Email Services

There are multiple ways of sending email from APRS to an Internet user. Be aware that 3rd-party communication rules apply for your country of operation.


The easiest way to send email is to send a message to EMAIL with the recipient's email address as the first "word" of the message. You may only send one line messages (67 total characters maximum).

    AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL This is a test.

EMAIL is an email server owned and maintained by Keith Sproul WU2Z.


The APRS+SA client supports email by sending a message to an APRS+SA client with em:emailaddr as the first word in the text. Note that AE5PL-10 is no longer running APRS+SA so does not support email.

    AE5PL-7>APRS::AE5PL-10 This is a test.

javAPRSSrvr Email Gateway(EMAIL-2)

javAPRSSrvr supports email via EmailGate. This server supports the EMAIL method of sending email and supports some new features outlined below. EmailGate now properly supports UTF-8 in both APRS messages and emails (see Email to APRS support below).

Currently, EMAIL-2 is the callsign for the primary email server. Others exist run by other sysops. EMAIL-2 supports delayed delivery of APRS messages. EMAIL-2 supports messaging to/from Winlink.

In addition to the standard EMAIL method of having the email address as the first word, javAPRSEmail supports callsign specific shortcuts. For instance:

To create a shortcut:
        AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL-2  :me

To use "me" for a shortcut from any of my stations:
        AE5PL-7>APRS::EMAIL-2  :me This is a test.

I can ask for a list of all my shortcuts by sending:
        AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL-2  :me l
This will cause an email to be sent to with all of my shortcuts (that is a lower case L. The L is case-insensitive).

To remove the "me" shortcut, I would send
        AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL-2  :me r
Again, the r command is case insensitive.

Shortcuts are associated with the callsign so each amateur can have their own shortcuts and they are case sensitive. They should only include alpha and numeric ASCII characters (no punctuation or Unicode).

Email to APRS Support

Shortcuts may be used by persons on the Internet to send an APRS message to a station via email. In other words, an amateur may create a shortcut for an email address (see above) and the holder of that email address may then send emails to any of that amateur's stations. For instance, using the example above (AE5PL setting a shortcut of "me" for "", I could send an email to any of my stations from the email address if the email is formatted as follows:

The email "from address" must contain the email address specified in the shortcut: Pete AE5PL <>
The email "subject" must start with the station callsign-SSID followed by a colon and then the message text: "AE5PL-7:this is a test"
The email "body" must contain the text "userid:shortcut:" where "shortcut" is the assigned shortcut: userid:me: Note: "userid" must be lower case and both colons must be included

Note that this allows an amateur to control who is allowed to send them emails by restricting it to people defined within shortcuts and those people must know the proper message format.

javAPRSEmail now supports extended DSN (Delivery Status Notification) responses.  In addition to the normal error messages, the following are issued for emails that are accepted for translation to APRS:

Undelivered Message Caching

Some javAPRSSrvr email gateways support unacknowledged message caching. This support allows a valid email to APRS message that goes unacknowledged to be held until such time that the amateur is available and queries the email gateway for cached emails. If a valid email is converted to an APRS message and that message goes unacknowledged after 4 tries, the amateur radio operator may retrieve that message (and any other unacknowledged messages) by sending the word "get" to the email gateway. If multiple messages for that ham are cached, the gateway will pace the messages at a 10 second interval. An example get message would be:

        AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL-2  :get

EMAIL-2 supports caching for up to 24 hours. The ?APRSM query is equivalent to the get command and is supported by EMAIL-2.