Thursday, 30 June 2011

APRS beacon using CW

Automatic position reporting QRP HF beacon using CW

I have been thinking it might be a an interesting exercise to develop and build a PIC controlled device that takes the GPS serial NMEA strings, extracts the info that is required and then encode the pertinent information into CW and transmit this on a low power HF beacon. The beacon will then transmit the position say once every 2 minutes?

For example:

VVV de ZS6A = 1300 S25.123 E024.567 <AR>


VVV de ZS6A = 1315 KG01DC <AR>   Using the Maidenhead grid system.

This will be a very basic form of APRS and will enable tracking without the need of computers etc.

Long live CW !!

Has this been done before? Not much point in re inventing the wheel……


  1. An excellent idea Pierre!!!

    It could be used in the field too where you'd, for example need to broadcast your position for emergency reasons .... Have a switch for Emergency / Recreation , it could change the message content slightly.

    73 Eddie ZS6BNE

  2. Hi Eddie,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It is a very good idea. Situation normal vs. distress. Maybe a wire locked capped switch so as to prevent accidental activation of the “distress” function?

    I think it will be a nice project. I will have to play catch up. I haven’t worked with PIC’s before. I did play extensively with the Z80 micro processor about 30 ago.