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GMRS / FRS - Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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Old 04-19-2017, 12:00 PM
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Default Zello Channel & GMRS Linking

Here is some food for thought and maybe even a question....

I'm sure some, in not most of you, are familiar with "Zello" the walkie-talkie app for andriod/iPhone phones. They state on their website "Push the button for instant, radio-style talk on any Wi-Fi or data plan"...

The question has been ask of me numerous times as to if it is legal to use Zello as a interface for the linking and control of base/repeaters.....

My thought on the subject is that it could be construed as "cross banding"... but at the same time, it's really not much different than any other method of VOIP such as app_rpt.... I have the abilty to do the same method of Zello using my own servers just like I'm doing currently with my ROIP linking system...

So, here's the question?

Is Zello a viable means of linking?
Would/could Zello be construed as being a "cross band" means of communications?
Is Zello's way of doing things not the same as say other Linking methods used in other bands?

What's your honest opinions... and/or facts to support what you know, feel, or thinking.... Lets have some serious discussions on this...if there are any to be had....


Thanks,

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association Welcome Page | Giving GMRS Users A Way To Communicate Across America
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Old 04-19-2017, 1:12 PM
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IMO it's no different than any other VOIP/ROIP option, and should be allowed.
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Old 04-19-2017, 3:54 PM
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I'm not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV), but I'd think that both the FCC and Zello would have a say in such use. What are the allowable Conditions of Use outlined in the Zello license or user document?

John
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Old 04-19-2017, 4:06 PM
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look into Asterisk or team speak
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Old 04-19-2017, 8:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
look into Asterisk or team speak
Asterisk is what most of the RIOP users are using, with the exception of a few MS software on the market. Since I'm all about Linux around here my servers for the GMRS linking are all Linux OS and use portions of Asterisk, just not the app_rpt portion .....

Thanks,

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
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Old 04-21-2017, 5:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post
Here is some food for thought and maybe even a question....

I'm sure some, in not most of you, are familiar with "Zello" the walkie-talkie app for andriod/iPhone phones. They state on their website "Push the button for instant, radio-style talk on any Wi-Fi or data plan"...

The question has been ask of me numerous times as to if it is legal to use Zello as a interface for the linking and control of base/repeaters.....

My thought on the subject is that it could be construed as "cross banding"... but at the same time, it's really not much different than any other method of VOIP such as app_rpt.... I have the abilty to do the same method of Zello using my own servers just like I'm doing currently with my ROIP linking system...

So, here's the question?

Is Zello a viable means of linking?
Would/could Zello be construed as being a "cross band" means of communications?
Is Zello's way of doing things not the same as say other Linking methods used in other bands?

What's your honest opinions... and/or facts to support what you know, feel, or thinking.... Lets have some serious discussions on this...if there are any to be had....


Thanks,

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association Welcome Page | Giving GMRS Users A Way To Communicate Across America
What sort of radio interface supports Zello?

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Old 04-21-2017, 5:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
What sort of radio interface supports Zello?

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My SignaLink USB does.

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Old 04-21-2017, 5:33 AM
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Originally Posted by toastycookies View Post
My SignaLink USB does.

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I am wondering about solutions that don't require a PC..?..

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Old 04-21-2017, 10:44 AM
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I am wondering about solutions that don't require a PC..?..

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Here is a method that does not require a PC.....An old cell phone that is capable of loading the Zello app on, has wifi, a interface cable, and a two-way radio and you have yourself a inexpensive VOIP radio setup for use on Zello.

A few months back when we were doing some testing for other useful VOIP linking equipment I built a interface box that went between my iPhone 4 and my Midland XTR 70-1530B Radio.... Would be using Zello today if there had not been an issue with Zello itself.

I've since built a similar platform as Zello, along with my own app, and not having any issues with our testing so far. So it may appear to be more of a viable method for ROIP Linking than the "standard known" way of doing ROIP now. I currently have approx 28 users that are working together with me doing beta test on the system and as of writing this we have experienced no problems yet.

Plenty of cell phones available that will run the app. So if one has a cell phone, especially one you are not using any longer, and a interface box like I have that cost me about $10.00 to build, and high speed broadband Internet access....you have one heck of a beautiful, flexible and expandable ROIP system for very little cost..... and very very easy to set up.....

Only requires a user name and password, set up of your own password protected "room" which YOU invite ONLY those that are part of your family/friend group. This way it is not open to just anyone that happens to dial a "repeater number", you don't bring up every repeater in the state (or nation wide) to do state wide comms, and you don't have to remember or "dial" any "repeater numbers" in order to talk to your group, in any state, all at one time.

Want more info, just ask me and I will give it to you.... I'd like people to use my network link no doubt, but at the same time I'm all for being able to communicate thru a one-to-many repeater link system anyway I can, legally, without being dependent on and tied to one format....

Thanks,

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association Welcome Page | Giving GMRS Users A Way To Communicate Across America
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post
Here is a method that does not require a PC.....An old cell phone that is capable of loading the Zello app on, has wifi, a interface cable, and a two-way radio and you have yourself a inexpensive VOIP radio setup for use on Zello.

A few months back when we were doing some testing for other useful VOIP linking equipment I built a interface box that went between my iPhone 4 and my Midland XTR 70-1530B Radio.... Would be using Zello today if there had not been an issue with Zello itself.

I've since built a similar platform as Zello, along with my own app, and not having any issues with our testing so far. So it may appear to be more of a viable method for ROIP Linking than the "standard known" way of doing ROIP now. I currently have approx 28 users that are working together with me doing beta test on the system and as of writing this we have experienced no problems yet.

Plenty of cell phones available that will run the app. So if one has a cell phone, especially one you are not using any longer, and a interface box like I have that cost me about $10.00 to build, and high speed broadband Internet access....you have one heck of a beautiful, flexible and expandable ROIP system for very little cost..... and very very easy to set up.....

Only requires a user name and password, set up of your own password protected "room" which YOU invite ONLY those that are part of your family/friend group. This way it is not open to just anyone that happens to dial a "repeater number", you don't bring up every repeater in the state (or nation wide) to do state wide comms, and you don't have to remember or "dial" any "repeater numbers" in order to talk to your group, in any state, all at one time.

Want more info, just ask me and I will give it to you.... I'd like people to use my network link no doubt, but at the same time I'm all for being able to communicate thru a one-to-many repeater link system anyway I can, legally, without being dependent on and tied to one format....

Thanks,

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association Welcome Page | Giving GMRS Users A Way To Communicate Across America
With Zello and a smartphone , how does one wire the COR and PTT signals between the repeater and the smartphone?

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Old 04-21-2017, 11:23 AM
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Maybe I'm not thinking through all of this correctly but if the Zello app were tied to a repeater or repeater network, wouldn't that put some Zello users (not GMRS licensed) in jeopardy of transmitting on a GMRS frequency without a license? As an Example with Echolink, the Echolink people verified my amateur license before I could be set up. I've only used Zello to a small degree but don't remember seeing restrictions of any sort. Are there some in place?
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:24 AM
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If it relies on VOX instead of COR/PTT it's crap.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharvey2 View Post
Maybe I'm not thinking through all of this correctly but if the Zello app were tied to a repeater or repeater network, wouldn't that put some Zello users (not GMRS licensed) in jeopardy of transmitting on a GMRS frequency without a license? As an Example with Echolink, the Echolink people verified my amateur license before I could be set up. I've only used Zello to a small degree but don't remember seeing restrictions of any sort. Are there some in place?
Zello channels can be password protected by the channel owner to only allow those authorized to use it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 1:08 PM
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Zello channels can be password protected by the channel owner to only allow those authorized to use it.
Ah, I didn't know that. That makes sense, then. Thanks for the schooling.
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Old 04-21-2017, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post

Only requires a user name and password, set up of your own password protected "room" which YOU invite ONLY those that are part of your family/friend group. This way it is not open to just anyone that happens to dial a "repeater number", you don't bring up every repeater in the state (or nation wide) to do state wide comms, and you don't have to remember or "dial" any "repeater numbers" in order to talk to your group, in any state, all at one time.
Sounds very similar to FRN (Free Radio Network)

Free Radio Network
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Old 04-21-2017, 3:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
If it relies on VOX instead of COR/PTT it's crap.
Well, that's not totally correct....unless you purposely set it up to use a radio in vox mode..... like some of the methods I've seen used on some ham equipment. For most Ham operators though, especially those that came from the 11 meter CB world, who memorized a bunch of questions to pass a test, who don't have any electronics or RF background, it is easier for them to just go VOX mode then to learn how to really do it correctly.... Not being degrading, it's just not their forte.... and that's totally understandable. Who cares anyway, it works for them, and that's all that matters....

Most of the interfaces designed for real commercial and public safety linking methods will work well with Zello. You just have to work around the bugs that the Zello people themselves have when it comes to interfacing for RF. It's not a major deal for them as that was not their planned intent of use. That's why I went with my own so I wouldn't have to be Dependant on them and/or concerned about policy violations.....

My interfaces use COR & PTT, wired to the radios used on my system we are beta testing currently that is very similar to the Zello format.... Anyone can set up a Zello user name or password, rooms, etc on Zello site..., or, with a little programming, protocol, and server knowledge they could set up their own entire network server system.... very similar to Zello...it's not anything that is proprietary in nature.... I'm currently talking to four different cities and in two different states...working well so far....

And, as far as it "Sounds very similar to FRN (Free Radio Network)"... it may sound like it to those that are not familiar wih ROIP, but Zello's systems is totally different in it's methods of use. And, per the conversations I had with the FRN people admins here in Texas, FRN is a EchoLink, Allstar, and Fusion network system with additional RF links included.... again, nothing special....

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association Welcome Page | Giving GMRS Users A Way To Communicate Across America
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Old 04-21-2017, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by toastycookies View Post
Sounds very similar to FRN (Free Radio Network)

Free Radio Network
It seems they have a solution for PTT and VOX. They use a pilot tone for PTT to the external interface and it seems the VOX has some audio buffering. Very popular, so I am surprised there is so little north America participation.
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Old 04-21-2017, 5:11 PM
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It seems they have a solution for PTT and VOX. They use a pilot tone for PTT to the external interface and it seems the VOX has some audio buffering. Very popular, so I am surprised there is so little north America participation.
This is true, the issue is that the VOX and the Pilot tone has a habit of hanging the transmitter in the keying mode.....

I will share this much, using a burst tone for keying solves a lot of problems..... I'll let you figure the rest of how to do that.....


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Old 04-21-2017, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post
This is true, the issue is that the VOX and the Pilot tone has a habit of hanging the transmitter in the keying mode.....

I will share this much, using a burst tone for keying solves a lot of problems..... I'll let you figure the rest of how to do that.....


William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
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If you use a burst tone to key up, then you still need a tone to keep the channel alive. Sort of like the EIA tone sequence used to key analog base stations : High Level Guard, 2175 Hz, Function Tone 1950 Hz and Low Level Guard 2175 Hz. Then you need a timer to ride out jitter and dropouts that otherwise might cause the transmitter to drop. A timeout timer in hardware would solve lock ups.

A thought, putting the voice and control signals on separate left and right channels may settle the FCC rule concern of voice and control on same circuit.

Maybe the pilot tone should be an FSK data ?


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Old 04-22-2017, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
If you use a burst tone to key up, then you still need a tone to keep the channel alive. Sort of like the EIA tone sequence used to key analog base stations : High Level Guard, 2175 Hz, Function Tone 1950 Hz and Low Level Guard 2175 Hz. Then you need a timer to ride out jitter and dropouts that otherwise might cause the transmitter to drop. A timeout timer in hardware would solve lock ups.

A thought, putting the voice and control signals on separate left and right channels may settle the FCC rule concern of voice and control on same circuit.

Maybe the pilot tone should be an FSK data ?


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You are almost there....


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