APRS on the cheap

I’ve been getting a little bored of the same old FT8 on HF in the last few weeks so I thought maybe I should do something on the higher VHF/UHF bands. I generally do not inhabit those bands as I’m not active in the local ham community (my bad).

What is APRS again?

APRS stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System, which is a digital communications protocol used by amateur radio operators to transmit location and other data in real-time. APRS uses packet radio technology to transmit data via radio waves, and it is often used to track the movements of vehicles, boats, and other mobile assets.

APRS is a popular protocol among amateur radio operators because it is relatively simple to use and can be used with a variety of equipment, including handheld radios, mobile radios, and even dedicated APRS devices. It can transmit a variety of data, including GPS coordinates, weather information, and messages.

APRS on the cheap

So I thought, APRS. Why not? I used to use packet radio quite a bit in the 1990s and I still have my Kantronics KPC3. I could resurrect that TNC and figure out how to handle a 9-pin RS232 connection -OR- buy something new (and cheap) to try. After some research, I settled on picking up a Mobilinkd TNC, but guess what? They’re not available due to chip shortages. Here is what I found instead-

The BTECH APRS-K1 Cable can serve as an interface for various applications, but I am testing it with APRS with my Baofeng UV-5R. It is not a TNC. It needs an application that can create AX.25 packets, and then uses MFSK to modulate the FM signal. So one of the following tablet apps will be required-

Recommended applications for plug-and-play use:
iOS: APRSpro (Available in iOS App Store)
Android: APRSDroid (Available on Amazon and Google Play Store)

BTECH APRS-K1 Cable (Audio Interface...
  • BTECH is proud to be in the USA, which allows you to have the best available local support for any issue that may arise. BTECH only engineers and develops radio products. That brand focus allows you to have the best available radios and accessories with the most features, with real USA warranty and support.
  • Using the APRS-K1 Cable - you can begin using over-the-air (internet not necessary) APRS today!
  • Also use the APRS-K1 cable for: APRS, Audio Recording, Line-out, Line-in, and More!
  • A must-have interface cable to provide an easy solution for connecting your radio to your applications and equipment.

The APRS-K1 Cable is a simplex adapter cable that allows you to connect your Baofeng UV-5R or UV-82 two-way radio to an external TNC for use with APRS. The cable features a rugged, weatherproof design and includes a 3.5mm audio jack for easy connection to your radio.

BAOFENG UV-5R with Large 3800mAh Battery...
  • 1.FCC ID: 2AJGM-UV5R, FCC Part 15 Part 97 Certified, OURVII Brand work with BAOFENG UV-5R Walkie Talkie, professional two way radio.
  • 2.Two Earpiece option: 2pin original earphone and OURVII quality acoustic tube headset which can ensure the privacy of the radio communication.
  • 3.Download the software on CHIRP or MIKLOR, also can contact us seller, we will reply within 24hours.
  • 4.With Original BAOFENG Large 3800mAh Battery, Long time on line stand by, the acoustic tube headset can also work with Baofeng GT-3, BF-888S, UV-5R Plus, UV-5RE Plus, UV-B5, V-82, UV-82L,

The BTECH APRS-K1 Cable is a cheap and effective solution for operating your Baofeng radio on the APRS network. This cable also works with Kenwood and Wouxon HTs.

If you like this, share it and leave a comment below!

Leave a Comment