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APRS stands for Automatic Position Reporting System. It is a packet radio program using an unconnected protocol to transmit your exact position, a symbol denoting the type of station you're running and a brief comment about it. It also has direct keyboard-to-keyboard "chatting", direction finding, and other features.

You transmit a single packet which contains your Call Sign, exact latitude and longitude, and other information. This information can be your transmitter's power, your antenna's height, a brief comment, and weather data. Since this is an "unconnected" protocol, on-air packets can be kept to a minimum.

This packet is received by one of four types of digi-peaters which use the aliases RELAY, WIDE, ECHO, and GATE. RELAY stations (the default) are base stations used to digi-peat low-power portable and mobile stations. WIDE stations will digi-peat packets addressed either to their specific Call Sign or the generic WIDE to other VHF stations and WIDEs. An ECHO is similar to a WIDE but works with HF. A GATE digi-peats either from VHF to HF, HF to VHF, or HF to HF.

A station receiving information from the digi-peater can have a computer connected running APRS software that allows your station to appear graphically on a map on the monitor as would other stations that the digi-peater knows about.