The Earl Tablet... an interesting Comms Device

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by BTPost, May 15, 2013.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator
    This device was brought to the Monkeys attention by our own @kellory ....

    I was interested in the concept, but noticed a MAJOR flaw in the design, that would keep it from being imported into the USA.

    So, I did some research in CFR 47 Part 95 which is the FCC Regulations that govern Personal Communications Radio Services, like GMRS, FRS, CB, and MURS. If you read the blurb, linked above, you will notice that the device not only has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, AM & FM Broadcast, Short Wave, Long Wave, and NOAA Wx Vhf Channels, but it can function on GMRS, FRS, and MURS, as a TwoWay Radio Walkie/Talkie. So far, so Good, No problem... Then they go on to say, that not only can you communicate on these Radio services via Voice, but "
    Send secure text or voice messages via Walkie-Talkie; even transmit weather, location, and route information. Signal for help, report fires or alert your group to changing conditions."
    There is the rub.... The sending of Text Messages, Secure, or otherwise, is an expressly, Illegal Use, under the FCC Rules for GMRS, and MURS Radio Services, and a very Limited Use for the FRS Radio Service. See CFR47 Part 95.361 (a), (e), & (f) below:

    (a) A GMRS transmitter must transmit only emission types A1D, F1D, G1D, H1D, J1D, R1D, A3E, F3E, G3E, H3E, J3E or R3E. A non-voice emission is limited to selective calling or tone- operated squelch tones to establish or continue voice communications. See § 95.181 (g) and (h).
    (e) No GMRS or CB transmitter shall employ a digital modulation or emission.
    (f) No GMRS, CB or R/C transmitter shall transmit non-voice data.
    (j) A MURS transmitter must transmit only emission types A1D, A2B, A2D, A3E, F2B, F1D, F2D, F3E, G3E. Emission types A3E, F3E and G3E include selective calling or tone-operated squelch tones to establish or continue voice communications. MURS transmitters are prohibited from transmitting in the continuous carrier mode.

    These rules pretty much make transmissions of Text Messages, on these Licensed Radio Services, Illegal under CFR47Part 95...

    The FRS Radio service is allowed to transmit Text & Data under the following Rule CFR47Part95.631 (d): (This is the rule that allows the Garmin Rhino series GPS/FRS Units to operate in the USA......
    (d) An FRS unit may transmit only emission type F3E or F2D. A non-voice emission is limited to selective calling or tone-operated squelch tones to establish or continue voice communications, digital data transmission of location information or text messaging.

    So, it will be interesting to see if this device can garner an FCC Type Acceptance Certification, without which it may NOT be imported or used in the USA.

    I sent a note off to the OEMs, and asked the question.... I will report back what they say....
    kellory and Hammerhead like this.
  2. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Thanks for moving this discussion to a thread.

    I understand the logic to conclude this device would be illegal in the US. But that is making an assumption that this device provides the user the ability to send data for text, location et al on all of the frequencies on which it can transmit. And when the press release for this says:
    I grasp how it can be assumed they are claiming that it can do this on all frequencies it can transmit upon.

    However, I think we need to see the fine print of the tech specs. I suspect it rather probable the software has been configured to provide data transmission only on those frequencies for which it is legal and would restrict that ability on the others. They said it could transmit on all those frequencies and that it could send data with text and location, etc. They did NOT actually say it could do both at the same time, that was just a reader inference the marketing people quite possibly hoped a reader would make. It could transmit data only on the FRS channels and their ad copy would still be truthful. They may even be hiding behind the words "walkie-talkie" to imply that feature is FRS only.

    Let's see what BT finds out from the company.


  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    It's also interesting that at least a couple of people have requested a 2m HAM frequency capable version on their website as well.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Now if they made a Ham version, with 2M, and 70cm, I would buy one in an instant.... Especially if it had an External Antenna Connector.....
    I would "assume" that this could be a Software Patch, that made those frequencies available. .......
    I just programmed up my New Vhf/Uhf Base Radio with a variety of frequencies in those and other radio services. Kenwood TM-710A.... Has 1000 Memory
    Channels. Mine covers Aircraft, MURS, 2M Ham, Business, Public Safety, Ems, Fire, Marine, 70cm Ham, GMRS, FRS, Marine Uhf, and a few other services that I could think of... I have the matching HandHeld coming, which has many of the same capabilities. Kenwood TH-72a.... Hoping it will be on todays, Mailplane.... It will be setup with the same Frequency Lineup as the Base Unit....
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Roger that! I would too.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Got the TH-72a today on the Mail Plane.... way to many Buttons and Menus, but I got all the channels that I programmed into TM-710a transferred over the TH-72a... so now they have duplicate Channel Setups, without having to retype all those things into a new Radio... Next it messing around with the built-in GPS, and seeing what it will do with Waypoints... and then sending those back to the TM-710a Base Station. After that it will be looking into the sending of Text Messages and pictures back and forth... Oh Baby, Lots of fun in store... with a pretty steep learning curve...
    kellory likes this.
  8. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I am so tempted to join in on the crowdfunding but, I'm already on 2 other crowd funded projects and well, at the moment a bit gunshy as they have passed the funding stage but have yet to deliver a product.

    I think I'll wait on this one until they start shipping and pay the extra 75 bucks later.
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