Joel and I have been playing with APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System). It’s a digital protocol used to exchange small packets of information over radio. An APRS transmission might encode a location, weather station data, a message, or local information such as fire warnings.
We started experimenting with portable radios to exchange data between our homes. This grew to setting up an IGate in our area that bridges data between the Internet, and the radio frequency 145.175MHz. Go check out Joel’s full writeup at vk2vro.radio which details the IGate setup and the components we made, including a 2m vertical antenna.
You’ll be able to reach the IGate over RF in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. So, if you’re in the area tune your packet radio to the national Australian APRS frequency to receive information in the area (145.175MHz). You might like to beacon your location or send out a message, too!