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Old 09-12-2017, 1:18 PM
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Is anyone beside Icom making two way portables which use existing WiFi networks for radio communications?

I thought Kenwood had a protable that did it but can't find any references to it just the Icom IP100H
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Old 09-12-2017, 1:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LubeckTech View Post
Is anyone beside Icom making two way portables which use existing WiFi networks for radio communications?



I thought Kenwood had a protable that did it but can't find any references to it just the Icom IP100H


Does Motorola WAVE count?

Whatís the goal you are trying to accomplish? I had an environment that had a fantastic WiFi infrastructure so it was better to use Zello on a dedicated device like a Motorola/Symbol/Zebra TC70 so they could use business apps and communicate. Zello also offers a WiFi to Radio bridge.
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Old 09-12-2017, 1:57 PM
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I don't have a project in mind just yet but trying to be knowledgeable about what I think will possibly be a trend in the industry. That being stand alone portable radios that function as IP devices and communicate via WiFi. I thought I read a sales brochure by Kenwood where they were bragging about the University of Cincinnati using their IP portables to talk over their Wifi over several campus locations in different parts of the city. I was probably reading about Icom instead. Motorola's Wave is one way to do that plus integrate TRBO radios but is EXTREMELY expensive. Their Capacity Plus and Capacity Max are ways to link repeaters but again very expensive and don't use existing WiFi. I believe we will see portables that use Wifi networks at some point in business as they could cover anyplace in a building that has WiFi access with out the expense of repeaters and frequency licensing. It looks like there is a gadget made by Hytera that can link radios via networks but I have not investigated that yet.
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:14 PM
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Staying up on the industry is very good to do.

I have not tried the Icom product because it seems so niche. I totally see a use case for it, but I have a hard time seeing people wanting to buy it. The one benefit it has is that from a cost perspective you use an existing WiFi network for indoor coverage that blows RF away assuming you have the network properly deployed and configure. Itís definitely price competitive with your typical business band radio in both analog and digital flavors. I struggle to predict myself whether it will catch on. Based on what Iíve seen of the system controller it looks like there are going to be a few ďgotchasĒ when you integrate it with your WiFi system since they use a lot of carefully selected terminology to talk about feature integration (such as ďsupported manufacturersĒ in reference to the location tracking). Iím happy to see you can integrate it into an existing Icom system but you canít get a combo WiFi/LMR product.

I donít see anyone using a combo radio. The LTE RoIP products (which most people call PTT over LTE) have not been popular at all. Most industry market analysis show most potential customers instead choosing to have a combination of a dedicated radio system and then a commercial carrier smartphone since communications is mission critical and agencies want control and commercial carriers canít guarantee coverage and control of the system.

WAVE is expensive because of the power it offers. I definitely think most of the users will underuse the system capabilities. Also Motorola will be pushing a lot of services to cloud so they want to price to get people to buy a subscription rather than a one time cost.

I think if you saw a Kenwood WiFi option, it is probably the same one that Motorola has on the APX that allows for things like programming and key loading. Thatís becoming a popular option and a truly beneficial use case for WiFi.
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr_Boh View Post
Does Motorola WAVE count?

Whatís the goal you are trying to accomplish? I had an environment that had a fantastic WiFi infrastructure so it was better to use Zello on a dedicated device like a Motorola/Symbol/Zebra TC70 so they could use business apps and communicate. Zello also offers a WiFi to Radio bridge.
The Icom radios are a dedicated PTT radio device with a simple hardware User Inteface, not a smartphone GUI.


I had the opportunity to try out Zello with family members who were in Denali AK last week while I was here in FL. The experience was less than expected. The software overly complex to set up. Setting up contacts was the first obstacle, then the contacts were some how blocked. After setting all that straight, the remote users could not get the hang of using the PTT function, complained my audio was too low, though I used the Echo TG and it was fine. The playback function was useful, but the GUI so confusing I could not locate it quickly.

I really don't see a bright future for PTT applications unless the developers seriously consult with seasoned LMR experts as to making it less an "app" and more user friendly. There are some smartphones with a dedicated PTT switch and that is a start. But for mission critical, or even commercial users, Zello is a dissapointment.

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Old 09-12-2017, 2:26 PM
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Zello as it comes is meh. The business service on hardware like Sonim Phones, Zebra Android Scanners, etc that are designed to have a dedicated PTT service is really slick. But it requires sharp IT support to properly provision the devices. The good thing is that itís definitely designed so you donít miss anything and have instant replay. I did a demo of it with an IT department for a company that had a large campus. Their IT folks loved how easy it was to get answers to questions. For example a guy checking a port on the opposite side of the campus could ask his manager a question but the manager could finish his conversation with a colleague in his office before he listened to the message. But it could do real time and allowed people to talk over one another without loosing the message.

I wish I had played with it during the storm. Zello got a lot of media attention so Iím curious to know if their servers were choked down. Their business product can be cloud based or purchased as an on-site self managed appliance (with an option to tie to the cloud)
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:29 PM
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Another problem with WiFi is that the coverage to/from the access point or router is limited to about a 300 ft radius outside in the clear. This means you have to have a lot of AP'S and routers in a mesh configuration to cover any acreage. It can be done, but you need to get power to those fixed devices and in a mesh, the bandwidth gets gobbled up quickly.

There are some high power WiFi base stations, however the limitation is the low power and crappy antenna on the smartphone. Turning up base station power only serves to cause interference to other cells and the subscriber cannot talk back anyway.

The Icom's have external antenna and higher power so have greater than the 300 foot radius I describe. I have heard some great reports, but without testing, I would not say for sure that it 1200 feet I was told.

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Old 09-12-2017, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LubeckTech View Post
I don't have a project in mind just yet but trying to be knowledgeable about what I think will possibly be a trend in the industry. That being stand alone portable radios that function as IP devices and communicate via WiFi. I thought I read a sales brochure by Kenwood where they were bragging about the University of Cincinnati using their IP portables to talk over their Wifi over several campus locations in different parts of the city. I was probably reading about Icom instead. Motorola's Wave is one way to do that plus integrate TRBO radios but is EXTREMELY expensive. Their Capacity Plus and Capacity Max are ways to link repeaters but again very expensive and don't use existing WiFi. I believe we will see portables that use Wifi networks at some point in business as they could cover anyplace in a building that has WiFi access with out the expense of repeaters and frequency licensing. It looks like there is a gadget made by Hytera that can link radios via networks but I have not investigated that yet.
Mototrbo is a pretty good product. The IPSC and roaming will provide a very affordable solution for a campus environment. Adding Wave to the mix, in my opinion, will degrade the capabilities of the system. If someone in management wants to listen in with a smartphone , we'll OK, for that special unicorn, they can spend 30K. But once the security folks start using the Wave and leaving the radios in their desk drawer, they just pooped in the well.

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Old 09-12-2017, 2:35 PM
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Another problem with WiFi is that the coverage to/from the access point or router is limited to about a 300 ft radius outside in the clear. This means you have to have a lot of AP'S and routers in a mesh configuration to cover any acreage. It can be done, but you need power to those fixed devices and in a mesh, the bandwidth gets gobbled up quickly.

It doesnít need to be mesh. You just need a true enterprise WiFi system with a controller. Good WiFi systems monitor the clients and hand them off between APs and automatically set AP channels to avoid interference. Think products such as Cisco, Aruba, Extreme, etc.

Any customer using this product should stick with traditional LMR products if they are attempting to run it off of any access point you can buy at Best Buy.

I do like that itís priced better than most WiFi VoIP handsets too.
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:41 PM
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Mototrbo is a pretty good product. The IPSC and roaming will provide a very affordable solution for a campus environment. Adding Wave to the mix, in my opinion, will degrade the capabilities of the system. If someone in management wants to listen in with a smartphone , we'll OK, for that special unicorn, they can spend 30K. But once the security folks start using the Wave and leaving the radios in their desk drawer, they just pooped in the well.

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Yeah I was trying to explain why Wave will be overkill and thatís what I was thinking. Most environments just want a guy on his phone to listen while heís on vacation. Any streaming server will do that fine. The system is truly designed to be mission critical and can run a public safety dispatch center. Even though marketing material show the hotel manager talking from his phone he would be better severed carrying an SL300 in addition to his phone.

I donít think I would want someone who is dedicated on a site with appropriate coverage to use anything but a two way radio - exception being dispatchers with a redundant hardline to the wave sever.
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:42 PM
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It doesnít need to be mesh. You just need a true enterprise WiFi system with a controller. Good WiFi systems monitor the clients and hand them off between APs and automatically set AP channels to avoid interference. Think products such as Cisco, Aruba, Extreme, etc.

Any customer using this product should stick with traditional LMR products if they are attempting to run it off of any access point you can buy at Best Buy.

I do like that itís priced better than most WiFi VoIP handsets too.
No it doesn't have to be mesh, but there is a cost involved in wiring all those AP'S. If you are talking about a large outdoor environment with little infrastructure, then to match the coverage of LMR, you need many AP'S and some sort of back haul, be it mesh, ether net, fiber, point to point microwave. There is no free lunch.

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Old 09-12-2017, 2:44 PM
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My work is testing wave. On out xpr7550e radios, they programmed an extra channel that we go to when we are out of radio range. On this channel, they have programmed several possible wifi so names as well as my home so and portable hotspot so names. Once I go to the channel, i then select ehick talkgroup I want to use and it works over wifi. Unsure of the cost though....TT
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:45 PM
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There is no free lunch.

Ainít that the truth

I agree - in my examples I was thinking just indoor. I would be really hard pressed to see someone needing outdoor coverage, especially wide area to even consider it. Would be so much easier to rack a DMR repeater and mount an antenna on a tall structure.
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Old 09-12-2017, 2:52 PM
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My work is testing wave. On out xpr7550e radios, they programmed an extra channel that we go to when we are out of radio range. On this channel, they have programmed several possible wifi so names as well as my home so and portable hotspot so names. Once I go to the channel, i then select ehick talkgroup I want to use and it works over wifi. Unsure of the cost though....TT


If Wave does that, that's impressive. I was under the impression that WiFi on the TRBO radios was strictly for software updates and location tracking.

We are deploying WAVE for a secure interoperability purpose with P25 systems just haven't had time to play with it yet.
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Old 09-12-2017, 3:03 PM
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Ainít that the truth

I agree - in my examples I was thinking just indoor. I would be really hard pressed to see someone needing outdoor coverage, especially wide area to even consider it. Would be so much easier to rack a DMR repeater and mount an antenna on a tall structure.
I had a client who wanted the cost of such an alternative. They had a mission critical federal operation that required AES256 for voice and he felt buying more P25 radios was like buying buggy whips. I ran some tests with a high quality AP and a typical tablet device and at 300 feet, the range ran out.

Looking at terminal specs and the antenna inside, if you can call squiggles on a PC board an antenna, the results were not surprising.

To cover just the property inside their property required numerous pole mounted Aruba WiFi mesh routers and four AP on ramps. Solar/battery power was required at many of the locations because there was simply no power available. It was not tremendously expensive, but it was not high on my recommendation for the mission critical voice requirement. I suggested they try out a small installation before going hog wild. In their defense, P25 from the two vendors that could provide AES256 and the associated key management , distributed consoles and with the required CORE, was expensive and overly complex. If this had been a private company, for the 5 channel conventional operation, I would have been promoting a DMR solution.

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Old 09-12-2017, 3:07 PM
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Not to veer too far off topic, but why was DMR out of the question? Most of the providers offer AES-256 encryption and you would be able to pick your band.
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Old 09-12-2017, 3:13 PM
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Not to veer too far off topic, but why was DMR out of the question? Most of the providers offer AES-256 encryption and you would be able to pick your band.
At the time only Motorola, Tait and Hytera were in the game. Tait was interested only in Tier 3 trunking, Motorola was adamant about not offering AES256 to clients who could buy same in expensive P25 using taxpayer funds, and I will let you guess why Chinese vendor Hytera wasn't considered.

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Old 09-12-2017, 9:37 PM
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The last few times I've been to Schaumburg I've ended up in the Astro 25 lab playing with Wave2. It's okay...~2100 ms of delay (typical of any LTE based PTT solution), VoIP quality audio (over LTE), small handsets.

I've got a Wave 3000 server sitting in my office that needs to be installed for a customers Airtime network (Connect Plus) but other than that I haven't really played with it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 9:50 PM
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If Wave does that, that's impressive. I was under the impression that WiFi on the TRBO radios was strictly for software updates and location tracking.
.
It was just for Radio Manager II but with the 2.8 Firmware release we have a Radio with WAVE capability now, .

With IRMA and other distractions I have not loaded the necessary parts to actually configure this but is in the plan for the next few weeks if I ever get caught up ....

@TampaTyron -- You have any watch out for's when it comes to the code plug for this option ..
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Old 09-13-2017, 1:14 AM
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The last few times I've been to Schaumburg I've ended up in the Astro 25 lab playing with Wave2. It's okay...~2100 ms of delay (typical of any LTE based PTT solution), VoIP quality audio (over LTE), small handsets.

I've got a Wave 3000 server sitting in my office that needs to be installed for a customers Airtime network (Connect Plus) but other than that I haven't really played with it.
When I was FTR, during the roll out of Smartnet 1 we were sweating 500 milliseconds access time. Then P25 rolled out and added over 160 milliseconds IMBE latency to turn voice into concentrated orange juice, load it on the truck, transport it across town , add water and then reconstitute the finished product.

2100 milliseconds is just way too much for any sort of tactical application. And wasteful of human resources during a dispatch environment.

Satellite telephony got phased out to transatlantic fiber, because the delay to/from a geostationary satellite was unnatural to users. That delay was in the order of 250 ms (I am probably a bit off, not bothering to calculate today, post Irma).

This 2100 milliseconds is crazy, Skype isn't even that bad. OK maybe in half duplex it isn't that noticeable, however it does significantly delay tactical response and might I remind you all, in a dispatch situation, those missing seconds add up to a huge backlog of calls for service. Think carefully about the erlang, not in the context of the transmission media, but in the unavailability of the channel during those seconds between exchanges in a message. Imagine dispatching a huge fleet during a busy hour and each and every 4 to 6 second transaction taking an extra 1.5 seconds.

It is dumb dumb dumb. Design engineers need to sit in a dispatch center for a week.





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