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Steve Jobs’ contribution to Network Radios

by Chris G7DDN

Aha! I thought that title might grab your attention!

Back to the future – 2007 style

Cast your minds back, if you will, to the launch of the very first iPhone in 2007. You can still watch this on YouTube.

The master of presentation that was the late Steve Jobs initially introduced this truly revolutionary device by trying to deceive his audience.

He tried to persuade them into believing that Apple was actually launching three separate devices.

He kept repeating them over and over – “an iPod, a Phone, an Internet Communications device – an iPod, a Phone, an Internet Communications device”.

Eventually the audience cottoned on to the fact that he was playing with them, referring to one device for all these uses.

Technology geeks call it “convergence” and the iPhone is arguably the icon for all converged devices.

Convergence is here to stay!

And here we are 11 years on and convergence is well and truly here!

Watching TV?

No TV required – mobile device for that

Playing a game?

No gaming device required – mobile device for that

Running your business?

No PC required – mobile device for that

Listening to the radio?

No radio required – mobile device for that

Communicating with your friends?

No texting needed – Social media on the mobile device for that

Video Calling?

No PC required – streaming on the mobile device for that.

Taking a quality photo?

No camera required – mobile device for that

Weather Forecast?

No need to wait for that on the TV – there’s an app on the mobile device for that

Latest News?

At your fingertips from a variety of sources on the mobile device, of course!

Instant alerts for the latest goals from your team?

Flashes up on your mobile device within seconds of being scored

I could go on and you know all the above to be true in your own experience.

And Radio is exempt from this? Maybe not!

Did anyone ever truly believe that PTT communications of the type used by radio hobbyists was going to remain outside of the converged world?

The rise of apps like Zello and IRN on Teamspeak is just a totally natural evolution of what has been happening in the rest of the world for many years. Radio hobbyists can fight against it, but it has, in truth, already happened…

The Rise of Network Radios

The rise of the Network Radios phenomenon is currently seemingly unstoppable.

The suite of Channels on Zello called “Network Radios” (the ones owned by G1YPQ) has over 4000 subscribers, over 2000 trusted users and is rarely quiet.

It’s buzzing nearly all day with radio enthusiasts, hams and unlicensed users, from around the English-speaking world, all communicating in ways reminiscent of the old days of Top Band and 2 metres.

It’s a well-moderated environment too, safe therefore and a great place to take your first steps into a new hobby.

Or perhaps a place where you can “chew the fat” with other radio-minded enthusiasts, a place to talk over your progress learning CW or problems you are hitting making that new antenna, or maybe even finding your way around the Android OS and some of the hidden gems in the Zello software.

Have you tried it?

If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?

If Steve Jobs were still on earth, I am sure he would have been very proud of his “converged world” – and who knows, he might have even been “on the air” on Network Radios with the rest of us!

© Chris Rolinson G7DDN

27 August 2018

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Zello on the Inrico T192 screenless radio

Exciting news for network radio enthusiasts! Inrico launched the T192, an improved version of the T199.
Although I am a big fan of the T199 I have to admit the T192 was a good move.

I will start with the design. The shape is rectangular, reminding the popular Motorola radios. I always found the T199 too small, reminding me a walkie-talkie for kids. The T192 is heavier, thicker, and above all, is IP54, unlike the T199.

To give extra security, the battery has its own locker (I doubt you could accidentally remove the battery even without using the secondary locker). These small details make the T192 a really rugged radio!

The audio, as usual can be set to a real high volume, while maintaining a crisp-full speech sound. I am sure this radio will be a top seller.

As you probably know, these radios are built for professional use and run services like PTT4U. So they don’t want the users to mess up with the settings and installing unwanted apps. With such, on the T192, Inrico removed the USB socket so a “normal” user would not make any changes to the configuration.

The USB is still there, although it’s hidden. You must attach a small 5-pin adapter (included with the programming cable) and make all the configurations to the radio, using TotalControl software.

All network settings must be done via the mic/earphone sockets, using the programming cable. You will need this Software and the UART drivers to use it.

Since V4.14, Zello is 100% compatible with the T192. You can change volume, use the PTT button and select channels using the dial knob. You just need to follow the configuration steps released by Zello.

Where to purchase the T192?

Order your T192 here