New communication device
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Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
New communication device on 07/17/2014 15:27:24 MDT Print View

http://static.gotenna.com/

Interesting technology and design. No need for satellite connection, although very limited range. Not sure how it would fare in a canyon or deep valley.

Also, I would not want to rely on the "shout" function for a rescue, hoping someone is listening and gets word to the authorities.

But it is nice to see new tech like this coming out that could be useful to hikers wanting or needing a connection. Recognizing that many of us are not fans of being connected in the backcountry. But also recognizing that some of us are married to others that are fans of their spouses staying connected in case of emergency.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: New communication device on 07/17/2014 15:32:44 MDT Print View

This seems like a useful gadget... NOT!

How do you spell Ponzi Scheme?

--B.G.--

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New communication device on 07/17/2014 16:05:12 MDT Print View

No, not (yet) a Ponzi scheme.

Your mobile phone with Bluetooth functionality
|
Bluetooth signal
|
Radio relay unit (gotenna)
|
'Low frequency' radio comms (frequency unknown)
|
Another radio relay unit
|
Bluetooth signal
|
Another mobile phone with Bluetooth functionality

FCC approval 'pending' - which means that right now the device is NOT approved. I would not touch it before they get that approval. Getting it is NOT guaranteed.

In effect, what you are getting is the equivalent of a walki-talki radio set. And we know what sort of range they can be restricted to. Hey - yuppy territory!

Caveat: all this is based on what I could read on their web site. The concept is technically feasible, although I am sure the range will be SMALL, as the antenna is very small. If the antenna was 50' of copper wire the range would be longer.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 07/18/2014 05:01:32 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: New communication device on 07/17/2014 16:12:28 MDT Print View

Don't forget - Michael also informed us the the Haglöfs sleeping bag award.

No telling when sarcasm will be sneaking in.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: New communication device on 07/17/2014 16:18:56 MDT Print View

Roger that was my thinking exactly. Nothing on their website indicated that if they didn't receive FCC approval that they would refund your money. But interesting concept if it works.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Worse than a Ponzi scheme! on 07/17/2014 16:38:46 MDT Print View

A ponzi scheme is great for all the outside investors who get in early (and leave early).
This by contrast is entirely worthless for notifying outside help in case of a backcountry emergency.
All it does is allow your phone to be used for two-way MURS-band texting ... and only with other goTenna users ... and only within a short range:

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/07/17/gotenna-looks-like-pricey-cool-way-stay-connected-signal-available-now-pre-order/
"Under normal circumstances, expect to be within a mile or two of someone instead."

http://www.cnet.com/news/gotenna-creates-cell-network-out-of-thin-air-anywhere-on-earth/
"[...] around 1 mile in skyscraper-filled urban areas, but up to 9 miles in most outdoor situations like hiking and camping. If you're climbing or, say, out skiing, it shoots from 9 miles to as high as 50 miles once you start ascending to higher elevations."

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/gotenna-makes-smartphones-into-walkie-talkies-sort-of-91994621824.html
"GoTenna says its devices will transmit up to three miles in the woods or eight miles over open water."

http://www.fastcompany.com/3032791/most-creative-people/gotenna-lets-you-text-when-theres-no-service
"Perdomo says in a city the low-frequency radio waves reach about a mile, but in an open field it can reach about 50 miles."

http://www.examiner.com/article/gotenna-allows-you-to-send-texts-when-you-have-no-service
"For example, at the top of a mountain, a GoTenna could find devices up to 50 miles away. But when in the center of a forest, it might only be able to reach three to four miles away."

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Worse than a Ponzi scheme! on 07/17/2014 16:54:58 MDT Print View

"GoTenna says its devices will transmit up to three miles in the woods or eight miles over open water."

That's also the range of a $5.00 whistle.

Ryan

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Worse than a Ponzi scheme! on 07/17/2014 16:59:57 MDT Print View

"GoTenna says its devices will transmit up to three miles in the woods or eight miles over open water."

If the range reaches 50 yards, it has already met the claim. If the range reached over three miles or eight miles, then it would fail the claim. So, there is a low bar to pass.

This product concept is total crap.

--B.G.--

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
"up to" on 07/17/2014 17:05:56 MDT Print View

Yes, one of my favorite pet peeves!
(Like all those sales that are advertised as "up to X% off," i.e., the *maximum* discount is X%, the typical discount % is unspecified, and the minimum discount is probably nothing at all.)

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Whistle! on 07/17/2014 19:29:06 MDT Print View

I love to whistle.

Did you know that on one of the Canary Islands, La Gomera, I think, they have a whistled dialect of Spanish used for long distance communication over rugged terrain? Their whistling is intelligible for miles.

How cool is that? And no purchase necessary, no monthly fees, and no shlepping extra gear around. Oh, yeah, no batteries too. That's huge.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Whistle! on 07/17/2014 20:22:16 MDT Print View

I love to whistle.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
No Worries... on 07/19/2014 13:29:33 MDT Print View

I'll just get my son-in-law, a former FCCC Chief Technologist, to drop a word and get the approval "fast tracked", as they say.

It will surely get approval if the term "Homeland Security" is mentioned along with "9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11".