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Author Topic: Looking to setup an APRS/packet station  (Read 4302 times)

Posts: 6

« on: October 07, 2003, 05:37:05 PM »


I'm looking to setup an APRS base station to fill in a coverage gap present in the valley where I live. Here is what I would want to do:

1) Use my Icom IC-2340H 2m/440 xcvr
2) Allow for local digipeater operation
3) Allow for internet gateway outbound
4) Allow for WX station interfacing (future feature)

I'm very proficient with computers and networking. I'll have a basic laptop available to run as a permanent system on the TNC as well. I can run Linux, Unix, or Windows. I won't have a GPS at the station for obvious reasons (it's fixed). Basically I need to know:

1) Is this xcvr going to be good enough for this purpose?
2) What TNC do you recommend? I've found a Kantronics 9612 for sale with v5 ROMS, but it looks like the 9612 Plus is perhaps a better choice for APRS. What about the Tigertronics TNCs? How fancy do I really need?
3) What is involved with setting up an Internet gateway for forwarding of APRS reports? Does anyone know of the bandwidth requirements for this so I don't get my ISP upset? I imagine it's pretty low.

Sorry for all the questions, but I've been to many sites and they list quite a bit of information, but but wanted to hear from the people here as well.


-- Craig

Posts: 59


« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2003, 03:54:30 PM »

Sorry nobody has responded since now. Im not the APRS expert but I have set my system up.

If all you want to do is APRS you dont need an expensive TNC. Any old thing will do. Im using an old PK-232 tnc I got for $100. You might want to try using soundcard packet radio ( It basically turns your PC's sound card into a TNC. You should be able to setup 'receive' APRS capability without much effort or special cables. Simply plug the speaker/headphones output of your radio to the input of your soundcard and you should get the idea if you want to keep getting into APRS using the soundcard. (read up before you do this as there are some warnings about overdriving your soundcard and doing damage and what not)

I've tried APRS with 4 different radios from a mobile dual band to a hand held and they all work fine for APRS, assuming you have the right cables Wink

If you are good with Linux you might want to consider buying a cheap TNC and installing Xastir ( as your APRS gui interface. It can igate to and from the Internet.

Internet bandwidth is of minimal concern unless you intend to be *THE* gateway in your area. As a new APRS sysop I would recommend that you simply 'use' APRS for a while until you get the hang of it. I've been playing with APRS for about 2 months now and I did look into being an igate and decided to adventure someplace else in the ham space Wink


Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2003, 12:56:35 AM »

It sounds like you have decent equipment to work with.  

If you are good with computers then I highly recommend running Xastir.  It can be run under windows (using Cygwin) but works a bit better on native *nix systems.

It will allow you to be an Igate with very little trouble and can utilize various types of "TNC's" both hardware and software types.

Igating isn't very complex and if you use some form of filtering from the server then bandwidth can be very little.  The software you run does all the hard work.

Digipeating can be a bit more really depends on your surrounding network.  If all you need to do is fill in a small gap then functioning as a "relay" digipeater may all that is needed and is really simple to do with most TNC's and several software options can also handle digipeating.

Feel free to email me with any further questions....

Posts: 1

« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2003, 01:34:18 AM »

Forgive me for my ignorance, but I still don't have a clear idea how exactly to setup an igate.  All I know at this point is in order to setup an igate, I need a TNC, a radio, old computer (I have P150 machine), igate software and full time Internet connection.  
 At this time, I have one Alinco DR-135, one old P150 computer and full time internet connection.  I guess all I need from this point are a TNC, igate software and instruction how to put all these components together.  So, if you guy could please tell me how exactly to setup igate step by step or where to find such instruction I would really appreciate this very much.

(I’m a student and have a very limited budget, so I don’t want anything fancy just enough to get the job done).  

Thank you in advance,

Posts: 5

« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2003, 12:24:21 PM »

With the tnc and computer you have you can use UI-view 32
to do aprs .the cost to req. is about $15 .
the address is
and add on for uiview are at this

Posts: 0


« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 05:25:47 PM »

Hi to all;
  you guys make it sound so easy to do APRS, this is something i never done before,  Ok  i need a TNC and I have and very old laptop (this may not be enough to do this) and 2meter ht or mobile, and the proper cables???
is there a site on hooking all this up??? Oh and some kind of software to run all this.
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