Apps to broadcast

When the new stream comes online in areas with poor infrastructure or internet censorship there’s the opportunity to broadcast some useful apps.

Signal Encrypted SMS

Orbot & Orfox enables access to the internet in cases of government censorship.

Serval Creates a mesh network on Android phones, enables local voice calls & SMS

Piratebox turns rooted Android phones into fileservers.

GPS Status Accurate compass for when lost

Survival manual Lost in the woods?

Any others?


Android or IOS apps?

APRSdroid APRS for Android cellphone. Also can generate AFSK tones for GPS location. Must register with ham call sign to get key. Allows you to set the comment field to OUTNET.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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Repeater Book (iOS/Android; Free) An absolutely revolutionary app, in my opinion. Using your phone’s GPS, you can quickly reference local repeaters

QRZ Callsign Search (iOS/Android; Free) The companion app to the popular callsign database site,

A good free AMSAT satellite ephemerus program. If you need a short message out, this could help you predict when that Oscar or Cubesat is coming over next.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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Some of these apps would definitely come in handy:
12 Survival Smartphone Apps | Preparedness

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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Looks like someone eats and sleeps ham radio! :slight_smile:


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I’ve been a ham for more than 40 years now. My formal training is Computer Science (BS) and Computer Engineering (MS). I’ve worked for my entire life at the area between RF hardware and software, having found a career path that involves my interests. I worked with a major cellphone company. I’ve seen more than a few Android applications and have written a couple on my own. I have seen Windows Phone applications, but they were too late to enter the game with their own. I’ve contracted at Microsoft working on cellphones.

I’m 60 and testing RF amplifiers now. I came here to learn more about satellite technology and enjoying my hobby - radio.

So why did I post a whole bunch of ham radio related apps? I posed myself the following question: If I was stuck in some country where there is no Internet and someone handed me a phone, what apps would I want on it? I wanted to contribute to the discussion without dominating it. My list is by no means complete. But I don’t see any need for games (angry bird, chess, go, etc.) and social applications (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.) Apps for reporting car accidents, apps for checking my bank balance, etc.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


Hey Konrad,
I got a couple. An app to learn how to use a compass. And the same, but for topo maps. And basic First Aid.


That’s a pretty good idea. Most cellphones have compasses built-in and the difference between the magnetic north and the true north are computed for you in the compass apps in compasses. Immediately this begs for an augmented reality compass, where you look at the smart phone and it shows you what it sees with the compass direction superimposed on it. It would be a good app to have.

But your idea of teaching someone how to use a conventional compass might also be good. Conventional compasses don’t use batteries. However, you need to account for the declination manually. I’ve taught younger scouts when I was in Boy Scouts how to do it…

Actually, it might not be a bad idea to send topo maps on a short segment. Many countries really don’t have good maps, but they’re out there. Now, how to read a map and locate yourself by spotting landmarks like mountain peaks, buildings, etc. might be a really good skill to have. A cellphone app that gets you to look and identify landmarks and determine your location… and then compare it to your actual GPS location might be really cool.

Basic First Aid. That’s a very good idea. Everyone could use this.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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Let me suggest (more inclusively than just First Aid) a Medical App.

Within this app, we could download the current RSS medical news feeds that are part of the existing News App. Then we start a broadcast of Medline Plus medical articles (no copyright issues since this is a US Gov site) like this one on headaches:

Outernet staff would have to select the articles and up link them like they did with Wikipedia articles.

Other public domain health sources could include the Hesperian Health Guides, and Khan Academy’s Health and Medicine. Ken


And Wikipedia has translations to almost all languages. Maybe ALL!

:earth_africa: :earth_americas::earth_asia:

I’m fairly sure this was, in fact, a script based on the idea here

So the Wikipedia articles were automated based on the popularity in the previous X period

Yes, agreed, with increased bandwidth more medical stuff does seem useful.

I guess there’s two parts to it:

  1. Generic info, for which Hesprian would be a good baseline

  2. Time- based info

I can’t remember what was going out RSS wise before?

Did it include the WHO Disease outbreak news?

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Just a reminder …

Would enjoy to see the DXCluster (amateur radio) as one of the new apps when Outernet DreamCatcher 3.0 becomes available.


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I think there was a WHO RSS feed, but I can’t check until Ku-band comes up. Ken


The UK NHS Health A-Z site is available under an open government licence so could be freely used too

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Well Sam, as we did before with the RSS News feeds, we’ll have to work closely with the Staff to make it happen. First, of course, is getting the new Ku-band downlinks up and running. Ken


As a paraphrase of the saying : We can think about the cart, but let’s get a good horse first! :grinning:


My question to everyone. If this project was initially for 3rd world countries without internet but we are sending apps for cell phones that they do have??? Scratching my head, mesh networking software makes the most sense to share the info available from outernet.

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Yes, so there are a lot of smartphones in Africa However DATA is expensive and patchy.

In other countries, such as China, Iran, Tunisia etc you can get limited censored data, and you probably don’t want the government knowing everything you do online. Tor access is blocked, so you can’t download Tor, or Signal. However if the latest version arrives from space, you can use that to unlock the censored internet, or send encrypted SMS messages and do so without the government knowing.


When it comes to encryption, isn’t there technically this that would have to be dealt with?

As far as survival apps, however, this might be a good one:

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