Are you interested in having SOTAwatch spots delivered to your mobile phone as SMS messages? If so, read on.
I have just set up a trial system to gateway SOTAwatch spots into the Twitter social networking system. The reason this is a useful thing to do is that Twitter messages can be delivered free of charge to a mobile phone as SMS messages. Unfortunately not every carrier is currently supported, and at the moment in the UK you have to be on either Vodafone or O2. With luck, the service will be extended to other carriers in due course.
If you are on a suitable network, it means that you can get a text message within a minute or two of a new spot appearing on SOTAwatch, and it won’t cost you a penny.
To view the messages, you can visit:
If you want to get the SMS messages, you will have to register yourself on the site, and set up “device updates”. Obviously they need to know your mobile phone number but they don’t seem to do anything bad with it. Nobody else gets to see your number.
Once you’ve done all that, the messages should start coming through.
You can of course use the site for its intended purpose as well; there are a fair number of radio amateurs on. I am on with my callsign as username.
Now the caveats:
I have no connection with Twitter other than as a user.
I am running the gateway script on a machine at my place of work. I cannot guarantee that it will continue running, or that it will never miss a spot.
I am not convinced that the SMS side of it is 100% reliable, and I can’t control how long the text messages will take to get through. The odd message does seem to have reached Twitter but not my phone. However the vast majority do seem to get through quickly.
It’s a bit of a hack. If the format of the SOTAwatch web page changes, it is likely to stop working until I can update the script. The whole thing would be much better integrated within the SOTAwatch system itself, and if it proves popular, I would very much hope that this could be done one day.