I was recently planning to have a go at writing an app with UI for the Raspberry Pi that would allow the user to easily send Email, SMS and APRS messages using JS8Call. A day or so later Jason, KM4ACK released a YouTube video about sending aprs messages so I figured I might as well write the app.
Sending the messages is quite simple, you just need to format the message text correctly and send it to @ALLCALL in JS8Call (or a specific station that you know has APRS forwarding enabled).
Getting the text right isn’t difficult but who wants all that tedious messing about with “:” and getting the right number of spaces?
So I created the app in python and made it as user friendly as possible. It has a dropdown to select the message type, a field into which you enter either Email address, callsign or cellphone number depending on the message type.
Once entered you simply click “Set JS8Call Text” to populate the compose box in JS8Call and then go to JS8Call to manually transmit. Alternatively you can click the “TX With JS8Call” button to have JS8Call do all that for you.
I Included some basic error checking, like making sure JS8Call is actually running before trying to send the message, and checks for email address box etc having some content. It does not check that the address/callsign/number is valid.
Thats about it, its simple enough to install, after ensuring you have python3 installed, simply clone it from GitHub onto your Pi with the command:
git clone https://github.com/m0iax/js8call_aprsmessaging_interface.git
install the pre-requisites:
pip3 install psutil
then ensure you are in the directory you cloned to make sure its executable and run the app:
chmod +x aprs_msgJS8Call.py ./aprs_msgJS8Call.py
And finally here’s a quick video demo of it in action