More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Solution Looking For A Problem

I am a like most radio amateurs a gadget man. My home is a hard wired network with multiple users all using multiple devices to access the Internet, but on top of the myriad of desktop PCs, games consuls, networked printers and media player there is the wireless network. Despite having desktop PCs running everything from DoS to Windows 7, Red Hat to Unbuntu 10, Chrome, and Snow Leopard I still find the need for a laptop, a netbook and a PDA.

These days the PDA is seeming a little redundant because of the development of mobile telephones and has not been used in a while. This is a pity because the Mio P550 also included a GPS, but even this useful function is somewhat redundant with my present vehicle having built in GPS. Also due to poor battery life the PDA was never much use for walking and I own a couple Garmins for that purpose.

The battery of the PDA seems to have finally died and I wondered if I really needed it anymore. If I was to sell it it would need a new battery anyway so I ordered one. The replacement battery I have ordered was twice the capacity of the old one and my brain sort of went, "Um! that's useful." I was still wondering what I could do with the revitalised PDA when I came across someone elses solution to the poor battery life, an external battery booster with three time the PDA battery's capacity so I have ordered one of those too. The unit is roughly the same size as the PDA but only half as thick.
So now I have a PDA that will run for five times as long as before, what to do with it. It then occured to me that with the built in GPS, wireless and Bluetooth in would be an idea platform for APRS. If I could only find the right application, it could link via either WiFi or Bluetooth to my mobile telephone and upload to an APRS server.
There seems to be a couple of applications out there that might work, but they look like they expect an external GPS source to be connected and they seem to be crippled until you pay for them. One thing I won't do is pay for something that may not work.
Any suggestions welcomed, for how to do this or other ham radio uses for my old PDA. By the way Pocket Digi is one fun use I have already tried.

1 comment:

  1. APRSISCE could be what you are after