GoTenna

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hoppyjr
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GoTenna

Post by hoppyjr » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:53 pm

I kinda like these....

http://gearpatrol.com/2014/09/04/review ... -the-grid/

Off-grid Bluetooth antenna that turns a smartphone into a walkie-talkie. Might be fun to play with.

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Re: GoTenna

Post by hazmatman » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:01 pm

I was looking at those this weekend. Very interesting.
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GoTenna

Post by hoppyjr » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:29 pm

I'm thinking it would be handy for local family & friends to have. In the event of a big earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster, people could use these to coordinate a meeting point, do status checks, etc.

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Re: GoTenna

Post by hazmatman » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:38 am

hoppyjr wrote:I'm thinking it would be handy for local family & friends to have. In the event of a big earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster, people could use these to coordinate a meeting point, do status checks, etc.
As the HQ guy stuck with the box marked "COOP", I am always looking at anything new in commo.

They might be perfect for that, assuming you do have pre-planned assembly or rendezvous points. The GoTenna uses the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) which is capped at 2 watts output but many situations it is much better than the typical OTS unlicensed FRS or GMRS radios. However it is still point to point line of sight transmitting, so in highly urban environments (not good indoors, in areas with lots of big buildings, "street canyons", etc) your range drops considerably, but outside of town in relatively even terrain or if one of you have the high ground, it should work well.

And it is text only. I do not believe GoTenna is currently equipped for voice transmission; although, I cannot imagine it would be too difficult to pull off sometime in the future.
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Re: GoTenna

Post by hoppyjr » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:42 am

I prefer the text only platform here. It will always be easier to get texts through that voice, especially when terrain and power are not optimal. Battery life is substaitially better that voice too.

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Re: GoTenna

Post by hobbit712 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:42 am

That's pretty cool. Could come in very handy down here in hurricane alley.
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Re: GoTenna

Post by hazmatman » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:37 am

hoppyjr wrote:I prefer the text only platform here. It will always be easier to get texts through that voice, especially when terrain and power are not optimal. Battery life is substaitially better that voice too.
I did notice the GoTenna actually has it's own flash memory so it will gather & hold messages on it's own, as long as the antenna is powered up, even if your app is not open. I wonder though, if like SMS, it will continually attempt to transmit until it links to the designated recipient.
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Re: GoTenna

Post by hoppyjr » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:51 am

I believe the design it that it captures received messages and holds them until the recipient powers on. It won't save messages to send, you simply send them when you are linked.

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Re: GoTenna

Post by hazmatman » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:16 am

hoppyjr wrote:I believe the design it that it captures received messages and holds them until the recipient powers on. It won't save messages to send, you simply send them when you are linked.
So I guess you have to hope your buddies keep their GoTenna powered up continuously once normal comms go down so they can be pulling down their messages. Which now makes me wonder out loud, once you sync one of these antennas to a device, it must have an identifier code somewhere in the antenna itself...otherwise there is no way for them to talk to one another unless both apps are up & running simultaneously...so the sender & receiver can reliably ID each other.

When the GoTenna pairs with the phone, the app must have a directory that pairs the name you give to the contact with the antenna ID code. That way your antenna can be powered up continuously even if your phone is not, and the GoTenna is continually pulling down any messages sent to your name (more importantly your coded GoTenna ID) within range of the GoTenna.
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Re: GoTenna

Post by hazmatman » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:36 pm

Here's something I am looking forward to seeing come out - Beartooth. http://www.beartooth.com/

A case for your smartphone, that provides an additional battery and retractable radio antenna. They infer it is cross-compatible with UHF, VHF, FRS, GMRS, and MURS. Its capabilities include voice, data & text, its encrypted peer to peer for text & data, it will also utilizes the on-board GPS of the smart phone so you can ID & map other Beartooth users.

I see it as a great way to multi-mode leverage the ubiquitous smartphone.

At work, we have been working on networked platforms to bridge multiple communications capabilities. We currently have networked consoles that link multi-jurisdictional VHF, UHF, etc and allow me to use either my personal iPhone via a secure App, or my landline desk phone, or my handheld VHF to talk with another agency's chopper pilot on UHF over Salt Lake City while another person types on their networked computer in San Francisco, and a guy in NYC listens in on his SAT phone. Awesome when all the networks are up, but it will blow if networks drop during a local incident. This new gadget looks promising.
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Re: GoTenna

Post by hoppyjr » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:58 pm

I read about that "Beartooth" too and agree, it could be outstanding.

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