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.
EMAIL Server (EMAIL)
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 :email@example.com 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 :em:firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
To create a shortcut:
AE5PL-10>APRS::EMAIL-2 :me email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 "email@example.com",
I could send an email to any of my stations from the firstname.lastname@example.org email address if the email is formatted as follows:
The email "from address" must contain the email address specified in the
shortcut: Pete AE5PL <email@example.com>
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:
- Delivered - APRS Message Delivered - This is sent to the email originator if the designated station acks the message within 4 tries (1 try per minute).
- Failed - Mailbox full - This is sent to the email originator if the designated station rejects the message within 4 tries (1 try per minute).
- Failed - APRS message expired - This is sent to the email originator if the designated station does not ack/rej the message within 4 tries AND the server does not support message caching (see below). It is also sent if the the server does support message caching and the callsign never retrieves the message (usually 24 hours).
- Delayed - APRS message delayed - This is sent to the email originator if the designated station does not ack/rej the message within 4 tries AND the server supports message caching (see below).
- Relayed - APRS message requested - This is sent to the email originator if the designated callsign requests (uses the "get" command below) their messages. This is not a full confirmation of delivery but can be assumed to be so (no tracking acks).
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:
EMAIL-2 supports caching for up to 24 hours.