APRS for Data Logging

May 17, 2020

For logging data from the Westy, I'm looking at the Adafruit Feather Arduino compatible microcontrollers. To log the data to the cloud, I'd like to use APRS. On Hackser.io, John Weers posted a project, "Arduino APRS Tracker," that uses APRS in the usual way, to report position periodically, on a standard frequency, through repeaters available throughout the civilized world.

But I believe APRS may be used to send any kind of data, so I should be able to send the relatively small data structures I'm planning over APRS.

Now, a downside to APRS is that it's a one-way transmission, with no guarantee it will be received. Even if a repeater is in range, my transmission may be blocked by a simultaneous transmission from another station.

That's OK: Receiving only some of the data through APRS is fine, because the logger will store the data locally, too, so it can be uploaded later, when an internet connection is available. So maybe my logger will have both APRS and WiFi (or BLE).

Now, John Weers's project transmits APRS through his handheld HAM radio, where I want the Westy's logging to be independent of such devices. So I need to find a HAM transmitter that's relatively low power.

Like, does the PicoAPRS use a module that can be adapted to an Arduino? Or maybe I could just use the PicoAPRS as a Digipeater? So much I don't yet know/understand.

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