISS), which is digipeating on 145 825 kHz, but that should work only between 22:56:43 and 22:59:57 UTC this evening. Next pass is then next day. Anyway good luck to Martin and let us hope he finds some body to talk to on 2 m FM. The hiking route to Halti OH/KI-001 on Finland side is long about 50 km and July - August is the right season for it.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to OH7BF:
Never done anything with APRS. I have a gps garmin 60scx, Also garmin nuvi 610t satnav capable for bluetooth, how and what do I need for APRS, as never done it ???
Steve m0sgb

In reply to M0SGB:

what do I need for APRS

A computer to read the location from the GPS, format the data into APRS format and send it to a packet radio modem (which could be the PC’s soundcard). Or an embedded APRS encoder, like a MIC-E, which can just send position reports. You’ll also need a radio to transmit the packets.

Kenwood do/did a handheld with the packet radio doodads built in, the TH-D7. They also do some mobile radios with the facility but the handheld is more sensible for pedestrian users. There are assorted APRS apps that run on PDAs.

Professor Google has all the answers but you can start at http://www.aprs.org and work from there.


In reply to M0SGB:

Hi Steve,

I am using Garmin 60CS, Yaesu VX-7R and Open Tracker OT1x by N1VG during SOTA activations, see APRS and Packet Radio, Argent Data Systems . The new OT1+ can also decode packets and thus you should be able to see the nearby APRS stations on the screen of the GPS. If you buy the tracker ready build, you will need in addition to make simple box for connecting it to PC serial port. The PC is then used to program the tracker firmware and set your call sign and other parameters like the time interval of transmissions. You need to also prepare cable between the tracker and your radio. When everything is ready, you connect the tracker to GPS and to radio and it will send your position automatically at the preset intervals. For SOTA altitude information is useful and other telemetry could be also done, but needs more work.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

Hi Steve,

I’ve had APRS running when out SOTA’ing, there hasn’t been too much interest so it would be nice to get more people active.

I’ve never activated purely on APRS…but my reading of the rules is that you can…unfortunately it’s not easy to tell while on the hill the routing your packets took.

If you want to borrow my setup…GPS12 + THD7e, get in touch…if you still have my mobile. I have a foretrex 101 as well now but haven’t wired it up yet.

All the best, Dick.

In reply to M0EIQ:

I have tried APRS on the summits at times as well and no one was really bothered. I run 2E0KPO-1 when on the summits and using APRS, maybe I add a note in the alerts when I am using it and see what happens.

I been thinking of getting the Yaesu VX8R when it comes out only because it can be bought with a GPS mic unlike my TH-D7 which when in APRS mode I have wires everywhere, well it feels like it at times, also because I want a smaller better radio, just depends on the cost. I have also considered D-Star just not sure about it yet.


In reply to 2E0KPO:

I’ve got some pictures of the VX8R and GPS mic, I’ll post them if anyone is interested.

Nobody has mentioned D-STAR yet. There seem to be quite a few D-STAR repeaters cropping up in the NW. There’s DAPRS app ( I don’t know the details ). Of course contacts through a repeater don’t (and shouldn’t) count for SOA, but using them to receive a walkers posit report and to inject them into the APRS networks via the repeater’s internet connection opens up all sorts of possibilities.

So little time and so many things to play with…


In reply to OH7BF:

I forgot to mention that the APRS was working ok from OH/KU-022 Koli 347 m aprs.fi - live APRS map .

I did not write activation report from that, but I used the FT817ND with 2.5 W and tried also SSB with 5 W. Photos are in f5vgl | Flickr .

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to 2E0KPO:
I shall watch my APRS screen more often - didn’t realise people were running APRS up summits.

73 Graham G4FUJ

hi jaakko, after 1/2 a year i read this message on the reflector! i was in kilpisjärvi this july and climbed mt. halti. i had my kenwood th-d7 with me, but had no luck with my aprs-signals from saana (ki-005) and halti (ki-001). nothing was digipeated!!

on halt i also called “cq sota” on 145.500 but nobody answered. i tried only a few times because weather was not too good. but it was a great trip to lapland even though i carried some (not used) extra weight.

you can see some pics of my halti-trip:


and i also hid a geocache up there:

good luck with your sota-activations!


In reply to OE5REO:

Really nice photos Martin.

2 m QSO in OH is not always obvious even in the more populated areas. In the HF I usually check the expected propagation before the activation. In VHF/UHF it is even more simple to estimate the expected distance of communication and to check if there are any big towns in range.

For the APRS next step would be to experiment with the HF APRS in these remote areas. The other possibility is through satellites or ISS. Finally I did manage to make one CW QSO to LY through AO-51 (about 900 km distance) in VU-mode using FT817ND and simple dipole antenna. Next I should try to do the same with VO-52.

The mobile phones do not always work in the large National Parks. You may need to climb up to close by fell to reach the network.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

but it was worth a try … the funny thing is that on top of mt. halti (in the middle of nowhere) the mobilephone worked and we could send a textmessage home to austria. but no vhf-contacts :frowning:

vy73 de martin