Frequently Asked Questions

Georg Lukas edited this page Jan 23, 2018 · 15 revisions

Why does the passcode take so long?

By virtue of the masters of APRS-IS, issuing a passcode has to be a manual process involving a check if you are a licensed Radio Amateur. As APRSdroid is a small spare-time project, we can not guarantee immediate processing, sorry.

However, you should be able to use the same passcode with all APRS-IS applications, and you should be able to obtain one from your local iGate operator as well.

"Your device isn't compatible with this version." (most often on low-cost Chinese devices)

APRSdroid requires the Google Maps framework library to be present on your device. Google-branded devices are shipped with both Google Play and Maps. If you installed Google Play from a third-party source, you also need to install Google Maps from there.

Alternatively, you can use the OSM version of APRSdroid.

Why am I the only station on the map?

Please check the following:

  • Is the APRSdroid service running (APRSdroid icon in the notification bar). Push "Start tracking" to enable.
  • Is GPS activated?
  • Do you have a GPS fix?
  • Are you using UDP or HTTP? These connection types do not support displaying of other stations.
  • Is your own position report up to date? (Menu -> Show Hub, your own entry's date/time)
  • Are there any errors in the Log (Menu -> Show Log)

Why am I not showing up on

This can have many reasons which need to be diagnosed individually:

Internet connection:

  1. Are you properly connected to your APRS-IS server? Please enable Connection Logging in the preferences and then check the Log View for error or success messages. When using TCP, you will see periodic messages from your server, other connection protocols are discouraged and should not be used.
  2. Are you using the default APRS-IS server ( Custom servers might not forward your packets to the APRS-IS network, please only change the server after verifying that everything else works.
  3. Can you see your packets in another client connected to the same server?
  4. another APRS-IS server?


  1. Is your radio set to the correct frequency (144.390MHz in the Americas, 144.800MHz in Europe, other regions may vary)?
  2. Is your output volume set up correctly?
  3. Does your VOX circuitry work? Check the TX light on the radio when APRSdroid is sending! When in doubt, increase the frame sync prefix to 500ms or 800ms.
  4. Double-check with another radio set to the same frequency - are you hearing the AFSK "burp" sound?
  5. Can another APRS-enabled radio decode your packets?
  6. Are you near to a digipeater or iGate that will hear and forward your packets?

Common issues:

  1. Do you have a good GPS reception?
  2. Is APRSdroid generating position packets (green lines in the Log View, or your callsign appearing in yellow at the top of the Hub View)?
  3. Are there problems sending out the position packets (check the status text in the Log View)?
  4. Can you see your packets in another APRS-IS client?
  5. Can you see your packets in's raw log? Please enter your full callsign with SSID!

Depending on how far you came, the cause is different, and therefore different measures need to be taken. When reporting a problem, please provide the answers to every of the above questions!

Why is APRSdroid eating my battery?

There are three possible causes for APRSdroid draining your battery very fast:

  1. GPS (the most significant one) - to mitigate, you should switch from the default SmartBeaconing to "Periodic GPS/Network Position". Then the GPS will only be turned on every some minutes to obtain a position. You can disable GPS in the system preferences and enable Network Location to further reduce battery drain.

  2. Display (depending on your usage) - keeping the display on drains the battery fast.

  3. CPU usage (rather insignificant) - if you are using a TCP connection, ensure that you have configured a reasonable neighbor radius. If the radius is very high, you are going to receive packets at a high rate, causing the network and CPU to stay awake.

Why is the service stopping immediately?

The service automatically stops if it can not ensure a working backend connection. You can see the reason for stopping in the Log (Menu -> Show Log)

"SmartBeaconing™ requires GPS!" (often on a Tablet/netbook device)

APRSdroid is using SmartBeaconing™ by default to achieve the best position precision. Many tablet and netbook devices do not have a built-in GPS module, so APRSdroid will not support SmartBeaconing™. There are multiple workaround options:

  • Change the Location Source in the preferences to Periodic GPS/Network Position and enable Use network location. This will fall back to rather imprecise WiFi triangulation.
  • Activate Manual Position and configure the static GPS coordinates of your home.
  • Use an external Bluetooth GPS dongle with a "Bluetooth GPS" app like this or that.

How do I automate APRSdroid (with e.g. Tasker)

APRSdroid has a mighty Inter-App API. You can write your own apps to interface it (Text-to-Speech example), or use existing automation apps.

In Tasker, you can start the APRSdroid service with the following task:

  • Action Category: System then Send Intent
  • Action:
  • Package:
  • Target: Service (instead of the default Broadcast Receiver)

To send a packet:

  • Action Category: System then Send Intent
  • Action:
  • Package:
  • Data: verbatim packet content, i.e. > surfing the web
  • Target: Service (instead of the default Broadcast Receiver)

To stop APRSdroid:

  • Action Category: Systen then Send Intent
  • Action:
  • Package:
  • Target: Service (instead of the default Broadcast Receiver)

How can I configure APRSdroid on the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and other KitKat phones?

The new smartphones do not have a "menu" button any more. APRSdroid 1.3 and later has an action bar with a menu to compensate for that.

If you are stuck with an older APRSdroid for whatever reason, you can open the APRSdroid menu by long-pressing the multi-task (recent tasks) button. The next major release of APRSdroid will feature its own options menu, stay tuned!

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