Quick Start with YAAC

OK, you've successfully started running the executable. Now how do you make it do something useful? Let's follow these quick directions to get you set up correctly. The steps are:

  1. Identify your station.
  2. Connect to a GPS receiver (optional).
  3. Connect to an APRS data source.
  4. Load map data (optional).
  5. Watch APRS data appear!!!

Now, here are the steps again in finer detail:

  1. First, you need to identify your station. All APRS stations must be given a callsign. To do so,
    1. click the File menu and select Configure, then By Wizard. The Configure wizard dialog should appear.
      The wizard can also start automatically when you start YAAC if YAAC isn't configured yet.
    2. The Specify Station Callsign panel should appear in the wizard, with a field labeled "Callsign", with a default value of NOCALL. Replace NOCALL with your government-assigned callsign. Optionally specify an SSID suffix of 1 to 15 (default of -0 means no SSID suffix). For example, KA2DDO for the author's primary station, or KA2DDO-9 for his automobile.
      configuration wizard first panel
      Then click the Next button.
    3. Only if your system had been previously configured with a different callsign-SSID and there are actual APRS or AX.25 ports using the old callsign, the wizard will then ask you if you want any of those ports reconfigured to the new callsign. Each port using the old callsign will be displayed with a button indicating what type of automatic fix can be performed. Once you have corrected the callsigns, click the Next button to go to the next screen.
    4. Select the type(s) of station you are operating (you can choose more than one if applicable), and the symbol with which you want your station displayed on other APRS clients. Also specify what region or section your station is operating in (so as to be able to use section-level digipeat aliases).
      configuration wizard second (station type) panel
      Then click the Next button.
    5. Enter your station latitude and longitude. Even if this is for a mobile station, this provides a default when your GPS isn't working; specify the location where the mobile is normally parked in that case. Also specify whether you want an initial set of OpenStreetMap map data downloaded onto your computer while the configuration process is going on (you should only do this if you have an open connection to the Internet so the author's web site can be accessed to download the map tiles). Then specify whether or not your station will be using a GPS and, if so, how it is connected (either through a serial port, as part of a Kenwood radio, or using the Unix GPSD daemon).
      configuration wizard third (location) panel
      Then click the Next button.
  2. If you specified using a GPS receiver, the next page will ask for your GPS parameters.
  3. The wizard will next display a list of APRS interface ports you have open (for a new installation of YAAC, this list will be empty). Click one of the buttons at the bottom to specify which type of APRS interface you are going to use. Note that you can have more than one port, especially if your station is going to be a cross-band digipeater and/or I-Gate system.
    configuration wizard port list panel
  4. Load map background data, assuming that you haven't loaded it already back in step 1(d). There is no quick way to do this, and it requires current Internet connectivity to reach the appropriate websites, so you may want to skip this step until later. You do this by either:
    1. Downloading the raw OSM map data from https://planet.OpenStreetMap.org or a mirror site such as https://download.geofabrik.de/, using the web browser of your choice. Assistance for selecting a mirror site is available with the File->OpenStreetMap->Download OpenStreetMap Extract Dataset menu choice.
    2. Import the downloaded OSM map data into YAAC.
    or selecting the File->OpenStreetMap->Download Precompiled Tiles menu choice to download already-imported OpenStreetMap data from the YAAC author's website to your system.

    You can also download topographic (elevation) data from the U.S. Geological Survey by selecting the File->Topographic->Download Tiles menu choice. Note that this data is for worldwide landmasses (not just the United States), and is available to any user whose nation is permitted Internet access to the United States.

  5. Enjoy! At this point, YAAC should be receiving APRS data and plotting it on the map. You can use the various choices on the View menu to look at the data in other ways.