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Old 06-30-2022, 09:34 PM
rcarsey's Avatar
rcarsey rcarsey is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 406
Default APRS in 2022

I just installed a Yaesu FTM-300DR (vhf/uhf, built-in APRS, xband repeat, wires-x, FM/Fusion capable.. to give you a list of the notable capabilities)...

So the initial intention was to have a VHF/UHF radio just to ragchew while on longer flights.. and of course, shoot some fish in a barrel when it comes to making Field Day contacts.. APRS is a total side-benefit..

So now that we're in 2022, where there are a ton of ADS-B receivers scattered everywhere, thanks to FlightAware, FlightRadar24, ADSBExchange, and some others.. what are the benefits of APRS these days?

Here's what I've found so far (I'm new to APRS, but been a ham for decades):

1. Position reports. Questionable quality due to low beacon rates as compared to ADS-B

2. Ability to send/receive TXT messages through a SMSGATE; though its a little clunky for recipients to reply.

3. Assists in finding the freqs that local hams are monitoring (if they're advertising their freq in their beacon)

4. Have a text qso with other hams by sending messages addressed to particular callsigns.. clunky due to having to scroll through they keyboard on the yaesu rig.

5. Offering cross-band repeat while loitering in an area could be fun for people on the ground.

...aaaand thats all I got. Anything else I should be exploring??
Rob Carsey, Winfield Park, NJ
RV-12iS (N713) / Completed 12/2020 / 350hrs and counting
APRS Track or ADSBExchange Track
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:57 AM
swordtail swordtail is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Grindstone, PA
Posts: 186

You may find that old technology taking up too much PIC time. I am a ham and a pilot for 50 years now and I find ham radio more of a distraction than a benefit in the air. I think that you'll get over it quickly.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:55 AM
RV6_flyer's Avatar
RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 4,049

I have APRS in my airplane.

The only advantage I see is on trips like today, I can see two separate flights as one round trip. The ADS-B plots have more data but are two separate flights with ~1/2-hour between them.

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Gary A. Sobek
NC25 RV-6
3,500+ hours
Where is N157GS
Building RV-8 S/N: 80012

To most people, the sky is the limit.
To those who love aviation, the sky is home.
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Old 07-03-2022, 02:29 PM
jwyatt jwyatt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Goodhue, MN
Posts: 190

I’ve had an APRS transmitter in my 9A since first flight - worked well, my wife particularly liked it for watching flights. A wiring mistake in a serial line took it offline in December, and I didn’t realize it for 6 months…with ADS-B, I never missed the data. I haven’t removed it because it’s already installed, and I fixed the serial line during my condition inspection, but I doubt I’d install it again in a new build. Might get removed if I ever do a full avionics rebuild, which will likely mean rewiring most of the aircraft.
Joshua Wyatt | Goodhue, Minn.
RV-9A N627DW @ KRST - Flying since 2012
AFS 4500s | GTN650 | Stratux | SDS EM-5
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