We have a local digipeater at our VE9TOW repeater site on Estabrooks mtn in Woodstock. This digipeater receives and passes on position reports from mobile stations, wx stations and other objects such as home stations and repeater sites. VE9DKS, Danny, has an IGATE station at his QTH, which receives positon reports from what he can hear from his station and from digipeaters and forwards them into the internet. From there the information is available online on such sites as http://aprs.fi/ , http://www.findu.com/ , and many others. The software program used for the IGATE station is UIVIEW, http://www.ui-view.org/ . Here's some printscreens of UIVIEW at Danny's IGATE station:
Above is the general main screen that runs all the time. the map is basically centered over NB but I can pan down to see NS and over to PEI.
This is a information screen that shows details about a specific station. This one in particular gives the information on the IGATE station at VE9DKS QTH.
This is another info screen for a weather station..
This one is a mobile station:
This is called an "object" it can be a randomly placed point on the map that can be called just about anything from a repeater, EOC, Hospital, Hotel, Lighthouse, PBBS, and so on. The object is created on UIVIEW and it's location beacon is transmitted via radio and the internet as often as you like. Generally these are stationary points so it's information is only transmitted about once an hour. This one in particular is our local voice and packet repeater site VE9CCR:
Of course with APRS running on a packet system, you can also message other hams via the system:
This is a basic APRS setup. The blue box on the right hand side is the Tinytrak that you program with your callsign, beacon message, and set beacon intervals and a few other misc settings. The GPS would be hooked to the other side of the Tinytrak. It is powered 12v and I have this paricular setup powerig the handheld as well. I also had the 9v battery terminal available to power the Tinytrak if it was to be used portable.
This is a picture of the Tinytrak available from www.byonics.com They have many other devices such as GPS, power connectors ect..
This is a printscreen of the programming software that is downloadable from the byonics website..
You can set two completely different setups ie: the Primary and Secondary tabs at the top. This may be handy if you use it mobile then maybe you use it portable for hiking. You would have a different symbol and suffix on your callsign when portable. Also your beacon parameters may be different. You can also set a status message, this would be displayed with your postion when viewed online or with any APRS software. SmartBeaconing parameters set the tracker to beacon more often when making turns. For example when turning off a highway around a looped ramp to another highway the tracker will beacon maybe 5-6 times around the loop to show the exact route taken. This is handy if travelling in around town so it will show any quick turns and short streets you may have taken. If SmartBeaconing is not used and the tracker is set to beacon every minute, a entire street may be missed and your route taken around town will not be accurate. The parameters in SmartBeaconing can be quirky but some testing and adjustments can be made for it to work good.
You can save your parameters on your computer as well and load them to the software and then write the configuration to the tracker. You need a female-female null modem cable (9pin) to interface between computer and tracker. If your going to use the unit for mobile use only, you really only need to set it up once and forget about it. Lots more info on how to set up and use the tinytrack interface can of course be found on the byonics website. http://www.byoincs.com/ There are other makes and models of tracking units available as well, a search around on the internet will find you lots of info.
Here is a printscreen from a track on aprs.fi . This is a full return trip from Hartland down to Fredericton and back.
That's a small tidbit of what can be done with APRS and UIVIEW software.. there is certainly alot more to APRS than what I have shown here. Check out the official APRS website: http://aprs.org/ and read all about it.