APRS Information

If you have your old packet equipment stashed away, dust it off and give APRS a try! It's basically the same equipment.
Help/How To/Info files;
Typical Home APRS Station
Typical home setup


Typical Portable APRS Station
Typical portable setup
Typical APRS Tracker
Typical Tracker setup


Area recommended software settings

Note - Recently the settings have and are changing nationwide. These changes are an effort to reduce the number of duplicate and unnecessary additional transmissions of faulty set-ups. The following tries to reflect these new settings for the Dallas and Fort Worth and surrounding area. ie North Texas.

APRS Path Settings

  • RELAY – Only use as first entry in path (No longer recommended - Do not use - Digi's are being programmed to ignore)
  • RELAY is being replaced by Wide1-1 (Should only be used in the first position)
  • WIDE – Should only appear once as first or second entry (Not Recommended)
  • WIDEn-n – Should only appear once as first or second entry
  • TRACEn-n –For temporary experimentation only (Also being phased out)
  • GATE – Means “gate packet to HF”
  • NOGATE, RFONLY – Mean “don’t gate to Internet”
  • TCPIP, TCPXX, qXX – APRS-IS only

  • Recommended Paths
  • Mobile – New = WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1 Old = RELAY,WIDE or RELAY,WIDE2-2
  • Within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex WIDE1-1 should suffice
    Within North Texas you should use WIDE1-1 or WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1
  • Portable – New = Same as Mobile Old = RELAY,WIDE or RELAY,WIDE2-2
  • Digis – No path
  • Special Events – New = WIDE2-2 Old = RELAY or RELAY,WIDE
  • Airmobile – New = WIDE1-1 Old = WIDE or WIDE2-2
  • Balloons – New = WIDE1-1 Old = WIDE or WIDE2-2

  • Recommended Beacon Rates
  • Mobile – 3 minutes minimum, SmartBeacon preferred with 3 minute minimum
  • Portable – 10 minute minimum, 20 minute preferred
  • Fixed – 20 to 30 minutes
  • Weather – 10 minute minimum, 15 minute preferred
  • Airmobile – 5 minute minimum
  • These recommendations are a mix of the new N-n plan and those presented at the North Texas APRS seminar and were generally agreed upon by the attendees. These recommendations should be appropriate for the D/FW metropolitan area.(September 6, 2003)

    Links referenced by this page are not exhaustive of the APRS subject. A search engine will enhance your learning experience.

    Updated Content-

    APRS is a registered trademark of Robert Bruninga - WB4APR.

    We hope you find this information useful with your public service events and RACES/ARES operations.

    Garland RACES/ARES Informaton -

    Last updated 9.19.2008