Cool PDA tips for ham radio
Be sure to check out my new links page for
hundreds of great links
to other ham
When I first acquired my first
Windows-CE PDA to use in my work, I looked at it and pondered the ham radio
possibilities. OK - so I could catch up on emails and better manage my
schedule now that I had this shiny new PDA (originally a iPAQ 3630 PocketPC),
but surely there had to be some way to put it to good use in my ham radio
hobby. After all, everyone from doctors to musicians to sports
trivia buffs were suddenly using these slick computers to enhance their work
and hobbies - "why shouldn't ham radio operators be able to put PocketPC
PDAs to good use as well?" I wondered.
The PocketPC PDA platform has
improved from generation to generation. Removable Compact Flash or SD cards,
improved CPUs, long battery life (very low power) - all seem to make the
PocketPC an ideal companion for backpacking or portable ham radio
After some searching, I
discovered several apps had been created for the PalmOS product lines, but
few apps were available for ham radio use in the PocketPC PDA world. That
was 2001; shortly after that, I created MobileLog, PPCMorse and several ham
radio themes for PocketPC.
Not long after that, I noticed
that when I'd talk to hams at ham radio club meetings or hamfests, they'd
usually comment that the PocketPC concept was nice, but it couldn't really
do that much in the ham radio hobby... could it? Guys would ask
"Pat, it's definitely a cute/fun toy, but how do you really use it
for ham radio?"
That's when I began to compile
this list... my "Cool PocketPC PDA tips for ham radio" list. I'm sure
this list will continue to grow over time and it's certainly not meant to be
all-inclusive, but this is just a virtual notepad/brainstorming list of
things that I've tried (or are on my to-do list for PocketPC ham radio).
If you have ideas for this list - please
let me know. Enjoy the list, and be sure to click through the links to
further information on these ideas!
Log your contacts on your PDA, check your DXCC status,
get beam headings, and more!
Learn Morse Code or improve your ability to copy CW on
your PocketPC PDA.
PocketPC Ham Radio Themes
Show some pride in your ham radio hobby, download a theme.
(note, it's my list - so I might be a tad bit biased in making these the
With PocketDigi you can work some of the digital modes
using your PocketPC/Windows Mobile PDA! PocketDigi supports two way
PSK31, RTTY and decodes CW. Your next digital mode ham radio QRP
dxpedition could be as simple as packing up your PocketPC, a QRP rig and
a simple antenna. Just don't forget to log your QSOs with MobileLog!
DX spots & Propagation updates (packet not required)
Want to know what the latest dx spots were or propagation index data as
you leave the office for the commute home? Check this out.
Ever been out mobile or portable on a weekend and hear a contest
on the air - but don't know what it is (rules, exchange, etc.). Here's a
solution using your PocketPC PDA.
APRS - CE
APRS has grown in popularity in recent years - perhaps in part
to PDAs. APRS-CE is a utility to enable ham radio operators to
participate in APRS without the need for a full PC.
Ever have a QSO with a new one (DX) and then wish you
had a recording of it? Kinda hard to do on the road - but why not
consider using your PocketPC PDA to record your ham radio rare ones?
Station Control using VNC
How would you like to operate your rig from the other side of
your house? Maybe in your recliner, in front of the TV? Nah, me either.
But it is cool to know that I can do it if I decide that's what I wanna
Satellite buffs certainly need an application like this. Keep
track of the position of key ham radio satellites using your PocketPC
using the PocketPC PDA as a Morse Code Keyer
Already using your PDA for logging contacts and want to also
CW from your PDA? You might consider this setup.