Story 2015-03-19 57FF Handheld Wi-Fi 2-way radios

Handheld Wi-Fi 2-way radios

Anonymous Coward
in ask on (#57FF)
story imageAn AC just discovered hand held 2-way Wi-Fi radios and wants to know if anyone has any experience with them. Likely the most popular product is the ICOM IP100H. There have been a couple of basic radio enthusiast reviews, which outline the short-range from hand-held to AP, and higher price than conventional radios, but not much else.

Traditional license-free 2-way radios like FRS & MURS (in North America) while cheaper and with multi-mile range, only offer a small number of non-overlapping channels, and scrambling or other privacy features are strictly forbidden by the FCC. As shown in the illustration, the ideal use-case for Wi-Fi radios seems to be dense areas with obstacles, which already have several Wi-Fi APs deployed, such as high-rise building complexes.
Reply 4 comments

pricing (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-03-19 02:17 (#57GY)

Some further digging shows that list price in USA is $500 each and the base unit is $1,665.00 -- but this dealer
is already discounting (on application). Since there are no license fees, the prices can't be compared directly to the lower cost for other similar sized radios which do require license fees.

I found this in a car racing magazine -- ICOM is sponsoring a race team in Australia who use the system for communication between pit crew members. They must be using with headphones and maybe even noise canceling mics for that very loud environment??

Re: pricing (Score: 1)

by on 2015-03-19 04:44 (#57ND)

As mentioned in the summary, FRS & MURS radios don't require any license fees, either, so they are mostly directly comparable, although NOT private.

Amazon has heavy-duty Motorola MURS radios for under $200, Dakota Alert MURS radios under $100, and unlicensed Chinese imports that can be set for MURS frequencies and power limits, for just $30.

For lesser range, Amazon has Midland FRS radios under $30 each (Motorola/Giant FRS radios are junk), and unlicensed Chinese imports for $15 each.

I guess the Australian equivalent would be UHF CB radios.

Re: pricing (Score: 1)

by on 2015-03-21 18:30 (#5DGB)

Maybe that's on par with prices for licensed radio equipment, don't know. I can't help but think there's a $2.99 app that does the same thing.

Re: pricing (Score: 1)

by on 2015-03-22 03:05 (#5E28)

I was thinking just about the same thing. But companies buy the $200+ Motorola radios because you can submerge them, bounce them off the pavement, stand on them, etc., and they'll keep working. That feature is worth quite a bit of extra money. A cellphone isn't nearly as durable or as reliable.