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Author Topic: Does anyone use the Amazon Fire 7" Tablet for ham radio?  (Read 4615 times)
W4KYR
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Posts: 1044




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« on: February 16, 2016, 11:43:07 AM »

Does anyone use the Amazon Fire 7" Tablet for ham radio?

Amazon has these for $49 free shipping

It has 1 GB Ram
8 GB internal storage (expandable to 128 GB)
7 Hour battery life
Single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n

Are any hams using this for PSK31, RTTY  and other digital modes?

What about using this with the RS-MS1A ?

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Still using Windows 98  ------------------ for Packet Radio.
W1GVT
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 06:42:08 PM »

I got one of these last week to replace a broken Nexus 7 but gave it away after three days.

I had wanted to experiment with it but it is so locked in to the Amazon universe it is difficult to modify. Your mileage may vary.

It comes preinstalled with all the Amazon apps like Kindle, Music and their store -the homescreen is filled with their stuff. I understand you can add the Google Play store. While the price was what drove me to buy it it turned out to be too restrictive. (Also the screen was hard on my eyes. That is very subjective I know but it just didn't feel comfortable.) I ended up buying another Nexus 7 and installing Cyanogenmod re replace the stock Android.
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K7EXJ
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 07:39:32 PM »

Every now and then I do a craigslist search for a new Kindle at a bargain price and, by far, the Kindles are outnumbered by ads to sell the Fire.

That has to say something...
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73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
K5TED
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2016, 10:21:30 PM »

Does anyone use the Amazon Fire 7" Tablet for ham radio?

Amazon has these for $49 free shipping

It has 1 GB Ram
8 GB internal storage (expandable to 128 GB)
7 Hour battery life
Single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n

Are any hams using this for PSK31, RTTY  and other digital modes?

What about using this with the RS-MS1A ?



The Kindles are good tablets for the money, but it's not straightforward to load non-Amazon/Kindle apps from other sources. The thing is that the ham radio apps you need for digi modes and rig control are not available on the Amazon Apps store.

You have two options:

1. Use an Android phone(or other natively Android device)  to download onto and install the app first from the Goggle Play store or other source.
    A. Then transfer it to your Kindle using ES File Explorer from the Amazon App store/Google store. (ES has to be running on both devices) This is called side-loading.

    B. Alternatively, Install Dropbox on both devices and transfer that way. When you click on the received .apk file in the Dropbox, it will install the app.

2. OR..... Root the Kindle, which essentially converts it to a stock Android device (instructions all over the web. Not difficult) You will then be able to use the Google Play store.


The first method is the easiest and painless solution to try out the Kindle with ham apps. However, it's possible that a Kindle update might necessitate a reinstall of the apps. This is not guaranteed to work with all apps. Paid apps being $5 or $6 bucks, testing with paid apps in not recommended. Try free stuff first.

The second method, while more fiddly, is probably a more solid way to go, should you choose to try this. Sideloaded apps will need to be manually updated from the natively Android device, while the rooted Kindle will behave normally, allowing app updates through the store.

You'll also want/need a cable to connect to the radio, but that's another thread.
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W4KYR
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 09:04:37 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions.
.
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K5TED
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 09:06:55 PM »

Even considering the few steps to take for getting the Kindle up to speed for ham use, the hardware alone is leaps and bounds above any of the other similarly priced alternatives as far as construction and durability.

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N1KCG
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Posts: 106




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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 06:49:48 AM »

Even considering the few steps to take for getting the Kindle up to speed for ham use, the hardware alone is leaps and bounds above any of the other similarly priced alternatives as far as construction and durability.



yes so true.  get a paperwhite kindle, where you can read in bright sunlight, then convert it to android for other uses.  Seems to be a great deal.

Now I just need to find an android application that can interpret CW and generate CW (and do a great job) with minimal additional hardware on my radio. 

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K5TED
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 06:39:18 PM »

Even considering the few steps to take for getting the Kindle up to speed for ham use, the hardware alone is leaps and bounds above any of the other similarly priced alternatives as far as construction and durability.



yes so true.  get a paperwhite kindle, where you can read in bright sunlight, then convert it to android for other uses.  Seems to be a great deal.

Now I just need to find an android application that can interpret CW and generate CW (and do a great job) with minimal additional hardware on my radio.  



I don't think Paperwhite is capable of running Android, and even if it did, the refresh rate would be horrible.

Not an expert on Kindles, but the K5TED household... Ok, the XYL, does have one of every Kindle model besides the Kindle 2 and the new Touch. She's the expert. I just try to avoid getting interested in them. I do have my very own hand-me-down Paperwhite 1, and I use it to read really old sci-fi.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 06:42:35 PM by K5TED » Logged
AF6WL
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Posts: 191




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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 07:48:37 PM »

If this ever makes market it would be the ideal field tablet ( Android + eInk + GPS + AM/FM/SW/VHF tuner + VHF/UHF tcvr )
http://www.meetearl.com/
Unfortunately it's a couple of years behind schedule http://www.meetearl.com/updates/
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