[aprssig] HF APRS for Linux and JS8CALL

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Mon Apr 20 15:22:38 EDT 2020

On 4/20/2020 1:36 PM, Joe Della Barba wrote:
> Thanks. What I was looking for initially was a stand-alone program to do HF 
> APRS that used something other than packet. I think I found it, there was a 
> program that ran on PSK-62(???) or something similar. Apparently that is no 
> longer supported. My JS8CALL program supposedly can do APRS, but it does not 
> seem to work. Has anyone got this to function?
> What I am going to try now is DireWolf and see how that works. While in port I 
> am in range of wifi, so I could leave it run and be an Igate for HF.
> 73
> Joe

The program was "APRS Messenger" and it could send/receive either PSK63 or 
MFSK16.     It was an entirely self-contained package that included a 
waterfall-display soundcard modem for the two modes, a split-screen 
send/receive terminal, and IP connections that allowed it to function as an 
igate connected to the APRS-IS.
     It also included a virtual com port that could accept a standard NMEA GPS 
data stream so the program could function as a mobile tracker. By itself, APRS 
Messenger didn't include mapping, but it could link to any of the common APRS 
cients via included KISS-over-IP or AGWpe-compatible ports.
     Messenger sent/received AX.25-style payloads, including paths and 
checksums (but not the sync-bits or bit-stuffing of AX.25) over MFSK16.  It 
would ACK/NAK just like regular AX.25 APRS when you sent messages.

At it's peak usage about two years ago, there were about a dozen Messenger 
30-meter igates running in North America.   From the mobile, the MFSK-16 mode 
was incredible.  It would provide solid error-free copy from signals totally 
inaudible in the speaker.  I routinely carried out RF-to-RF APRS text messaging 
to stations in Kentucky and Ontario, from my mobile in Los Angles or Las Vegas. 
  Even when 30-meters sounded totally dead!

The author abruptly discontinued the program and took down the website in 
December 2019, claiming compatibility problems with Windows 10. [There were 
compatibility problems, but not (in my experience) with Win 10.]


The real replacement, in my opinion, would be an add-on to FLdigi.  The FLdigi 
program already has internal IP links that can let the program act as a modem 
to external applications. (It's own add-on "FLmessage" is an example.) FLdigi 
is a proven high-performer on MFSK and other weak-signal digi-modes already.
     I can envision an app that would have a com-port handler to read a GPS, 
format it into APRS format (preferably in Mic-E format) , and send it to FLdigi 
for transmission. The same add-on would also have TCP/IP connections to link to 
the APRS-IS, like any other igate, or to a mapping APRS client if desired.
     Even better would be to incorporate these functions into the FLdigi 
program itself as an additional option to MFSK, PSKxx, etc, so that APRS 
messaging could take advantage of the split-screen messaging terminal already 
in the FLdigi program.

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

-----   NEW!    60-Meter APRS!   HF NVIS APRS Igate Now Operating  ------

Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps

Long-Range APRS on 30 Meters HF

More information about the aprssig mailing list