LoRa APRS Tracking System – Basic Information

January 2023 – this page is under construction – new info will be added soon!

I have recently started playing with LoRa APRS system. APRS network is one system, but ham operators use few different rig types to get into the APRS network. They use APRS on 2m – 144.800MHz in Europe, 144.390 in the US. Other countries like Brazil, Japan etc use different frequencies on 2m. Regardless what country it is, on 2m we use 1200 baud AFSK modulation.

I decided to use something new as the part of the hobby experiment. Recently, a LoRa system has started to be a bit popular.

What actually the LoRa is?

LoRa (long range) is a physical proprietary radio communication technique. It is based on spread spectrum modulation techniques derived from chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology.

Why to use it?

Basically, just for fun. Just to do something different. Just because it is becoming more and more popular. But also because with 20mW power you get quite a good range. And also, because the hardware is very cheap and small and the power consumption of a typical iGate is 100mW when in RX mode.

What frequency to use?

In Europe, in theory, the basic frequency is 433.775MHz, 1200 baud. However in some countries people decided to use different frequencies. I Poland they complain that there is a lot of QRMs from smart meters which work on this frequency. So in Poland they moved to 434.855 @ 300 baud. In the UK both frequencies can’t be used as they were assigned to something else. So in the UK we use 439.9125 @ 1200 baud.

Equipment for LoRa APRS

Picture shows the original LoRa TTGO T-Beam V1 (433MHz SX1278) tracker
The same tracker in a 3D printed case, however the original 0.96” display has been replaces with 2.42” yellow display.
LoRa32 V2.1_1.6 LilyGo TTGO iGate/DiGipeater – base station
LoRa32 V2.1_1.6 LilyGo TTGO iGate/DiGipeater – base station – the same as on the previous picture, but inside of the 3D printed case. It is really vey small!

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