The beacon is what is transmitted in
the background by YAAC to identify, locate, and describe your own
station. It supports both fixed and mobile stations using either the
regular position format (plain or compressed) or the compact Mic-E format.
It also supports multiple beacon definitions to support different beacons
through different ports (such as a HF TNC versus a VHF TNC port). This is not used
for non-station objects and items; see the object editing functions.
The beacon configuration panel looks like this:
The options to be set for your beacon are:
- Deleting alternate beacon definitions. The default beacon record cannot be deleted and should
be used as your primary beacon. Note that all of these beacons will be transmitted with your station's
callsign-SSID on the port(s) through which they are transmitted. Each APRS-capable port allows you
to select which beacon definitions will be sent through that port; it does not typically make sense
to send more than one beacon through the same port.
- Enabling or disabling transmission
of your beacon. Check the box to have your beacon be transmitted
through all open ports that allow transmission of this beacon.
- Whether to transmit APRS position reports using the
ASCII real-time cleartext position message format ("!", "=", "/" or "@" messages,
APRS spec 1.01, section 8), the ASCII real-time compressed position message format (same prefixes, APRS spec 1.01, section 9),
or the Mic-E binary format ("`"
messages, APRS spec 1.01, section 10).
- For non-Mic-E APRS position reports, which of the four sub-flavors to use:
Note that specifying that YAAC does not support messaging will not keep YAAC from acknowledging received
messages, nor from responding to queries; in YAAC's case, it merely indicates that no human operator would
be looking at the messages.
- the YAAC default, without an explicit timestamp but indicating that YAAC is capable of sending
and receiving text messages.
- without an explicit timestamp, and claiming the station will not handle text messages (not
actually true, but useful for certain applications such as the Duchifat-1 satellite
or for unattended deployments).
- with an explicit timestamp, and announcing the station supports messaging.
- with an explicit timestamp, and announcing the station does not support messaging.
- Whether to use an attached GPS receiver for the position source, or use a fixed configured
latitude/longitude. Note that only GPS ports configured as "local" will affect the beacon position;
remote GPS receivers are intended to collect position data from other objects that are not
using APRS to report their position.
- The fixed latitude, longitude, and (optional) altitude to use if the GPS receiver is not being used.
- Whether or not to append the GPS-reported speed and/or altitude to the beacon message.
- Whether or not to append weather station data to the beacon message.
If both Report GPS and Report Weather are selected, the course and speed will
be for the wind, not the station, but the altitude will still come from
- The symbol to use to represent your station, and the overlay character to use for alternate-table symbols.
- The optional monitor frequency to
be appended to the beacon message, with repeater offset direction
and/or PL tone or digital code frequency, and whether narrowband FM
is being used. This will restrict you to specifying amateur radio frequencies from the 6 meter
band to higher frequencies only, as specified for your country (according to the locale on your
computer in which you launched YAAC), or the ITU generic amateur frequencies if you are in a country
whose more restrictive frequencies haven't yet been noted in YAAC. YAAC currently knows the frequency ranges
as of 2017 for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Switzerland,
Belgium, and Luxembourg.
- The station status to be reported
in Mic-E position reports. There are 15 possible statuses: "off
duty", "en route", "in service",
"returning", "committed", "special",
"priority", 7 custom states, and the Emergency state. This
has no effect if regular Position format is used; if you wish to send these status values
in a clear-text position message, you must manually include the status name in the free-text
comment, using all upper case surrounded by exclamation points with no embedded spaces (ex.: !ENROUTE! ).
Note that the word EMERGENCY (either case, even without exclamation points) alone is sufficient
to indicate Emergency status in your transmitted beacons, so don't use that word (for example,
in "Emergency Operations Center") in your beacon unless you really have an emergency at your location.
If you actually do specify the word EMERGENCY, YAAC will confirm that you really mean it before
- Whether to append RF transmitter
Power/Height/Gain (PHG) or omni-DF (direction finding) information to the beacon message, and what
the power (or received signal strength for DF), height, gain, and directionality of the station antenna
are. Note PHG is meaningless for Internet-only or RF receive-only stations,
and will be automatically suppressed, regardless of the enabling choice. It is assumed that omni-DF information
will be manually updated as needed for the direction-finding operation.
- Any free text that should be appended to the beacon message.
- Which digipeat paths should be
used for the beacon message. Several standard choices are provided
(including the path of no digipeat aliases at all), but other custom
paths may be entered in the User-Defined Digipeat Path text field. If more
than one path is selected, they will be used alternately by the
proportional pathing algorithm (each lower path used half as often
as the path before it).
- What transmission intervals this beacon should be transmitted at. This overrides the application-wide
defaults set on the configuration dialog's Transmit tab. Note
that if a port the beacon is being transmitted through is using timeslotting, the transmit will not
actually occur until the next timeslot after the scheduled beacon transmit time. If the initial
(fast) beacon rate is set to 0 seconds, then automatic transmission of this beacon does not occur;
only manually initiated beacons will be sent (suitable, for example, for HF APRS on the restricted
60-meter channels in the United States, where automatic control is not permitted).
None of these changes are activated until the Save Changes button is pushed.