Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creating APRS objects for repeaters using OpenAPRS.Net


I'd wanted to create an APRS object for the Ridgeway Repeater Group's two voice repeaters, GB3TD and GB3WH for a while. In practice, this just means making sure that they show up on the map in the right place, when someone goes to http://aprs.fi and looks at the area.

I wanted to display an icon for them, showing the approximate position and their callsign, and some detail available, if someone clicks on the icon. I'd looked at various ways of doing it, but found OpenAPRS the best method.

I'd looked at doing this a few months ago, but had stalled, because OpenAPRS required me to verify my account using an 'RF APRS client' which I didn't have - all my APRS interfacing is done through the Internet. Without verifying my account, I couldn't create objects on the APRS map.

When I was looking at OpenAPRS the other day, I noticed that they were offering another method of verifying accounts, using Paypal and a small (dollar or so) donation. I was happy to pay this and sure enough the account was verified very speedily.

Having done this, it was straightforward to create an object for each of the repeaters using Tools/Create Objects and then clicking on the map in the appropriate place and entering the information. In some ways, rather than clicking on the map, I'd have preferred to manually enter the latitude and longitude, but this didn't seem to be possible.

Either way, GB3TD and GB3WH are now represented on the APRS map. I like this - and it provides some useful information to people about where they may find activity in particular localities.

2 comments:

Julian said...

I have looked at using OpenAPRS to create objects myself. The trouble is, objects created in this way never appear on RF so they don't serve the fundamental purpose of APRS which is to inform mobiles of the repeaters and other facilities in the area.

There is a danger of APRS becoming an internet application. Given the lack of activity in the UK I can't argue that it doesn't work better over the internet but it does raise awkward questions about why bother using radio?

Tim said...

Agreed.

Actually, the other way I've looked at it is that APRS IS essentially an Internet app that RF can feed into.

If the internet created objects provide information about RF activity, I'm good with that.

Not disagreeing with what you're saying though.

Tim

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