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A UI Frame Client for the Cybiko


The Cybiko is a small handheld computer that's just a little bit larger than a PDA. It was designed for teenagers to play video games and "chat" with others who have Cybikos. It has a 160x100 LCD screen, comes with a stylus, a serial cable, a charger for the two 700mAH NiMH batteries it runs on, and it has a 900MHz digital transceiver. The Cybiko looks like a toy and it works like a toy, so it's perfect for hamradio!

There are two versions available of the Cybiko, the Classic and the Xtreme. The difference, besides the obvious difference in looks, is that the Xtreme version has a USB port, while the Classic has a serial port. In order to connect a serial device you'll need the Classic version.

I used the Software Development Kit available from the Cybiko website to write a  so that the Cybiko can communicate with any TNC that can be put in KISS mode. Only AX.25 UI frames are supported by the driver. The KISS driver runs in the background and is started by the applications that needs it.

UI Messenger

Next I wrote UI Messenger, which enables you send and receive messages and to monitor traffic on your local RF network. In addition to the messaging capabilities it also shows you your position and that of other stations on a map in real time.

GPS Support/Tracker

I also added GPS support to UI Messenger so that you can connect a GPS receiver to the Cybiko and turn it into an intelligent NMEA tracker. While you move around you can see yourself move around on the map and this can also be broadcast for others to see.

Serial to 900 MHz Gateway

Then I wondered if it would be possible to create my own wireless network using two Cybikos so that I didn't have to be at my station to receive messages. UI Gate solves that problem. UI Gate relays all traffic from the local RF (2 meter) network onto a 900MHz channel. Now you can run UI Messenger on a second Cybiko and roam around and don't have to miss anything. UI Gate also allows you to share one TNC with multiple Cybikos, wireless!