I’ve got hope for the internet

Recent developments on the web make me hopeful for the future of the internet.

I’ve always been sceptical of systems that work like so many have before; collect users, prevent them from leaving and be the only provider for the service… At least if you do not want to lose existing contacts. Email always did it right by never becoming a centralised system with lock-in (and that is probably why it is still around after around 54 years, even though there are many other ways to reach people, you can pretty much assume anyone to be reachable that way and it is sort of the lowest common denominator of communication… phones are not because it costs to call and especially if you want to reach people in other countries, but I digress) this all means you do not have a reason to forever stay with one provider. If another email provider works better for you, you can just move and not lose your contacts (okay, you need to set up an auto-responder and change the address for all the accounts you use, yada yada yada) and this is where we are in a peculiar situation. Why should this be any different with social networks and messengers?

What we are currently seeing is the beginning of a fundamental change in how people interact on the web as platforms start only start, not yet more — to fade away while users leave.

It just is not a good idea to have one single large company be able to control your communications with many people, because this essentially means that you will put up with a lot of things just to be able to stay in contact with said people. It can also mean that users suddenly find themselves in an unpleasant situation (do I have to say more than Twitter?) and they can not really leave because they do not want to lose contact with all those people.

This time it is different, though. With Mastodon there is an alternative. As millions of people are fed up with recent developments at Twitter and flock to Mastodon en masse, they move to something that no longer binds them like The One Ring. Suddenly huge crowds find themselves on sites (not platforms, mind you) that no longer try to keep them in at all costs. People can freely move if they dislike a policy, there are thousands of available providers. You can easily export a list of people you follow and import it somewhere else entirely. You can set up a redirect to another profile, if you like. There is absolutely no reason to not go somewhere else if you do not like what your provider does (other than a few clicks and creating a new account of course) and so the system is not only decentralised, but it also does not force you to stay at one place forever either.

This is how the internet was always meant to be from its early days. The internet was always meant to be decentralised to have better resilience. In the beginning it was a military network after all. Now it is a huge network that is part of all our lives, so it should still be resilient. Even more so. Having large single points of failure in an essential tool for communication is just not a good idea.

Remember that time last year when Facebook was down (No? Congratulations on not being their product.) because of a small error in a configuration somewhere? That is a single point of failure that took down the whole communication tool. Facebook has a billion users. Those people suddenly no longer could communicate with each over.

That cannot happen due to the way Mastodon works. If your server is down, you cannot talk to anyone, but you can still choose another provider and continue. If another server is down, then you can still talk to all the users from all the other servers. Mastodon is resilient. No one single entity can control it (and I wonder how it will affect pro democracy protests in China in the near future) which is great. We do not want to have what happened to Twitter repeat.

The same resiliency we have had for nearly two decades with RSS. This three letter protocol that is often referred to as Really Simple Syndication allows you to follow news from many sources with one RSS feed reader. You can follow news sites and blogs (mine as well) and even Mastodon accounts (this is the feed for Stephen Fry’s Mastodon account for example) and this allows you to curate your own news for yourself. This is also federation. This is what podcasts use for distribution as well.

Then there is also Matrix, an instant messenger protocol. It allows you to talk to everyone using it as well. Matrix is decentralised, just like Mastodon and RSS and Email. And more and more people start using it. Like Mozilla (you know, the people who brought you Firefox and Thunderbird, among other software), the Debian project, some EU institutions, German regional parliaments, French government stuff, German army, German healthcare system, many German administration offices and government agencies…

There are also bridges to other networks which allow you to communicate with people that have not yet started to use Matrix. This is one reason why Matrix grows this much; you are not bound to only be able to communicate with people using the same system as you. This allows to bridge gaps and add people that use IRC to the same room. Many hackerspaces use that feature to move to Matrix without losing people.

The Matrix network is getting huge. I know my communication nowadays is mostly via Matrix. There are chat rooms for pretty much every topic, from IT and Star Trek and amateur radio to cute animals and psychology and much more. I run a few bridges to reach some people that do not use it yet, but more and more of the people I communicate with are moving towards Matrix. And once all contacts have all moved away and off a particular network, I can turn off that bridge. People start to get more critical of monopolistic networks. And we will probably at one point see a reverse network effect, just like we see now with the Twitter to Mastodon migration.

Just think about this: A world where no large company — or entity for that matter — controls communication. You can go wherever you want. Now longer putting up with whatever an annoying billionaire throws at you. You are no longer a product, you are really a user this time.

I see this to be the trend I havve been waiting for, for years. A trend that, this time luckily, because of the network effect, will be hard to stop. How are we communicating in five years?

A lot more decentralised, I bet. The people are taking back control from large entities. Servers with thousands of users that can easily move are obviously a better choice than one large closed system with a billion users. And that makes me hopeful for basic freedoms, such as being able to freely communicate without censorship, but also for the future of the internet.

What do you think?

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Tablets Are Not Useful

Tablets just aren’t useful devices. I mean… What would you do with one?

The first thing most people will answer is „I like to watch films!“, closely followed by „I watch Youtube with mine.“.

I’m afraid I have to disappoint you. That is not useful at all. You probably have a smartphone (heck, you’re probably reading this on one) and a laptop. A laptop is much better for that task. The screen is bigger, you don’t need to hold it to watch. And you’re phone does the same thing a tablet does, so why would you need a larger version

You might say „I read social media and the news“, but still, social media is not something useful to do. It’s mostly a waste of time. And news can be read on a laptop as well. You can even comfortably type emails, something you cannot do on a tablet because of the lack of a physical keyboard. Sure, you can type on an on-screen keyboard, but that’s like breathing through a straw. I could do it, but it’d be very uncomfortable.

Yes, I will agree. Touchscreens are good. For phones. There the on-screen keyboard will be the right size for typing, but on a tablet the keys are too far apart. Sure, you can type one character after another, constantly searching for the right button. Or you just use a keyboard on a laptop and type much faster without looking.

And if you’re now about to say that a keyboard could be attached to a tablet: No. That makes it a laptop that is worse at most tasks than a real laptop.

Most uses of tablets are a waste of time. Sure, they might be some cases like looking at photos from your camera while on the go or as a teleprompter when recording a video, but most people just don’t need a tablet. They generally just generate waste, and before becoming waste they lie somewhere collecting dust. Not useful.




If you disagree and think you know something useful, tell me. I’m very curious whether I’m missing something or not.

Extracting SIP Credentials from Sipgate Satellite


Sipgate have contacted me. They WILL block your account and ban you from Satellite if you connect any other SIP client using these credentials. I only still provide the following because it is interesting from a technical perspective, don’t do it if you depend on your accout.


Sipgate Satellite is a VoIP app that allows you to use a German mobile phone number in an app.

But this app requires Google Play Services (though it works with microg) and is not open source and you don’t get the actual SIP credentials to use the SIP account on a normal phone or on your desktop computer.

You can, however, extract the SIP credentials. This is how it works.


Extracting the Credentials

  1. Open Preferences Manager. It will ask you for root access so it can read the app’s data, confirm that.
  2. Scroll down till you find the app.
  3. Search for „sipCredentialsStorage.xml“ and note down the values of the keys „sipCredentialsUsername“ and „sipCredentialsPassword“.
  4. Profit!

(SIP server is sipgate.de)


While before you weren’t able to choose a VoIP software of your liking, you can now do so. Now you can even use a physical SIP phone, too.

What I don’t yet know is:
What happens if you set up multiple phones? Will they all ring? Does every installation of the app use the same credentials?
I don’t happen to have a second phone with root access for testing. Drop me a message, if you know about that.

You should note that, since this is not officially supported, it might stop working at any time.


edit: It seems to work with more than one client. No idea how reliably, though.

Recommended Posts – October 2020 – Never-Ending Now, Reddit Forcing Users To Log In, Personal Websites, RSS Feeds, Historic Photos, Security.txt, Why You Should Have A Bike

Ever felt like you’re not living in the moment because you’re somewhere else? Maybe that somewhere else is the never-ending now.
The Never-Ending Now — David Perell
David Perell argues that most people are in a never-ending now because they constanly consume content that has been created less than 24 hours ago.

Reddit tests forcing users to login or use the app to read content
As reddit is beginning to force some users to sign in to read some sub-reddits, I deleted my account. I don’t want to support a platform that pressures people into using an account just so that it can track what you’re reading. If I feel like using something similar again in the future, I will just look at one of the federated reddit alternatives.

Into the Personal-Website-Verse · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer
Speaking of alternatives, Matthias Ott argues that we should all have personal websites again, since they have a lot more freedom than social networks and are also less hateful. I, myself, have always believed in personal websites. I’ve built my first — very crappy — website using HTML on Geocities when I was a kid. In 2012, I then decided to set up a WordPress-based blog, without even having an idea what I could put there, but I thought I would find something if I just had a place to put it. Just like Matthias argues in his post, personal websites can be a place for experimentation. And while Mastodon is a lot less hateful than most other places on the web, I still thing it is great to have a personal place to put your stuff.

Also, I learned about Webmentions, which are now supported by this very blog.

Let’s bring Fan Sites and webrings back! – bryanlrobinson.com
Remember webrings? I have never participated in one, but I do remember them. Bryan Robinson says „Many consumers see websites as black boxes full of magic that they could never understand.“, which makes me say „Really?“, I mean we have had the web for a long time. I never assumed it’d be something magic-like to many people. Right now I don’t know what content I’d write for a fan site, but I like the idea!

In case you have no idea what a webring is, Charlie Owen does a brilliant job explaining them.

In case you’re looking for some RSS feeds to fill your reader, feedBase has got you covered. And if you like personal websites and blogs, have a look at personalsit.es.

Now here’s something truly fascinating: 50 Oldest Color Photos Show How The World Looked 100 Years Ago | DeMilked
Want to know how Paris looked like in 1914? Charlie Chaplin in 1918? Egyptian markets in 1913? Have a look, you won’t regret it.

Did you ever want to Draw all roads in a city at once? Well, now you can. You will just need to enter the name of a city.

security.txt: Proposed standard for defining security policies
A website proposing a simple standard for security policies. Just put a .txt file on your website at a defined URL so your security policies are easy to find. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Though I’m not doing it at the time of writing, because I haven’t yet found time reading and implementing the proposed standard.

Mr Money Mustache wonders: What Do You Mean “You Don’t Have a Bike”?! and explains why it is that you should definitely have a bike. I totally agree. Now excuse me, I have to go out and ride my bicycle.

A short video showing you why bicycles are great: How Bikes Make Cities Cool – Portland on Vimeo

brannondorsey/chattervox: 📡wants to be something like IRC for radio communication. It is based on the AX.25 protocol, an amateur radio adaptation of the ancient X.25 protocol which some view as the predecessor of TCP/IP. In Germany and Austria it is better known under the product name Datex-P, which had been used by German and Austria Telekom.

Cambridge or There and back again

I have been in Cambridge around two weeks ago, 2nd to 7th April, and I have spent a great week there.

I arrived on Monday at Stanstead airport, where Martin (G3ZAY) picked me up. We drove to Dom (M0BLF) who has been my host for the week. We had dinner and then it became late. I had some strong tea, which proved not to be the best idea I ever had. With a little bit less sleep than needed, my first day in Cambridge was about to begin.


Tuesday morning began with Martin (G3ZAY) taking me into Cambridge. Dan (M0WUT) showed me all the sights and I made same great photos.

Then, after lunch with Martin (G3ZAY) he had taken me to the Secret Nuclear Bunker in Kelvedon Hatch, which isn’t secret anymore, but „a large underground bunker maintained during the cold war as a potential regional government headquarters. Since being decommissioned in 1992, the bunker has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, with a museum focusing on its cold war history.“ (Wikipedia article). Unfortunately I do not have photos from there as it is forbidden to photograph in there. Some photos can be found on the internet, though.


In the evening I had the chance to make some contacts in the UKAC 144 MHz contest with the Camb-Hams. We drove on a small hill and had some fun there.


On Wednesday, I went to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford with Martin (G3ZAY) where I’ve seen a lot of planes.

Martin (G3ZAY) had then taken me to Ely where we looked at the Cathedral. Admission was too expensive, we decided.

After having looked at the cathedral, we walked back to the car park and then met Michael (G7VJR) at his company and had a chat accompanied by a cup of tea.






In the evening we then went to the Camb-Hams Pye & Pint. That’s basically around 30 radio amateurs meeting in a pub eating good food and chatting about their hobby. A great evening.



On Thursday, I was taken to the RSGB’s HQ in Bedford by Richard (G4AWP) where Steve (M1ACB) gave us a cup of tea and a tour of the HQ. Then we drove to Bletchley Park, where I met John (2E0XLX) and we walked around and visited all the huts. Bletchley Park is where the codebreakers in WWII broke ciphers of the Nazis and helped to end the war much quicker. Today it is estimated that it could have shortened the war by some years. Maybe you have heard of Alan Turing, the man who built the Alan-Turing-Bombe which made decoding the ciphers of the Enigma, the cipher machine used by the Germans, possible in the first place. You can even see the Teddy Bear of him.

GB3RS: I made a few QSOs at the clubstation in the National Radio Center.

In the evening, I watched some Torchwood episodes (season 2, episode 6 „Reset“ and episode 12 „Fragments“), as well as the Doctor Who special The Day Of The Doctor at Rob’s (M0VFC) with Dom (M0BLF) and Martin, (G3ZAY).


On Friday, Martin (G3ZAY) took me to the Ofcom listening station (PDF, link now dead), where Gavin (M1BXF) joined us. Jenny (G0VQH) gave us a tour of the antenna farm. Later that day, Martin (G3ZAY) took me to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History. It has been interesting to see all those old computers. But most of the exhibiton was about gaming over the last decades, which wasn’t really interesting to me. In the afternoon, I went to the Prana Indian Restaurant in Cambridge with Dom (M0BLF) and Lawrence (M0LCM). That was the first time I’ve been to an Indian restaurant. We then went to the Cambridge105 studio.


So long, and thanks for all the fish. – Douglas Adams

I then had to leave on Saturday. My plane was on time and I left the UK around midday. 🙁

I hope to come back to the UK.


Thanks to Dom (M0BLF) for hosting me for that week.
Thanks to Martin (G3ZAY) for driving me to all the places.
Thanks to Dan (M0WUT) for showing me all the sights.
Thanks to Michael (G7VJR) for the cup of tea.
Thanks to Richard (G4AWP) for taking me to Bletchley Park.
Thanks to Steve (M1ACB) for the tour of the HQ and the tea.
Thanks to John (2E0XLX) for being my companion at Bletchley Park.
Thanks to Rob (M0VFC) for the great evening on Thursday.
Thanks to Gavin (M1BXF) for showing me the exposure compensation on my camera.
Thanks to Jenny (G0VQH) for the tour of Baldock.
Thanks to Lawrence (M0LCM) for letting me see how a waffle is made.
Thanks to the Camb-Hams for letting me play on their radios and making this week possible.

You are all amazing!

How I learn(ed) Swedish

As you may have noticed, I really enjoy learning and using Swedish. But how do I learn Swedish? For quite some time now, I have been able to have normal conversations and I’d consider myself to be at level B1 or B2.

Most of my learning happened using babbel.com, but as I’ve completed all the lessions a while ago, I’m just using babbel to refresh all the vocabulary. I can really recommend learning Swedish with babbel. You can try the first lesson for free. With babbel, it didn’t really feel like learning and therefore it didn’t feel like work. Which is why I really enjoy learning with babbel. Plus you also learn very quickly compared to a language learning course.

Since I’ve completed everything babbel could offer me for learning Swedish, I began to look for podcasts to train my listening comprehension. These are the podcasts I found especially helpful:

Radio Sweden på lätt svenska is a podcast targeted at people who have learned enough to understand normal spoken swedish. It’s spoken slowly and with a clear pronounciation.

Klartext is a bit more difficult, but still a bit easier than normal spoken swedish. Listen to it when the above mentioned podcast becomes to slow and boring.

Stockholmsnytt is a normal news podcast. Search it in your podcast app.

All of the above mentioned podcasts give you around 5 minutes of spoken swedish every day. And these five minutes make a big difference.

Språket (RSS-feed) is a podcast by the broadcaster P1, where you can learn about the Swedish language. A great way to keep learning as an advanced learner. They talk about different topics like grammar or sayings.


Sometimes, I also read newspaper articles published on dn.se or the articles on the website of radio sweden (sverigesradio.se)


A very important thing to do: Talking to people. So try to find someone to practice with. I do that via amateur radio or by talking to a friend in Stockholm once in a while. You can also train your reading skills by following Swedish folk on twitter.


I will keep adding material to the list on my wiki: https://wiki.dc7ia.org/doku.php?id=languages:swedish


Whoa. What a week. More than 80 Youngsters from 26 countries gathered in Gilwell Park. All have the same hobby: Amateur Radio. So that’s what we did for a whole week. Amateur Radio stuff.

Saturday was the day it all begun. Ryanair had some delay, so I came a bit late compared to all the others. I watched the end of the opening of YOTA, where we received our YOTA T-Shirts and some other stuff. We were then divided into five streams: Turing, Morse, Hertz, Tesla, Marconi.

Every stream had the same programme, but on different days. We had a programme in the morning, lunch from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and then our afternoon programme.

We had different activities, this is what stream Turing did:



In the morning we operated the special event station GB17YOTA, a really great station provided by the Camb-Hams ( www.camb-hams.com ). We used some Elecraft Transceivers with a lot of good antennas and we had quite often pile-ups. We were rotating at the stations for the different bands, so that everyone would use all of the sations during the timeframe for the activity. A cool thing is that you could hear a lot languages, because many operators answered to the distant station in their language, when they knew it.

In the afternoon we built a groundplane antenna for 17m. The wires in my team were all cut the same length, but the first wire was too short. So we ended up with an antenna for another band. We had some help from Lauren, M6HLR, who activated all 214 Wainwrights at an age of 12, and from her father (G0PEK). We antennas are leightweight antennas from SOTABEAMS that are made for SOTA.


We prepared for the Foundation licence exam. In the preparation have we learned how to tune a dipole, send and reiceive some Morse code (really slow), use the prefixes for British call signs in other parts of the UK and some other stuff. There hasn’t been a lot new for most of the participants, who already were licensed, except for the call signs.

After lunch have we begun to build a QRP transceiver for telegraphy on 17m, but the time was a bit short and I don’t think anyone finished in the short time. The transceiver kit was donated from QRP labs. It really has a lot of functions…


This is the day most happened. In the morning have we operated GB17YOTA again. See Sunday.

Our afternoon activity has been ARDF. This was completely new for me and has been a lot of fun. It really took me a long time to find all the hidden transmitters, but eventually I found them all.

After our afternoon programme happened something special, something unique. An experience you don’t have that often: We spoke to Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA onboard the ISS. But this contact was even more special than most ISS contacts, because it didn’t work at first. We could see Paolo using HamTV (2.4 GHz) and he heard us, but we couldn’t hear us. After some time we told him to raise the thumb. We then knew that the problem had to be aboard the ISS. Mission Control in Houston had been called and asked for a seond try. We had to wait some time. Then they called back. And we got a second try! Paolo has been floating to the Soyuz module. There he could use a working radio, 25 W instead of 5 W. But there we couldn’t see him, because the camera for HamTV is in the other module. That didn’t matter that much. We could ask out questions and then had some time to applaud, to let Nick, G3RWF, President of the Radio Society of Great Britain thank Paolo for the contact and to let Paolo say goodbye. It really was a moving experience. Thank you, Paolo.


RSGB call book from 1951 in the Science Museum in London

RSGB call book from 1951 in the Science Museum in London

We visited London on Wednesday, where we have seen the Big Ben in Westminster, 10 Downing Street, the Trafalgar Square and the Buckingham Palace, where we took the Underground to the Science Museum.

The group then went back to Gilwell Park, while I took the underground with DK3CW to 221b Baker Street, where I bought a Sherlock Holmes book.


For thursday, we could choose from different activities. Some went to the OFCOM receiving

early QSL cards

Some early QSL cards in the Science Museum in London

station in Baldock, where I haven’t been because the number of participants was limited to 40. Some have been operating GB17YOTA, completed their transceivers or

An early coil

An early coil in the Science Museum in London

did other stuff.


In the morning, we visited Blechtley Park, where we learned about the Enigma and Alan Turing’s work on decrypting the messages encrypted with it. Experts now believe that Alan Turing’s work shortened the great war by two years. We also visited the National Radio Center in Blechtley Park, where we could operate GB3RS, but I

Early RF technology

Early RF technology in the Science Museum in London

decided to visit the shop of the museum, instead of waiting for the transceiver to be free for me, where I bought two books about Alan Turing.

From the museum, we drove around half an hour to a SOTA summit, where we made some contacts, before we drove back to Gilwell Park. This was the last day, so had a party and some goodbyes. We received the results of the foundation licence exam and every participant received a books about DXpeditions.

Conclusion: I’d visit YOTA again, but the number of participants is limited and participants who have not attended a YOTA camp before are preferred.

An early Telegraph station

This is how early Telegraph stations looked like

Thanks to the RSGB, the IARU and all the organisers of YOTA 2017!

A telegram

A telegram in the Science Museum in London







More about YOTA 2017 from the Radio Society of Great Britain: http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/yota-2017/
There you can also find the Daily Diaries, some great videos about YOTA.

Paddle from DK3CW / old Morse key

Jakob, DK3CW compares a modern morse code paddle to an old Morse key in the Science Museum in London



#hamradio2017: See you again next year in Friedrichshafen

Also this year it has been nice to meet so many great people from all around the world. This year I stayed in the HamCamp again, this year organized by Gerrit, DH8GHH (thank you!) where meeting great people started.

Mr. T-Rex has been at the information desk of the HamCamp most of the time.

Friday, 9 a.m. I went to the opening of the Ham Radio. The mayor of Friedrichshafen talked a bit

The mayor of Friedrichshafen at the opening of the Ham Radio.

about the impact the fair has to the city every year and IARU president Don Beattie, G3BJ, covered the spectrum challenges of today, and IARU’s role in working for the future of amateur radio A bit later DARC president Steffen Schöppe, DL7ATE hands over the Horkheimer award to Fritz Markert, DM2BLE. Fritz has done a lot do make calculations needed for german amateur radio stations a lot easier.

After the Ham Radio had officially opened I went to the stand of the federal network agency and asked them if they could use some help in the amateur radio examinition and then they told me to come. Before I helped at the examination, I went to the RSGB stand and drank some really good tea there. Steve, M1ACB, told me tea had to be drunken with milk so I decided to give it a try. Thanks for enlightening me, Steve!

IARU president Don Beattie, G3BJ talked about the importance of the work of the IARU.

Then I went to the examination and helped a bit there. I then asked the organizer of the american amateur radio examination if he could use my help, but he told me he had 40 examiners, so I didn’t help there this year as a Volunteer Examiner.

The stand of the swedish amateur radio society SSA.

Most of the time I’ve been at the stand of the swedish amateur radio society, where I told people about the longwave transmitter SAQ and why this UNESCO world heritage is something special that should be kept in a the good state it is so future generations can learn things from it. Of course you could also find a moose at the stand. 🙂

It has been a really great experience to participate as an exhibitor and if my help is wanted in the future I’ll gladly join again. It has been very cool to have many conversations in Swedish and English. Especially in Swedish it has been cool to get some practice. Thank you Anders, SM6CNN och Hans-Christian, SM6ZEM that you have invited me. 🙂

DARC president hands over the Horkheimer award to Fritz Markert, DM2BLE

Where else do you have the possibility to talk to people from that many countries and learn new things?

At the stand of the swedish amateur radio society: A map with destinations in sweden

The stand of the SSA








See you next year in Friedrichshafen!

Bald ist es wieder soweit: Ham Radio 2017

– English version below –

Nicht mehr lange. Dann beginnt wieder das große Treffen von Funkamateuren aus aller Welt in Friedrichshafen. Funkamateure und Funkinteressierte treffen sich, um sich auszutauschen, neue Leute kennen zu lernen, Freundschaften zu vertiefen oder Freundschaften zu schließen. Nebenbei werden auch wieder Funkgeräte bestaunt und gekauft oder es wird über den Trödelmarkt geschlendert.

Ich freue mich persönlich wieder darauf, mit Leuten aus den unterschiedlichsten Ländern wieder mit mehreren Sprachen wieder sprechen zu können. Einige tolle Menschen treffe ich nur einmal im Jahr bei der Ham Radio. Ich freue mich euch dort wieder alle zu treffen und wundere mich, was euch jedes Jahr nach Süd-Deutschland zieht, denn es gibt viele Gründe, zur Messe zu fahren.


Bis demnächst, wenn es wieder heißt: Wir treffen uns am Bodensee



Not for long. Then the great meeting of radio amateurs from all over the world begins again in Friedrichshafen. Radio amateurs and radio interested folk meet to exchange, meet new people, deepen friendships or make friends. In addition, radio equipment is also admired and bought, or it is strolled over the flea market.

I personally look forward to being able to speak with people from different countries again with several languages. Some great people I meet only once a year at the Ham Radio. I am looking forward to seeing you all again and I’m wondering what attracts you to South Germany every year, because there are many reasons to go to the fair.

Until soon, when: We meet at Lake Constance


How to use every bluetooth CAT dongle with RepeaterBook – now without root!

Last time I showed you how you can use any bluetooth CAT dongle with RepeaterBook. This time I show you how to do the same but without the need to get root access. Everything is the same except how we get to that file and get it back to the device.


  • You have ADB (Android Debug Bridge) installed
  • You have a USB cable for your phone
  • You have enabled ADB debugging for your phone (if not: just google it)
  • You have Android Backup Extractor on you Computer, get it HERE.

Extracting the file

First of all we need to get the file com.zbm2.repeaterbook_preferences.xml from the device.
To do that we just type in a command line: adb backup -noapk com.zbm2.repeaterbook

Confirm to backup on your device. You mustn’t use a password in order to follow my tutorial.

You will find a file called backup.ab in your current folder. We need to get a backup.tar file out of it.
Now we type: java -jar abe.jar unpack ~/backup.ab backup.tar

After that you will find a file called backup.tar. You will find the file we are looking for under the subfolder apps. Open the file and edit it as I explained in an earlier post. Save it and update the .tar archive. The exact way depends on the software you use. Try googling it if you have no idea.

Getting the changed file to the device

First we need to make a new .ab file from the .tar file. To accomplish that, we type: java -jar abe.jar pack backup.tar backup-new.ab 

Restore the file to your device: adb restore backup-new.ab

Just confirm that you want to restore. That’s it.

Just the usual note: I take NO responsibility if you are a not capable of using your brain and/or your computer correctly and then damage something. Following this tutorial could kill cats if used wrong and without caution.