[aprssig] APRS and goTenna

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Sat Dec 19 10:31:46 EST 2015

Richard Amirault via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org> writes:

> On 12/18/2015 7:13 PM, Bill Vodall wrote:
>> So much publicity and advertising these days for the "new technology"
>> of the goTenna - when we've been doing the same and much much more for
>> 20+ years.
>>    http://www.wsj.com/articles/no-cell-signal-this-can-help-when-you-wander-off-grid-1450203815
> These works on MURS frequencies and, like any radio signal, successful
> communication varies with location. I suspect that most users will be
> disappointed in the coverage radius of these units. Besides ... with
> no cell signals ... that means no power to re-charge your smartphone
> (needed to use these) Unless you have provided a way to re-charge your
> phone these will have a *very* limited time of use.

Power and cell don't seem all that closely linked; I tend to be out of
cell coverage far more often than there is no electricity.  Plus
solar/battery isn't that hard, and even normal people carry batteries to
recharge their phones.

While there are issues, this seems a natural evolution of carrying FRS
radios, and is accessible to normal people.  Plus it seems one can
encrypt text messages and location, which you can't do on Amateur

But I agree that most people will be unhappy with range because they
have no idea how radio works.

To me the bad part is having to use their app vs an open API.

It was amusing that the WSJ article talked about people taking these to
foreign countries - where MURS is probably not ok.

So I wonder if this will have a place to link the public to nearby hams
for longer range communication during infrastructure outages.

73 de n1dam
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