my friend Julian OH8GEJ is one of the very few people that help me in testing my apps during the development. I really need those friends testing them and suggesting changes/features and reporting bugs.
He just published a video with a very first preview of the app running.
Enjoy it and stay tuned for more videos and post detailing the new app.
One year ago I published my first app for Android: the KX3 Companion app. After one year I can say that 1 out of 10 people owing a Elecraft KX3 in the world, use my app. That’s a great success for me.
Everything changed since then. I loved so much to develop apps for ham radio that in just one year I developed 5 more apps:
KX3 KeyApp – a virtual keypad for your Elecraft KX3
WSPR Beacon – the only WSPR signal transmitter for Android to check band propagation and antenna performances on the go
CW Beacon – automatically send CW beacon messages that can include various information
QRSS Beacon – send very slow CW messages that can be hears at very long distances using very low power
Morse Machine – the app that let’s you learn CW as if it’s a game. Very funny and most important… it works!
Those are my apps for ham radio but I also developed one for my “day job”: the Forex Dashboard to check currencies (and stock indexes and commodities) strength/weakness in real time over 6 time frames with alerts.
Feedback from all the users has been great and is keeping me updating the existing apps and thinking about developing more.
I’d like to thank you all for that and for keeping supporting their development.
I’m already working on new apps that will be out in this second year of app development. Most important I’ll start publishing the iOS ported version of some of my Android apps: the Morse Machine and the Forex Dashboard first.
Listening to episode #700 of my preferred podcast NoAgendaShow, I found out that my Morse Machine app has been nominated by my friend Adam Curry (@adamcurry).
You can listen to it at 2:57, but I suggest you to listen to the whole show and follow the show every Thursday and Sunday, if you did not already, as it’s worth every single minute spent listening to Adam and John C. Dvorak.
this morning I decided to give a try to an antenna I made in the past weeks. It’s a simple 6m fishing rod with an homemade LC circuit. I decided to insert the fishing rod inside the coil. I’ve been advised that it would lead to a high Q but that makes it quite practical as it’s very easy to transport (closed it is around 50cm).
I went to a place 30 minutes from my QTH that is about 430m high and it’s easy for me to reach named Montecodruzzo.
Here are a few pictures of the antenna and of my setup:
I tested it on 40m and 20m mainly. I was able to tune it quite easily on both the bands and without ground wires… I forgot to take them 😦
Results also where pretty good, specially on 20m.
Here’s a map showing where my WSPR has been heard.
Probably my HyEndFed (and the Alexloop) are still better antennas but the lack of any ground surely has some impact in it’s performances.
I also tested the WonderLoop but results were too poor to be shown. So far I was only able to use it at home from the inside and poor results were expected. But I’ve been surprised (negatively this time) by its open air performances. I want to give it one more try when the Wolphi-Link for my new Yaesu 817ND has arrived. Actually I work with a hand made cable adapter that surely is not the optimal solution, specially for QRP where you have to optimize every single aspect.
I’ve been quite busy with my day job lately and couldn’t work much on ham radio apps development, but I’ve been thinking about how to give a better experience to Morse Machine app users (me first! :D).
And the main issue I found is that, particularly on smartphones (I use a Nexus 5) keys can be a little too small. So I had the idea to use all the screen space for keyboards and have the histogram with error level “embedded” in each key.
And here’s the result of the new app look compared with the old one:
I personally prefer the new one, but for those who like the old one, you’ll be able to switch to it simply going to the menu and selecting “Old Look”. You can come back to the new one by selecting “New Look” in the menu.
Another minor but useful improvement of the new version, is that once you start your session, only the active letters are highlighted in the keyboard.
The new update should be available in the coming hours. I’m finishing a very few things and then I’ll upload to the Google and Amazon Stores.
iOS porting of the Morse Machine app is close to be done. I still have to work on making it look nice on all the different devices (iPhone5/6/6+ and all the iPads). This is the most difficult (and somehow annoying) part on Android as well.
Here are another couple of screenshots of the iPad version:
The app is coming out nicely and I changed the graphic a little to look it better. What do you think?
Also I’m adding a few thing that soon will be added to the Android version as well, like:
– an “error” sound. Actually (on Android) if you press the wrong key, the sound of the letter to guess is played again. I found that this is a little confusing (for me as well) and I decided to replace that with a clear error sound. I find this to be much better and I hope you’ll like that as well.
– a small delay from the press of the key and the generation of the next CW char. This is another aspect that is actually a little confusing. Adding a small delay
– more statistics and a slightly different scoring: now the app counts also the wrong guesses. So when you press stop, you not only see how many letters you guessed right in that session, but also how many you guessed wrong and a percentage of right vs total (right + wrong). This will also influence the scoring. So the new score formula is: right guessed letters * Average WPM * (right letters/total letters)
Thanks everyone for sending me feedback about the app.
The Android version is having a great success (for an ham app and for my standards! :D) and I’m sure that the iOS version will be popular as well.