New Version of Rucksack Radio Tool with new UK SMS Number

Continuing the discussion from SMS spotting number change:

Joerg DL1DLF released version 0.6.2d of his Android app on 10/12/2014 with the new UK SMS number in place of the old one. Please update to this new version of RRT before the old UK number is disabled. The new version of the app is available only from Joerg’s own website (it is not in the Google Play store). You can install by simply scanning the QR Code on the website
This action will download the apk file to your phone, you should then click the latest file version in the displayed downloads list to actually install the new version. The new version is shown as v 1.7 at this point.
Although the webpage is in German, the App is in English. Joerg also has a button to use the Microsoft translator to translate the text on the web page if you need to.

73 Ed DD5LP.

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Hi Ed
Thanks very much for the info. I’ll update the app when I get back home today. I’ve not tried using the SMS service. How good do you find it ?
73 Phil

Andy, Do we have to inform you via email to use the number. As the service was originally provided ?
I am guessing this is a “YES”

Thanks Ed for the update, I was rather hoping this would be done before it was changed. Great tool.


Yes. In an ideal world we would not need security to ensure that nobody abused the services. But we have to deal with spammers who would flood the spots with spamvertising for cheap (fake) blue pills and cruddy copies from BY land. We can’t rely on all amateurs to act as gentlemen and respect each other’s views either which is a real shame. So users need to register their callsign and mobile number. This did have some usability benefits when typing the spot by hand was the method used in the past before smartphones were as cheap as chips.

I did see you getting filtered and thought I’d drop you an email but things is busy with Christmas and both kids (ha, kids when they’re 22&24) and now Mrs. FMF having a shot of the old Norovirus this week. Don’t feel 100% myself either. So yes, do email me call sign and number (you can register several if you want) and I’ll add you. Of course I could use the number I have in the logs but I don’t actually know that is really you do I! :wink:

The advantage of SMS over a mobile internet connection was on 2g (GSM) connections the SMS signal is part of the normal chatter that a phone makes with the base station. If you get a signal strength on your phone you could nearly always send and receive an SMS when you couldn’t make a voice call and certainly couldn’t get WAP or other ancient technology to work. With 3g I’m not sure where the SMS sits in the signalling. However, it still seemed that you could get an SMS in or out when there was no chance of getting 3g data to work never mind HSPD or other mobile broadband methods to connect. That’s the why of using SMS.

The newer system in the UK normally results in turn around delay from spot leaving your phone to me posting it on SOTAwatch of under 20secs. The old system used to poll for new messages once/minute so you had a much bigger latency. And Vodaphone has some poor reliability for 2g services from my local cell, so it gets the chop at the end of the year and I’ll rely on the cloud based system.

A lot of words to say… you can probably spot with an SMS when you can’t spot using mobile broadband and the time to get spotted is now much less than it was. Moot if you place an alert and use CW as Eric’s KU6J software and RBN does the job so well.

Thanks Andy, I should be able to survive in the mean time :smile: I will drop you an email soon.

I can sympathise with you with the Norovirus, I have had it all week - an absolute pain with the mad season upon us.


I have had to resort to the SMS connection on Rucksack in various areas of Scotland as there was no 3G service. On occasion neither means of spotting has worked as there has been no mobile service of any kind - usually when I needed to place a self-spot for 144MHz SSB. As you say the RBN does the job on HF CW.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Hi Phil,
Sorry for the late response. Andy has explained the technology advantage of SMS over Internet spotting from an Android Smart Phone (RRT is only for Android), On Sunday I deliberately spotted on each summit using both SMS and Web from RRT in all but one occasion both spots got through. In the one case where only one got through, it was the SMS one. Within RRT, it’s simply a second button that comes up when you want to send a spot, so you chose between web and SMS. Before this happens you have to configure under settings which SMS gateway you want to use. Presently you can chose the UK (now new number) or the US one. I am hoping that Joerg will add the Australian SMS gateway as a third selection in the next release if it’s not too much of a change to the program (I have given him the details).

73 Ed.