Surfin’: Ham Tooling Online
By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
This week, Surfin’ explores the Internet world of online tools for Amateur Radio.
My maternal grandfather was a toolmaker. When he died, my father inherited my grandfather’s tool collection and added it to his own tool collection. When my father died, I inherited my father’s tool collection and my grandfather’s tool collection and added it to my own tool collection.
Got tools? You bet! I don't know if I will ever have to cobble a shoe, but I’ve got it covered.
In addition to my hardware store tool collection, I have a collection of online tools, especially those related to ham radio.
The nice thing about online tools is that they run on any computer platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, whatever -- as long as the platform has a web browser, then the tool will perform.
Also, online tools take up very little space -- only the few bits that comprise the bookmark in your web browser. Since they do not eat up much space on my computer drives, I keep them on hand, even though I may not use them frequently.
There are a variety of ham radio online tools -- located all over the Internet -- that cover various aspects of our hobby. There are comprehensive lists that enumerate what is available, but most of the lists include platform-specific applications, along with the real online deals, so you have to pick and choose carefully.
For example, the “Links of Interest” on the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club Inc website has a section for “Amateur Radio Software & Online Tools.” There you will find genuine online tools mixed in with applications that you must download and run on your computer. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but “online tools” are our interest this week.
Similarly, you will have to pick and choose from the links on the The DXZone’s Utilities page and the NG3K Amateur Radio Contest/DX Page, but the search is well worth it if you find what you need. And you can always Google it.
Until next time, keep on surfin’!