Tagged: igate

A Pre-Built Raspberry Pi Image for using an RTL-SDR as an APRS RX iGate

Keith Maton (G6NHU) wrote in and wanted to share his new ready to go APRS RX iGate image for the Raspberry Pi. APRS stands for “Amateur Packet Reporting System”, and is a type of packet radio communications system used by Amateur Radio operators. They often use them to transmit short mail messages, weather sensor updates, track vehicles and for various other purposes. An iGate allows APRS messages to be transmitted over the all world via the internet via a signal chain such as: RF->iGate RX->Internet->iGate TX->RF.  To run an iGate you should be a radio amateur with a callsign. A global aggregation of APRS broadcasts received by iGates can be seen at aprs.fi.

An RTL-SDR can be used to receive APRS packets easily and many amateur radio enthusiasts have been setting up APRS RX only iGates using the “direwolf” decoding software. Keith’s image simplifies the process of installing and configuring software significantly by proving a plug and play image that you just burn to an SDcard and plug into your Raspberry Pi. His post also explains how to configure the iGate correctly.

iGate Raspberry Pi Image Running
iGate Raspberry Pi Image Running

Setting up an APRS iGate with the RTL-SDR

Over on Pawel Janowski’s blog (SQ7MRU) a writeup on how to set up an APRS iGate receiver with an RTL-SDR and cubieboard mini computer has been posted. The article has been written in Polish, but can be translated using Google Translate.

APRS stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System and is usually used by Amateur radio operators to broadcast the current GPS coordinates of something such as a transmitter site/car/boat or high altitude amateur balloon. These APRS packets are received by an iGate and then put onto the internet. Check out aprs.fi for an example.

To create an APRS iGate, Pawel runs a RTL-SDR compatible python program called pymultimonaprs which is used to receive and broadcast the APRS data on to the internet.