Updating the Live HF Nets Android App
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Good morning, afternoon or evening. A few days ago I started working on an Android app that will give the user quick access to live audio streams of nets happening on HF. So far it's really basic but fully functional and works down to Android 2.2. The Beta version is available to download on the Downloads Page and currently has a list of 133 different daily nets that occur throughout the day. Each net can be clicked on and a live audio stream of that frequency will start (Internet Connection Required). The app covers nets on 80 meters 40 meters 20 meters 15 meters and even a few on 10 meters. The audio is streamed live from the Utah WebSDR and I've recently implemented a manual tuning option for fine tuning of the audio stream.
Last night while playing around with the app I had the idea that it would be nice if the website for the chosen net appears as the user clicks to listen to that net, this could give the app a more immersive feel and make it a bit more fun. So far I've gotten 28 out of 133 websites programmed and the new version should be up within the next couple of days.
To make the android apps I'm using an easy to use interface made by the geniuses at MIT called App Inventor 2. App Inventor 2 is a powerful and easy to understand tool for creating your own android apps without using code.
The Designer interface looks like this. While building apps you can add tons of fun stuff to make your app unique. This app doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but does function quite nicely.
Behind the Designer screen is the Blocks screen where all the magic happens. On this screen you define what each item on the designer screen does. For example if you put a button on the designer screen, the blocks screen is where you will define what that button does when a user presses it.
With a drag and drop interface it's never been easier to engineer your own apps
Below is a screenshot of the Live HF Nets App Blocks Screen Zoomed out
One of my favorite parts of this app builder is the live view of what you are building. While building your app you can link your phone with the app builder over wifi and it shows you a live version of the app that you're working on, so as you update it you can check to ensure everything is working correctly.
View of the Main screen with a list of 133 different nets sorted by scheduled net times in UTC, note winter and summer times differ due to daylight savings so I've added both times for each net. To find a live active net simply look at the current UTC time on top (20:40 in this case) and match it with a net that occurs around 20:00 or 21:00 hours.
Once you click the desired net the live audio stream starts and the website for that net then loads (Version coming soon) and you can browse the website while listening to the live net. At the same time the fine tuning buttons become available which allow the user to tune up or down in 1khz or 0.5 khz steps. The stop audio button on the upper right portion of the screen will close the audio stream and website and bring you back to the list of nets and times.
If you try the app out please let me know what you think, and how it functions on your device. I've found it to be a lot of fun to have one click access to HF in my pocket. I've only tested it on my device. Marc (KM6NHH) has graciously helped by testing it on his device with success so I'm hopeful it will work on pretty much any Android device.
Thanks for being out there and feel free to drop a comment or question anytime. Have a wonderful day!
Just finished the final working release of the app version 1.0. The updates include websites that load when listening for all 133 nets as well as a changing background of some photos I've taken over the years. If you like listening to Nets or HF this app is for you. It's available on the download page or just CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE .APK straight to your Android device