A mobile phone is a valuable tool that can be used for many things, even Amateur Radio. I thought I would provide a short over view of some of the apps that are available on Google Play. As there are always new apps, I will probably do another post as I come across them. If you have apps that I miss, let me know so I can check them out.
In my post regarding on what kind of ham radio to buy, I briefly mentioned Echolink. Echolink is a internet based method for communicating on ham radio repeaters all over the world. Clubs will install a computer used specifically for connecting to their system. Once connected, you are effectively on the air. Since this will go over the radio, you will need to use good amateur radio operator practices, and make sure you aren’t connecting to something that might be outside of your privileges.
The Android version is very easy to use. Once you are connected, just tap the push to talk button and you are on the air. This even works on 3G or 4G connections. Since it’s tailored for voice, the bandwidth use is lower than most apps that stream audio. Very handy to have on your phone to make a quick contact.
This app is a nifty app that gives the operator an assortment of tools you may need. There’s a log for logging contacts that you have had via Amateur Radio, a Band Limits reference which is useful for making sure you are operating where you are allowed to, a formulas tab that has an assortment of mathematical formulae you may need for radio and a tab that has a calculator for creating vertical and J-Pole Antennas (more on this one later). Hitting the menu key when you are on any tab in the app will let you look up a callsign at callook.info or your current latitude/longitude coordinates using the phone’s GPS.
It’s not the prettiest of apps but it’s a handy one when you need a quick reference or to do a quick call lookup.
HF Beacon is a simple app that tells you which HF Beacons are currently transmitting. HF Beacons are used to help determine if you have good radio propagation conditions between your location and the location you would like to communicate with. If you know which beacon is transmitting and you can hear it on the frequency listed in the application, then you probably can use the band the beacon is using to carry on a conversation.
I briefly mentioned this app in the post on how to get your license. This application let’s you attempt to answer questions out of any of the current question pools for the US Technician, General and Extra exams. Very useful when you are preparing to either get your license or upgrade your existing license.
Since I’m always coming across applications that might help other Amateur Radio Operators out, I will post an update when I get more. If you come across some, let me know so I can take a look and cover them here on Gear Diary. Just e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org