Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

MP3 recorder?

Can anyone recommend a lightweight inexpensive audio recorder with line in that can be used on a summit to record qso’s?

Thanks & 73,
Barry N1EU

If you have an Android Smart Phone, I highly recommend the app called Hi-Q MP3 recorder. I believe there is a free version, but as soon as I tried it, I paid the few dollars for it and it has served me well. I’m sure there are other Android and indeed iPhone apps, this is simply the one that I use and as I have the phone with me in any case, there’s no additional weight.

I’m sure you can make up a cable take the audio from the rig, however I find it performs well enough without one - with the advantage that you capture both sides of the QSO. Your voice (or CW tones) and the voice (or CW tones) from the other station.


thanks but I really want to use line in off the rig’s headphone out, don’t want to use rig’s speaker.

I use my iPhone. I made a “splitter” with the output from the set to an earphone. On the earphone I mounted the mic from another earphone. Those two pieces I wrapped with tape and shrink tape. So this way I have an electric separation. I hope you understand my “splitter”.
With an activation I use my iPhone and record the QSO’s with the videocamera. At home I separate the video from the audio signal.
You can hear the results on my youtube channel.

1 Like

Ditto what Tonnie says - or use a simple Y (splitter) cable and add an attenuator in one leg if the level is too high.

There are of course “dictating machine” type MP3 recorders, but why carry another device if you have a Smart phone with you anyway?


I don’t see how to feed an android phone with line in? Do you use a splitter on the headset/headphone jack?


You can still buy MP3 players, which are smaller than any phone. Some have line in for your exact purpose. I use a creative MP3 player with about 4gb memory which would record an entire contest weekend. aside from line in, it has an inbuilt microphone I have used to record news items for broadcast in the WIA weekly news.

I would think eBay is the best marketplace for finding something suitable.

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH

Yes - you’ll need to buy or make a splitter that goes into the headset jack on the smart phone. there is no true (1v Peak to Peak) line in on a smartphone.

If you have an Android smart phone, why not install the free version of Hi-Q and see if you can manage without even a cable. You can always add that later, or go for a separate MP3 “dictation” recorder.


Thanks, I just ordered a splitter cable. I will download HiQ app.

73, Barry N1EU

A direct connection directly records the incoming, but how is the outgoing audio fed to the phone - via the onboard mic? If so, I wonder how good that is in windy conditions.

outgoing audio is recorded the same way via sidetone monitoring through headphone output

Barry N1EU

Ah yes, fine for CW, but I was thinking of SSB - for those of us that use several modes during an activation.

There’s a ssb monitor in the headphone audio as well.

Uh-oh. I just discovered that the free version of Hi-Q recorder app will only record for 10 minutes. I will look for alternative app.

That’s why I suggested you just test with the free app - the app is worth the $3 or $4 for the full version, once you know your interface works as you want. The full version has no restrictions.


Unfortunately not so for we paupers using the Yaesu FT-817 / FT-857 series. After a looking around for some ideas, it looks like the best option might be a high impedance tap on the mic (adjust mic gain on rig if required) to feed a preamp / amp and then switch between the output of that and the rig audio using the PTT. Food for thought.

yeah, I failed to mention I’m using a KX3

Don’t you get audio from the ACC socket?


I think there may be audio there - will need to check it out. It would be good to be able to record the contacts as logging with frozen fingers isn’t always that easy. Of course the downside is having to listen to the entire activation to create a written log post-activation, but I could live with that. :slight_smile:

Yes but you’d doing that sat in a comfortable room with a nice warm cup of Chocolate/tea/coffee/alcoholic beverage etc.
The idea of recording from the FT-817 acc socket (if possible) is starting to appeal to me - worth more investigation as to whether an SSB monitor function is available so that both sides of the qso can be recorded.


UPDATE: Neither rear socket on the FT-817 seem suitable for use as a recorder audio source.

But this is getting off the original topic where a solution to record QSOs from a KX-3 was being sought.