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Surfin': I Phone, Therefore I Ham

10/30/2008

I don't own an iPhone yet because I live on a cell phone black hill (yes, "hill" not "hole"). My wife and daughter have cell phones and subscribe to the provider reputed to have the best coverage in the USA, but their phones are still unreliable in the environs around WA1LOU.

Simply put, we live on the highest range of hills in the county; most everyone else around here lives in the valleys and lesser hills below. The cell phone providers optimize their antenna towers for the majority of their customers who are below -- as a result, cell phone coverage is spotty up here.

The iPhone is certainly attractive to this long-time Apple Mac user, but it will have to remain an attraction until coverage improves in my neighborhood. But progress marches on despite my lack of participation, and the iPhone now has Amateur Radio applications.

Dog Park Software Ltd just released CallBook for iPhone and iPod Touch that allows you to look up call signs via the free WM7D.net server, the QRZ Online subscription service or the HamCall subscription server. You can e-mail the results and view the looked-up QTH in the iPhone's Maps application.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Phelps, KC5VCX, uses the iPhone's Maps with APRS to pinpoint QTHs. Jonathan describes how to do it at the MacRumors: Forums. AB2M.net provides Mobile Ham Call Sign Lookup for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Gary Wilson, K2GW, uses the tiniest free Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) hone available from Verizon -- a Motorola MOTO W755 with a 1.5 × 1 inch screen -- to look-up call signs at Callbook Mobile and WM7D.net. Gary also uses his MOTO to access DX cluster and propagation information at NW7US's hfradio.org Web site.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, hates telephones, but could get very used to an iPhone. To communicate with Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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