Over some time I’ve noticed people having recurrent problems using Spotlite. These range from simple use errors to changes by mobile providers that stop once working Spotlite connections from working anymore. Sometimes Spotlite starts working again for no apparent reason later. Other people have no problems at all.
To solve these issues and also to allow people to use Spotlite if they don’t have internet access on their mobile phone, I have written a simple SMS to Spotlite gateway. Instead of filling in a web form you send an SMS containing your details and this will get posted to the SOTAwatch spot page. There is a working SMS spot facility run by Zsolt, HG4UK but using it will cost people in the UK an international rate text. This new gateway is in the UK and so will be cheaper to use for any UK hams.
In order to use the gateway you need to register with me, this is so I can map your phone number to your callsign for validation. I don’t need to know your SOTAwatch password to place the spot though. The spots are placed by a special user, SMSBOT, rather than the person sending the text. (Some observant users may have seen spots by SMSBOT coming and going over the past days as it was tested.)
I’ve done some testing and I think the gateway is ready for some beta testing by real users. So I’m looking for volunteers who will give it a try over the next few days. If it seems to be resilient and stays working then it will become available to anyone who wants to use it.
If you want to be a tester then please email me with your name, callsign and the mobile phone number of the phone you want to use. You can register as many phone numbers as you want. I’ll add them to the database for the gateway and let you know when it is online and available. I’ll also tell you how to use it! Please note, only register if you intend to use the gateway over the coming weekend. General availability will be as soon as it is stable.
Send your details to mm0fmf_sota AT intermoose.com ( do the obvious to the AT)
I’ve plans to extend the functionality to include posting alerts through the gateway and possibly requesting spots to be sent to you phone via SMS. First thing is to get the spot facility running 100%.
Be aware: This is not a replacement for Spotlite but an additional facility. In fact the gateway uses the Spotlite URL to post spots that it has received by SMS. If you have Spotlite working then you’ve no need to give up using it. You may want to have this SMS facility as a backup though. The gateway is free to use, the only cost is whatever it costs you to send an SMS to a UK number.