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Surfin': Opening Up APRS

08/25/2008

If you have been following along here long enough, you know that I am a big fan of APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System). I've written about APRS often and have been running an APRS digipeater and weather station forever (the digipeater since 1993, the weather station since 2003).

As time has gone by, I have mentioned a lot of cool things on the Internet that are APRS-oriented and as you may have guessed, I am doing so again here today. So, stop -- do not pass go, do not collect $200, and go directly to the OpenAPRS Web site.

Open up your Web browser window all the way to fill your computer screen so that you can take in all of OpenAPRS. Then, go to the OpenAPRS search engine and enter a call sign, ZIP code -- or city and state -- in the search field and shortly the Web page displays loads of APRS information related to the call sign, ZIP code or city you entered; this information contains links that lead to even more information. Mouse over the "Links" header below the map and a drop-down menu displays even more links.

Select the Map link from the drop-down menu and a Google map appears centered on your entered call sign, ZIP code or city. The map displays all the local APRS activity. Roll overs and links on either side of the map provide still more information (I particularly liked the "hams near you" link that resulted in a display of busts of all the hams in my town located at their FCC license locations).

There is so much to explore here that I cannot do it all justice in my description here, so I urge you to visit the Web site and have at it yourself. Caveat emptor: This site is still in beta stages, so there may be a few glitches here or there.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, runs APRS, but still gets lost in Akron on his annual trek to Dayton. To communicate with Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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