Amateur Radio enthusiasts have long relied on the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) for real-time tracking and communication. Simultaneously, the SOTAwatch platform serves as the go-to hub for Summits On The Air (SOTA) activations. Recognizing the value of integrating these two invaluable resources, the APRS2SOTA gateway was developed. This gateway enables pre-approved users of the APRS network to seamlessly post SOTA spots on the SOTAwatch system, revolutionizing the way radio operators engage with SOTA activities. In this blog post, we will explore the functionalities and benefits of the APRS2SOTA gateway, and how it enhances the SOTA experience for the Amateur Radio community.

The APRS2SOTA Gateway:

The APRS2SOTA gateway serves as a vital link between the APRS network and SOTAwatch, allowing for the efficient transfer of information between the two platforms. It acts as a bridge, enabling pre-approved users to transmit suitably formatted messages according to the APRS Protocol Specification (V1.0.1 Chap 14) ‘MESSAGES BULLETINS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS’ to either the “SOTA” or “APRS2SOTA” destination. These messages are then processed and posted as SOTA spots on the SOTAwatch system, ensuring that SOTA activations receive maximum visibility.

Seamless Integration and Approval Process:

To ensure the integrity and security of the APRS2SOTA gateway, access is limited to pre-approved users of the APRS network. This approval process ensures that only trusted individuals can contribute to the SOTAwatch platform through the gateway. Users seeking approval must adhere to the guidelines and protocols established by the gateway administrators to maintain the quality and reliability of the service.

Enhancing the SOTA Experience:

The APRS2SOTA gateway brings several benefits to the Amateur Radio community participating in SOTA activities:

1. Real-Time Spotting: With the gateway in place, SOTA operators can leverage the widespread APRS network to instantly share their activations on SOTAwatch. This real-time spotting functionality enables other radio operators to monitor and join SOTA activations promptly.

2. Increased Visibility: By leveraging the APRS network’s extensive reach, the APRS2SOTA gateway enhances the visibility of SOTA activations. This broader exposure attracts more participants and facilitates greater engagement within the SOTA community.

3. Simplified Workflow: The gateway streamlines the process of sharing SOTA spots by seamlessly integrating APRS messages with the SOTAwatch system. Operators no longer need to manually duplicate their information across platforms, saving time and effort while ensuring consistent and accurate data.

4. Cross-Network Collaboration: The APRS2SOTA gateway fosters collaboration between the APRS and SOTA communities. It encourages the exchange of information, expertise, and support, enhancing the overall experience for radio operators involved in both endeavors.


The APRS2SOTA gateway revolutionizes the way Amateur Radio enthusiasts engage with SOTA activities by seamlessly integrating the APRS network with the SOTAwatch platform. By enabling pre-approved users to transmit suitably formatted messages, the gateway ensures real-time spotting, increased visibility, simplified workflows, and cross-network collaboration. This innovative solution enhances the SOTA experience, fostering connectivity and participation within the Amateur Radio community. The APRS2SOTA gateway stands as a testament to the power of integration and the continuous evolution of technology in supporting and enhancing radio-based hobbies and activities.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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