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VHF/UHF Transceiver (FRS, GMRS, PMR446, UHFCB) GPS Tablet

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JASII

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Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

This still isn't available, but it was interesting reading the updates. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind having a single device that would work as a portable transceiver and a GPS. That is what the Garmin RINO series is, but they don't seem to get very good reviews. Even a smartphone with Android that would work off network, like Nextel Direct Talk did, would be handy. It wouldn't have to have a lot of ouput power. I think Nextel Direct Talk was only 1/2 watt or so. Too bad Motorola and Garmin can't get together and make a DTR550/650 with Garmin GPS built in!
 

blastco2

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Well, off topic a little but, here goes.
For android there is "Backcountry navigator". Full featured topo mapping GPS app that, does not need cell service to work.
The earl sounds neat but, it tries to do everything in one box. That box dies and you've lost comms and nav.

My experience with the rino was seriously underwhelming! Sends location data just fine but the voice part is horrible...
 
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mmckenna

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Key phrase to read on their website is "Pending FCC Approval".

Until they have FCC approval, it won't/can't be sold. It will be interesting to see how they control access to the frequencies, and keep it from being "jail brake'd", hacked, "opened up", "free banded", etc. The FCC has some specific rules about MURS being authorized combined with any other services. That's why we don't see FRS/GMRS/MURS radios on the market now. Also, keeping USA users from putting them on PMR frequencies, UHF CB, etc, is going to take some work.

Of course in the right hands, it could be a useful tool, if it's done right. A few years ago there was a company that had a GSM cell phone with VHF and UHF radio in it at the IWCE show. Interesting device, but I've never seen it sold in the US. I suspect the same type acceptance issues was what slowed it down. Wish I'd picked up some information on it when I saw it.
 

mmckenna

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Reading through the updates page: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet looks like they've acknowledged most of this, and suggest Part 95A and Part 90 certification will be what it will have. That rules out MURS, since MURS can't co-exist with other radio services in the same radio. Of course, if it is truly programmable in the VHF/UHF part 90 frequencies, then there really isn't much to stop people from programming it wherever they want, like most Part 90 radios.

The removable antenna with SMA connector will prevent type certification for FRS, not that it will stop anyone.

I suspect this will get approved by the FCC either way.
Would be interesting to play with, but looking at the size of it, I don't think it's something I'd want to carry around.
 
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