Author Topic: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal  (Read 438 times)

Offline Nemo

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Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« on: September 15, 2018, 12:58:22 PM »
Anyone know anything about this?  4 devices discussed and evaluated.

Thought?

Nemo

https://thepreppingguide.com/off-grid-communication/

Quote

Off-Grid Communication: 4 Ways To Use Your Smartphone Without Signal

By Ben Brown on September 18, 2017

In regional areas, there is still scant phone coverage. In those circumstances, sure, we could use satellite phones, but if you have ever looked at their pricing you will know that satphones and satellite minutes can be ridiculously expensive.

With changes to technology, there are a few, much more affordable, alternative options that allow us to communicate with others. These options do not require us to use a cell phone signal, making them a way to communicate off-the-grid, so to say.

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 04:54:33 PM by Nemo »
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Offline grizz

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 02:23:57 PM »
Very cool!!! I need to do more research on these things
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Offline Jackalope

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 04:37:44 PM »
   I think they're four pricey nerd driven gadgets that will keep you tethered to your phone.  So, in a SHTF situation you'll need to charge the phone and an additional gadget.  Instead, get your license and obtain a VHF/UHF radio with battery and charger for under $50 USD, for the price of one gotenna, you can buy 3-4 radios to equip your group.  Personally, I wouldn't purchase any of the gadgets.  Plus, when the grid comes back up, your phone is a beacon to those government agencies that wish to find you.

Offline bennington.camper

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 06:33:39 PM »
   I think they're four pricey nerd driven gadgets that will keep you tethered to your phone.  So, in a SHTF situation you'll need to charge the phone and an additional gadget.  Instead, get your license and obtain a VHF/UHF radio with battery and charger for under $50 USD, for the price of one gotenna, you can buy 3-4 radios to equip your group.  Personally, I wouldn't purchase any of the gadgets.  Plus, when the grid comes back up, your phone is a beacon to those government agencies that wish to find you.

I would advise against the "$50 USD" radio choice...
Yaesu recently introduced a nice radio that is going for under $100, the FT-4XR.
https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-016123

Go with a reputable, experienced manufacturer..
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 06:42:09 PM by bennington.camper »

Offline Jackalope

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 05:50:53 AM »
    Either way, you're better off with a radio than trying to use a cellphone for something it wasn't designed to do.

Offline pkveazey

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 11:13:19 AM »
    Either way, you're better off with a radio than trying to use a cellphone for something it wasn't designed to do.

I'm with you on this issue. Cell phones operate at around 880 Mhz. A parked car can block that crappy signal. I also don't have any problem with cheap Handi-talkies. All you need to do is buy a bunch of them and if one of them craps out on you, just grab another one. I've got 14 Baofeng UV5R's and haven't had one quit yet. They're all charged up and programmed and ready to pass out to my local support group if and when they are needed.

Offline Rogue-Metalsmith

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 12:24:33 AM »
Hey guys.

I was looking at a few gadgets the other day for this exact scenario.

And i have to say that i undoubtedly agree radio's are a far better choice.
Communication should in any case be kept to a minimum and emergency intel only should be headed over the waves.

We have so far had atleast 3 days of no cell service spread over the last 2 months. and in different areas each time.

I have been trying to monitor the situation.

SO hands down i would say radio's.

RM out
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Sunny side up

RM

Offline gadget99

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 01:14:14 AM »
Hi All,

I have been looking into something like this also.

We have a bunch of Baofeng radios stocked up also for primary comms.

Now for the techy bit.

If I ever get the funds and time. I am looking at doing a project that provides some of the functionality that these gizmos provide. Yet will be doing it by building some devices.

Basically I am looking to build some devices with the Raspberry Pi that are solar feeding a battery. That create a wifi umbrella over an area. Using mesh networking and some smartphone apps that have already been downloaded. We can then transfer the app to a persons phone so they can use the wifi network. Still thinking on this though and probably will not get around to doing it though.

I am however looking to do mods on cheap phones and using them to hijack the local phone lines to setup a local battery power phone network after SHTF for comms in the villiage.

Cheers all.

Offline pkveazey

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 08:51:16 PM »
OK... Here's my second weigh in on this subject. Lets assume that All cell towers are dead. Then, what is the next best way to communicate? Uhhhhh, radio? Yep. Now, let's assume you want to pass info quickly and on the sly. Then, for voice, you'd probably want small signal, close in communications and that would most easily be UHF, because UHF sucks for long distance work. Now, if you want to send long text messages or pictures, then use your computer and send digital messages by PSK31 for text and Slow Scan TV for pictures by way of VHF. There doesn't even have to be a physical connection to the radio and computer. As long as VOX is available on the radio and the computer has a microphone and external speaker, you're good to go. Myself, I prefer to make a physical connection to the computer and radio by using the line in and headphone out over to the radio's audio input and output. The trick is to then find somebody else who had the same number of brain cells and thought of doing the same thing.

Offline Jackalope

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 03:48:45 AM »
You can also send text or photos via Dstar radios using digital voice in simplex mode.  You can connect the radio to your tablet using the appropriate cable and software, and then transmit the image you wish to send.  D-star can also be used on HF, so you're not limited to vhf/uhf frequencies. So it would be possible to send photos on HF using NVIS antennas in digital voice mode.  I've done it on vhf/uhf and it works fine.  I've yet to try it on HF, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.  But voice or CW is the way to go.  After all CW is the original digital mode, and no interface cables or extraneous hardware are required.

Offline pkveazey

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 07:40:22 PM »
The DSTAR thing will work great but I think that's one of those ICOM only things. I've already got my HF rig all setup and working for all the digital modes. I have no idea why I haven't bothered to use it for the Preppers Digital net on TAPRN. I have played around with several of the digital modes with my local Ham buddies using DM780. Using HF digital modes seems OK if you want to find out what's going on way off in the distance but then it also opens you up to being heard by people you don't want to hear you. I think that when the SHTF I'm probably going to want to do most communications pretty close in. However, I certainly am going to be all set up to go worldwide with my HF equipment if I need it.

Offline Kbop

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 04:56:25 AM »
there are several IP over ham and mesh network ham, almost, out of the box solutions.
Murphy was an optimist.

Offline pkveazey

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 02:51:02 PM »
I once had a lengthy conversation with another Ham about how it should be fairly easy to operate the internet by way of Ham radio. He quickly pointed out the nature of the internet to insert advertisements. Oops, the FCC ain't gonna let that fly on Ham Radio. However, years ago Hams did a whole lot of Bulletin board stuff using Packet Radio on VHF. In order to go nationwide, there had to be a ton of Nodes out there. Some Nodes automatically forwarded messages from Node to Node but usually the Node owner had to manually forward messages. I never got interested in Packet but in a grid down situation, I suppose I could get interested. A Ham friend about 7 miles from me was doing Packet big time. I could either get him to help me get set up or I could just tell him what messages I want to send and let him do it for me.

Offline Kbop

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 05:52:50 PM »
in a grid down, i think it would be useful for
email - slow coms.
txt to radio - intermediate.
voip - immediate.
broadcast - broadcast.
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i wonder if there is a 2M to Wifi repeater using TCP/IP - 1 per compound/house
someone could even host a DHCP server on the net if wanted.
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give the kids FRS radios for chattering to keep your 2M coms clear.
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NAS libraries and docs would be useful - set it up as read only for libraries and RW set to owner and read can be controlled by email DL's.
monitoring of remote sensors gives your OPs & CPs some backup.
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at the freqs available you probably won't quite get LOS.
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lets see, short wave monitors and long antennas to pick up distant news.
CB for skip 'pony express' message relay.
i don't think ATSC is worth monitoring. 
wifi is good but very short range.
i looked into sat coms but they need too much infrastructure to last very long in a grid down.

my 2cents worth.

Murphy was an optimist.

Offline JohnyMac

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Re: Smart Phone Commo Without Signal
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2018, 06:42:57 AM »
Great discussion.

I little plug for getting your ham radio license. Simple and easy to do. I have explained how to do it in a very easy format.
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