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APRS Glossary

  • APRS: Automated Position Reporting System
  • APRS-IS: APRS-Internet System
  • digi: short for "digipeater"
  • digipeater: a "digital repeater," a radio transceiver (often mounted on a hill or mountain) which re-broadcasts the packets it receives over a wide area
  • findu: a web site at which collects APRS data from APRS-IS and can answer queries on the database. Also, generically, the Internet aspect of APRS, though there are many other useful APRS sites
  • gate: short for IGate
  • GPS: Global Positioning System. A //GPS receiver// uses signals from satellites to determine its position. For APRS use, the GPS receiver will then send the location information to a TNC for transmission by radio
  • ham: a person who uses amateur radio. The origin of the nickname is obscure
  • hop: when a digipeater repeats a packet, it's considered a "hop." If a second digi receives the packet from the first digi and retransmits it, that counts as a second hop
  • IGate: Internet Gateway, a radio and computer setup for receiving packet data via radio and sending those packets to the Internet (via APRS-IS)
  • packet: a bundle of data (like an APRS user's call sign and location, or a weather station's report on conditions) plus a path and other information, represented as a set of bytes in a computer or transmitted via radio as a series of rapidly-changing tones
  • path: a specification of the path a packet should take through the digipeater system. Can be explicit (using the callsigns of the intended repeaters and the ultimate destination) or symbolic, like "WIDE2-2" which digipeaters will interpret to mean "repeat twice."
  • TNC: Terminal Node Controller. A device which can control a radio and transmit computer data (like a user's call sign and GPS position information) using a series of rapidly-changing tones
  • Voice Alert is a way of setting up an APRS station to notify you if other active stations come into simplex voice range
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