APRS is a form of two-way communication like almost everything else on the Amateur Radio bands. And as such, it includes a several methods for making contacts with other live individuals. One of those forms is through calling CQ.
It is not the traditional form of calling CQ like in CW, SSB, etc… It uses a server. Since this entry is designed as an introduction guide, we are not going to get into the fine details of how the system functions. Let us jump right into how to utilize the existing system.
To call CQ to other APRS operators seeking a voice QSO do the following:
Using your APRS RF device, start by creating a new message. For details on sending messages through APRS, click here.
Enter ANSRVR (Announcement Server) in the To address field.
Enter CQ CQ <YOUR NAME> on <FREQUENCY> and/or <YOUR ECHOLINK NODE>. e.g., CQ CQ N3QEH on 146.520 #EL236562
To call CQ for a specific event, such as field day, do the same, but change the format of step 3. Replace the second CQ with the appropriate abbreviation of the event. e.g., Field day would look like CQ FD from 1A MDC.
The main purpose of the Announcement Server is to permit people to send CQ messages to special groups and receive CQ messages from the same group. Other examples include Boy Scouts of America events, Skywarn, etc… For more details about calling CQ, please refer to WB4APR.