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Old 09-01-2014, 01:34 PM   #1
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Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
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goTenna... turns your cell phone into a cell-free 2-way text

Greetings all,

Thought you might enjoy checking out a yet-to-be released device called "goTenna". Their website link is _ goTenna.com _ This is a direct non-affiliate link to their website. I did pre-order a pair of them ($150 pair) and after the order you are given the option to share it on facebook etc or have an affiliate link... < < < BUT, i don't feel right sharing fun tech like this and getting any compensation so the link above is just their link and nothing to do with me.

OK, that out of the way...

I'm a HAM Radio operator. I've dreamed of being able to somehow pair my cell phone's ability to have a nice keyboard and just send a text message to my wife (who is not a HAM operator) if she was within radio range (terrain dependant just like a 2 meter handheld ham or business class radio...~.5 mile in city buildings, ~1-2 miles at the river/mts, 3+ miles in desert/lake...)

Anywhoo...the beauty of this little device is she can strap one of the goTenna's on her backpack and head to the river with her cell phone paired to the device via blue tooth even with the cell phone in airplane mode...and send/receive texts to/from me up at camp with the other goTenna and my cell phone... All done without any cell tower and zero cell service. Unlimited text messages and no fees after initial purchase. Pretty cool IMO!!

Cheers,
Thom
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: goTenna... turns your cell phone into a cell-free 2-way

I found these sort of interesting when I first heard of them.

Turns out they operate on a MURS frequency (151ish mhz) at 2W. I didn't get a set cuz I don't need them, but I've always been curious why text over radio over some such frequency isn't more common. It came up in discussions about the "Earl" device, and Rhinos. Text obviously has some advantages over voice. The developers didn't respond directly to me, but from what I've gleaned getting FCC device approval for such a beast isn't trivial.

Also relevant is message confirmation, etc. There are some products that can message but don't confirm, encrypt, etc. I assume that's done in the smartphone. I can't recall if Rhino's do that.

Be interesting if it finds some users. We just use the radios. But if I needed the encryption or the locator APRS-like features it has, these might be useful. Like keeping track of your kids....
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