Originally Posted by rutbeer
Dave, not sure what all that is you just mentioned. I'm not a Ham nerd at all, just took the test so I would have club communication on trail rides. Outside of that, never used it before now. I just have an inexpensive chop suey model in my console.
Did you come across the mention of repeaters? If they sound foreign just say so, be happy to explain them. These allow low power stations to cover a MUCH wider area than they could ever hope to simplex.
The APRS part is a fairly advanced concept, so I don't want to confuse the issue. Suffice to say it means automatic packet reporting system. It's a way to use the RF spectrum to fire packets of information around. It can be used to send text messages, weather data and position reports to other hams. When you're driving around you can see other stations' periodic beacons, which most of the time contains GPS data that your station can decode into relative locations from you. Along with the GPS data I inject a reading of what I'm doing on the voice radio, which might be simplex or a repeater. If it's on a repeater it includes the necessary information to work the repeater.