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Surfin': Ham Apps for Everyone

02/19/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
ARRLĀ Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin' finds more smartphone ham radio apps for iPhones and non-iPhones alike.

Your e-mails indicated that you were thrilled with the Echolink app that I mentioned here last week, when I perused the variety of ham radio applications ("apps") for Apple's iPhone. Hot on the heels of that column, NASA released a new iPhone app called 3D Sun that "delivers a live global view of the Sun. Users can fly around the star, zoom in on active regions and monitor solar activity."

With 3D Sun, what you see are real-time images constructed from data "beamed to Earth by the Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), a pair of spacecraft with a combined view of 87 percent of the solar surface." According to Wired, 3D Sun will permit you to "keep track of solar flares, sunspots and coronal mass ejections," which seems like an excellent addition to every ham's tool box. NASA-supported programmers developed 3D Sun and you can download it for free from the Apple iTunes Store.

iPhone Apps Not

I recognize that the iPhone is not the only smartphone on the Planet Earth. I surely do not want to give you non-iPhone smartphone users the short shrift, so I point you to a Web site that lists a variety of free ham radio applications for smartphones that are not iPhones, that is, the software.informer Web site.

There you will have to separate the wheat from the chaff because there seems to be some non-ham apps mixed in with the ham apps, but you will definitely find some useful ham apps there and they all are free.

By the way, thank you David Kaplan, WA1OUI, and Tollef Winslow, KB7DNS, for the heads-up about 3D Sun.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has owned Macs since they first arrived on the computer scene, so one wonders why he is slow going to the iPhone. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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