• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

This APP May Replace FRS Completely

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N2ZGE

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#1
I recently came across a FREE app called Two Way Walkie Talkie. It is amazing! I know it's available on Iphones, and perhaps Droids too. There is no registration, signing up, or anything. You basically download the app and select any channel...you can type in any number combination to set up a channel that you won't be disturbed on and chat with whoever else has the app just like you would with a walkie talkie. The range is based on regions (about 7-10 mile radiuses). However, it may even work for longer distances if the channels are all linked. I am not sure how it is set up in that regard. Obviously channels 0 thru 10 are very active with CB like chatter, but with thousands of channels available, you will not be disturbed. I think if word gets out, many more businesses will switch to this too. Why pay for an FCC license if you can communicate on any smartphone like a walkie talkie. If anyone has feedback on this new app, feel free to post.
 

Steve2003

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#2
Zello is another good PTT app. One thing to note is you need to have cell / wifi service to use most of these so FRS isn't completely out of the picture. (not sure about the one you are using, but Zello is also a battery HOG)
 

N2ZGE

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#4
The app I am referring to is Two Way Walkie Talkie. According to app store reviews, Zello is poorly reviewed. Many folks mentioned dropped transmissions and such. "Two Way Walkie Talkie" has better reviews than Zello (only difference I guess). I think if more people knew about these apps, more and more businesses would switch over. I noticed Academy buses in NYC are now using a similar app to communicate. I would assume this digital technology uses frequencies within the cell phone band (I tried close calling it on my scanner and nada)
 

ChrisABQ

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#5
I use Zello everyday, it's free and it's nationwide. I can use it like a walkie talkie from 3,000 miles away over the cell network. And to make it sound that much cooler, I added the Motorola MDC1200 squelch tail to it. Very cool.
 

N4GIX

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#6
I would assume this digital technology uses frequencies within the cell phone band (I tried close calling it on my scanner and nada)
It is just like Zello in that it is using VOIP (voice over internet protocol). It is using the bandwidth in your cell phone's data plan unless you are on a WiFi network at home/work.
 

NC1

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#8
The Nextel phones could talk direct without using any plans. All you would do is take them off network and select a channel. It was great but the best I ever got out of it was about 6 miles over open water.

People used to use them in their neighborhoods, cruises, malls, campgrounds, etc. but you could not receive (or make) calls when in direct mode. That was a huge drawback.

There is a droid app called CB Chat (or something like that) which is probably easier to use. I downloaded it once and just had to laugh at some of the idiots on there. Yeah, I uninstalled it after I was done being amused.
 
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#9
That's the thing you still need the backbone in order for Zello to be reliable for short range communications! There's not an app that can be designed that can turn you phone into a walkie-talkie because you would also need hardware in the phone itself. Designing the [software is relatively easy, design the hardware then I'll be impressed. ALSO why would cellphone companies allow an app to be installed on their phones that bypasses their networks, whic h is basically what you're doing?


The app I am referring to is Two Way Walkie Talkie. According to app store reviews, Zello is poorly reviewed. Many folks mentioned dropped transmissions and such. "Two Way Walkie Talkie" has better reviews than Zello (only difference I guess). I think if more people knew about these apps, more and more businesses would switch over. I noticed Academy buses in NYC are now using a similar app to communicate. I would assume this digital technology uses frequencies within the cell phone band (I tried close calling it on my scanner and nada)
 
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tampabaynews

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#10
Just search in the Apple Store or Google Play. There are TONS of similar apps. Of course, they only work when you have a network connection. Zello happens to be my favorite. They also have a more stable Zello for Work service.

Something I stumbled upon the other day... a device paired with your phone that allows off network PTT and messaging (within range). https://www.beartooth.com/
 
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#11
If you are using the WiFi frequencies which are unlicensed it would make sense as the hardware. Which is what a lot of companies are doing in house these days. Creating software to use these frequencies also makes sense. Icom has a VOIP walkie out right now as well as others. As far as what the phone companies want, I could care less as it's beginning to look like the 60's again with Telco's trying to control all electronic communications wired and now wireless.
All you have to do is put an wireless router/access point up somewhere high and it would work fine. Gotta try that when I have time.
 

N2ZGE

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#13
True Jaymatt. Zello would be a great tool to communicate traffic and weather information. (I think NJ Turnpike has its own channel). I miss the days when all you had to do was flip to CB Ch 19 for current traffic updates from the truckers and the county OEM Ham repeater for severe weather alerts. Apps like Zello have excellent potential to enhance communications regarding these things, especially for folks in their car who cannot really access the internet. Of course, it can never replace radio in the event of power outages/internet outages. Most cell phone companies have great data deals these days that you would most likely be on anyway, so having to go over their carrier wouldn't be a problem for most people. The issue they need to work on is battery preservation and banning people who simply fool around on it and jam out others. The app already allows moderators of each channel some control over this.
 

N1GJB

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#19
I use Zello everyday, it's free and it's nationwide. I can use it like a walkie talkie from 3,000 miles away over the cell network. And to make it sound that much cooler, I added the Motorola MDC1200 squelch tail to it. Very cool.
How did you set that up within Zello?
 
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