LoRa APRS Tracker (Part 1)

He obviously doesn’t know, maybe someone should write back via Radcom?

I agree. It seems pointless. A bit like many hobbies.

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Unlike SOTA - many points on offer :innocent:


I was talking with some of the Highland DMR group the other day. I think the idea is to align with the EU so that there is a standard frequency. I’m sure the bandplan will catch up eventually, should this prove popular. I’m also guessing that from their isolated Highlands and Islands locations that QRM is the last of their concerns.

It also handles location information and integrates with Android TAK (for those using it). LoRA also supports encrypted messages and a repeater mesh node is pretty easy to setup. I can see this being valuable in a few scenarios, especially with families or hiking/riding groups on separate sides of a mountain. I’m looking into it for a couple of the disaster groups I’m in. It does require a cell phone or other device to send/receive messages, so it’s not as compact as a ham radio, but no license is required.

I have seen them go 200+ miles before, but that was with the transmitter in a weather balloon in Europe and the receiver on a peak in Portugal “with a good point value.”

My local area, according to https://meshmap.net/ has three active users between my city and the next one over. In our Southern California region, there are close to 200 users from Ventura to the Mexican border. According to “TheThings”, there are three gateways locally as well and several more in the region. We also have six mesh/LoRA clubs in the Southern California region.

I have a prepper group or two looking for a way to do regional communications over decent distances and not all are hams, let alone HF ticketed. This might be a viable solution, especially with the 3 hop routing of the mesh. For groups that are strictly local, GMRS is what I’m looking into for them since out here in the states it’s a simple no-test $35 license that’s good for the entire family and lasts for 10 years.


With the recent Ofcom changes i have applied to operate a 144.800MHz APRS Gateway and also a 439.9125MHz Low Power LoRa Gateway

I have been informed that the VHF Manager at RSGB/ETCC has implemented a strict policy of 100mW max for gateways due to their 125KHz bandwidth so i plan to use a LILYGO TTGO T-BEAM and share a dual band colinear with my 144MHz APRS System

once all is up and running smoothly i hope to apply for a MB7 callsign which will allow me upto 25W on 144.800

Matt 2E0MDJ


Is that 100mW EIRP?
I think the maximum the T-Beam can send into an antenna is 100mW (the default is a little lower)

i was told by ETCC it was 100mW from the transmitter into any antenna.

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I think people are missing the point about Meshtastic. It has taken off in a relatively short space of time. On one map 801 nodes have been registered. Compare this growth, to any other aspect of the hobby. The other important point, is that a majority of new users are not licensed operators. If their experience is positive, they may decide to explore the hobby further. The RSGB should be taping into this at the moment.



Hi All,

I have just setup a Lora APRS iGATE (RX only) In Gosport adding, not decoded anything yet, but it’s listening and hopefully will add a little extra coverage in the area (can see there a few local on the IOW and Portsmouth Direct)


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I hope that 100mw wasn’t on 2M APRS?

what I don’t understand is why the LoRA technology is not being utilised on a dual mode APRS digipeater on 2M, I’m sure I have seen someone experimenting somewhere with it

Not sure either.

Latest I’ve heard is they will be moving the (Highland DMR group) 70cm ones to align with the UK bandplan.

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After the letter in RadCom asking about LoRA APRS frequencies, I’ve have a few e-mail exchanges with Barry (GM8SAU) - who seems to be the guy behind most of the LoRa activity on North Ulst. I believe all the APRs iGate’s are now operating on 439.9125MHz - to align with the reset of the UK.


Barry is quite a knowledgeable chap about all things LoRa, and he kindly pointed out that my LoRa APRS iGate (MB7UWS-10) was reporting to APRS-IS that is was just a RX iGate (Black Diamond with a L in it) - although it was actually a TX/RX iGate (which is a Red diamond with a “L” in it).

After a little investigation it turned out that the github repository I used back in 2022 to program the Lilygo APRS 32 board was a tad out of data; and is now not the only one.

This is the GitHub repository I used originally:


but there is a also one by Ricardo Guzman (CA2RXU):


I’ve recently updated MB7UWS-10 (iGate) and MB7UWS-2 (digirepeater) to use the repos from Ricardo, and personally I’ve found it much better. If you’ve not come across Ricardos code in GitHub before, I encourage you to give it ago. One of the nice features of this repository is that once the APRS LoRa iGate has connected to your WiFi, you can configure everything from it’s web interface :

I also found the json configuration file (data/igate_conf.json) improved. For example, it has a name-value pair for “stationMode” which selects between RX iGate (1), RX/TX iGate (2), DigiRepeater(3) and a few other modes.




Just a shame it is on the wrong freq (about 868 MHz)

Part Two shows the installation, I would be interested in seeing how it is getting on. There is a lot of activity on the 800 MHz band (licence free) because of videos being put out by Andy Kirby and Lewis aka Ringway Manchester - https://youtu.be/Xhud4s9lt5g?si=8rcksxXPcBiOQDD7


Here’s my first go at a standalone Meshtastic node; in a IP67 enclosure:

When I get bored with Meshtastic it will morph into a APRS digirepeater (with a 433MHz version of Heltec LoRa V3 board). It uses a 35cm (λ) Collinear from McGill Microwave, which purports to have of gain of about 6dBi:


It has a 10,000mAh power bank (which seems to last for around 5 days), but will hopefully be updated to include either Solar and an external 12v feed very soon.


What is the black box at the back? Where are the batteries? Sorry so many more questions about this :smiley:

Some updates info from ETCC about digipeaters and callsigns:

MB7R+2 RX Only APRS iGates
With the changes to the amateur licence, we are now phasing out the use of MB7R+2 letter callsigns for APRS RX-only iGates. These will all eventually change to MB7U+2 letter callsigns, or the licensee’s own callsign if they wish. The changeover can be done now via the self-declaration form or at renewal/review time. Contact Steve G8SFR for more details.

Gateway Callsigns
With the change of the licence allowing all stations to operate Unattended at all times, we are phasing out the MB7A+2 letter and MB6I+2 letter callsigns. MB7A+2 will become MB7I+2 letters (the same two letters you have now). And MB6I+2 letters will become just MB6+2 letters, again the same two letters as you have now. For example, MB7ATT would become MB7ITT or MB6ITT would become MB6TT. The changeover will occur at around the renewal/review date when your NoV becomes one of the new FAC documents. /G8SFR / / /


This topic was automatically closed after reaching the maximum limit of 100 replies. Continue discussion at LoRa APRS Tracker (Part 2).