Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society

APRS Operating Guidelines

The following local operating guidelines have been adopted and users are asked to adhere to the following:

  1. Set your DIGIPEATER PATH to "WIDE2-2" for fixed or "WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1" mobile stations.
  2. Please do not exceed 1 location-beacon per 3 minutes. Controllers will automatically ignore more location-beacons in excess of every 2 minutes.
  3. Enable the "MIC-E" transmission format, this is a compressed beacon format and is more effecient.
  4. Limit your output power to 25 watts or less.

Digipeater Operational Guidelines

Already running a digipeater? Contact the Technical Committee and we'll help convert your older controller to the newer APRS standards.

  1. High-Gain antenna at a minimum of 100 feet above ground, or any location suitable for a local-coverage VHF repeater
  2. Radio with 25-30 watts output
  3. Any controller:
    • Commercial solution: USmartDigi digipeater daughterboard for the TNC-X TNC. This is the recommend controller for the APRS.RATS.NET network
    • Linux solution: Linksys NSLU2 or WRT54G device modified for Linux with DIGI_NED software
    • PC solution: Any KISS-mode TNC connected to a PC running DIGI_NED (cygWIN Linux emulator required)
  4. Emergency Power (72 hours or more)

Controller Rules for APRS.RATS.NET Nodes

BEACON RATE: 15 minutes (30 for fill-in or smaller coverage nodes)

PATH: WIDE2-1 for major nodes, "direct" for fill-in nodes

No single path may exceed 3 (ie: WIDE3-3) and no path count may exceed 5 (ie: WIDE2-2,WIDE3-3)

Excessive Paths are re-written to WIDE2-2 - IN BETA TEST

Coordinate Blocking of a defined NORTH/SOUTH/EAST/WEST boundary (Geo-Fencing)

Throttling of LAT/LON beacons with intervals of less than 120 seconds (Message Packets are exempted from throttling rule)


Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society, Inc. (RATS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 70613, Henrico VA, 23255

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