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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Mods, I did a search for this but I wasn't able to find something. Please nuke this thread if this has been talked about before.

I came across the Beartooth, which is more or less a walkie-talkie case for smartphones (looks like Android and iOS for now) that basically turns your phone into a 128-bit encrypted walkie-talkie with some added features like location sharing and private or group messages with a range of a few miles based on terrain, although the specifics are nowhere to be found. It looks like it will use VHF and UHF frequencies.

There's not much info at the moment that I could find but I saw somewhere (can't find it now) that it would be around $250. Seems like the price is too steep.

What do you guys think? Does someone else have anymore information? Seems like an interesting gadget.

http://www.beartooth.com/#about


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:06 pm 
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Our product will require FCC approval. We are currently working with attorneys and technical advisors who specialize in FCC approval. Our products are designed to meet the technical and legal requirements of the FCC, and we anticipate a favorable part outcome.

and -

The Beartooth case is actually two handy tools in one — it’s one part 2,000mAh backup battery and one part VHF/UHF radio. Wrap the Beartooth around your handset, launch one of their apps, and you’re now connected by voice and text to anyone else with a Beartooth case within a few miles (like a walkie talkie, range will vary a bit depending on geography). In time, Beartooth intends to open up their development platform to expand its functionality

As it’s a wraparound case, it’s not available for all phones right off the bat. Instead, Beartooth is starting with the handsets with the largest potential userbase — for now, that means the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S5.

Beyond just keeping concert-goers connected, Beartooth hopes to find fans amongst rock climbers, hikers, and others who find themselves off the grid and far out of cell network range on the regular. Oh, and a little added bonus for those folks: the Beartooth adds backwards compatibility for legacy walkie-talkie frequencies to your phone, allowing you to use your smartphone as a walkie-talkie in a pinch.


And then I found this

That's the problem Beartooth Radio is trying to solve with their snazzy smartphone case, which will use short-range radio frequencies to allow you to talk to another Beartooth user within about a two-mile range. In addition, you can also send encrypted texts (perfect for the log-cabin-dwelling NSA-hating survivalist type in your life), share your location, and send out a distress signal. It operates on the same FRS frequency as standard Walmart two-way radios, so you don't need an operating license like you would for more powerful radio sets, either.


With that - I was able to uncover this nuggett

eartooth Adds VHF and UHF Voice and Data Communication Capability to Smartphones
Software defined radio interfaces with certain iOS and Android devices

Last August I wrote about the goTenna personal communications device using the 150 MHz MURS band. It connected to a smartphone using Bluetooth and allowed communication with other goTenna devices within range.

Now another communications device has been announced – Beartooth – that goes well beyond goTenna's VHF peer-to-peer(s) data transmission. According to its experimental license grant WH2XLW, the device can operate anywhere the 137 – 174 MHz and 400 – 470 MHz bands with an ERP of 2 watts (ERP). Using Comsearch's handy FCC emission designator decoder I see the license covers amplitude modulation and phase modulation transmitting voice, data and telegraphy for automatic reception.

Beartooth is software-defined radio (receiver and transmitter) that interfaces with supported devices (iPhone 5/5S/6/6+ and Galaxy S4/S5) and includes a battery to double smartphone battery life. In a TechCrunch interview available on their web site, CEO Michael Monaghan said Beartooth will be a part 95 device. 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 goTenna, but also the ability to communicate with any analog or FM radios operating on Family Radio Service (FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) or Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) spectrum. Amateur Radio use was mentioned in the TechCrunch session – the device will operate on the 2 meter and 3/4 meter ham bands. Broadcasters will note that all VHF and 450/455 MHz broadcast auxiliary RPU bands are covered by the device.

Beartooth will include applications allowing voice and data communications between Beartooth devices. Selective calling is supported. Geolocation functions are available allowing users to see the location of other Beartooth devices on a map. Data and text messages will be encrypted, but FCC rules do not allow encrypting voice communications on the unlicensed frequencies the device operates on.

I will be interested in seeing the FCC authorization for this device. With its wide frequency range, the FCC will certainly mandate some sort of block on using frequencies for which the owner doesn't hold a license or for which the device hasn't been certified. I hope the restrictions won't be such that it prevents licensed Amateur Radio operators from experimenting with the device.
Source


about goTenna

Examining the ‘goTenna’ Communications Device
New personal radio service operates in 150 MHz spectrum
I've seen several articles recently on the “goTenna” and decided to investigate it. It’s is a device that’s about six inches long (expandable to eight-inches) and one-inch wide and is designed to allow long-range messaging directly with another goTenna without using a Wi-Fi or cellular data link. This should make is useful for communicating with co-workers, friends or family nearby in the event conventional wired/wireless communications go down. The interface is an app that runs on a smartphone or tablet that connects to the goTenna via Bluetooth. The goTenna sends and receives messages using frequencies the 151 to 154 MHz MURS band.

Range should be similar to what ham radio operators would get using a two-meter (144 MHz) handheld radios (in simplex mode; not through a repeater). The goTenna website notes that range extend as far as 50 miles (mountaintop-to-mountaintop), but is careful to point out that at “person heights” in a city the range is likely to be a mile or less, increasing up to six miles for an unobstructed path over water or across a desert at “person height.”

The Multi-Use Radio Service is most commonly used for short-distance, two-way communications using handheld devices such as walkie-talkies. MURS was created in 2002 when the FCC changed the service rules for five industrial/business frequencies from what used to be known as the “color dot” frequencies under Part 90, Private Land Mobile Radio Services to Part 95, Personal Radio Services.

What sets MURS apart from other Personal Radio Services such as GMRS, FRS and CB is that two-way data transmission is allowed with the service.

The other services allow data transmission only such things as selective calling. Continuous data transmission is not allowed, nor is packet forwarding.

Transmitter power is limited to two Watts and the antenna height is restricted to 60 feet above ground or 20 feet above the height of the point on a structure on which it’s mounted. (I didn’t see any limitation on antenna gain or ERP in the rules.) Interconnection with the public switched network is prohibited, so don't expect to find goTennas connecting to the Internet, at least legally.

I didn't find any information on the packet data protocol the goTenna uses, but all data between units is encrypted using RSA 1024 public/private key encryption. I wouldn't be surprised if the protocol is similar to that used for amateur radio packet communications. The goTenna team revealed some information about the device on Hacker News list. In response to the question “does your protocol attempt to recover signals from below the noise floor,” the poster “daniper” replied, “No.” Asked about non-line-of-sight range, he wrote, “We live in NYC and have gotten anywhere from 0.5 mile to 3.5 miles range here, depending what part of the city you're in. There's no such thing as LOS in a city unless you're in a skyscraper.”

One advantage the goTenna has over voice communications on the same frequencies is that it can keep trying to send a message until it receives an acknowledgment from the other unit. It also has the ability to store messages. The goTenna website says the battery will last about 30 hours if left on continuously and will hold its charge for about a year and a half if turned off.

goTenna is pre-selling units at half price, at $149 per pair, while awaiting FCC approval. If you want to check on FCC approval, goTenna's grantee code is: 2ABVK.
Source

How fun - THANKS - this is the first I've heard of these. WAY COOL TECH...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Those both sound pretty handy if you're going to be outside regular cell phone coverage areas and don't want to carry a separate FRS/GMRS radio.

If you want walkie-talkie functionality within cell tower range, I strongly recommend Zello. I've had Zello on my personal phone for a couple of years, and the cab company I drive for started using Zello At Work on the dispatch phones last year. Way more range than FRS/GMRS radio and the ability to play back previous messages if you missed something. Zello works on Android, iPhone, and Blackberry.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Damn, thats a lot of information! Thanks TacAir.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:32 am 
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Looks like this device is fixing to ship in December but as a stand alone device and not a wrap around. At $179 a pair it looks interesting.

I would rather have seen Earl come to market but that dog is dead.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:31 am 
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With those frequency ranges,hopefully there will be direct/on the fly programming capacity for both hams and public safety (presuming part 90 cert)uses.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:34 pm 
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BearTooth is the Spread Spectrum 900Mhz cousin, to the GoTenna which is a MURS (150 Mhz) Wireless Devise that connects any BlueTooth Communications Devices together, over non-Cellular Frequencies....

Beartooth - Communicate Off the Grid

goTenna | Text & GPS on your phone, even without service.

BearTooth will have similar Ranges, to the SECURE Phones that many of the Monkeys, have invested in, for SECURE Comms. It has the Advantage, of using the connected Device, (iPhone, iPad, Notebook, Laptop, etc) to Encrypt the data to be passed, over and above the Spread Spectrum Digital Voice Modulation, that the SECURE PHONES use.... Also if you are a Holder of a Ham Radio License, you can employ an External Amplifier, (10 Watts Max) and As much external Antenna Gain as you can Build, as this is a legal Ham Frequency Band...

Both devices are NOW advertising their products at $99.00US ea, Each has advantages and disadvantages, but effectively do the same things....

This is very much like the eXRS 900 Mhz handi-talkie offered in the past...

Current real (commercial) radios that also work 900 Mhz
Motorola GTX 900 Portables and Mobiles.
GE 900 MHz MPA/MTL Portable.
Kenwood TK981 and TK481 900 radios.
Motorola MCS2000 Mobile 900 version
Motorola MTX9000 portable. 900 model
Motorola Professional series 9250 (MTX9250)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:27 pm 
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Beartooth started off as a cool idea, phone with vhf/uhf radio but has turned into a glorified frs radio with 900mhz radio on the ISM band.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Ok well I don't mean to be a bubble popper but this is just another instance of a company trying to make a gimic to make money from the dumb ones. This walkie talkie case thingy may "convert" your phone into something like a walkie talkie but it's range won't even compete with a 4 or 5watt standalone walkie talkie nor would the battery life. Anyways, why would you ever want to use your phone to communicate with someone with voice and just not call then? I can see some may argue if the cell service is down but then other people will likely need to have the same kind of unit and be in very close range. With a standalone talkie you can have hundreds of programmed frequencies and be able to talk on UHF, VHF, FRS, GMRS, digital and all that stuff. I use a ICOM 4001 mainly for FRS/GRMS communcations and a motarola SL300 which is soo much smaller and cuter but I also have the option to go digitial on that talkie. Also I have a couple handheld ham radios with alllllllllll the repeaters and wutnots on them in case I ever need to oh and some fast food channels so I can place my order without rollind down my windows ha!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Beartooth says it has 256-bit AES symmetric key encryption, mesh networking, texting and mapping. Beartooth will be far more useful for secure comms than a $37 Baofeng.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:57 pm 
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well yeah if you compare it to a cheap kids toy but if a company is asking a lot of money for something, it shouldn't need to be compared to a toy in order for it to look good.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Hoki-Banned wrote:
well yeah if you compare it to a cheap kids toy but if a company is asking a lot of money for something, it shouldn't need to be compared to a toy in order for it to look good.


I had a snappy answer but Hoki-Banned won't be here to read it :mrgreen:

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