Making APRS work on the AnyTone AT-D878UV

APRS is super cool. For this post, I've prepared a step-by-step guide to show you how to make APRS and DPRS work for the 878.

The 878 TX-ing APRS in the European frequency

APRS is super cool and extremely fun. In full honesty, I think that Anytone missed an opportunity to create a DMR radio with full APRS capabilities with the 878. However, you can still send APRS and DPRS packages using this radio, both over analog APRS and over DMR. It-s simpler than it looks, it you follow the instructions carefully.

The first thing you need to do is to activate the APRS functions in the programming software. In case you are not familiar with the Anytone programming software, I strongly encourage you to visit my previous post, that will show you how to create a basic codeplug.

Once in the programming software, go to the Tools menu and click on Options, like this:



Then, a new window will pop. Make sure you select both APRS and GPS, as in the next image:


Once selected, you'll see a new "APRS" menu on the tree to the left on your screen:


Clicking on the APRS item will pop up another screen. This is where you'll set up all of your APRS/DPRS configuration.



In this window, you'll need to set the following values:
  1. Manual TX intervals: Limits how often you can send an APRS message by pressing the PTT button
  2. Auto APRS TX intervals: How often you want your radio to send an APRS message
  3. Support for roaming: Unless you are relying on some black magick configuration with your Zones, leave this Off.
  4. Fixed location beacon: Set to Off. Your Anytone has a built-in GPS, and will use the satellite signal to report your position.
  5. Latitude/Longitude: Any value will do. These values will only be used when a fixed beacon has been set up in the previous step.
  6. Analog section: This is the meat and potatoes of your analog APRS configuration:
    1. APRS TX Tone: Set to Off. The Anytone has a tendency to make you listen to the audio that it's transmitting anytime it sends an APRS message.
    2. Destination Call Sign: I have mine set to APDR10.
    3. Destination SSID: I have mine set to 0
    4. Your callsign: Can I be any more obvious?
    5. Your SSID: Set to 7, unless you have a good reason to pick another one.
    6. APRS Symbol table: I have mine set to "/". WA8LMF has created a pretty much self-explanatory table here.
    7. APRS Map Icon: I use "&"
    8. APRS Signal Path: Usually "WIDE1-1". Edit: Don't use commas in the path (ie: no "WIDE1-1,WIDE2-2"). Direwolf will throw an error when decoding the message, and it will be discarded.
    9. Enter your sending message: Whatever you want to transmit. Unfortunately, you cannot change this message very easily, so I'll go for you name, radio and location or something similar.
    10. Transmission Frequency: 144.800 for Europe, 144.390 for North America. Other regions, please see the Wikipedia entry.
    11. Transmit Delay: Set to 600ms
    12. Send Sub-tone: Off
    13. CTCSS: Select whatever. It doesn't matter, as you disabled the previous option.
    14. DCS: Same as above
    15. Prewave time: Set to 600ms
    16. Transmit Power: Depending on how far away your closest digipeater is. I have mine set to "Mid"
  7. Now, on to the Digital DMR part
    1. The 878 only allows you to TX DMR ARPS messages on 8 preconfigured channels. Pick the 8 that you want to use. I don't have more information about why they decided to go this route.
    2. For each one of the above channels, select:
      1. Report Slot: Channel slot (DPRS info will be send in the same timeslot as your audio transmission)
      2. APRS TG: For BrandMeister UK is 234999. USA is 310999
      3. Call Type: Private Call
Now, you'll need to enable DPRS to your selected channels. Edit each channel you picked up in step 7.1 above, and follow this configuration:

Update these values:
  • Enable Digi APRS RX at the top right.
  • APRS report type: Digital
  • Digital APRS PTT mode: On
  • Digital APRS Report Channel: This has to match the same channel number that you used in step 7.2 above. In my example, I selected Channel 1 in the APRS menu to be my channel BM 213 UK. Now, I need to use Digital APRS Reporting Channel = 1 in the configuration of this channel.
Finally, create a new analog channel named "Analog APRS" on your codeplug, and set it to TX and RX in the same frequency that you used in step 6.10 above.

And done! Each time you press the PTT button on your Analog APRS channel, the radio will send the preconfigured message, including your location. When using DMR, the radio will send your APRS message to TG 234999 after you released the PTT button.

Hope this helps. As usual, if you have any questions, please check out the "About me" page for more information on how to reach out to me.

73 - M0PQA

Comments

  1. Hey there!

    At the end of your article you mention creating the Analog APRS group and setting the frequency, but not what to do with the Analog APRS settings within that channel. Is it correct to assume you set APRS report type to "analog" and Analog APRS PTT mode to "End" or "start" of transmission?

    I think the software has been updated since your post (realizing this now as I look at the date of your blog post!) and there may be some more options that weren't previously available. Would appreciate any help you can provide for this. Thanks!

    73,
    KS4DOW

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kadar,
    You are correct. I forgot to add that last step.
    As far as my understanding goes, the latest version of the software works only on the Anytone AT-D878UVII Plus, which I don't have -- I'm not sure how to configure the APRS features (including Analog APRS reception) on that new model

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have the original 878UV and have followed all the APRS setting up details a number of times but I have yet to get my radio to show on the APRS map. I think I need to have another really careful look at the code-plug as there is one tiny setting somewhere that cannot be easily found that is stopping me getting valid uploads. Can you suggest something so obvious that I've obviously missed it?
    M7GMG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Andrew

      Maybe you'll come back to this post one day - I ironically did while searching for APRS Analog RX on my AnyTone as I work on combining all my old codeplugs and sorting them.

      After I wrote my post last year, I went ahead and setup my old Raspberry Pi 2, along with an RTL-SDR dongle, as an APRS i-Gate. What this does is listens for ANALOG APRS messages, and transmits them over the Internet to aprs.fi. From here, you can search by callsign and see your position on the map.

      The 878UV (old model) does not have Analog APRS RX, only TX, so there's no way to receive the APRS message "confirmation" that you'd get on other radios. I've seen this on a Kenwood radio a buddy of mine has.

      So basically, if you don't have the new UV878II+ model, you can TX analog APRS, but can only RX via digital.

      Delete

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