Sunday, February 07, 2010

Echolink on the iPhone


Just a few weeks ago, having played with the iBCNU application for APRS, I was thinking that Echolink would be a great application for the iPhone. I did a quick search and there wasn't anything there.

Chatting to Jerry, KD0BIK on Twitter this evening, he mentioned that an Echolink application for the iPhone had been released last Friday!

I downloaded it this evening (it's free!) and was delighted to find that I could connect to the GB3TD repeater along in Swindon - where I was able to surprise Rob, G4XUT with how I was connecting to the repeater.

So, I'm hoping that this will allow some QSO possibilities from the phone where I can't make an RF connection.

12 comments:

g4ilo said...

Use a phone to access a repeater to call someone on the radio who probably has a phone you could just call direct. Okay, I'm sure if I think long enough about this I'll eventually see the point of it. :)

Tim said...

I see some train mobile operation coming on!

goody said...

So, I'm hoping that this will allow some QSO possibilities from the phone where I can't make an RF connection

Apple should put a transmitter and receiver in the iPhone ;-)

73

Tim said...

What I meant to say was 'Amateur RF' But you know that :-)

Tried it out this morning over a 3G (and GPRS) connection on the way into work from the train and it was ok. Wimped out on making any QSOs on the basis that loud phone calls are bad enough on a quiet commuter carriage - goodness knows how a QSO would go down!

Anonymous said...

Tried it this weekend, and it works as advertised. I can definitely see a use for it, though it does take away a little of the *romance* of using your HT...

BLOGGER said...

So now, instead of using RF, all you need is an iPhone! Bye Bye handie talkies! I can see an advantage of interfacing an iPhone with the EchoLink system, but I can’t help feeling this is the final nail in the Amateur coffin. Judging by the numbers of so-called Amateurs I now hear accessing EchoLink Gateways and Servers by computer, it’s possible that Amateurs will be tempted to take the easy route and purchase an iPhone rather than RF gear. What a state to get in. Amateur Radio has finally become just a tool and no longer a hobby, and it plays right into the hands of the authorities who would just love to get their hands on the disused Amateur Radio Spectrum.

Tim said...

Dear Blogger,

I *DO* have some sympathy for this.

But, cut it another way. When I'm on the train or at my desk, I don't have my HT or any radio gear. I could have, but I don't. This way, I can connect to a repeater and generate some activity on RF somewhere in the world, that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Isn't that a good thing?

I *DON'T* like Echolink client to Echolink client (ie no RF) 'contacts' in the same way that I don't really like D-STAR dongle to D-STAR dongle 'contacts'. We might as well use Skype...

Tim

BLOGGER said...

Exactly, Tim. It’s great to have another tool in the Amateur arsenal and to be able, for instance, to access an EchoLinked Repeater and make contact with other Amateurs when RF is unavailable, but my fear is that more than a few will take up the iPhone route in favour of RF. I am a frequent RF-only user of IRLP and EchoLink, keeping in touch with friends and gossip worldwide and setting up HF skeds, but I am saddened at the way increasing numbers of Amateurs are turning to computers to make their contacts on EchoLink, despite many actually admitting on air that they have an accessible Repeater or RF Link nearby! On a differnt tack, would you believe I actually heard an Amateur on HF this evening (3.720MHz) extolling the virtues of using Skype for QSO! I could go on, but that would possibly make my point laborious. And D-Star – don’t start me off, please!*

goody said...

What a state to get in. Amateur Radio has finally become just a tool and no longer a hobby, and it plays right into the hands of the authorities who would just love to get their hands on the disused Amateur Radio Spectrum.

"The authorities" in most countries could probably take away spectum above 30 Mhz most anytime they wanted, and may do so in coming years due to pressure from mobile wireless needs. But the irony here is that use of such a system like Echolink actually increases amateur activity and justifies our spectrum allocations if some part of the QSO is going over amateur RF.

Anonymous said...

So now, instead of using RF, all you
need is an iPhone!


Wait, the iPhone doesn't use RF???

This is a great idea. Supporting the first world wide social network!

dennis said...

Hello gentlemen ---
Someone commented that they didn't see the point of this --- I'm here to tell you that tonight, while sitting on the sofa playing with my daughter's I-touch, after a bit of finagling I had a QSO with a fellow in Canada, several hundred miles away -- well, being a looong-time ham but not on the air in many years, I'm not joking by saying that this was as novel to me and every bit as much FUN as when I made my first qso ages ago! I mean, here I am, having a nice chat, talking into my daughter's music player!! What a world. I love it. I can see ALL kinds of use for it!
Dennis Havlena W8MI (ex W8UR, KL7GRQ, WA8DDI) in the north of Michigan USA

Anonymous said...

psst: cell phones use RF

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