One of the benefits of using Direwolf as your APRS software is its ability to function as a network TNC, opening up a range of interesting possibilities.

So, what exactly is a network TNC?  It's an interface that allows you to generate APRS traffic from other devices on your home network, without any additional radio equipment. That one station can act as a gateway for other APRS devices.

For instance, my APRS station, besides being a digi-peater, is also connected to a weather station. So my single APRS station (WX4BK-13) appears as a digi-peater, igate, and weather station, transmitting weather conditions over the APRS network.  However, I have no monitor or keyboard attached, it just sits there running all day, performing digi-peater and igate functions.

But, what if I want to be able to monitor traffic coming in and going out of my digi-peater, or even send and receive APRS messages? Well, I could hook a monitor and keyboard up, except the digi-peater is off in a corner of my workbench, while I spend more of my time at my desk.

My solution was to load up APRS software on my desktop (currently called YAAC). YAAC has the ability to link to a network TNC, so I pointed it at my Raspberry pi digi-peater's network TNC. Once connected it shows me all incoming and outgoing traffic via the TNC and even allows me to identify myself as a different APRS station (in this case WX4BK-1).  Now, sitting at my desk, I can monitor what my APRS station is doing, and even send and receive messages from a completely different computer.

YAAC isn't the only APRS client that works with a network TNC, many do, including phone apps such as APRSDroid.

YAAC is written in Java, and can run on a variety of platforms including Linux and Windows. You can learn more, and download it, at KA2DDO's website.


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