goTenna - A very Interesting NEW Product, for SECURE Comms......

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by BTPost, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just ran across this little Goodie, being advertised on the Internet.... (goTenna | No service, no problem.

    It is a BlueTooth/VHF CrossBand Repeater that is self-contained, and apparently self-Powered with an internal LiIon Battery. From what I have read, (I have contacted these folks, for more information, and will publish what they say, when it comes.) it connects to your Smart Device via BlueTooth, and then uses the License Free MURS Radio Frequencies, (152-154 Mhz) to connect to other LIKE Units, within about 3-4 Miles. I have not CONFIRMED that it passes IP Protocols, but that seems likely, as they say you can send Messages, Text, Pictures, and Encrypted Data, between Units. If so, these would make Excellent SECURE Comms Units, for Monkeys to use in local AoO Comms. with an Encrypted Voice over IP App on each end, Even encrypted Voice could possibly be used. In a STHF, or Natural Disaster Senerio, Like Minded Groups could form Ad-Hoc Networks, with Encrypted Comms, very easily.

    Just a NOTE, here: They say, in the blurb, that they are in the process of getting the Units FCC Type Approval, and hope to be able to market them, in the USA, by this fall.
  2. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Sounds like the range is similar to FRS/GMRS radio's.

    But encrypted.

    Nice. [tongue]
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Specs say 2 watts RF Output, to a Fixed Antenna.... So very likely MURS type Digital Transmitter on the VHF Portion....
  4. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Oops. Nothing to see.

    Myopic me, posted in wrong thread. [tongue]
  5. scrapman21009

    scrapman21009 Chupacabra Hunter

    Now one with an external antenna, say a mini-uhf jack, that would have real possibilities. I also noticed it is in a preorder status, wonder how soon before they roll it out for delivery?
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    They are waiting for FCC Type Acceptance to come thru, before they can officially sell it in this country..... They say, Fall 2014......
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Thanks. I've read about those a few weeks ago.
    I thought these were phone to phone via bluetooth. are you saying that they would be able to communicate pc to pc? What communications software?
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    @melbo I have chatted with their Support Folks, about the product, and these use Standard IP Protocols.... Basically they are a BlueTooth to VHF Repeater that operate using Half-duplex Packetized Comms on the VHF Side, and standard BlueTooth Protocols on the BlueTooth side.
    ANY IP Device that has BlueTooth Connectivity can be Paired with this device and then is able to send and Receiver IP Packets with a Connected Device on the VHF side. If you have a Messaging Program on your BlueTooth Device, like Skype, Google IM, Yahoo IM, or whatever, you can text. I figure Voice may or may NOT work, as the VHF Link is Half-Duplex. However, File Transfer, or any other standard IP Protocols should run, albeit at less than DSL Speeds, due to limited Bandwidth, of the VHF Channels. Any
    encryption would be done on the BlueTooth device, before the packet goes out to the Unit, and then is deCrypted on the other end by the receiving Bluetooth Device, as per normal IP protocols. I will be getting a pair, just as soon as they get FCC Type Acceptance approved, and will be playing with them, to see their actual usefulness.
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    But IM requires a relay server between the chatters, no? XMPP IM requires a backend like ejabberd to 'relay' the chats to the users.
    So it would have to be strictly p2p communications which might be limited in application.

    The only thing I've ever seen done point to point was screen sharing (chatting in a txt editor) via VNC which might be a possibility.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am sure that once this is up and running, there will be a lot f Apps written, to accommodate this new hardware. File, Screen, Text, IM, and maybe Voice, with and without Encryption Modules added... This is really a whole New Ballgame, in Private Comms. That is why I am so interested in it.
  12. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    I would really like to see the mesh HAM network take off. I've got an old WRT-54G that I could throw online but I need someone else to connect to. A nationwide mesh that ran IP over the HAM bands (shared wifi portion of the space) would be awesome. You could have websites, servers that hosted relay services (like IM/Jabber). Yeah, you are limited by bandwidth but the original Internet was too and remember how much there was, really, if you stop to think about it.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I did ask the Support Guys, if there would be a "Follow On" Product, for the 2 Meter Ham Band, with maybe a External Antenna Port. I got a LONG Pause, then a "No Comment"..... So who knows, but I bet it would Sell like Crazy......
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  14. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    So basically, MURS and maybe the 2 meter spectrum allocation would be eaten up by digital emissions, some of which would be (currently illegally on ham bands) encrypted? I'm sure the smaller fire departments that still operate on the vhf business band (and close by) will really be happy about the interference, too.

    I can see this going bad quickly, similar to the 11 meter band.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well, No... the Bandwidth of the legal Emissions, hasn't changed, for the MURS Service, so it all must fit in a standard Voice Channel. (5 Khz) Thru-put will be about 56K Baud, Maximum, so not likely used for surfing the Web, and certainly not for Video.... Mostly text Messaging, and File Sharing of small Files, with possibly some Audio... Remember it is Half Duplex.....
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator


    You have all heard of Bluetooth and some of you may be familiar with goTenna. Now add a new communications device called Beartooth that adds VHF and UHF voice and data communications capability to smartphones. We get more from George Thomas W5JDX:


    According to its experimental license grant WH2XLW, the Beartooth can operate anywhere in the 137 to 174 MHz and 400 to 470 MHz bands with an Effective Radiated power of two watts. According to Comsearch's FCC emission designation decoder the license appears to cover amplitude modulation and phase modulation transmitting voice, data and telegraphy for automatic reception.

    The Beartooth unit is described as a software-defined radio receiver and transmitter that interfaces with supported devices and includes a battery to double smartphone battery life. Uses include personal communications, industrial communications services, and public safety.

    Since the device is an SDR with a wide frequency range, it not only supports the same type of personal communications provided by the the recently introduced goTenna, but also adds the ability to communicate with any analog radios operating on Family Radio Service, General Mobile Radio Service or Multi-Use Radio Service spectrum. The device is also said to be usable on the amateur 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands.

    This seems to be a leap forward, in Private Communications for the TechnoNerd Crowd. 2 Watts on VHF should give a much better Range than any FRS/GMRS Radio System, and similar to the GoAntenna System. (GoAntenna uses MURS Frequencies) 2 Watts on UHF will defiantly match the GMRS Radio coverages.
    Tully Mars, melbo and kellory like this.
  17. whynot

    whynot Monkey+++

    Very interesting since most of us are walking around with a smart phone already. Similar to the push to talk phones from a few years back but over radio frequencies?
  18. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    This can be done already. Using a smartphone (or tablet) for control of a remote base. Works on HF, too.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    This works without any Network, like the SECURE Phones.... It works even in REMOTE Areas, where there is no Network, to connect to.... That makes this Gadget, unique....
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I like it. Even works in airplane mode. ( is it legal to use on a plane?) And would work between hunters, when cell cuts out.
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