Introducing Parks n Peaks for Android

by vk3arr

In conjunction with Allen VK3HRA, who runs the great Parks n Peaks website, I’ve been writing an app for Android to view PnP spots and alerts. It is now ready for a preliminary beta release. Comments and feedback on the app are welcome. It is available at http://parksnpeaks.org/app/parksnpeaks.apk

I tested it myself while on Mt Alexander, before handing it over to Andrew VK1NAM to assist with the testing. Andrew is a big user of Radio Rucksack Tool, the Android equivalent of SOTA Goat. It also turns out Andrew has great experience with QAing releases of software and he found every bug I was aware of, and quite a few I wasn’t. So, if the app has any quality, it is Andrew’s work, not mine. I put the bugs in, he took them out – thank you! One of his suggestions was a user manual, a version of which I will now impart:

The app itself is fairly straight forward. You can swipe left and right, or select the individual tabs to choose either All Spots, just the Parks, just the Peaks, or the Alerts:

The Peaks

The Peaks

Just the Parks

Just the Parks

Alerts

Alerts

Configuration for the app is via the menu (press the menu option on your phone) and then the Setting selection:

Settings

Settings

You have settings for

  • Update Frequency. You can select how often the app updates the spot lists. By default, it should be set to 5 minutes.
  • Spot list length. With this option, you can choose how far back you display spots from. By default, it should be set to 6 hours.
  • Filter VK spots. With this option, you can only show VK spots or choose to display spots from around the world. This is only applicable to SOTA
  • Username. By default, this is empty, and you must enter your Parks n Peaks username here if you want to be able to post spots.
  • Password. Also empty, ready for your Parks n Peaks password.

Finally, to post a spot, select “Post Spot” from the menu. Before you can post a spot, you must enter your username and password in the settings menu. If you don’t, your spot won’t post.

Post spot dialog

Post spot dialog

The Post Spot menu allows you to enter all the relevant details you’d expect, as per the Parks n Peaks website itself. When you choose the spot type (WWFF/SANPCPA/KRMNPA), the dropdown menu for location will change to allow you to select a relevant option. SOTA spotting still requires going to the SOTA website.

Hopefully the tool is useful to all of those who use Android. A simple API exists for someone wanting to write up an iPhone app. If this is you, let me know.

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