«Network radios» is a new concept in hamradio. No matter where you go, you can still be in touch with your ham friends. All you need is to connect to the IRN – International Radio Network, that functions as a gateway to the live RF world. The IRN offers a plenitude of channels across the world and it is free to use. However, you are required to hold a valid hamradio license if you want to transmit on hamradio channels, as your transmission will be heard on live repeaters. To make things more exciting, like in the old days, manufactures started to build Android Transceivers, where you can install apps like TS3, or Zello, that offer connectivity to the IRN. Such net transceivers, or network radios, come with a nice PTT button, so you just operate them as any conventional radio. But… Is this hamradio? Read this article.
So, which network radio to choose? There are several types… Let’s see the options.
If you want a simple, but high-quality one, without any RF module, then you will find the Radio Tone RT4 a great choice: It is 4G, GPS tracking system, amazing audio and Android 6.0.
It has a lasting 4600 mAh battery giving you several days of continuous operation. The RT4 has the best specifications on its category.
Just arrived to the market, the Talkpod N58 is 3G compliant, it offers US and EU versions, brings an amazing design, very compact and has a superb audio quality. The Talkpod will become, for sure, a best seller in its segment.
A brand new mobile network radio is the Inrico TM-7. It’s the first 3G Android mobile radio. It became a best-seller since the first day.
If you want something more hybrid, I mean, a network radio with an RF module too, then you want to take a look into the Inrico T298s.
The T298s comes in two different versions: VHF and UHF. It offers an output power of 2 Watt and it’s a great gadget to carry when travelling. You will always be connected. If a nearby repeater is not available, you just have to switch into the IRN or Echolink via WiFi or 3G connection. It is a very robust device, that offers IP54 protective design with a military quality.
If you want the supreme, then you have to take a look into the RFinder M1 or the new RFinder K1. It is much more than a network radio. It does DMR, and FM analogue. It’s all a matter of what you need and can afford. One thing is for sure. Hamradio is changing. As always.