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Neighborhood Communications Options

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,190
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Can new FRS radios be configured to not allow others not on a membership list to listen in or transmit?
Since no one has answered your question... Nope! FRS radios are often marketed as having "privacy codes", but this feature would only prevent you from hearing others. If you're within range, they will be able to hear you - and interfere, if that is the intent.
 

n1das

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,320
Location
Nashua, NH
It looks like the Zello smartphone app is the way to go to do everything the OP wants. And it's free and works on IOS and Android devices on any carrier. There is also Zello for Work which is not free but can do a few things the free version can't do.
 

KG7PBS

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
278
Location
Reno NV
My question is why do elderly people need encryption. Sounds like he needs to put up a Motorola DMR repeater with RAS and encryption. The SL7550 would work just fine. 250$ on EBay. With all those requirements that he wants he needs to put the money out and get a license.
 

gman1971

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
13
Itinerant VHF frequency and a bunch of CCR DMR (MotoTRBO) portables is what you need.

The HOA can certainly apply for the itinerant VHF frequency (IIRC its just 250 bucks) which is NOT a ham license.

And as for what radio to use, as of the writing of this post the Baofeng BF-1801 DMR/FM walkie is the cheapest option to buy bulk. Its not an XPR 7550e, but it should reach 300 yards without much of a problem on VHF without the need of a main repeater. Once you have the itinerant frequency license and the radios, all you have to do is assign each radio to its own unique ID, each ID being each house, etc... then create a talk group for the homeowners association/group, and set every radio to listen to that group, lastly assign one channel to the licensed itinerant frequency you acquired and you're good to go. On DMR you can also create subgroups, etc, and any subscriber can punch the ID of another subscriber to make private calls, so only that person will hear the call, you can also do texting as well... and can do call alerts (ringing the phone) which will leave a missed call reminder on the radio with the person who called you.. radio checks. DMR is very flexible.

The BF-1801 radio has digital encryption (not voice inversion crap), its a true 40bit digital encryption and while it won't prevent the NSA from chiming in, it will thwart the scanners and any eavesdropping.

G.
 

KD0UOI

Newbie
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
3
Thanks everyone for responding. Cheap/easy is the preferred route, so I'm going to investigate the free version of Zello, From speaking with many of my neighbors, a handful are interested in helping me test/evaluate. Guessing that no more than half of the neighborhood are interested in actually using it, because the level of direness and service interruption from COVID-19 is actually pretty minor. I realize that I'll never get the entire neighborhood to use anything as some just don't care or aren't interested for whatever reason.
 

dcr_inc

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
605
Location
Delta, Pa
Best part.. it works anywhere you have cellular service.. Great for neighborhood watch programs
 
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