What is APRS ?

Packet radio has great potential for passing large pieces of message traffic from one station to another.
However, with the internet growing by leaps and bounds a lot of folks, including myself, seem to become disenchanted with packet.
Then in 1993 .... I discovered APRS! (Of course some of us discovered APRS before then but I digress…).

It was always difficult to apply packet to real time events. Especially since these events seem to always be short lived.
APRS can avoid this problem, It is not limited to a connected network or its complexity.
APRS permits any number of stations to exchange data just like voice users do on a voice net.
Any user can send information and all stations receive it or transmitted it.
Secondly, APRS recognized one of the greatest real-time needs of any special event or emergency.
That is tracking of key assets! For instance…

Where is the event leader ?
Where are the emergency vehicles ?
What is the weather at various points in the country ?
Where is a mobile\base amateur station ?
Where is the hurricane ?
Where is my car  now (if stolen) ?
Where is a DX station?
Where is a Jota scout station ?

To answer these questions,
APRS is a full featured automatic vehicle location and status reporting system too.
All this is happening here in Australia & all over the world on the country allocated APRS simplex frequency for is Australia 145.175MHz.

PS: There are a few HF APRS Gateway`s
This is great for travel in the country HF-VHF
See the world APRS frequency webpage here.

Here in Far North Queensland (Atherton) we have a VHF APRS Digipeater VK4WAT-3 with live Igate feed from VK4GO

So if you have a old Packet Radio, SSTV, PSK-31 TNC modem or a soundcard interface then you can monitor the APRS traffic flow VHF 1200bd Packet for activity.

The UI-View APRS software and maps are all free, but only for a hamradio station with a Amateur Callsign and no SWL or Commercial !.

See the APRS stations list in Japan
See the APRS stations list outside Japan
Link to: JA1OGS APRS-Link Page
Link to: UI-View APRS Download Page