A new APRS digipeater is on the air in Clearfield! The new digi functions as a “fill-in” APRS digipeater providing coverage to the Clearfield and Curwensville areas. The digipeater carries the call sign W3CPA-1 and is located at the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency building in Clearfield. Prior to placing the digipeater on the air, the Clearfield County EMA Director was consulted to assure there were no objections to making use of the otherwise unused equipment.
APRS stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System and operates on the fixed frequency of 144.390 MHz in the United States. APRS provides real time tactical digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area. One of the more popular features of APRS is the ability to track mobile stations as they move. This can be especially useful in public service applications as well as emergency communications efforts. In addition, all data is ingested into the APRS Internet System allowing web sites, such as www.aprs.fi, to provide data not available locally over radio frequency.
CCARC member Scott W3EOD was the mastermind behind this project. At the December CCARC meeting it was noted that everything necessary to construct an APRS digi-peater was sitting in EMA Amateur Radio room unused. This was really a project born out of spare parts. Scott took the time to program the Kantronics TNC and prepare it for use on the ARPS system.