Which Tablet?

Merle and I are shopping tablets for activation use. Would welcome users experience and advice on good one to purchase. Have been told Apples are too fragile and sensitive to temps and humidity. Is this true? Looking also at Samsung. Will be using Samsung smart phone to wi-fi to tablet. Is Apple tablet compatable with signal from Android or better to be all Android, etc., etc. Your collective input would be appreciated.
Herm KB1RJC and Merle KB1RJD
Madison, NH

In reply to KB1RJC:

It depends what you want to do with the tablet when activating. All the modern tablets use capacitance of the finger on the touch screen so that means they dont work well when you where gloves. A tablet stylus is worth having, you can find them on the end of pens nowadays.

I take the view that everything carried on an activation is expendable. I don’t want to sacrifice the things I take but it’s a mind set I start out with. The most expensive item I have is the FT817. That is repairable. Tablets are not very green, if they break under warranty you get a new one. If they break out of warranty you buy a new one! Repairs are less possible. So taking a 10in tablet that costs $500 means you’ll need some way of protecting it during the walking and when it’s on a summit.

Without knowing the use case the following ideas occur to me that may be helpful.

  1. Just use a smart phone. Apart from screen size, they do the same as tablets.
  2. Buy a “phablet”. These are Frankenstein jobs that are either big phones or small tablets, hence phablet, such as a Samsung Galaxy Note.
  3. Buy a no-name “landfill” tablet. Tier 1 manufacturers (Samsung, Apple, HTC, Asus, Lenovo etc.) produce high spec high price devices. There are millions of no name Chinese / Far East manufacturers churning out tablets with lower specs. For about $70 I can buy an 8in tablet with a single core CPU and less Flash storage. It runs modern Android fine, has Wifi and does everything a tablet does. But as it’s cheap, it’s not so fast and the battery may last 3hrs not 10 before a charge is needed. At $70 it fits the expendable category but still does what a tablet has to do. You may be shunned if you take it out in a coffee shop to browse rather than whipping out an iPad Retina or a Mac Air!

As for connectivity, they all work. Manufacturers who produce Wifi or Bluetooth that don’t inter-operate don’t stay in business long.


In reply to MM0FMF: Hi Guys just thought I would throw in my 10 cents worth

I us a 8 inch ASUS tablet and it has GPS and I use it on Rucksack just fine
I f you are going up into the snow country or a very cold spot
have and old woolen pair of gloves just cut the end of the index finger of the glove you only need ti cut about and inch off the gloves will still keep your hands warm or as Andy suggested buy a tablet stylus at the PC shop sometimes they will give you one .
My Tablet cost me $170 on Ebay i find it fantastic wouldn’t bother trying to use the Iphone to do sotawatch or rucksack radio tools to small and for protection in your back pack you should be able to buy and tablet protective wallet mine cost me and extra $20 well worth the investment to protect it
73 de Rod VK2TWR
Ps sorry for the lack of punctuation

In reply to MM0FMF:
Thank you Andy and Rod for taking the time. Good insights. 73’s

In reply to KB1RJC:
I am looking at the idea of a tablet also, but I think my biggest concern will be being able to view it in the sunlight. I know I already have problems with my Samsung SIII smartphone in full sunlight. I am considering ways to overcome this - phone in backpack like a mini cave - but still being able to input data.

73 Mike VK6MB

In reply to VK6MB:

In reply to KB1RJC:
I am looking at the idea of a tablet also, but I think my biggest
concern will be being able to view it in the sunlight.

That’s a problem we don’t suffer from in NW England Mike.

In reply to KB1RJC:

Hello Herm
I’m using my old 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab (the first GT on the market).
In addition I bought a Stylus cause when the Dislplay is gettig wet (because of humidity) it’s hard to type. But guess thats a problem of all tablets.

In the beginning I also tryed my old iPad (the first one) but is is simply to big.
But I had no troubles with it - does’nt matter if it’s hot or cold, dry or wet…

73 de Juergen oe4jhw

My Kindle does not play well with SOTA data. I much prefer SOTA Goat to Rucksack Radio. I will bring XYL’s Ipad by, for you to try out, if you like.


In reply to W1DMH:

I don’t understand why anyone would take a tablet instead of a phone tbh.

In reply to G7LAS:

One thing to point out is, in addition to a stylus, I have a pair of gloves with capacitive tips, no need to cut the ends off!

In reply to G1INK:
I had thought of saying that, Steve, but as a lot of Summiteers in the Northern Hemisphere are getting out there in winter, I’d better not “rub it in”.
I have been to Buxton and like dining at “The Hanging Gate” in Chapel-en-Frith.
My wife is from Marple
73 Mike

In reply to VK6MB:
Hi Mike you have a screen defuse on most tablets I am pretty sure

In reply to KB1RJC:
Hello to all
I think that a pen and a small memo pad is the best on a sota activity.
Best 73
Andre - f5ukl

In reply to VK2TWR:
Thanks Rod, I will investigate that

73 Mike VK6MB

In reply to F5UKL:
For logging only, you might be right, Andre, but I find it difficult using the paper for PSK and RTTY :slight_smile:

73 Mike VK6MB

1 Like

In reply to VK6MB:
Sorry, you are right.

In reply to VK6MB:

For logging only, you might be right, Andre, but I find it difficult using the paper for PSK and RTTY :slight_smile:

Hi hi, that one did make me laugh…

I’m interested in this also.

When you settle on a set up please come back to this thread with full details, including Apps, cables etc.


In reply to F5UKL:
Don’t worry Andre, we can use the notepad for CW and the tablet for RTTY AFSK and Whatsapp for digi!!
73 de Mikel

In reply to G7LAS:

I don’t understand why anyone would take a tablet instead of a phone

In the USA, a 3G/4G data plan for a tablet is MUCH less expensive than a phone. So I don’t own a smartphone but I do own a Google Nexus 7 tablet with a data plan.

73, Barry N1EU

If planning on getting a tablet for RTTY / PSK check that it has a socket with microphone input. My Hudl doesn’t. Neither does it, so far as I can tell, support Bluetooth hands-free / headset profiles. So at the moment there’s no way to get RX audio in, without the addition of a lot of wind noise!

73, Simon