It was time to upgrade my Verizon Wireless phone, so I decided to move to a smartphone. After pondering whether to go with Android or Apple, I finally settled on the iPhone 4. I still miss the The Real Keyboard on my old LG EnV3, as it is nearly impossible to type on a shrunken touchscreen. But then there’s those apps…
I have been trying out some of the ham radio related applications on the iPhone, so I thought I’d report out what I have found.
Here are a few utilities that I found. These apps doing something relatively simple:
CallBook (Author: Dog Park Software, Cost: $1.99) Simple ham radio callbook lookup that accesses the WM7D database (or QRZ and Ham Call databases if you are a subscriber).
Maidenhead Converter (Author: Donald Hays, Cost: Free) Handy app that displays your grid locator, uses maps and does lat/lon to grid locator conversions.
Q Codes Reference (Author: fiddlemeragged, Cost: Free) This app displays the definition of the common Q Signals (QRZ, QSL, QTH, …)
UTC Time (Author: Michael Wells, Cost: Free) A simple app that displays UTC time and local time.
Sunspot (Author: Jeff Smith, Cost: Free) A simple app that displays solar data from WWV.
Ham I Am (Author: Storke Brothers, Cost: Free) A handy app that covers some basic amateur radio reference material (Phonetic alphabet, Q Signals, Ham Jargon, Morse Code, RST System, etc.) Although I find the name to be silly, I like the app!
There are a few repeater directory apps out there:
QSL.FM Mobile (Author: Robert Abraham, Cost: $2.99) Geolocation repeater directory and call sign lookup.
iHAM Repeater Database (Author: Garry Gerossie, Cost: $4.99) Geolocation repeater directory. This seems to work a lot better than the QSL.FM app.
If you are an EchoLink user, then you’ll want this app:
EchoLink (Author: Synergenics, Cost: Free) The EchoLink app for the iPhone.
There are quite a few APRS apps out there. I have tried these:
iBCNU (Author: Luceon, Cost: $1.99) The first APRS app I was able to get running. It just turned on and worked. It integrates the aprs.fi mapping into the app, so it is easy to use. I recommend this one for most casual APRS users.
OpenAPRS (Author: Gregory Carter, Cost: $3.99) This APRS app integrates into the openaprs.net server. A bit more complicated to set up but looks to be more flexible, too. You might want to check out openaprs.net before buying this app.
PocketPacket (Author: Koomasi, Cost: $4.99) another APRS app. Seems to work fine but I find the previous 2 apps more useful. Note: This app can function as a packet modem connected to a transceiver (no internet required).
Ham Tracker (Author: Kram, Cost: $2.99) APRS app, works OK, uses external maps such as Google and aprs.fi. “Share” feature allows you to send an SMS or email with your location information.
Satellite tracking is another useful app for a smartphone:
ISS Lite (Author: Craig Vosburgh, Cost: Free) A free satellite tracking app for just the International Space Station
ProSat Satellite Tracker (Author: Craig Vosburgh, Cost: $9.99) This app is by the same author as ISS Lite, but is the full-featured “pro” version. Although it is a pricey compared to other apps, I recommend it.
Well, that’s what I have found so far. Any other suggestions?
– 73, Bob K0NR