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How you can combine geocaching and APRS

The popularity of geocaching is now increasing for several years. Many radio amateurs are also using this leisure activity to actively experience nature and to explore their vicinity.

Andreas Pachler (OE8APR) is an enthusiastic geocacher as well. Besides that, he is a radio amateur and operator of the social media platform socialhams, he’s developing. Some months ago he wondered how geocaching could be linked with APRS and he then developed APRS caching. APRS caching is a function, that is currently included into the social network socialhams, that shall be outsourced later.

To have a good foundation for APRS caching, the geocaches of the Opencaching network have been imported. So these are also available as APRS caches now.

In practice, APRS caching is really easy for experienced geocachers. You choose a cache, copy the data to your GPS device and search for the geocache. After arriving, you log your find in the logbook of the cache, as usual.

Up to this point, it’s all like normal geocaching. But as soon as you’re in close proximity of the geocache, you should unpack your APRS equipment and transmit some position data. If your beacon has been both heard and relayed into the APRS-IS, your cache will be logged on your personal profile on socialhams.

aprs-caching

screenshot_20161006-192840Provided an TX-iGate is active in your region, you will get a confirming APRS message sent to your APRS device.

The function APRS caching can only be used if you’re registered on the platform socialhams using your personal call sign.

I have tried it some days ago and I find the idea behind it very interesting. If you’re an active geocacher and also have the equipment needed for APRS at hand, then simply register on socialhams.net and try it yourself.

The developer is looking forward to seeing active users, getting feedback and improvement suggestions.

I work at a IT service organisation and mostly administrate mailservers and linux servers. I am currently engaged with VHF / UHF, APRS and HAMNET. In addition, I am gaining experience in antenna construction.

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