APRS in Catterick Garrison & the surrounding area

igate timeline

Update: NoV for MB7UCG issued

Update 16th Feb 2020: First switch-on, Thursday 18th February

5th January 2022: NoV for MB7UCG has been renewed for another 12 months

What is APRS and what can I do with it?

APRS, short for Automatic Packet Reporting System, was developed by Bob Bruninga WB4APR, it is often mistaken solely for vehicle tracking, which it is not for, it is in fact a two-way real-time tactical information system, and is very useful indeed beyond vehicle tracking
APRS has the ability to send and receive short text messages between radios/devices or with the use of SMSGTE (in certain countries including at the time of writing the UK) SMS messages to a mobile telephone or any other mobile device capable of SMS reception, very short and brief emails can also be sent, objects of relavence to the Amateur radio community can be placed on a map (ie local clubs, repeaters, weather stations, digital voice gateways) and of course there is the mobile station tracking which is the aspect that many are familiar with

What I have done

I have constructed a cheap but functional igate setup, this was originally going to be in my shed however the logistics of putting the setup in the shed so far has proven problematic, therefore it is located in my kitchen with a magmount antenna on a pie tin, with a wifi socket to be able to remotely shut it down.

As I own an APRS handheld, a Yaesu FT2D, I cannot under normal circumstances get into any igates or digipeaters close to home unless on a hill, however with this local igate this should help some for handheld users and foundation licence holders with a power limit of 10 watts

"I'm not licenced, can I listen to and decode APRS packets?"

APRS, like all amateur radio transmissions can be listened to and decoded freely by anyone, if APRS is something you'd like to do after passing a foundation exam and getting licenced you can listen to and decode the output of this igate, and any other igate or digipeater or even transmissions by other hams