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Crossbanding?

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CCRS53

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I recently came across a smartphone app (zello) that has some features that make it very easy to integrate into my local rescue squads radio system. My big question is, would it be illegal to marry a two way radio app like this to a vhf radio system. The setup I have come up with is a scanner uploading a feed to the app on one channel so you can hear the vhf repeater traffic in the app, and a separate channel on the app sending audio to a vhf radio to broadcast over the repeater. Basically a cross band radio repeater utilizing cell phones to vhf and vice-versa. Before I put it online though, whats the legal side of it for my agency?

Any comments are appreciated, Makale
 

bill4long

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sending audio to a vhf radio to broadcast over the repeater
What kind of "VHF radio"?

What kind of repeater?

If you're thinking of using ham radio or GMRS, forget that. Against the rules to re-transmit signals from other services.

FRS, MURS, RSS-134, etc, do not allow repeaters or re-transmissions from other services.

The best you could do legally is use VOIP over cell phones.

Or depending on your local squad's license, they could setup a transmission on a transmit-only simulcast frequency. Our local county does that for it's fire department dispatches where the main dispatch is on a 800mhz trunked system, but it the dispatch transmissions are also transmitted one-way to a VHF frequency for the sake of volunteer fire staff. This is not something you are going to be able to do independently on your own legally. The communications manager would have to handle doing that per the agency's licensing.
 
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jonwienke

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A simple and legal alternative would be to set up a cheap scanner or spare radio to receive the dispatch channel, then feed that to an internet audio stream (broadcastify or something similar). Then your personnel could simply install an app on their phones to monitor the dispatch audio stream online, rather than messing with repeaters and dealing with frequency licensing headaches.
 

bill4long

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A simple and legal alternative would be to set up a cheap scanner or spare radio to receive the dispatch channel, then feed that to an internet audio stream (broadcastify or something similar). Then your personnel could simply install an app on their phones to monitor the dispatch audio stream online, rather than messing with repeaters and dealing with frequency licensing headaches.
Good idea. Then he can receive it on his phone (assuming he has internet capability on his phone) or listen from home on a computer.
 

dpcain

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Alright, without being the RF police, I'm going to say the following under the assumption that your VHF system is already up, running, and FCC licensed as a public safety service.

The normal radios you use take mod input from a microphone and transmit it via RF. They receive RF and output demod audio to a speaker.

The patch control station setup you're talking about takes mod input from a line-in (coming from a zello terminal) and transmits it via RF, receives RF, and outputs demod audio to the zello terminal.

Basically on the RF side there's no difference whatsoever between a base station with a mic and a patch control station with a zello terminal. You're not changing the system, just adding a patch path into and out of it from another system. Hopefully that answers the questions on the RF/FCC side.

On the Zello side, I know they do have a specific solution for that geared to business/government markets, and I believe they ask for money if you want to set up a dedicated patch like that. May want to check how they define the difference, somewhere on zello.com or zellowork.com, and see if you'd be forced into that or not.
 

sfd119

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I recently came across a smartphone app (zello) that has some features that make it very easy to integrate into my local rescue squads radio system. My big question is, would it be illegal to marry a two way radio app like this to a vhf radio system. The setup I have come up with is a scanner uploading a feed to the app on one channel so you can hear the vhf repeater traffic in the app, and a separate channel on the app sending audio to a vhf radio to broadcast over the repeater. Basically a cross band radio repeater utilizing cell phones to vhf and vice-versa. Before I put it online though, whats the legal side of it for my agency?

Any comments are appreciated, Makale
No, it's not illegal as long as you have a valid FCC license for the frequencies. In fact, I use Zello for my own licensed channels.
 

CCRS53

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Thanks for the replies everyone, I think we've got it figured out now with the help of a couple of you guys. For the people saying to just broadcast it over broadcastify, I already have this set up to run for scanning and listening purposes on broadcastify. I'm looking at this setup with zello to have a way to transmit over the repeater when I'm in a hole that a HT won't get out from, but a cell phone will (we work in a very hilly area and this is somewhat common). And also for those asking, this is a FCC licensed public safety frequency, the radio I'm running zello through is a fcc certified radio for this frequency also. All the vhf system is on the public safety bands and licensed that way. I've also been coordinating with the rescue squad director and ops officer on this.
 

kb0rpj

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zello

zello @ work. they make hardware interfaces for computers that allow you to connect a smart phone to your two way system
 
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