Wednesday, August 20, 2014

goTenna™ set to boldly take your smartphone where "no signal" has gone before

An ambitious startup hopes to expand the functionality of smartphones everywhere, solving common limitations to cellular service. It's often a problem in crowds, remote locations, or during power outages...cellular phone service is interrupted, a maddening circumstance, especially when the need to communicate can be particularly vital. But a new device, aiming to be available late this year, may fill the "no signal" gap by offering point to point communications with other similarly equipped smartphones nearby.
The patent pending goTenna™ is a 2 watt two-way radio, operating on the 151-154 MURS band, linking via bluetooth to your smartphone, and broadcasting your signal to other goTenna™ equipped smartphones. The device is currently undergoing compliance testing with the FCC. If accepted, it should be on the market by Christmas.
The device will be sold in pairs so two different smartphones can communicate, with an effective range of up to a half mile in typical urban settings, further in open terrain. goTenna™ promises to solve many of the common problems associated with current cellular systems by eliminating the need for cell towers, wifi, or satellite to communicate from one phone to another.

Learn more about goTenna™ or even pre-order your own set, on their website.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BaoFeng Adds 8 Watt Handheld Radio to Lineup

Chinese Electronics Manufacturer Baofeng(Pofung), is offering a new dual band handheld radio, with more transmit power, a new generation chipset, compatibility with existing battery options, and clearer, more understandable instructional documentation.

John Miklor, with his's website, has been an invaluable web resource on all things Baofeng, and has good things to say in his initial review of this newest model in the Baofeng Radio lineup.  "Looks like a New Model BF-F8HP is a true 8 watt handheld. It appears Baofeng/Pofung is listening and moving in the proper direction."

The Chinese Electronics Manufacturer has taken the US domestic Ham Radio market by storm, offering a line of inexpensive handheld 2 meter & 70CM radios based upon SDR technology, taking a domestic business band radio & adapting it for US Amateur Radio use. Baofeng's UV-3, UV-5R & it's variants, are leading the wave in sales of affordable handheld radios, popular not just with Hams, but with the survivalist & prepping movement in the US & abroad. 
Some of the features of the BF-F8HP radio are:
- Tri-Power (1, 4, and 8 watt) 
- New 2nd Generation chipset
- DTMF keypad issue finally resolved (ABCD is actually ABCD)
- Compatible with AA and 3800mAh battery packs
- 76 Page User Guide
- CHIRP software compatible
The review shows actual side-by-side power level tests between UV5R, UV82, BFF8+, and F8HP performed using a calibrated Telewave 44A. READ FULL REVIEW HERE
Currently the BF-F8HP is available through Baofeng Tech on

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ham Radio: An "Old" Technology is a Lifesaver in the Emergency Field

Article by Kara Tarantino / Georgia Health News

Like a black-and-white movie, ham radio may evoke an image of how people communicated in the old days. In fact, Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney, who died this month at 93, starred in a classic film as a teenager in which ham radio was a key plot device.
But ask someone in emergency management about ham radio, and you’ll find that this medium of communication is anything but outdated. In recent years, recognition of its importance has actually increased.
A case in point occurred in March 2008, when thousands of people were attending the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament in downtown Atlanta, and thousands more were at various venues nearby as a  tornado struck, cutting a path of destruction through the heart of Georgia’s capital city.
Unbeknownst to many, a lone amateur radio operator, using only a hand-held radio, called “CQ, CQ” — the ham radio code that signified he was reaching out to whatever stations could hear him. He hoped to alert any station on the air that he was located in the worst of the storm-affected area and needed help.
Barry Kanne, an active ham radio operator, and an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteer, happened to be listening to the main ham radio weather channel as the storm hit. He responded to the CQ call. Immediately, an ad hoc emergency net between the two operators was established. Soon other stations joined in to report storm damage. (READ MORE)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Volunteer Emergency Communications Programs

So you intend on getting your Ham License & a Ham Radio. But after you do, what are you going to do with it? If being in the loop after some disaster appeals to you, CommsPrepper has a very informative video that describes what's out there that you can be a part of.
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