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GoTenna, a new camping gadget for safety.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by happyflowerlady, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    My daughter came over this last weekend, and she brought me something called a "GoTenna". It is kind a tech little gadget that helps you use your cell phone almost like a CB radio when there is no cell service for whatever reason. I am not exactly sure how to explain it, but basically, it is like a short-range antenna for your cell phone, and will connect with anyone else who happens to have one of these and is within range of the antenna.

    If you are hiking with friends, and get separated, then you can use your cell phone (connected by Bluetooth to the GoTenna) and send a text to ask where they are at. You can not actually use this like a phone and talk with someone, but you can send a text with it. The range depends on the conditions, just like it would with a CB.

    Robin lives about 5 miles away from me, and the antenna did not reach, however, we were both inside our houses. It is supposed to have the range of a good quality walkie-talkie, up to 20 mikes if you are on a hill and have good range to transmit.

    People used to take along a portable CB on camping trips, but now, I think that most people rely on their cell phone. If you are out of range of a cell tower, someone could be a mile away from you and you can't reach them on your phone; but if you both have the GoTenna, then you could communicate.

    Since I am not apt to be out mountain-climbing, I wondered why Robin brought me one of these; but she pointed out that we could have probably used them a few years ago when we had the bad tornado outbreak, and all the power, Internet, and cell service was out. The towers were all down, and even as they started getting a few of them active, the lines were too jammed up to make calls. Eventually, we could text because that didn't take long to send; but with the GoTenna, we could have probably communicated with each other sooner.

    goTenna | Text & GPS on your phone, even without service.
  2. CARiD

    CARiD Newbie

    Hey this thing will soon become the #1 tool for every camper if it really works as described.
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    That sounds really cool, thanks for sharing. I might have to pick one of them up for the next trip I go on.

    Did you encounter any other GoTenna users within your radio range? :p
  4. This sounds great.

    Apparently it's a 2-watt radio (151-154 MHz range) that pairs to your phone via Bluetooth. The phone software lets you send and receive text messages via the radio. The website says you can send a message to everyone within range or just to particular people. I guess its phone number based so even though the radio sends/receives to everyone, the phone will only receive a message if its sent to your phone number - unless you use the "shout" mode that lets everyone receive your message.

    It also lets you download maps then communicates GPS coords so you can see your friends on the map.

    2-watts should get pretty decent range, but the antenna is only 2.2 in or 55.8 mm long. I wonder how well it would do in the woods. Maybe 1/2 mile or 2??

    They cost $200US for a pair. Something new for the wish list . . . or I guess I could wait until they put an FM transmitter inside the phone.
  5. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Some phones have receivers already... Not sure whether phone makers have that low level access to the radio hardware enabled for app developers
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