HamClock is quite simple Android application for amateur radio operators. It’s purpose is to help hams working portable.
Operating portable usually means carrying light equipment, especially if everything has to be carried in backpack, on foot or on bicycle.
In most of my portable work I do not carry laptop with me. It is not that I do not need it, but I usually work in the open, and it is really hard to read my laptop’s display when in sunlight, and even in light shade.
Therefore I am used to carry paper log of pocket size and do logging by hand. The only help I need is having proper lock and having something which is self sustainable and resists windy weather, to write down information regarding current location that I give during contacts
As I always carry Android phone with me, it was obvious choice. It is odd that I was unable to find suitable clock on Google Market, so I had to take an usual ham’s route – to make it myself.
Actually, I am not familiar with Android programming, and I could not find enough free time to get to knowing it better. It was quite lucky chance that I met Zoran Kostic who was looking for some Android project ideas. I presented my idea, he liked it so it was him who did hard part of the job. I just gave him suggestions and shared some of my developer’s experience.
What id does
HamClock is actually simple application doing simple work. It acts as two head clock, displaying local and UTC time. In addition, it allows user to type in some notes that could be displayed along with current date and time information.
Purpose of notes is for user to enter some data about portable location like name, QTH locator or other designations used for various activations (SOTA, WCA, WFF, IOTA or other). Those information I repeatedly give to corespondents in contacts and I like to have them in sight all the time.
Notes may be saved for later use, and user may have as many different notes as he needs, meaning, if ham comes to some location, he can just load already prepared note regarding that location, whether it is left from previous visit to the same location or prepared at home.
All contents is displayed in large font size so it is easily readable.
As HamClock is meant to be simple, it has not much options. There are options to manage notes (Select, Create, Edit, Copy and Delete).
There are also some basic settings: for setting screen timeout and selecting date and time display format.
How to use it?
I found it most suitable to use USB docking for Android phone (or tablet). That allows me to easily set phone at any flat surface, including top of my radio. It just has to stay there and display required information. It does not need any handling which is helpful, as I need my hands free for handling radio and writing to log.
HamClock is just published. We intentionally left out some advanced options, as we want to see how it answers basic needs.
We do have some ideas and we are working on them. You are also welcome to share experience with HamClock and ideas and suggestions to make it more usable.
You may download HamClock from Google Market. Feel free to comment here.
HamClock is free application. There are no nags and no ads. There is no commercial version. It requires no permissions, it does not collect any personal data or share anything with anyone.