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Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

Created by on 2007-12-22
There is a new-type cellphone available

There is a new-type cellphone available. It includes not only implementation of Windows Mobile 6.0 or equivalent advanced Pocket PC operating systems, but also a chipset that includes both GPS protocols, and A-GPS protocols (cellular/satellite fast fix coordination).

An example is the AT&T Tilt (HTC TyTN II-Kaiser), pictured in Figure 1. This phone is also available from other providers, different cellular protocols (e.g., Sprint on CDMA) and under different names. Packing a Qualcomm 400 MHz CPU with over 100 MB of RAM, the phone has the capability to access up to 32 GB of data via microSDHC (super high density media cards). This phone could have been purchased at AT&T stores for as little as $149 during Thanksgiving. It is a complete, networked mobile PC if purchased with a data plan. It has Bluetooth (BT) connectivity, and a specialty mini-USB port. Implemented at AT&T, it is EDGE/3G capable with up to seven frequency bands for operation in almost any country in the world.

0x01 graphic

FIGURE1

So, what does this have to do with ham radio?

The Tilt has the ability to run such programs as PocketDigi, a mobile digital mode program that includes PSK-31/RTTY/CW send and receive. Figure 2 shows an example of the PocketDigi in operation on 40m receiving a CQ de WA6OVP (The Tilt's front screen opens to expose its keyboard). To connect the cellphone to the HF transceiver's audio, I used a BT headset that formerly made hands-free cellular calls. A quick removal of the headset's microphone and speaker, a few careful solder joints, and an isolation BT interface for PSK31 is born.

0x01 graphic

FIGURE 2

For me, the internal GPS was of greatest interest. It could be used for APRS. As an active ham when I travel I am often confronted with MANY electronic devices to pack. The fewer devices needed the better. Having ham digital modes available in my cellphone is a great asset. Having a GPS unit in my cellphone is a boon.

How to access the GPS chipset in the phone for APRS?

I have been able to implement NMEA data flow from my cellphone internal GPS using the following procedure. It should also work with the SiRFstar III chipset in similar cellphones equipped with BT. I use a Kenwood TH-D7(G), an HT that has a built-in TNC for packet or APRS. The Kenwood HT successfully transmits the GPS coordinates to the APRS network (in the US on 144.390 MHz).

The connectivity between the cellphone and TH-D7(G) was accomplished by using a Brainboxes' BL-830 female DB-9-to-Bluetooth adapter attached to a DB-9-to-3 conductor 2.5mm plug going to the Kenwood's GPS receptacle, as pictured in Figure 3.

0x01 graphic

FIGURE 3

On the AT&T Tilt, I use the client software from GPSGate.com for PocketPC ($19.95) to set up a connection between the output of the internal GPS on COM4 and the cellphone's Bluetooth Server. An added bonus of this process is that one can place the HT for best transmission in one location and independently place the wireless GPS at another location within the 10m range of the BT units.

In Figure 4, you see the AT&T Tilt plotting my car's position (the Jogger icon) on Google Maps as I drive, along with a nearby APRS weather station. The camera was a little shaky, hi hi.

0x01 graphic

FIGURE 4

I'm continuing to work on this process with the hope that waypoint data from the Kenwood HT (APRS Stations) can be passed to the AT&T Tilt so other GPS mapping programs (e.g., Garmin Mobile XT) will work without the need for external access to the cellular phone network.

---* Ken WI7B

VE7MDT 2008-01-13
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Most people (cellphone enthusiasts included) call this kind of devices either as PDA phone , or Smartphone, and not "cellphone". If you would have used the word Smartphone instead I would not have a problem. Please check out enthusiasts websites such as www.theunwired.net , www.brighthand.com etc and see what these devices are called.

What we call cellphones are called feature phones, basically it is not an open platform for application development. Such phones have next to nothing on ham radio applications.

Do you know that there are USB adapter, PC Card, Express Card, Mini-PCIe card that are cellular devices for data and/or voice? If I plug that card / adapter into my laptop, can I call my laptop a cellphone? (It will be possible for the laptop to make / receive voice calls via cellular, plus data access). A PDA phone or Smartphone is a computer, with a cellular modem attached to it inside, and adding a few software that can control and use the modem for cellular related purposes.
WA7VTD 2008-01-12
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
This was a GREAT article that provided cool techniques for accomplishing many things a lot of hams knew could be done with a PDA or smart phone, but lacked practical skill to accomplish.

As for W8MHZ's inquiry to FCC, I usually find his comments particularly salient. In this case, though, I'd like to caution that writing FCC for opinions can often backfire...as in the case of the infamous "ordering a pizza" question that resulted in a bureacrat's letter that became The Gospel According to FCC and became so strictly interpreted that hams could not legally provide public service coms to many events until FCC clarified the regs recently. Writing to FCC for an opinion ought to be done on a very sparing basis. It worked out well on this occasion, which is great.

Now, does anyone know how to implement a cell phone at a reapeater site for autopatch use, so as to avoid landline installation? If only 911 access were desired, the cell phone at the repeater site need not be subscribed to any cellular provider. Anyway, just wondering if anyone has figured out how to do this.
WI7B 2008-01-11
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio



Grab headlines? On eHam? Please.

The author purchased a cellphone from AT&T that is also a Pocket PC...the Tilt.

The author used his cellphone in the applications outlined above.

If anyone wishes to investigate using their PDA without a cellphone, the door is open.

73,

---* Ken
VE7MDT 2008-01-10
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
I have no problem with the article except the title is completely misleading. I read through the whole article and none of the amateur radio applications demonstrated is related to the cellular phone. All the above mentioned applications can be duplicated with a Windows Mobile or PocketPC PDA, without a cellular phone functionality. By using a combined PDA + phone, the author can make this bold claims to attract attention but disregard how inaccurate the title is. Is the author's intention to grab attention, or to share ideas?

All of the demonstrations I have either heard of or already thought of myself in the past. They are good ideas and the article would have been much greater if not for the misleading title. I think it's really a pity.

Basically majority of the cellphones on the market cannot be used to do any of the amateur radio applications, because they are not Windows Mobile / PocketPC (even Windows Mobile Standard / Smartphone might not be able to use many of the applications), you need the Phone Edition or Professional Edition.

Many hams have already demonstrated similar usage of PDA, as these apps have been designed over the time. The bluetooth idea is indeed good (which I have thought of but not used because the cost of the Bluetooth to Serial adapter is not cheap enough yet).

It is interesting to see the legality question about Bluetooth. It reminds me of the legality question about phone patch in its hay days. My thinking is if it is legal to order a pizza over ham radio, it should be legal to use a BT headset for audio.
AD5TD 2008-01-09
RE: BLUETOOTH in Service to Amateur Radio
Very "Mature for my age" remark follows"

Nanny, Nanny, Boo, Boo...

Ha!
WI7B 2008-01-09
BLUETOOTH in Service to Amateur Radio

All,

Here is the response (sort of) from the FCC. Bluetooth Deemed Legally Acceptable form Amateur Radio Use!


"Dear Kenneth,

The FCC has forwarded your question on to us here at league headquarters for us to respond to you. We find nothing in the rules that would prohibit the use of a certificated Bluetooth device in conjunction with Amateur radio and essentially its use can be thought of as a long microphone cable.

73,

Chuck Skolaut, KØBOG
Field & Regulatory Correspondent
ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio"
KA9CQL 2008-01-08
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Cudos to you, WI7B! Rock on with your bad self! =)

Excellent article! It put a fire under me, too - I just received a $15 bluetooth headset for Christmas. Works fine with my HTC Wizard. I'm gonna go get another one, and hack it like you did, and see if I can get that digital program working for me. Thanks for the ideas, and for writing them up for us to enjoy!

BTW - You might want to check out Navizon (http://www.navizon.com). They have a (free) program that tries to figure out where you are, even if you don't have an accessible GPS in your phone. Really cool stuff! They have a paid version that purports to do more or be able to locate you with greater accuracy. I found the free one to be accurate within 200 meters or so. (YMMV).
-----

And, to those wondering if it's legal to use Bluetooth technology in concert with their Amateur Radio - ABSOLUTELY!

Bluetooth transmits and receives AUDIO signals, not radio signals. Bluetooth is also fully-legal.

Your AUDIO is conveyed over this fully-legal device. You are not "rebroadcasting" your Amateur transmissions.

Your use of bluetooth is nothing more than a substitute for your microphone cord and speaker wires. Nothing odd, unusual, or illegal about using speaker wire or microphone cords.


God Bless...

- Mike
KA9CQL
N0HR 2008-01-01
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
PocketDigi Rocks.

Check out these links for more...

http://www.n0hr.com/PocketDigi/PocketDigi_intro.htm

http://www.n0hr.com/top_10_pda_tips_for_hams.htm

K1IR 2007-12-29
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Bravo. Fabulous article. I'd love to have a copy of all the details. This would be great in one of the magazines. 73, Jim K1IR
AB7E 2007-12-27
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K2WH: "Must be I'm too old."

Nobody is ever too old. The alternative to growing old is a real bummer, but thinking old is neither inevitable nor admirable.

Dave AB7E


K2WH 2007-12-26
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Well I read the article, nice pictures and cool PSK screen. I read the pros and cons argument about the legalities of using the device with amateur radio. I have come to one conclusion.

I HAVE NO IDEA WTF THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE AND DISCUSSION IS ABOUT! I have understood you can connect a blue tooth(?) thingy with a screen to a kenwood rig and get PSK in a car. I have one question about that, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT ?

Must be I'm too old.

K2WH
K4RAF 2007-12-26
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
For the "legality" contingent:

If you actually enforce your stupid rule interpretation then the "official" would need to be within 100 meters to enforce it, with 10lbs of equipment...

Not likely, get real, get a life, get something done...

I can monitor Bluetooth with a freeware Linux suite, I can be my own "official" but why bother?
KV1M 2007-12-25
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
Excellent article!

I am going to have to give at least the PSK a try, my HW6945 should be able to handle the GPS stuff too but my data plan bites.

Kudos and thanks for the heads up on the PSK software!

73,

Todd
N6HPX 2007-12-25
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
I might be able to use it overseas but I dont have a subscription to AT&T Service, I use pre paid services but then again running down to a local store to buy a prepaid card every 20 minutes for that would be a waste of my money.
VO1GXG 2007-12-24
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
This is a absolutly wounderful mod.

I have to remember this if i ever have the need for a cellphone. I already have the Kenwood gear

73 DE VO1GXG " The Kenwood Man "
ICR71A 2007-12-24
Moving a discussion
Two really great topics have been broached here--using PDA integrated devices to control rigs of any size, and wireless retransmission of control/audio of a station.

The former discussion is rich with "permissible" opportunities, especially as the capabilities of PDA devices approach the level of desktop computers of just a few years ago. There are even many that exceed the raw computing power of old desktops that are in service in quite a few shacks!

The latter demonstrates the gray areas that are emerging as new technologies develop, and were never anticipated by the authors and legislators of CFR 47. To get a discussion going in that realm, I have started just such a thread in the forum here on eHam and also on QRZ.

73 DE N4PRT
AD5TD 2007-12-24
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
All very important issues. I never advocated breaking of any rule. However, without the "bending" of some rules, you sometimes can't advance the "art" of AR.

I also would like to see clarification of some of these issues. I do think that Bluetooth tech is here to stay, even with AR whether you like it or not. I can see that this will be a huge benefit to mobile ops as the rules for communicating "hands free" get tighter and tighter.
WA0LYK 2007-12-24
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
There is one other issue that demands definition also. That is the issue of control. When using a bluetooth or even another radio device such as an frs/gmrs to "communicate" with your ham station for transmitting just exactly what method of control is being used?

Is it local control? This would fit if you are at your rig but what if you're very remote from your rig, say out in the back yard? Part 97 says you must be in physical control of the transmitter if you are using local control. This doesn't seem to fit.

Is it remote control? You must be able to adjust the rig's controls to insure you are transmitting within the rules. Maybe you can do this with a "wireless" connection but I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe this is true.

Is it using automatic control? This would seem to fit if you are not at your rig. However, it brings a whole mess of other rules into play.

To those who deride the folks that ask questions concerning the rules. Integrity is an issue for holding an amateur license. Witness the fcc's policy of canceling licenses of those who have committed crimes not even related to radio at all.

Integrity boils down to doing the right thing even if no one is watching.

To those who advocate possibly breaking rules just because the range of these devices is small, please think about whether you are displaying integrity. To me, integrity REQUIRES examining the rules to determine if certain operations are justified. Those who would deride this position are displaying questionable integrity. Those who welcome a discussion of how things fit into the rules are displaying the highest integrity.

Jim
WA0LYK
KG4RUL 2007-12-24
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K8MHZ writes on December 23, 2007"

"Should we fear interfering with BPL devices because they could be "radio stations" and that is proibited in Part 97? Should we retune when confronted with BPL interference to a BPL-free frequency in our bands? Not."

97.101(d)

"No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal."

No mention of 'station' there.

It is illegal for us to interfere with any radio communication or signal.

I don't like it either, but there it is in writing.

73 de K8MHZ

==============

In the case of BPL, the operators are considered to be using Part 15 devices and as such are not allowed to radiate energy that interferes with a licensed service such as Amateur Radio. Conversely, they are not protected from radiated energy from a licensed service.

§ 15.19 labeling requirements.

(a) In addition to the requirements in part 2 of this chapter, a device subject to certification, notification, or verification shall be labeled as follows:

(3) All other devices shall bear the following statement in a conspicuous location on the device:

This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
W3DIO 2007-12-23
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Some of the people who replied to your article really missed the boat on the point of your article. Thanks Ken. You not only have some cool ideas for using your windows mobile cell phone for digital modes but you have enlightened me to a few things for a few other projects I had in mind and wasn't sure how I was going to solve. Thanks and 73's
W8RSI 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
forget APRS, and forget the cellphone portion...

the pocket PC interface to PSK is, to me, the major part of this article.

There are plenty of old pocket PC's out there looking for a new lease on life, as well as a whole horde of new cellphones that run windows mobile as an OS and could be used as a PSK interface, even if *not* subscribed to a cellular provider. read this: no monthly bill, just use it as a digimode device.

couple this with the fact that there is other amateur radio software available for this platform and I thin I can forsee a viable use for last-generation cellpones that will be more and more "dime-a-dozen" as America's thirst for the latest & greatest accelerates....
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Ken,

Take down my e-mail address if you would and let me know when you get a reply.

k8mhz@k8mhz.com

Also, if you are so inclined, drop me a line with your e-mail address and I will make sure you get a copy of any reply I get from the FCC. This thread will probably be long forgotten by the time we get replies. Since both of us have contacted the FCC with the same issue it may very well be that we get a quicker response.

I am not a cell phone person and don't have one that is able to do PSK 31. I have the bare bones pre pay cell phone and I don't even carry it with me as a rule. It stays in my vehicle and I use it mostly to call home with and take voice mail messages.

Actually, I am not even a telephone person and am the type to let it ring because I hate being interrupted. For me, the answering machine was the greatest invention of mankind since the radio. That and Caller ID!

A bit of an idiosyncrasy on my part as I am pretty much a gadget oriented person....I just hate being demanded to pay attention to someone just because they punch a few numbers into a machine somewhere and expect me to drop what I am doing and talk to them.

73 and thanks for the exchange of info here on eHam.

My best,

Mark K8MHZ
WI7B 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

Mark K8MHZ,

I understand your concern with the radio law. I uphold the spirit and intent of CFR 47.

My comment on BPL was pertinent and slightly fasicious because, in fact, BPL interference can obliterate one whole amateur band and sometimes multiple bands in the Amateur Radio Service. We don't want to intentionally interefere with it, but there it is.

FYI. Here's part of my own note to FFCHAM:


"..I note that Ham Radio Outlet sells the Yaesu FTM-10R
2m/70cm Amateur radio. Short range Part 15 Bluetooth
devices can be purchased as options.

Are Bluetooth devices legally used with Amateur radios
in the role of wireless microphones or headsets?

I find no illegality in my reading of Part 97 113 and
Part 15.1-.3. Part 15 radio devices are not radio
stations and the re-broadcast restrictions of Part 97
Amateur stations do not apply.

I am the author of an article on eHam.net titled
"Cellphones in the service to Amateur Radio" in which
I demonstrate the utility of using Bluetooth devices
and headsets with Amateur radio stations...

=> http://www.eham.net/articles/18197

Thanking you in advance,

---* Dr. Kenneth M. Beck, WI7B"

I tell reader when I get an answer, too!

Take care and good luck with PSK31. If you want to use a PDA/cellphone, you can audio-couple directly. Most have a very sensitive microphone that can pick up PSK31 signals from your rig even in noisy environments.

---* Ken

K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Ken,

Hopefully I will have my PSK 31 station up soon. I am set up to receive (super easy!) but have not made the interface to transmit yet. I may be going out of state to work and that will put things on hold for a while.

When I get on the air I will try to make a contact with you from here. Right now we are having a little bit of a blizzard (22 degrees F, near zero visibility due to the snow and wind gusts of up to 70 mph according to my brother in laws weather station) and my 20 meter antenna probably won't survive. It may well be spring before I am back on 20.

73

Mark K8MHZ

K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
"Should we fear interfering with BPL devices because they could be "radio stations" and that is proibited in Part 97? Should we retune when confronted with BPL interference to a BPL-free frequency in our bands? Not."

97.101(d)

"No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal."

No mention of 'station' there.

It is illegal for us to interfere with any radio communication or signal.

I don't like it either, but there it is in writing.

73 de K8MHZ

WI7B 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio


Mark,

In the event, I can't wait. I've already done it and have the PSK 31 QSL cards to prove I've already done.

Take Care,

---* Ken
WI7B 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

Ham Radio Outlet, 23DEC07. In Time for Christmas!

For your Yaesu FTM-10R Dual bander, K8MHZ?

Manufacturer: YAESU
Item : BU-1
Description : BLUETOOTH UNIT MOUNTS ON RADIO
YOUR HRO PRICE $79.95

Thay also sell, in the US, legally, the BH-1 and CAB-1
Bluetooth add-ons.

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!

---* Ken
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Ken,

I never suggested that these devices were amateur radio stations, I just questioned whether or not they were considered stations at all. CB radios are not amateur stations either, they are not required to be licensed, but it is illegal to retransmit CB signals via amateur radio. The same goes for FRS radios. Granted, these are Part 95 devices but I have seen nothing that differentiates between Part 15 devices and Part 95 devices where retransmission is concerned.

Did you not find it interesting that the manual for the BH-1 was found on the FCC website and it contained a warning about using it in conjunction with any other transmitter? I sure did! Yes, the wording is vague, but without an official stand from the FCC it sure throws up a red flag. Why would the FCC have the manual on their site if there were not issues with the device? Also note the warning about modification. Part 15 devices cannot be modified and still be used legally. Did you not modify your Part 15 device to make it work with your radio?

I still think it prudent to wait for an official FCC statement before use.

Cheers and 73

Mark K8MHZ
WI7B 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

Well K8MHZ, that red-herring argument does not hold up. A Part 15 intential radiator is not a Part 97 amateur station. However, a Part 97 amateur station may be also a Part 15 unitentional radiator as it may included CPUs and memory chips that unintentially radiate.

There is nothing wrong with using Part 15 radio devices. They are not licensed radio stations. Thousands use Part 15 wireless headsets with Echolink, for example.

Of course, by your argument BPL Part 15 devices are potential "radio stations". Should we fear interfering with BPL devices because they could be "radio stations" and that is proibited in Part 97? Should we retune when confronted with BPL interference to a BPL-free frequency in our bands? Not.

I will continue to use Bluetooth devices with my Amateur rigs because it is not illegal.

Happy Holidays

---* Ken WI7B
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
This was also in the manual on the FCC site:

"To comply with FCC RF exposure compliance requirements, a separation distance of at
least 20cm must be maintained between the antenna of this device and all persons."

20 centimeters is approximately 8 inches. How can it be 8 inches from your head if it is attached to your ear?
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Ken,

Indeed, Bluetooth is an intentional radiator, but so is an amateur station. The question I have is which intentional radiators are considered to be 'stations' by the FCC and which are not, and I still question the legality of the retransmission of signals from these devices.

I don't mean to detract from your article with these questions as I am with the rest that consider your article to be very good. Regardless of my queries, you have done well to advance the radio art as outlined by the intents and purposes section of Part 97. I am just curious as to the FCC's official position on the application. It may well be several weeks before I get an official answer and when I do I will post it here, I just hope that the issue is not long forgotten by then and your article buried by others by then.

I did manage to find the user manual for the BH-1 on of all places the FCC website and found this in the manual:

"CAUTION: This device and its antenna(s) must not be co-located or operated in conjunction
with any other antenna or transmitter. End users cannot modify this transmitter device. Any
unauthorized modification could void the user’s authority to operate this device."

I still think it to be prudent to wait and see what the FCC's position is on these devices before putting them into use on the amateur spectrum.

The manual can be found here:

https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/forms/blobs/retrieve.cgi?attachment_id=857552&native_or_pdf=pdf

73 and have a great Holiday Season,

Mark K8MHZ
AA6YQ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
W6TH wrote "My, my, we have another Einstein amongst us brother hams who misinterprets the English language."

Your implication was clear: all that is developed today is based on information known in the past. Your "The reason you know so much is because you read it in books, the internet or from an instructor." is more evidence of the same ludicrous sentiment.

So there's been no innovation? How were amorphous semiconductors, snoopy caches, DNA sequencing, and anti-angiogenesis all developed? By running a Google search back in 1947?

73,

Dave, AA6YQ



AD5TD 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Thanks for that clarification Ken!

Info on your remarks: http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=13580
N7BUI 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
A fine article Ken!

Though I use a stand-alone PDA for much of my work and home use, I suspect that getting some of the features of this phone turned on without a cell provider plan might be an obstacle. I'm sure some teen-age computer whiz-kid will create a hack program to enable all of its features.

Eham...How about an ignore feature to the article reader? I suspect this would be a great asset that would attract more paying members.
WI7B 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

I hesitate to leave a comment on my own article. But I wanted to make two things clear: (1) the legality of my usage of Bluetooth technology, and (2) the future technology that WE hams should seize for are OWN use (as long as it is both legal and FUN!).

Radio Devices are NOT Radio Stations:

What you will not find in Part 15 is any definition of radio station. What you will find is that Part 15 radio devices may not cause harmful interference and must accept interference from “radio stations”.

Sec. 15.3 Definitions
(o) Intentional radiator. A device that intentionally generates and emits radio frequency energy by radiation or induction.

Sec. 15.5 General conditions of operation.
(b) Operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is caused and that interference must be accepted that may be caused by the operation of an authorized radio station, by another intentional or unintentional radiator, by industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) equipment, or by an incidental radiator.

One of my motivation in coupling cellphones, PDAs, and Pocket PCs with Amateur Radio is that it may lead to new applications FOR US OMs in our service.

(2) 2007-2008 motive forces:

(a) Google announces intention to enter mobile communications market.

(b) Auction in JAN, 2008 of old analog UHF TV channels (700 MHz). The intention of all bidding cellular carriers and Google is to utilize this spectrum for increased mobile data bandwidth.

(c) Savvy consumer demand for portability and “openness” of cellphones/PDA from one cellular carrier/network to another.

The proposed Google "Android" based phones prototype has a release date of Fall, 2008. This is to be an “open source” cellular device that will make it easier to get access to the cell phone features without having to buy unneeded services from the cell providers. This is having a direct effect on marketing and technology strategy amongst traditional cellular providers.

A HUGE number of young, technically-able young developers, “tweakers”, “hackers”, are right now evolving new identities for their cellular and PDA devices. Why should we not learn from them and them from us?

Think about the irony in this: PDA/Pocket PC developers have already developed Windows Mobile 6.0 programs giving VoIP capabilities to my cellphone. VoIP on cellphones. LOL, but its true!

Happy Holiday OMs!,

--* Ken WI7B
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
AT5TD,

That is quite interesting.

I went to Yaesu's website and searched for BH-1 and it found no matches.

Right now I have to leave to go do a Christmas thing at my sister's house but I will check into this further.

73 and my best,

Mark K8MHZ
N9XCR 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Hi Mark,

Ahhhh...OK. I didn't realize there were different classes of Bluetooth. :) Thank you for pointing that out! Interesting site! I was only familiar with the short-range devices.

73 and Merry Christmas!
Chris
AD5TD 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
"If you look at the Yeasu website you will see that there are currently NO Bluetooth accessories available and the description is for the FTM-10R/E, or European model."

Wrong again...

They are available here: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/0813.html

and here: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=75_78_95_109

and here: http://www.hamcity.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=1630

ALL AMERICAN COMPANIES
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
To all,

Sorry about the long link messing up the screen...I didn't realize that would happen and there isn't any way I can go back and edit it.

73 and Happy Holidays from bitter cold (21 degrees F, 50 mph wind gusts) Western Michigan.

I hope my antennas survive....

:)
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Chris,

Actually, depending on the class of Bluetooth used the range can be up to 300 feet.

Check out the site at www.bluetooth.com, it's pretty good.

Now, in my neighborhood, 300 feet is about 4 neighbors away.

For the record, Class 1 radios have a range of up to 300 feet, Class 2 radios have a range of up to 30 feet and Class 3 radios have a range of up to 3 feet.

I agree that while no one will probably EVER make a complaint about how hams use Bluetooth with their radios (unless the neighbors hear a PSK31 data stream in their earphones) we should know the law. Once we know the law, if it is unrealistic and goes against the grain of moving forward with technology we can petition the FCC to get with the program and catch up to technology and they most likely would do so. It is in their best interests as well as ours to keep abreast of technology, especially technology as useful as Bluetooth, that will foster the advancement of the amateur radio art.

73 and my best to you and yours,

Mark K8MHZ
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
"Then I guess the new YAESU FTM-10R is "illegal" because it uses a BLUETOOTH headset."

If you look at the Yeasu website you will see that there are currently NO Bluetooth accessories available and the description is for the FTM-10R/E, or European model.

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=AF7E08DC3F2467B1B4B2CB4DA49BCF88&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
N9XCR 2007-12-23
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
"A Part 15 device using that band would be considered a station outside the amateur radio service."

Bluetooth has what, a 30 foot range? Who the hell cares if people are using with their radios? I was planning on finding a way to interface a bluetooth headset with my station. Anyone who REALLY wants to sit just outside my office window to catch me in the act of "breaking a rule" needs to get a friggin' life.

My first argument would be that the rule was written to make re-broadcasting such radio services as commercial broadcast, police, etc. My other argument would be that the rule was written before such technologies as Bluetooth existed. Perhaps the rules should be ammended to satisfy the lawyers and armchair-lawyers before the name-calling starts and the death-threats start flying.

I'm sorry. I think the curiousity about the legality of Bluetooth is great! It would be interesting to know how the FCC interprets it. I think, however, that anybody who is going to say "F*** you rule-breaker" to those that are doing it needs to get a life or a new hobby. Like I said...30 foot range? Within your property not hurting or interfering with anyone? Who the hell cares?

Chris
N9XCR
N9XCR 2007-12-23
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Very nice article and excellent work!!! I just wish the typical crap-throwers weren't tossing fesces on the parade.
AD5TD 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K8MHZ WROTE:
"Furthermore, if Bluetooth was legal to use with amateur radio..."


Then I guess the new YAESU FTM-10R is "illegal" because it uses a BLUETOOTH headset.

http://tinyurl.com/29o3r9
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
As you all have seen this thread has piqued my curiosity about the application of Part 97 to this technology. I am not the type to take the opinions of other amateurs as law, so I feel it is prudent to pose my question to the FCC for a written opinion from them, which I have done with the following message to fccham@fcc.gov. Be advised that although the FCC is pretty good about giving answers via e-mail, sometimes it takes weeks to get a response.

"Hello,

I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits.

The subject of using Bluetooth, a 2.4 GHz Part 15 wireless device has come up on a discussion forum and can be viewed here:

http://www.eham.net/articles/18197

I observed that CFR 47 Part 97.113(e) states that an amateur station shall not retransmit, with few exceptions, signals from a station outside the amateur service.

My question is simply, does the use of Bluetooth and similar devices violate the requirements of 97.113(e)? If you could answer my question and refer me to a section that allows such use I would be greatly indebted.

To validate my curiosity I would like to add that I teach amateur radio at Muskegon Technical Academy (W8MTA) and am very interested in new technology as are the folks that have posted to the eHam thread I supplied a link to. I also make a prudent attempt to know, understand and teach the requirements of Part 97, the NEC, local codes and the other requirements of CFR 47 as they apply to amateur radio. Your response will be passed on to both the students in my class as well as posted to the eHam thread.

Thank you and 73,

Mark K8MHZ"

K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
N4PRT,

This is the section I am referring to:

"(e) No station shall retransmit programs or signals emanating from any type of radio station other than an amateur station, except propagation and weather forecast information intended for use by the general public and originated from United States Government stations and communications, including incidental music, originating on United States Government frequencies between a space shuttle and its associated Earth stations. Prior approval for shuttle retransmissions must be obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Such retransmissions must be for the exclusive use of amateur operators. Propagation, weather forecasts, and shuttle retransmissions may not be conducted on a regular basis, but only occasionally, as an incident of normal amateur radio communications."

It seems that our interpretation of this rule is different, either that or our interpretation of a 'station' is different.

As I read the rules, retransmitting anything sent via a Part 15 device cannot legally be retransmitted on a Part 97 station.

Perhaps it would be prudent to pose the question to the FCC and get their opinion. If they do allow Bluetooth and similar technologies, it would be a great asset to the use of the service, I don't question that. If they don't that information should be made known assure that we don't get cited for a Part 97 violation while attempting to take advantage of these technologies.

To me this seems to be a case of technology advancing at a faster pace than legislation, which is nothing new.

Have a great Holiday!

73

Mark K8MHZ
ICR71A 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K8MHZ WROTE:
"Furthermore, if Bluetooth was legal to use with amateur radio..."

Bluetooth is a wireless duplex connection platform, governed by Part 15, the same as WiFi under 802.11. There is no limitation under Part 97 that precludes amateur operators from using either for the interconnection of peripherals or achieving connection of computers that interface with the internet in operating practice.

73 DE N4PRT
ICR71A 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Great work! More and more, standalone PDA's are becoming a thing of the past--a tool of a few years ago. The newer integrated phones seem to have passed the mark in superseding the capabilities of the old standalones. Let's hope that knowledgeable hams continue working to write a wider variety of apps for this platform.

I have read with interest a number of articles in other venues for interfacing a PDA with rigs for mobile operation. Especially for smaller QRP setups and HT use this idea maintains the small footprint-light package setup. Keep up the project, and let us all know how development proceeds!

73 DE N4PRT
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Furthermore, if Bluetooth was legal to use with amateur radio don't you think the manufacturers of new radios would have taken advantage of it and be offering Bluetooth capable radios by now?
W6TH 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
.
My, my, we have another Einstein amongst us brother hams who misinterprets the English language.

AA6YQ on December 23, 2007
W6TH says "2+2=4, RF of the past is the same as today".

W6TH, neither you nor anyone else even knows what RF actually is. Sure, we have equations that relate abstractions like fields and particles and their properties like frequency, amplitude, charge, and spin, but our level of physical understanding is minimal. When you can explain how an oscillating electron actually generates an electromagnetic field in physical rather than abstract terms, then you can competently imply that there's nothing left to discover about RF.
..................................................

Never was it mentioned as to what RF actually is, it was stated that what it is today, it was in the past. The same with 2+2=4 was here and came from the past. The reason you know so much is because you read it in books, the internet or from an instructor.

So David Einstein AKA AA6YQ, what is on your mind besides your hair?

W6TH
.:
K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Bluetooth is a Part 15 radio device, is it not?

From Bluetooth's own website:

"Bluetooth technology operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec. The 2.4 GHz ISM band is available and unlicensed in most countries."

If that device is connected to an amateur radio and that radio is transmitting that which was sent via Bluetooth the amateur radio would be retransmitting a signal from a station not in the amateur radio service.

AD5TD 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Wow! Talk about someone that didn't RTFA! NOWHERE did he state that he was using the cell phone for "transmitting" anything. Just using the "computer" to do PSK.

Quote from the article:

So, what does this have to do with ham radio?


The Tilt has the ability to run such programs as PocketDigi, a mobile digital mode program that includes PSK-31/RTTY/CW send and receive.

When he says "send and receive", it means AUDIO (PSK) to and from the HF rig.
AB7E 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K8MHZ, what part of the article mentioned transmitting with the cell phone? As I read it, WI7B is simply using the computing, GPS, and Bluetooth capabilities of the unit.

K8MHZ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Yes, this is a neat article and seems to have been a great and successful experiment, but....

Has anyone bothered to check what the FCC has to say about this?

Read 97.113(e) which, in part, states that no amateur station may retransmit programs or signals from any other radio station other than an amateur station. There are exceptions, but I don't see one for cell phones.

As I read the section, it is OK to use a cell phone as a receiver, but not to use it to transmit from.

I would be interested to see if anyone can find something in Part 97 that usurps 97.113(e) and allows the use of a cell phone as a transmitter.

If the 2.4 GHz band is used, which is an amateur band, proper ID must be used and we have to stay within the part of the band that is allocated for amateur use. A Part 15 device using that band would be considered a station outside the amateur radio service.

K4RAF 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
I applaud this, 2 thumbs up... Compact keyboard, cool!

For once, this is keeping with the times & combines cheap consumer equipment with some radio. Who cares what RF is involved, it is the art of the antenna, like Vito says, radio of old meet radio of new but some things don't change.

Now all I would be tempted by seeing is APRS via wifi...
No external radio, run it on internal 802.11b on a Palm Tungsten PDA... report position via open wifi access points & use a bluetooth GPS or SD?

K4RAF
wifidx@gmail.com
N3AIU 2007-12-23
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

Does anyone know of a BlueTooth interface for my straight key?

73, Nick N3AIU/DL1NE
AA6YQ 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
W6TH says "2+2=4, RF of the past is the same as today".

W6TH, neither you nor anyone else even knows what RF actually is. Sure, we have equations that relate abstractions like fields and particles and their properties like frequency, amplitude, charge, and spin, but our level of physical understanding is minimal. When you can explain how an oscillating electron actually generates an electromagnetic field in physical rather than abstract terms, then you can competently imply that there's nothing left to discover about RF.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

W6TH 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
.

pave the way

To make progress or development easier: experiments that paved the way for future research.

Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus are all of the past and yet are still used for the future.

All of what is mentioned in this post of Kenneth M. Beck (WI7B) has been in the planning and making for several years of the past, but not brought forth until recent years.

This is for those that want it and can afford it, those that can't, can wait and do without until they can afford it.

.:
W6TH 2007-12-23
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
.
K6CRC on December 22, 2007
Someone said "They, the new , don't realize you need the past to pave the way for the future. "
--------
The past is always standing in the way of the future, as are those who cannot accept change gracefully.
.................................................

2+2=4, RF of the past is the same as today, your antenna is of the past, with a paved new name.

For a 54 year old kid, you have a lot to learn and look forward to, even more so using the knowledge of the past. Who do you think you are kidding?

.:
W7MDC 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
N1EY Wrote:
To be honest I don't want my cellphone to have all of these features. My cell phone needs to be cheap, small and have an external antenna port. They get destroyed over time.
--

Yeah, I'm with you. I used to go with the fanciest phone with all the bells and whistles, but nowadays I just want Bluetooth and 3G data. I used to be a big "digital convergence device" guy, but got tired of buying a new $500 phone every couple years.
K6CRC 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Someone said "They, the new , don't realize you need the past to pave the way for the future. "
--------
The past is always standing in the way of the future, as are those who cannot accept change gracefully.

-- Someone who has fifty four years of living and ten Silicon Valley tech startups under his belt.

Randy
K6CRC
W6TH 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
.
Ahhhh.

Know code, no code...Know cellphones, no cellphones.

The bunny goes on and on and on and on ...........

KC1TTY 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
It's ALL good. I like the idea of mixing old and new technology -- and it goes both ways. My i-Pod is filled with 60-70 year old radio shows.

Articles such as this show the versatility of the hobby and give me hope that it is not dying. I dig CW and old motorcycles, but "big ups" to those who push the boundaries!
UC1AWX 2007-12-22
RE: Does anyone have a rope handy?
And in case of next blackout millions will crank up their Grundigs & Eatons and hams will suck.
N0AH 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
K0BG:

good comments Alan................
KT4WO 2007-12-22
RE: Does anyone have a rope handy?
CW is DEAD...Get a job OLD MEN and buy a Computer!!






Just kidding.. wanted to watch the BP rise.. hee hee
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Does anyone have a rope handy?
I am nobody's punching bag. How many times do I have to say that I am not Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to the cellphone article?
I took a look at figure 1 and I thought to myself that in comparison to a cellphone, a nice brass straight key is a thing of beauty and simplicity in comparison. Is my thought relevant to the article? Perhaps not to an earth shaking extent, but, yes, it is relevant because the two items can be compared in terms of complexity.
I am not trying to impose a Morse Code agenda in this thread. I am not putting down the author. I don't want attention drawn away from the article and on to my comments in prolonged fashion. If you can't appreciate a harmless comparison, just keep me out of the rest of this thread. I'm glad that there are no trees on here.
W7MDC 2007-12-22
RE: Beyond Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
AI2IA Wrote:

My point was that ham radio can be a nice, pleasant, and rewarding refuge from the Megacorporation Telecoms, their fees, government surcharges and taxes. I am not a reactionary. Yet, the shear simplicity and no fee operation of a straight key is a thing of real beauty and a joy forever.
--

You can do the same thing with a PDA that doesn't have a phone in it. The author chose to use his phone, but I have a Nokia Internet Tablet, an N800, that could perform almost as well. If I were to pick up the newest Internet tablet (the N810) I could have integrated GPS and keyboard, identical in function to the setup in the article. Telecoms are not necessary for a similar setup to work.
AB7E 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
AI2IA: "Who appointed AB7E to decide if posts on this thread are relevant?"

Nobody, or course. You have every right to make whatever comments here you'd like. Have at it.
UC1AWX 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
I mean it is very demanding beast, in quality of material and woksmanship. So my answer is no, not with my machinist skills.
UC1AWX 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
>>
If Ken Beck can modify a cellphone, can't you make yourself a "decent" straight key?
<<

He-he. Ever used one?
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Who appointed AB7E to decide if posts on this thread are relevant?
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
This thread is primarily about this cell phone mod.
However, as an aside to this "UC1AWX":

Did it ever occur to you that you can make your own "decent' straight key out of throw-away parts, surplus, and or common hardware? Give me a break!

If Ken Beck can modify a cellphone, can't you make yourself a "decent" straight key? Do you call yourself a ham?
AB7E 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones may damage the brain.
AI2IA: "My comments had nothing to do with Ken Beck's time and effort, or his creativity. The focus of my comment was on cell phones, Megacorporation Telecoms, fees, taxes, and surcharges as contrasted to the beauty and simplicity of a straight key."

In other words, not really relevant.
UC1AWX 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones may damage the brain.
>>
fees, taxes, and surcharges as contrasted to the beauty and simplicity of a straight key.
<<
Ha-ha-ha
For how much decent straight key goes lately?
K0BG 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones may damage the brain.
Here's a prediction:

Within the next 24 months, at least 5 new models of amateur transceivers will be on the market with BT interfaces. This will allow full hands-free (read that is CORD FREE) operation. While this is a neat deal for any radio, mobile wise, it's a Godsend!

And... expect Heil and a few others to get on-board too.

And... considering the "press" BT is getting recently, I bet you see a few articles about BT in upcoming issues of QST. At least, I know one is coming! Right Mr. Vos?

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
OLDFART13 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones may damage the brain.
Very interesting article. Honestly, there's not much in it that I will try, but you never know. For others this could be a lot of fun and a step up in using newer technology in an aging hobby.

Keep up the good work.
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Cellphones may damage the brain.
Hey there, AB7E, what's with you?
My comments had nothing to do with Ken Beck's time and effort, or his creativity. The focus of my comment was on cell phones, Megacorporation Telecoms, fees, taxes, and surcharges as contrasted to the beauty and simplicity of a straight key.
Your overprotective comment on my post is just plain stupid. If I were giving out awards, I would give you one for bigot of the year. You just can't seem to separate one idea from another.
AB7E 2007-12-22
RE: Beyond Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
To AI2IA: OK ... but then why rain on WI7B's parade? He did some terrific work and wrote an excellent article. For you to say "do we really need this" and "the shear simplicity and no fee operation of a straight key is a thing of real beauty and a joy forever" in response to his efforts seems needlessly negative, not to mention irrelevant. There are so damn few worthwhile articles that get posted here on eHam that I don't see why anyone would reply with a "yeah but" to a great one just to have something to say.

Dave AB7E
AB7E 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

N1EY ... this isn't a PDA but it is a stand alone unit for PSK31 at what seemed to me to be a reasonable price. No built-in GPS, though.

http://www.amqrp.org/kits/nue-psk31/index.html

73,
Dave AB7E
N7YA 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
....and here comes the arguing right on schedule.
KU2US 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
Alternative? TALK into the microphone!
N1EY 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Is there a reasonably priced PDA out there that can run PSK31? One that would have GPS built-in?

To be honest I don't want my cellphone to have all of these features. My cell phone needs to be cheap, small and have an external antenna port. They get destroyed over time.

I rather have a nice PDA for portable operations that would not receive rough treatment.

n1ey
AD5TD 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
<<<Posted By N5EAT

This use is best described as using the PDA features of the phone, the
ability to run independent software, and the sending of gps data to a
radio device. So I would hope that the fact that this 'PDA' also has
phone capability does not stale this great use of function.>>>

You are right on point!

I wonder if the Nay Sayers would have come out from under the bridge if he had used a plain GPS enabled PDA with no cell phone?

W6TH 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
.

N4CQR on December 22, 2007
There it went...



I see you flubbed the dub TOYBOX, you're too young to learn.

.:
N5EAT 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
This use is best described as using the PDA features of the phone, the ability to run independent software, and the sending of gps data to a radio device. So I would hope that the fact that this 'PDA' also has phone capability does not stale this great use of function. This makes the use of digital modes from
an automobile or other remote locations very easy as you don't even need a 7 pound notebook to drag around.
W6TH 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
.
N0AH

You can notice that these new kids on the block want and brag and demand new technology and yet are not willing to pay for it. Always wanting something for nothing, always wanting to dumb down things for no cost.

They, the new , don't realize you need the past to pave the way for the future.

.:
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Beyond Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Do not misundersand me. I am not criticising the creativity of this idea. In fact, I encourage tinkering and coming up with new ideas. Certainly within ham radio there is room for these new ideas.

My point was that ham radio can be a nice, pleasant, and rewarding refuge from the Megacorporation Telecoms, their fees, government surcharges and taxes. I am not a reactionary. Yet, the shear simplicity and no fee operation of a straight key is a thing of real beauty and a joy forever.
AB7E 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio

I'll be damned ... I had just about abandoned all hope of ever seeing a truly useful article here on eHam, and then along comes this outstanding example of technical competence and ham radio ingenuity from WI7B. Whether you enjoy the digital modes or not, this is certainly the kind of exploration this hobby needs more of.

Conversely, and again not content to let others embrace that which he doesn't, we have AI2IA, who if he had lived 100 years ago would likely have offered the opinion that with the proliferation of telegraph poles and lines all over the place there was really no need for radio. As for making comparisons, when was the last time anyone paid $5000 (rig, tower, antenna, rotator, etc for a common amateur radio station) up front for a cellphone?

Dave AB7E
N0AH 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Very high tech stuff. I am not one to really work outside HF. My only interest in VHF/UUF is for birds and since they keeping crashing, pooping out, etc....- hence, not big into this stuff.

I think a lot of what we can do as hams on our allocations are put aside due to the absolute debacal on the VHF repeater systems with the sysop system locking out eveybody but "Joe my buddy paying his dues" attitude. (See Vito, nothing is for free)

If we can use cell phones etc....for various functions and just face the facts of the failure of our VHF repeater system, I feel it is a great way to go- Also, where are you going to find this stuff in a book?

I'll be the first to admit, I don't follow all of this article, but I can keep pace with it enough to want to find out more. Creative stuff and fun to read.

It is not any one's fault but our own that we need outside technology/services for $$$ to do what we are not using our FCC allocations due to commuunity politics.



KF4HR 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
I find it interesting Ken's ideas are drawing criticism. But, as usual, those that critize don't offer much in the way of better alternatives or fresh ideas.

Good article Ken. Forward thinking is always good.

Merry Christmas to all... (even to the Lids).

KF4HR
N4CQR 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
There it went...
W6TH 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
.

You hams want all new technology, well here it is, after all it is only money. Our gov't keeps printing more of it every day, so there is plenty for all.

.:
AI2IA 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio$$$$!
With the proliferation of cell phone repeater antennas and cell phones in general, do we really need this? One of the greatest pleasures of amateur radio is no monthly bill from a telecom megacorporation.
Or ot put it another way, there is absolutely no comparison between a cell phone bill with all the additional fees, taxes, and surcharges, and a brass straight key, when it comes to hobbies! Think about it!
K1CJS 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Well, I guess it isn't so far in the future as I thought. Now, if AT&T would only fix their network so the signals were useable--they have a hard time not dropping connections, contrary to their ads.
AD5TD 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Those that are complaining of the price of the DATA plans should note: (AT&T only) my DATA plan is $29.99 a month for "Unlimited" service. I get connections speeds approaching DSL(0.750MBs in a 3G area). If you are in a 3G area, you can drop your home service and just use the phone. This thing is faster than my office LAN.
KD5SFK 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Ken,

Your use of bluetooth to interface your cellphone to the outside world is absolutely brilliant! I'm not sure which I like better, the PSK interface or the APRS interface. They are both very sexy.

It has always bugged me that even dumb cell phones have GPS and other neat built-in functions that are effectively "locked down" by the cell phone providers. I hope what you've done will inspire others to "open up" their phones to perform other functions--both for ham radio and otherwise.

Of course, the trolls here on e-ham are going to bitch and whine about why you even need a cell phone in the first place. Look at it this way: Ham radio and cell phones are both methods of communication, but that's where the similarity ends. I am fully aware that a cell phone may be useless in a disaster situation. I also realize that a ham radio is virtually useless to communicate with family (unless they are licensed) and for business. I want all of the above capabilities, plus I enjoy ham radio, so I have a cell phone and a ham radio license.
AB1HU 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Great article! Unfortunately my phone isn't quite up to some of these things (it's not a smartphone, just a fairly nice regular one), but I've always thought that cell phones would be great interfaces to radios.

What I'm waiting for is a radio that can share audio and control signals over Bluetooth, so you can just stick the radio somewhere and use a cell phone (or a PDA, or a laptop, or something like the Nokia 770) to control it.

Perhaps a tiny box with a crystal-controlled 2m rig, a TNC, and a Bluetooth adapter for APRS? That would be really cool.
W3HF 2007-12-22
RE: Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
The trick for me would be the ability to get this phone for the super-discounted price WITHOUT purchasing a data plan. I have no interest in mobile data services, and certainly not at the price offered by the cellular providers. But I might be interested in a $149 device that can not only replace my cell phone, but give me a GPS receiver, PSK terminal, and APRS to boot!

And I agree with the thought expressed by KB1NXL. I'd love to see some more details in a followup article, either here or another venue (like QST).
K1CJS 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
I'm sure this may be a boon to some, but how about to those who still pay for their data by useage? Those few forward thinking individuals who want to and those who need to pay for a unlimited useage data plan, but I think its a bit much to expect some to pay for their home internet and portable internet to the sum of $100.00 a month or more. Cable TV is bad enough right now--for respectable service that costs near $100.00 a month.

The portable services are fast coming within reach of a lot of people, but aren't yet coming of age where one service can serve for both home AND portable use, with one bill that most people can afford--unless, of course, you want to give up on living, eating and doing things with your family.
KB1NXL 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Great, now publish in QST an article with much more construction detail.

KB1NXL
W7MDC 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
I'm a big fan of bluetooth technology and have been looking for ways to integrate it into my radio setup. I've mostly been looking at serial port to bt connectors. Your hacking a headset apart to use with psk31 is so simple and elegant, it's inspiring. Good stuff!
N7YA 2007-12-22
Cellphones in Service to Amateur Radio
Cool, i like new ideas...too bad this article will bring the hoards. The mere mention of ham radio and cellphones together will be an interesting watch, that we can be sure of. So let it begin...and good job on coming up with something new.

Hey, i believe im the first comment too...cool i guess.

73...Adam, N7YA