Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Android for APRS and Echolink

I been testing the Android phone with Echolink, works great, can make Echolink calls to other Links and Repeaters just fine, so easy to install, configure and operate. All the preference settings are simple and just what you need, very un-complicated.

And the APRS tracker is great too, the choice of doing single position reports, or full tracking (send & receive). again, settings a very simple, easy to understand and use.

Comparing the hands on operation of my daughter's iPhone4 versus my Android, I gotta say I prefer the menu system of Android, much easier, my Android has a 'Back' (touch) button, it always gets you back up a level, whereas the iPhone4 do have a screen button, but not for all menu levels, so sometimes you have to press the physical home button, which takes you back to home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

6metre FM

things are picking up on the DX front for 6metre band, particularly more for the FM segment up on 52.500 and above. I haven't heard anything for the FM repeaters, but definitely some activity on 52.525 FM simplex, Sydney to VK5 and Sydney to VK7 over past week, looks promising.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Android & amateur radio

this is fun, a little searching on the web and you find a whole swag of amateur radio related apps for iPhone and Android, even a couple found for Symbian.

but w.r.t. Android there are lots of goodies, as for the apps that interested me at this time,
some on sources such as Android Market and Android Zoom, here they are:

EchoLink Node Finder - using Google maps, will show EchoLink nodes in your vicinity or any specified location. You can select a tag on the map and it provides the info about that node.

EchoLink - an Echolink client, for making connections to Echolink Repeater and Link nodes. You can operate from your phone, just like a desktop operator do.

IRLP Node Finder - using Google maps, will show IRLP nodes in your vicinity or any specified location. You can select a tag on the map and it provides the info about that node

APRS Viewer - using Google maps you can show APRS nodes near you location or other specified locations.

APRSdroid - an APRS tracker for sending position reports, with basic receive of local stations.
(visit www.aprsdroid.org)

And several apps like logbook, satellite tracker, etc.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


speak of the devil, my new new HTC Aria arrived yesterday, much better browsing than my previous Nokia, I can now monitor vklogger.com when mobile. Functionality appears great. With time I can compare it against the likes of the iPhone4.

Monday, December 6, 2010

smartphones and apps

I was just reading Terry VK2KTJ's blog, apart from the discussions about podcasts for science, I noted Terry is using an Android based mobile device, note that I used the term 'mobile device'
instead of smartphone, as describing them as "phones" is a very loose terminology, as it is a really a micro notebook computer, usually with touch screen interface AND it has a phone as part of it functionality.

Anyway, I have been reading up on these 'mobile devices' since my daughter just HAD to go buy an Apple iPhone4, because that's what Gen-Y have to do !! Don't take me wrong, Apple make good stuff, but I like flexibility and being able to fiddle with things and it was my fellow work colleagues talking about which "smartphone" we need to use, that started me thinking, so I did some googling on the subject over the last 2 weeks and finding an abundance of good info on the subject of mobile devide operating systems, I now know Apple have iOS for iPhone and Nokia and some others use Symbian, HTC have both Windows 7 and Android based mobile devices. I myself have been using a Symbian based Nokia, which due to hardware reasons, is going to get replaced by something different, hopefully a HTC with Android.

Android is an open o/s based on Linux which is great, you can still have a fancy brick, but with a base o/s that allows some fiddling. I even see people doing some hacking to get iPhones to dual boot Android and iOS o/s's which is exciting stuff, that just instantly opens up your choice of apps that you may wish to run.
That's what I like about open systems like Linux and Android, it just pushes the big guys like Apple and Microsoft to innovate and to try and stay ahead on the ensuing pack.

I feel it will be an exciting period for these new mobile devices (smartphones) its already has me
thinking about apps that can assist my hobby, apart from the existing amateur radio apps such as echolink, dstar, aprs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

VK9NA Norfolk Island DXpedition 2011

the VK9NA team heading to Norfolk again and will be operating from 9th to 20th Jan 2011
on band 50MHz to 10GHz. Modes operated will include SSB, CW, FSK441 and JT65.

Need to find out if they can do 23CM FM simplex

Echolink Node 1494 update

finally fixed the damned DTMF decoder for the node, its been broken since I changed PC's a year or two ago.

Did some testing in the last couple days, tweaked the audio levels, spoke to Dave VK2JDS viaVk2BLO node on Orange repeater 146.700 and Terry VK2JTP via his node.

in summary, my node is looking in better shape now, so I can use it.