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HamSphere on Android

I am currently developing HamSphere for the Android phones. Follow the developemnt on my Blog.

Android Beta Test #1 feedback

HamSphere on Android BETA #1 Feedback:

I started handing our hamsphere APK files 28 August to some 100 Beta testers. This is the feedback I have gotten so far.

Thank you all beta tester for the feedback. I am now working on BETA #2 where most of the errors below should be fixed.


Positive feedback

* What a program great fun when ok well done. Look forward to the next beta test.
* Great Job Kelly.
* Working fine. Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do for ham radio.
* The down load was fine and worked well.
* Downloaded version for samsung galaxy s ll works good. Good job Kelly, thanks a lot for your hard labour.
* Ok thanks i installed and i can hear the stations.
* It’s now working ok. W5GT.
* YES! Its running! YES, YES! Its running fine on all bands!
* It works fine. Smart application. 73s.
* Wow! Yeaaaaaaa! Finally!.
* It looks and worked great, except that it did crash when I turned the tablet as you said that it would.
* Looks like it works pretty well on the TMobile Amaze over WiFi. Very nice work!
* It’s pretty awesome!
* First : the audio is great.
* Filter: Perfect
* Cluster: Works good
* I would like to say i am impressed. The audio quality and user interface is every bit as nice to use, as the computer version.


Suggested features

* Would be nice to have the active freq, listed at the top when in chat/cluster Hamsphere – zzzzz.zz kHz

* Software needs to pick up active mic, or have the possibility to choose. (relevant when using wired handsfree or wireless bluetooth equipment)

* When working a QSO I miss the possibility to easily check the callsign Im working.

* We need a button for active users on frequency

* cluster button can change behaviour between list users on freq, band and all all users on system.

* I am questioning the data usage. Maybe it is wise to have even more compression, so that data traffic is reduced even more.

* I am thinking that there should be an added function for logging QSO’s. . It should be connected to the cluster button.

* The callsign should also have an added /p for portable

* Add mic volume. If possible add volumecontrol for mic.

* Cluster list is a bit small. Suggest remove time, more room for callsign, frequency and country.

* Cluster list button can also have the functionality of the following: First push, you see the list on freq, next push, list on band, 3rd push all stations listed

* Include button at top for sorting by callsign, freq. or country

* Remember login details, don’t have to type in every time.

* Include PTT-Hold, so you push to talk, and don’t have to hold.

* Add mem button, where you can store your fav. freq. can be popup window.

* Possibility to assign button for PTT (using handsfree or other button on phone)

* Suggest that app stay in vertical position even if you rotate phone

* Logout – Add the hold button for a couple of seconds. Its too easy to just log out. Can also be added as a popup window

* Would like to see function for logging and sending QSL cards in next release

* The wheel to input for frequency input is fine for fine tuning but is a real bear cat to try to go up say just 10 Khz with it

* Make the frequency display area not only just show the frequency you’re on but have be able to be clicked on and then have the phone keyboard come for keying in the frequency.

* You may want to think about putting in a lite ver of the Log/QSL in there that would great.

* I can tell you this much this app should not be run on a phone that does not have a CPU of 1.0Ghz or higher.

* I run it at 950 Mhz and it was laggy but not to bad I step it down to 750 Mhz and yes you can get logged in but the UI just become unresponsive.

* PTT Button, work fine. But I suggest PTT Lock Option

* I can not control my Mic Gain, during TX, my signal goes Maximum even without any modulation.

* There is no mic volume and I can’t find a setting on the phone.

* The time the phone’s display goes out should be longer. Echolink stays on for longer.


Need to be fixed

* Close the program but could still hear it running

* No transmit button. Can not transmit. (Screen size problem)

* Tilt will crash app

* The process hamsphere.ringjoebing.android has stopped unexpectedly

* Crash when I turned the tablet

* Transmitting: my modulation which is broken up and very low

* The S-meter on TX showed about 5-6, 5-7 at most.

* Using wired handsfree, holding the mic almost in my mouth, I got on signal report 5-9

* Modulation is good, but signal is weak.

* Programe would freeze every now and then although audio would continue to work. Required log out and re log in to continue with conversation.

* App always start with max volume, should instead just follow phone settings for volume.

* When using the cluster function, the cluster window covers your freq.

* The only thing that seems to be a bit weak when I transmit.

* Some flicker around S meter (White lines, rectangle. It shows after the cluster window is closed.

* App crash on rotate to horisontal.

* The down load was fine and worked well the first minute or so. Then I could not get a clear station, a lot of static.

* Had to disable screen rotation to stop force close while holding phone in hand.

* Some buttons dont work

* Poor graphic

* On a Samsung Tab it uses only a small portion of the screen in the center, but it display also only a center portion of the ui, so that many of the buttons are not accessible.

* it always starts with maximum audio volume and the volume can be reduced only after 30 sec when the software is fully loaded. This means, that you can only start it in a closed room when you’re alone….

* It reacts very slow on rotation on the tune button, so it’s very difficult to set frequencies with that. Maybe performance problem of the Tab. So, at least on the Samsung Tab, it’s not (yet) usable.

* I have some distortion on the modulation, told by some stations, i have a samsung tab 7 plus .

* The audio is intermittent and it slow to respond

* Forces close while logging on with the phone held vertically

* Does not run smooth on my lg p506 3g at&t.

* It looks and worked great, except that it did crash when I turned the tablet as you said that it would.

* Tried it & can log in but it just makes rapid clicking sounds & is locked up forcing me to reboot the phone…

* The screen is also to large not displaying everything on the phone, samsung gts5330

* Audio just ticks with small amount of hiss, not able to pick up any radio station at all.

* I’ve made a test with my old android telephone and i freezes and won’t work on that one, the new one fine mic level low

* The gauge needles need to be reworked even with my phone overclocked. They do not show the right TX info, but do show the right RX info.

* I’m still can’t talk because PTT button not show at my device.

* Cluster Toggle Button Indicator still ON, after I closed Cluster Window. Other button also behave like that, I assume is ON/OFF button. Acer Iconia A510, Dual Core 1Ghz Processor, memory 32 GB, Free Application Memory During Test 300MB

* Choppy sound and do not see ptt and 30 ,80 160 meters

* In Horizontal mode is ok but when change mode is logout.

* Unfortunately I seem to be having major problems as far as while transmitting my modulation which is broken up and very low.

* When I transmit the modulation is very low,shaky and broken up.

* Program is working only in vertical

* I can’t hear any useful modulation only same schratches and garbled voices allover all bands

* Sometimes when I login a different screen apears on my phone. There are round buttons for “cluster”, “chat” and “simoff”

* It seems that external mic from wired handsfree and wireless handsfree is not picked up

* Everything fits on the screen just fine. It just looks like low resolution (Poor graphics)

* If it goes into horizontal mode it is still running but the screen goes back to the login screen

* “cluster” wroking open cluster page when i close it stays green and doesn’t work any more

* “chat” working open chat page when i colse it stays green and doesn’t work any more

* “sim off” button works changing color to green and changing text to sim on but no effect on simulation

* “filter 1″ button works changing color to green and changing text to “filter 2″ on button but no effect on “display” above the freqency on square blue sign “FIL 1″ and it has some effect on sound.

* “help” button works changing color to green nothing else * “news” button works changing color to green nothing else

* Audio from android going to hamsphere is broken up and i have tried it on wifi and 3g, my recieve audio is better than transmit but that could just be my phone

* The Sim on/off button does not work.

* It works but I get no sound its weird and some times it crashes

* Working well, mic levels appear low though… but love it so far…

* Horizontal wiev, exit at login but app works in second frame.

* At the moment im trying it on tablet, when i installed it just crashed,had to force close it,when i opened it second time it works correctly.

* As i started and opened cluster and chat i noticed when i close them by pressing button again it wont open afterwards.

* Having some lag.listening on other account on pc and tablet has some 2 second

Android Beta version ready.

Android Beta ready

Hi all. I have now completed the first Android HamSphere Beta app.
Email beta@hamsphere.com with:

Callsign, Phone model, Android op sys version, Carrier, Speed to beta@hamsphere.com and I shall return URL/Login and Password to Beta APK file


Android performance Fixes

Finally I found what caused the audio to be so gappy on TX.

First of all. All views need to be using SurfaceView with lowest Thread priority. Like this example below. The Band Scope monitor that was really draining all resources. So instead of extending View, you extend SurfaceView that implemements a callback feature.
The SurfaceView is an extension of the Android View object and it provides a set of functions to manually take control of the onDraw event that draws the things on the screen.

Basically I set up a worker thread that does the calculations and in that same thread I invoke the onDraw call.

public class ADFFTMonitor extends SurfaceView implements SurfaceHolder.Callback {

// Then start a worker Thread and pass the callback to the Thread.

_thread = new FFTThread(getHolder(), this);

// The override surfaceCreated and make the thread start when the object is created.

public void surfaceCreated(SurfaceHolder holder) {

class FFTThread extends Thread {

c = _surfaceHolder.lockCanvas();

// And most importantly, wait a lot to let the audio framwork work as much as possible.

try {
Thread.sleep(100); // sleep 100 ms
} catch (InterruptedException ie) {

First QSOs

Today I have made successful QSO from 5B4AIT/P via my Android Phone for test purposes.
Audio was reportedly crappy and gappy. This is due to the fact that the Android phone has very limited resources. I have been forced to rewrite some parts of the code to harness the power of the Samsung phone as well as the Android Ice Cream Sandvich 4.0 operating system.

Stations worked:


Android Development

HamSphere on Android

Audio drivers and codecs ready.

HamSphere on Android embryo

I have the first running embryo of HamSphere running on Android. It is right now just a framework and skeleton, but I will release something with real audio connection soon.

HamSphere on Android

LayOut managers

I have now explored the Android development suite a little more. As you may know, Android is purely based on Java.

The UI design is based on a quite clever XML based concept. But the LayOut management reminds me very much of the initial Java development back in 1996 when Java first saw its light. Actually the Android people have deprecated one of the most tempting Layout Managers called “AbsoluteLayout”. The reason why this manager is deprecated is that Android phones come in so many shapes and sizes. It is virtually impossible to make a “fixed pixel” application for a mobile phone, so I really do not understand why the fixed position Layout was there in the first place. OK, so what are the alternatives then?

The standard Layouts are:


FrameLayout is designed to display a single item at a time.  You can have multiple elements within a FrameLayout but each element will be positioned based on the top left of the screen.  Elements that overlap will be displayed overlapping.  I have created a simple XML layout using FrameLayout that shows how this works.


LinearLayout organizes elements along a single line.  You specify whether that line is verticle or horizontal using android:orientation


RelativeLayout lays out elements based on their relationships with one another, and with the parent container.  This is arguably the most complicated layout, and we need several properties to actually get the layout we want.


TableLayout organizes content into rows and columns.  The rows are defined in the layout XML, and the columns are determined automatically by Android.  This is done by creating at least one column for each element.  So, for example, if you had a row with two elements and a row with five elements then you would have a layout with two rows and five columns.

What Layout to choose for HamSphere?

I have been playing with all of the above, but the Layout Manager that feels the most tempting is the TableLayout. Howevere it may cause the app to look a bit “off” in some phones. The Relative Layout could possibly work if I use the frame outer edges as reference. We’ll see.



Android questions

I am currently developing the HamSphere application for Android. I am developing it for the Android 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) , but I realize I must make it backwards compatible with the older Android op systems like Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) that is the op system for the older phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II (GT-I9100)

The Android phone I am currently using is the brand new SamSung Google Galaxy Nexus. It was released in the USA December 15, 2011. But there is apparently a firmware update for the Galaxy SII around the corner.

So bottom line, I need to set my developing system down to 2.3 before I continue writing code. It is basically the same thing, but HamSphere must be able to run on older devices so…

If you are interested in an Android Phone I can definitely recommend the Galaxy Nexus. It is very slick. Very fast. Screen is fantastic and the Android 4.0 op system feels great. Another detail is that they have removed the physical front button on the phone, so the screen feels bigger vertically. Also it goes hand in hand with Google at all times which makes it a very handy tool.




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