A.P.R.S. Automatic Position Reporting System

What is APRS

APRS is one of ham radio's fastest growing pastime. In a nut shell its a position reporting system where by a aprs equiped station can be tracked and position placed upon a map. It is also a network which is capable at sending and receiving messages at up to 1200 baud. Not high speed I know however it can be quite useful especially in emergencies and search and rescue operations.

What do I need?

To be visible while mobile you need a radio to transmit you coordinates and other info, as well you need a tracker of some sort to make the radio transmit the information and control data. Finally you need a gps capable of sending the coordinates it receives to a tracker. Most trackers are fairly inexpensive and even more so if you are savvy enough to get a kit and build it your self; which may be a cash savings. There are many dealers out there that sell trackers and gps gear however a quick google search and you will find a company that sells everything but the radio for you.

The cheap way of aprs

If you dont want to jump into the rf sort of things you can use the internet and software to look at other stations as well as send messages to them and receive also. UI-VIEW is a great windows program for this and if you use linux like I do then Xastir is a great option as well. Plus its included in almost every distribution of linux; and if its not in yours the site provides easy download options. One good option which I like about xastir is it can zoom in on maps a neat feature which lacks in its windows counterpart ui-view.


The earth is massive and it is quite impossible to have detailed maps for aprs useage for every inch of the earth-it would be many many dvd's worth of info. Thats why most aprs software only comes with generic maps for most continents. This may suit your needs but its always nice to have detailed maps. Thankfully there are many sites available to allow downloads of detailed maps of different states and provinces. Below you can download the maps I use for Newfoundland and Labrador as well one map includes the canadian atlantic provinces. I have provided some screenshots below as well. Click HERE to download the map zip file, simply exit out of ui-view, copy the maps into the maps folder of its installation folder and start ui-view again. Under maps you should have a few Newfoundland Maps available.