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Firefox plugins for Amateur Radio

October 5, 2008

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I have used Firefox for a long time (back when it was known as Firebird before it was forced to change its name). It is a great browser and if you have not tried it and its tab browser feature then I recommend you give it a try. Although I have used, and still use other browsers, I do like Firefox and return to it regularly.

By the way, if you have only ever used Internet Explorer, you should really try other browsers. You may find one which is more enjoyable to use than IE. Besides Firefox, take a look at Safari, Opera, Sea Monkey or Amaya (these last two contain HTML editors too – I would go further and say Amaya is an editor first and a browser second).

Besides its price (free), speed and tabbed browsing (I cannot do without that), Firefox is popular because of the variety of plugins to enhance its features.  Plugins are modules that can give your browser extra features. Here are some plugins I use for amateur radio.

  • Propfire: This is provided by N0HR and displays the current solar activity indices in the browser frame.  Right clicking on the indices also gives more detailed information including propagation forecasts and a graph of data.
  • Haminfobar: This is a full toolbar that fits across the browser and includes an array of amateur and related information.  This has a wealth of information within it, plus RSS feeds can be added to it.  Content includes:
    • A search window
    • A drop down menu with links to key pages such as, DX info, QSL info, propagation, specific modes and forums to name a few.
    • A drop down menu that shows sites for equipment, world facts, radio magazines etc.
    • a UTC clock
    • Selected RSS
    • Weather info
    • and so on.
  • HamLinks toolbar: Another tool from N0HR and it is very similar to Haminfobar, mentioned above, (not sure which came first but one looks to be a derivative). The content is slightly different, including links to AmateurLogic.TV, which is interesting to watch.  Propagation information is also included inline.
  • Foxclocks: It is always useful to have a series of clocks with a series of times at locations around the world.  Foxclocks allows you to display the time at different cities/locations and provides a lot of ways to modify.  I usually display the West Coast of North America, Europe (UK), Far East or Australia.  Great for DXers or users of IRLP or DStar gateways.
  • Google Notebook:  I use this for quickly collecting web information for projects.  It is more than a bookmarker as you can clip content too.  It is like an electronic scrapbook.  Great if you use different computers as your Google account means that you can access the same notebook once you are logged in.
  • Twitterfox:  I am an infrequent user of the micro-blogging tool Twitter.  This is a nice plugin that allows you to see the Tweets (or posts) that the people you are following have made.  If you want to quickly find out which amateurs use Twitter (so you can select who you want to follow) then check the HamTwits webpage.

I hope you find some of these plugins useful, if you have not tried them before.  I am sure there are other plugins out there being used with amateur radio.  Please share what you use by posting details in a comment below.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2008 8:20 pm

    Nice post and useful firefox plugins
    Hope you don’t mind if I put a link to your site on my website.
    If so let me know and I will delete it.

    Thanks

  2. October 5, 2008 8:47 pm

    Hi Alan,

    Good list that you’ve posted. One of my favourites is ‘Read it Later’ at:
    http://www.ideashower.com/ideas/launched/read-it-later/
    I use it a lot as I never remember where I bookmark pages that I want to read later or again. Give it a try.

    Bob VE3MPG

  3. va3stl permalink*
    October 5, 2008 8:48 pm

    Bill,

    Glad you like the post and find it useful.

    Feel free to post the link. If you use any information all I ask is that you follow the Creative Commons license given at the bottom of the right hand column.

    73
    Alan

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