Blog - QRUQSP APRS and NTS Project Design Ideas

Why qruqsp?

Amateur radio has q codes to shorten communications. This project focuses primarily on two if these codes:

Question: Have you anything for me?
Answer: I have nothing for you.
Question: Will you relay a message to ...?
Answer: I will relay a message to ...

Why are we building this?

Radio is a powerful communication tool but it could benefit from more automation. We need fast and efficient handling and relay of messages and information especially during times of emergency and disaster.

Have a look at the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Field Resources Manual for a great overview of the National Traffic System (NTS).

The ARES and other similar organizations use NTS with the help of many volunteers to relay information around the world. We can enable volunteers to be far more efficient and accurate by reducing the amount of verbal communication.

What are the goals?

Capture as many digital signals as possible from preferred radio services and bands.

Examples: Amateur Radio operators beacon call signs, GPS coordinates and weather data. Aircraft transponders beacon coordinates.

Decode as many digital modes as possible with a priority for the most efficient and commonly used.

Examples: APRS, CW, PSK31, JT65, RTTY, DMR, D-Star, C4FM.

Parse the metadata and data
when structure exists.

Example: JT65 contacts usually follow strict syntax and structure with specific information exchanged in 1 minute intervals.

Organize metadata and data as required for algorithms to achieve design goals.

Example: Use standardized NTS message templates. Store information in data structures databases and keys.

Search for data based on specified criteria. Use carefully designed algorithms to locate desired information from databases.

Example: "have you heard from CALL SIGN about impact of EVENT to INFRASTRUCTURE?"

Retrieve data upon request.

Relay data to and from as many operators as can be accommodated.

Command the system remotely using language, syntax and Q codes that can be efficiently interpreted by both humans and computers.

Example: QRU? Yes, I have 3 pieces of traffic. QRK W7KYG? The readability of signals from W7KYG are 4 of 5. QSP W7KYG? Yes, I will relay traffic to W7KYG. QRV? Yes, I am ready to receive traffic.

Synchronize with others who support similar qruqsp compatible systems. How much we synchronize depends on source and priority of traffic; path, accuracy and speed of communication; and configured schedules and preferences.

Report what we heard to amateur radio reporting networks on the Internet, such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN), PSKReporter, and the Weak Signal Propagation Network. We may also find it helpful to compare our logs with one or more of these networks to see who else heard the same information around the same time.

What's the plan?

Have Fun! What's the point of a hobby of we aren't having fun?

Maximize Adoption of these methods and use of these systems by many operators in many geographies to increase chances of success and maximize coverage.

Modern use of digital modes encourage consistent use of syntax, format, structure, protocol and procedure. Popular modes like DMR, D-Star and C4FM System Fusion add metadata to voice communications. We must integrate with existing popular systems to help build redundancy and interoperability.

Use open-source software that has already been proven to work whenever possible and only build what it takes to fill the gaps.

Maximize efficiency in use of bandwidth and time.

Facilitate use by helping others get compatible systems setup.

How can you help

Join Us! Take a look at the open-source code and let know if you would like help getting it all setup. We have a Super Repo on github for the qruqsp project development. The repo is at We are reusing code from as much as possible and making use of that as the platform. On top of the ciniki platform we are building an APRS module reusing code from direwolf and rtl_fm.