Beartooth Radio

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#2
There is another similar product that is out there. There are a few issues these guys have neglected to understand. The big issue is that the people designing these things take an off the shelf SDR chip and a few people that know how to program and phone app and think they have created a wonderful new product. There lack of knowledge leads to some issues:


"IS BEARTOOTH A FCC PART 95, PART 97 AND/OR PART 90 DEVICE?
Our goal is to build a device for multiple applications. For the consumer application, the device will operate in both MURS and FRS/GMRS, FCC part 95 devices. For Amateur Radio HAM applications it will operate on the 2m and 70cm (440) bands, FCC part 97 devices. For commercial, industrial and public safety applications it will operate in the bands outside MURS, FRS/GMRS, 2m, and 70cm, FCC part 90 devices."


Key issue here is that the FCC will not certify a MURS radio with any other service. Unless the get the FCC to change the rules, they'll not be able to get around this. FRS, GMRS, OK. Amateur and Part 90, OK. But they are not paying attention if they think they'll be able to pull all this off in one box.



"ARE THERE ANY REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS PRODUCT?
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 licensing outcome."


Yep, it'll require FCC approval, and they don't seem to have that yet. Unless their "attorneys" are able to convince the FCC to change the MURS rules that prevent MURS and other services to be combined in one radio, they are going to have some issues. They may "anticipate a favorable licensing outcome", but I think they are confused. The radio itself isn't "licensed", it's type accepted, and they already have some issues with their plans, as noted above.


"WHAT FREQUENCIES DOES BEARTOOTH OPERATE ON?
Our software functions in the 151-154Mhz (VHF) and 462-467Mhz (UHF) ranges. We also plan to work with other frequencies to work with HAM radio, commercial, mining, and public safety."

See above about MURS and other services. The SDR portion of the radio may be able to accomplish this, but they are forgetting the MURS rules that prevent it. They might be able to get this certified for FRS and GMRS -OR- MURS, but not both. Part 90 certification would be nice, but users will still need to sort out licensing. On the surface, this is just another Chinese low end radio in a fancy box with an app on the phone.



"Required FCC Notice

Notification required by the FCC: This device has not been authorized as required by the FCC. This Device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained. Any offer for sale is is subject to the FCCs Rules and delivery is made contingent upon compliance with applicable equipment authorization and technical requirements"

Another sign that this isn't ready for prime time. They'll need to overcome some type acceptance issues first.


These sorts of products are a neat idea, and I like it. I'd have some concerns about using one though. They are going to eat batteries if they rely on the cell phone battery. They also put "all the eggs in one basket". Phone, navigation and 2 way radio in one box isn't always a good idea. One dead battery, one dropped device and all your technology is useless.

I think these sorts of products will eventually take off, but as of right now, they have some issues to overcome. The other similar products are relying on people that don't necessarily have a clear understanding of two way radio. Being able to put an SDR chip in a box and write an app isn't all there is to this.
 
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#4
The only downside is that people change phones in 6-12 months. The next phone is usually bigger, taller and thus, a "snap on" device specific accessory that costs potentially a few hundred dollars will be useless if/when you upgrade your smartphone.

A better idea would be one that uses Bluetooth and doesn't physically attach to the phone.
 
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#5
If the FCC doesn't type accept 90/95D...how has Motorola been getting away with it for over a decade?

So far they fail to understand, they don't need Part 97 acceptance.

I do agree that a Bluetooth based sdr, maybe one that can handle up to two or three Bluetooth devices at once (phone based control, optional headset and external ptt) would be a better option.
 

mancow

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#6
So it's basically a HackRF strapped to a phone with a small PA? Neat idea. Now, ditch the crappy iPhone, use cheap but plentiful Android guts and shove it all in a milled submersible aluminum box of the same size with CR123 battery capability and we have something huge.
 
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#7
So it's basically a HackRF strapped to a phone with a small PA? Neat idea. Now, ditch the crappy iPhone, use cheap but plentiful Android guts and shove it all in a milled submersible aluminum box of the same size with CR123 battery capability and we have something huge.
Not that it matters to me either way, but it looks to me as if they are using "Android guts". Just sayin'......
 

mancow

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Could be. I just saw the pic that looked like an i Phone but now I see the Samsung there too. Neat idea none the less.
 
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#9
I love things that give garmin trouble...
This beartooth thing coupled up with an android running backcountry navigator, will be better than the top of the line garmin rino. And if they were to make it in a part 97 5 watt with removable antenna.... life would be near complete. I am quite excited to see this in action..

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
 
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#10
I love things that give garmin trouble...
This beartooth thing coupled up with an android running backcountry navigator, will be better than the top of the line garmin rino. And if they were to make it in a part 97 5 watt with removable antenna.... life would be near complete. I am quite excited to see this in action..

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
Wouldn't need Part 97...As an amateur you don't need type acceptance to operate on the amateur bands as long as you have a license.
 

gewecke

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#12
IF anyone watched the full tech crunch video, this device will likely be under part 95 ... if it's type accepted here in the U.S.

I'm on the fence about this thing for the moment.

73,
n9zas
 
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#13
IF anyone watched the full tech crunch video, this device will likely be under part 95 ... if it's type accepted here in the U.S.

I'm on the fence about this thing for the moment.

73,
n9zas
Haven't had a chance to watch the video. I did read something about directing it toward business, sar, and another professional type activities. Anyway, if the transceiver works as good as the bf-f8hp and the price is in the $100 range then this will be a wonderful asset to us outdoor types.

I still think Garmin would've been better off with murs. But they had to make it compatible with the blisters.... Then there is the "earl" survival tablet, crowd funded, last time I checked, the crowd was still waiting and getting impatient. Beartooth is at least doing this on their dime.
 
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#14
Then there is the "earl" survival tablet, crowd funded, last time I checked, the crowd was still waiting and getting impatient. Beartooth is at least doing this on their dime.
Yep, and "Earl" is running into the same issues. They had grand plans about it being FRS, GMRS and MURS, Part 90, etc. but didn't read the FCC rules. They discovered that quite a way through the design process. So, now it's FRS and GMRS, last time I looked. Due to the FRS part, they'll be stuck with a fixed antenna. A fixed, low gain antenna is useless.

For FRS and GMRS, it's just an expensive toy. If they do part 90, it's still going to be a toy. 2 watts, what looks like a battery that can't be swapped out, and not "glove" friendly, it won't appeal to business or public safety use. For some Amateurs, it might be a fun thing to use, but amateurs = hobby = limited market. Considering it needs a specific smart phone to work, it's likely going to be more expensive that any other 2 watt hand held. Being locked into a specific model of smart phone makes it even less like to sell.

This is a neat toy for the tech/hobby crowd. I don't see it being much else. There are better tools for the job, this alone will keep it in the hobby/toy category.
 
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#16
I actually emailed him yesterday. This is what he responded.

Hi Colin,

Great questions. I have two answers, what we HOPE to do vs what the FCC ALLOWS us to do :)

Out current design is a fixed antenna that would operate on Part 90/95 services and yes would allow it to use repeaters for certain frequencies like GMRS. The interface today is USB, but we are looking into other options like Bluetooth and wifi.

Thanks,
Chris

On Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 8:57 PM, Colin XXXXXXXX wrote:
I had some questions that Tech Crunch and the FAQ left unanswered.

Going after Part 90/95 services, so would I be correct to assume the antenna will be fixed?

Going after Part 90 services, would the Beartooth be repeater capable (with PL and DPL)?

Is there going to be a different Beartooth for each phone?

How does the the Beartooth interface through the phone? (WiFi, Bluetooth, USB)
 
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#17
Once the radio is on the phone, you will be able to have cool apps like virtual radar to track local air traffic. And then since the phone is on a cellular network, it can act as a feeder to send that data so that everyone can benefit from it. This is going to be huge - not replacing dedicated handhelds for firefighter of course. And that specific product does not look fully-baked. But this concept is great.

With SDR, regs such as "If it has MURS then you can't be allowed to work on anything else stuff" is like the "You can't tie your horse to a fencepost on Sunday" type laws. I predict that the FCC will have to revise those and few will be waiting around for the 30 years it takes them to do it.
 
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#19
With SDR, regs such as "If it has MURS then you can't be allowed to work on anything else stuff" is like the "You can't tie your horse to a fencepost on Sunday" type laws. I predict that the FCC will have to revise those and few will be waiting around for the 30 years it takes them to do it.
Except some of these FCC rules are there for a very good reason. They may not make much sense to everyone, but that has never been a requirement.

It is true, however, that there are plenty of FCC rules that are in dire need of a rework. Like the GMRS Line A/C rules. Long since out of date since Industry Canada has a compatible GMRS service.
 
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#20
Except some of these FCC rules are there for a very good reason. They may not make much sense to everyone, but that has never been a requirement.

It is true, however, that there are plenty of FCC rules that are in dire need of a rework. Like the GMRS Line A/C rules. Long since out of date since Industry Canada has a compatible GMRS service.
But unfortunately we are still running on a set of Part 95A rules that are over 25 years old.

Still waiting on some headway to be made...it's been awhile now.
 
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