Find out the next ISS pass with APRS

Recently I found a twitter post from WA1GOV about a new service he offers (). If you send an APRS message with the content “ISS” to the callsign WA1GOV-10, you will receive the next ISS pass at your location as a message.

The only condition is that you are in the range of a TX-igate and that this TX-igate is aware of your position, so that it sends the message from the APRS-IS back to HF. I had some trouble with this. At the beginning I did not receive the ISS data, but I saw it at aprs.fi, so I sent a couple of more beacons and now I sucessfully received a message back. Beside the ISS there are also the following satellites available: AO-85,AO-91,AO-92,SO-50

Running SDRPlay with gqrx on Ubuntu 18.10

Since a long time, I was trying to get my SDRPlay running with gqrx on Ubuntu. A while ago, I successfully compiled everything I needed, but this lesson took hours and after the next Ubuntu update, it did not work anymore. Now I found a solution that is much easier. I did a lot of other changes on my system in parallel, so I am not 100% sure that the following steps are enough to get it running, but it works now for me.

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QSY Information im APRS Status Text senden – Send QSY frequency as APRS status text

Wenn man mit APRS unterwegs ist, empfängt man viele andere Stationen, aber weiß meistens nicht, auf welcher Frequenz sie QRV sind, wenn man sie direkt ansprechen kann. Manchmal liest man Texte, wie “QRV auf DB0XH” oder ähnliches. Es gibt jedoch eine Möglichkeit, den Text so zu senden, dass man mit einem geeigneten Funkgerät direkt die Frequenz auswählen und dann Kontakt aufnehmen kann. Wie das geht, steht in der APRS Freq Spec. If you are driving with APRS, you might receive a lot of stations, but you never now how to reach them, if you want to talk to them. Sometimes you read status messages like “QRV on DB0XH”, which gives you a hint, but there is a much better way to transmit the frequency, so that the radio can be tuned to it with a few clicks. This is described in the APRS Freq Spec and I just tried it. And it works!

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Social media idea: APRS + Photo + Twitter = #aprsphoto

As I like photographing and hamradio I had the idea to combine both. Every day hams are sending APRS messages from all over the world, but all we see is a dot on a map. Isn’t that sad? Let’s show how it really looks where we do hamradio. Let’s show what’s behind the track on a map!

The idea is to take a photo and send a APRS beacon at the same place at the same time and post both on Twitter using the hashtag #aprsphoto.

I just started:

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Setting Symbol for RX-Igate with pymultimonaprs

Since a couple of weeks I am running a APRS RX-igate on a Raspberry PI with RTL-SDR dongle and pymultimonaprs. To show on the map that it’s a RX-only Igate it’s recommended to set the black diamond with a “R” overlay as a symbol. To do this you have to use “R” as table and “&” as a symbol.

Here is my configuration:

"beacon": {
"lat": ...,
"lng": ...,
"table": "R",
"symbol": "&",
"comment": "PyMultimonAPRS iGate",
"status": {
"text": "Raspberry PI - RX Igate",
"file": false
},