During the latest testing of faraday-aprs software for our #LaunchWithFaraday projects it has been helpful to use aprs.fi alerts. This doesn’t seem to be a well-known feature and I wanted to share it in a quick blog post!
Receive Email Alerts From aprs.fi
You can setup aprs.fi to email you an alert message given a station has met a certain criteria. The most useful criteria is if a station has not been heard from in a certain amount of time. The usefulness here is obvious for any radio amateur who owns a digipeater, igate, Faraday base station, or is simply experimenting with APRS. If the station ever stops updating APRS-IS you will be alerted once the time limit passes. This improves station uptime, especially if the station is far away. Alerts were first enabled in 2011 but had a hiatus for a while due to some bugs and came back online in March 2017.
I setup an alert on “KB1LQC-1” while testing APRS Network Error handling by faraday-aprs software. This let me be notified when Faraday was no longer sending messages to APRS-IS indicating something bad had happened. The feature is incredibly useful for long duration tests and setups. Read the guide below to setup this nifty feature.
Setting Up aprs.fi Email Alerts
Step One: Login to aprs.fi by clicking on the “Login” link in the top right corner of the website. If you don’t have an aprs.fi account then sign-up for one when prompted.
Step Two: Navigate to https://aprs.fi/my/. Alternatively you can click on the sidebar “star” and click on “My stations and bookmarks”
Step Three: Add a station to “Stations I follow” section.
When added, the section is now populated with the new station to be followed.
Step Four: Edit the settings of the station by setting at least a time to be notified after a condition is met and a method of alert delivery. You may have to setup an email address the first time.
Step Five: Wait! An alert is sent to you once the conditions are met by the station the alert as setup for! Here’s a recent alert I received when a bug in Faraday software prevented reconnecting to an APRS-IS server automatically.
Neat Feature Requests for aprs.fi Alerts
These would be neat, just saying…
- Telemetry channel value alerts
- Alerts based on an station showing up in or leaving an area (i.e. alert when 100 miles from Los Angeles or greater)
- GPS altitude alerts (useful for ARHAB payloads and FAR-101 regulations)
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Author: Bryce Salmi
Licensed radio amateur KB1LQC and Co-Founder of FaradayRF. Professional Electrical Engineer designing and building avionics for rockets and spacecraft during the day and developing the future of digital amateur radio experimentation by night. All opinions are my own.