It's not bad, and can use a dedicated rock-bound single-bander (or an old and otherwise retired rig; I'm dedicating the Icom
725 that used to be on my BEHEMOTH
bicycle to this and some other automatic operations). The APRS hardware
can be any of the tiny dedicated trackers (a few mA) and it's a simple matter to tweak the firmware to power-cycle the rig if the posit schedule is infrequent (as it should be). It is tempting to use a QRP rig (some very sweet and cheap
ones out there now), but I would rather use low-duty-cycle and a more powerful transmitter for such a critical application, as there's no processing gain in this mode (unlike PSK 31 and other "sound card modes").
There's a good article here
about boat tracking using HF APRS. Range is highly variable depending on propagation and antenna
, but mid-ocean tracking is entirely reasonable with inexpensive hardware
. The channel is busy, so many packets get lost
(this is not closed-loop like normal packet radio), so you just leave it on and play the odds.