Useful Locator and Elevation Mapping Tools

Finding your Maidenhead Locator (QRA Square) is a trivial thing these days.  There are number of free smartphone apps that allow you to find it just by switching on its GPS.  There are also some great website tools that provide a visual plot of squares making it easy to find those all-important edges where you can claim to actually be in that square, but only just!

Here are 3 worthwhile bookmarks that I thought I’d share with you…

TK5EP’s QRA Locator is a very nice “live map” which allows you to zoom in+out seeing squares with up to 8-characters of accuracy:

Maidenhead Locator Square finder from TK5EP

An alternative (as since writing this the above website has falling foul of Google’s Map API usage) is the HA8TKS Maidenhead Map which uses OpenStreetMap.

What about VHF/UHF “line of sight”?  It can be useful to know the terrain between you and another station – particularly if you *think* you’re on the area’s “high spot”.  You may not be, or you may be fairly high up but with other obstacles in a particular direction.

Terrain Profile Plotter from Solwise

Elevation Path from Solwise

If you’ve ever wondered why your mate 10 miles down the road is a rubbish signal on 2m it may be because of the 100m hill sitting in-between you!

Finally, if you’ve not found it on this site already, I have a European Locator Map image as a download which you can crop+print – useful to easily find where a square is to aim your beam, or colour it in when you work a square!