APRS2SOTA Spot Server

My APRS2SOTA server is intended to be available to anyone that uses APRS whilst on route to or at a SOTA Activation to try to generate a SOTAwatch SPOT on your behalf (you will need to register with me first).

The system monitors the Internet APRS feed and looks for either UNPROTO frames (i.e: Call>SOTA) or APRS Messages (with SOTA in the Addressee field) that contain sufficent information to post a SPOT on SOTAWatch.

It will of course only work if your ARPS message manages to find its way to a APRS Gateway.

After registration of your callsign in the system (by me) you just need to send an APRS message (on the usual APRS frequency) with the following information:

Full Summit Reference, ie: GW/NW-001
Frequency in KHz or MHz (It will try to guess which buy may get confused for some bands i.e. 10MHz/10GHz)

The following optional items may also be included:

Activating Callsign (if different to the APRS one)
A short Comment

The order of these in the message does NOT matter, but any comment is best sent last to avoid confusing the code.

The content of your UNPROTO Broadcast or APRS message should look something like:

GW/NW-001,7118 SSB:Calling Now

GW/NW-001 10122K CW QRV 5 Mins

GW/NW-001 1296.2M SSB Calling Now

Spaces, comma’s, semi-colon’s etc can be used between each part.

The system will try to post a spot using the correct Country Prefix added to the APRS or provided callsign.

The system should filter out duplicate messages (the same details) for 10 minutes.

Note: Attempts to use the system to generate spots for certain operator Callsigns may be blocked (As required by the SOTA MT).

Email me aprs2sota(@)g0lgs(dot)co(dot)uk if you want to try it out.


In reply to G0LGS:

Hi Stewart

Congrats for this good job.

It should be nice if Andy MM0FMF and you use the same data format for association / Summits /freq definitions ?

73 Alain F6ENO

In reply to G0LGS:
Since I don’t currently have any radio APRS set-up, I do have GPRSDroid installed on my phone. This sends the usual location data/message format to APRS.FI - would this work with your system?

In reply to G0CQK:
I use APRSdroid,I am not familiar with GPRSdroid, I do not see why it would not work as it uses the internet rather than a gateway.

I will most definitely try it.

Sean M0GIA

In reply to M0GIA:

Am I missing something here?

You send a spot from a smartphone using a data connection to APRS-IS via the internet which sends your spot to assorted listening stations via the internet. One of which sees your spot, and pulls it out and parse and sends it via the internet to SOTAwatch which is listening for input from the internet.

Or… just use the smartphone to connect to SOTAwatch directly and spot. Is that too easy?



1 Like

In reply to M0GIA:
Wooops! sticky fingers - of course APRSdroid which connects via GPRS just to confuse my brain
…jim g0cqk

In reply to MM0FMF:
Well if you are all fingers and thumbs like me (as I have just proved) it may be easier to prepare APRSDroid in advance than it is to submit a entry direct to SOTAwatch - or it may not - explore all options.
jim g0cqk

1 Like

In reply to MM0FMF:
As with with any other APRS sending device it allows tracking, Depending on time of day / band it has the possible advantage of informing chasers especially outside of a continent say Europe to track in real time where abouts the activator is.

Sean M0GIA

1 Like

In reply to M0GIA:

As with with any other APRS sending device it allows tracking,

Yes, I realise that Sean. The ability to use a ubiquitous mobile phone network to fill in gaps in APRS-RF networks is obvious and popular.

But if you have a data connection working on your phone why would you do this:

  1. phone > mobile network
  2. mobile network > INTERNET
  3. INTERNET > aprs-is cloud
  4. aprs-is cloud > G0LGS
  5. G0LGS > gateway software
  6. gateway software > INTERNET
  7. INTERNET > Spotlite
  8. Spotlite > spot

See how the data goes out onto the internet twice. Pointless.

Surely you’d simply do:

  1. phone > mobile network
  2. mobile network > INTERNET
  3. INTERNET > Spotlite
  4. Spotlite > spot

Why would you send your spot data the network equivalent of “long path” when you could just enter the spot directly?

Spotting via APRS is an excellent extension for people alreading blarting away with a tracker on 144.800. Using a phone when there’s no RF network in the area is obvious. But spotting via APRS via a mobile phone data connection seems to be convoluted for no obvious gain!


1 Like

In reply to MM0FMF:

The only advantage I can see personally is that I would only have to send the APRS message once from my Smartphone connected to my D7 and it goes out over RF and IS. I don’t really care how it hits my intended target, so long as it doesn’t clog up 144.8MHz.

When I’m out in the fells I don’t particularly like messing around with Internet Browsers, I would rather just use the APRS software that is running already.

But perhaps I’m missing your point.


1 Like

In reply to G0LGS:

I have tested your APRS2SOTA server from a Yaesu VX-8G on some of my activations. I have found the service to be very reliable! This would be my preferred way of selfspoting from now on.

Thanks for your effort!

Btw, so far I have tested with LA1TPA/P included in the aprs message. If I leave it out, will the spot still show my callsign as LA1TPA/P or as LA1TPA-7?

73! Mads, la1tpa

In reply to G0LGS:
Hello Stewart
I sent you an email few weeks ago. I thought I was recorded in your APRS database… Today I tested my APRS alert with my VX8GR. I added a right message and it doesn’t work … May I do anything wrong ?
73 QRO


Your callsign is in the authorised user list, the log shows no valid information received from you, which would suggest either something wrong with the formatting of your message or lack of any gateway picking up the signal.

Looking on on APRS.FI the Raw frames that you sent are shown (with the to field as TV3RX0).

However those may not have been accepted by my server for two reasons:

  1. The data field has to be just the SOTA Information (yours seem to contain compressed location at the start).

  2. The filter applied to APRS network (to reduce what is sent to my server for processing) only allows ‘Message’ Type frames and ‘UI’ Frames sent with the to field set to ‘SOTA’.

Stewart G0LGS

1 Like

In reply to LA1TPA:

Btw, so far I have tested with LA1TPA/P included in the aprs message.
If I leave it out, will the spot still show my callsign as LA1TPA/P or
as LA1TPA-7?

It should show as LA1TPA/P but will add what is thinks is any other appropriate country prefix, i.e. MW/LA1TPA/P if you were on a Welsh Summit.

Stewart G0LGS


I am sorry to report that at present my APRS2SOTA spotting facility is not working, it along with all my Web sites (as well at those run by Matt M3WDS) were moved to a hosting service (on a Virtual Private Server) some three weeks ago, but server and networking issues at the hosting provider have been preventing access since Friday afternoon - we hope to have things back by mid-Week (it looks as though we will need to restore all our sites from backups).

Stewart G0LGS

1 Like

My APRS2SOTA spotting facility is now working again.

Stewart G0LGS

I have been informed that my hosting service provider are due to carry out work that will require shutdown of the server between 22:00 on Wednesday 30 Nov and 01:00 on Thursday 1 Dec. So APRS2SOTA may not be available during this time.

Stewart G0LGS


Hello Stewart,

let me take this opportunity to thank you for providing this valuable resource to the SOTA community. There have been many times when I was grateful to have APRS2SOTA available for self-spotting on summits without cellphone reception, and it has always worked flawlessly. Thank you!

vy 73,

Manuel HB9DQM


Anyone knows if the APRS2SOTA spotting is working? Last Sunday I tried to use it, but didn’t saw any spot in SOTAWatch…

Sergio, CT2JLS


Looks like a spot was working just today

1 Like