Monitoring APRS with the RTL-SDR

YouTube user Troy McQuinn has uploaded a video showing how he is able to decode amateur radio APRS signals. APRS is an acronym for Automatic Packet Reporting System and is used by ham radio users to send data like messages, announcements and also GPS coordinates. To decode APRS he uses SDR# and pipes the audio to QTMM AFSK 1200 Decoder.

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john B

How usable would the RTL-SDR dongle work for HF APRS (I’d like to monitor the ham APRS balloons). Thanks for any tips!

Jeff C.

For Linux users one simple alternative I found is to install GQRX, tune to an APRS freq and go to the Tools drop down menu and select the AFSK1200 Decoder option. This opens a window where APRS messages appear as they are received and decoded. See the Wikipedia article on APRS for more info including a list of frequencies by country/region of the world.


It appears this video on youtube no longer exists? Anyone know where I can find this?


Found it by searching YouTube for his name.
He has some other videos on SDR as well.


thank you so much for the tutorial and MUCH thanks to the gurus who make it possible!
vy 73 de Frank K2NCC in Oregon