I’ve wanted a Geochron in the shack since forever, but it seemed a pricey luxury especially since everything about it (except for the stunning visual display) could be derived from the shack computer. Still, it remained on my bucket-list of things wanted until the digital version of the same was made available and I bought one when Amazon had 42-inch 4K TV’s for sale for under two-hundred bucks one Black Friday.
The Geochron Digital Atlas 4K displays a full-featured Geochron World Clock on any 4K TV, with every mapset and lighting option available in our famous mechanical clock but at a fraction of the cost. Now in the digital format, users can customize markers on the map, and receive (with internet) real time updates. The hardware is a sturdy, fanless mini computer specifically designed for commercial digital displays found in restaurants and airports.
With the new TV stuck on the wall in the shack I’ve been completely happy with this combination that’s both useful and pleasing to look at as it dresses up the shack nicely.
But when summer rolled around this year I started spending a lot less time in the shack and didn’t always leave the thing running. I powered it up again a few weeks ago and while checking for any missed system updates I noticed a ham radio premium bundle was available that included new options specifically for amateur radio enthusiasts.
A vast real-time workspace specifically for Ham Radio, showing DX cluster and beacon activity, solar and ionospheric conditions, MUF, your uploaded ADIF call logs, and AMSAT satellites. Of course, your callsign is prominently displayed on the Geochron and over our detailed mapsets.
This bundle is a paid upgrade that will set you back $6.99 a month or $69.99 per year. There was a five-day free trial that I took and was able to test-drive the new features. While I found some of them more useful than others, in the end I opted to forego this premium bundle. Some of the more useful features (to me) were too small to easily see on the display while some other features made the interface too busy.
While it’s not for me right now, I’ll keep an eye on the evolution of this premium service and others (there’s already an Earthquake premium layer available) as I like having useful information available on the wall in the shack, especially if I don’t have to go hunt it down on the Web.