Lets create the PineCom
Hmm
  I thought the question was about a individual communication device ?

Everyone is describing a Data, Media, Entertainment center, streaming video etc....
 and under a hundred USD  ?

> How about an optional detachable external antenna to help extend the range.  the ole 'rubber duckie' style.

> I don't think privacy from Google and Apple is such a big deal if it is strictly voice, with a maximum range of about 13 miles.?

> Music ?  On a communicator device ? ?

Maybe on another thread for "Pine Entertainment Device"  ?
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If we're putting a 5" touchscreen on it, it seems reasonable to me to have decent music and GPS capability. I want to say there is already a 24-bit sound chip in one or two of the other devices. I don't have my pinephone yet so I can't comment on how it sounds, but if it sounds good then it already meets my request in that aspect. I'm not expecting a high end burr brown chip or anything - it's just something I would do with a second mobile device. Having a third just for music, while I would be interested, might be a bit much. I guess what I was getting at personally was that putting 5 or 10 bucks more into a sound chip, depending on what's already there would be nice for me.
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With a 5" display, a power Soc, as a rk3399 or rk3588, low battery time but with usb-c with display port and some usb-a, the Pinecom will be a desktop linux pc.
With the battery and display you can use it anywhere, but as soon as you get a monitor/tv, at work, home, hotel, library... you can use it as a usable linux desktop, and the Pinecom display can be used as keyboard and/or trackpad.
Not necessary camera, your main smartphone have one, do you need more of that?
With a portable monitor and the usb-c with 2A of power supply, you have a laptop.
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(11-10-2020, 11:40 PM)DarrowAtreides Wrote: 1. Hiking / GPS

I think I've already written about this elsewhere, but LoRaWAN mesh network (or other long-range digital radio) for sending text messages, and live-update each other's GPS coordinates, combined with the open-source and insanely low bitrate Codec 2 for sending push-to-talk like voice messages would be the ultimate toy for outdoor activities.
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I feel a device like PineCom can help deliver remote education for the underprivileged.

During this pandemic remote education became a norm as availability of an Internet connected device is being taken for granted. But children from marginalised sections of the society from around the world weren't able to receive their online courses due to the lack of access to devices and during lockdown teachers lost track of students living in remote areas due to lack of cellular/Internet coverage.

Since major Telecom and ISPs don't bother serving in those areas, LoRAWAN setup by the NGOs or even Govt. in those locations could be the communication backbone; In that case a device like PineCom would be an immensely useful communication/computation platform.

As for the education, without proper Internet access these children can now receive educational content only through over-the-air television and radio. I think a DVB-T receiver connected to PineCom could serve as a single device for consumption of such broadcast content and can also serve as two-way communication with the teachers for clearing doubts and to submit course work via text messages.

I request you all to please check this need gap and share your feedback.
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I'm down for either this and/or a battery cover that does the same. I want these for a mesh network based cell phone like volkfi. lora isn't the greatest choice for this, but a cheap available device could be used as a testbed, maybe with enough users it could inspire mesh network based phones to become more popular, leading to a new paradigm. of course, that free us from their control and they can't have that
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(11-28-2020, 08:28 AM)Abishek_Muthian Wrote: I feel a device like PineCom can help deliver remote education for the underprivileged.

During this pandemic remote education became a norm as availability of an Internet connected device is being taken for granted. But children from marginalised sections of the society from around the world weren't able to receive their online courses due to the lack of access to devices and during lockdown teachers lost track of students living in remote areas due to lack of cellular/Internet coverage.

Since major Telecom and ISPs don't bother serving in those areas, LoRAWAN setup by the NGOs or even Govt. in those locations could be the communication backbone; In that case a device like PineCom would be an immensely useful communication/computation platform.

As for the education, without proper Internet access these children can now receive educational content only through over-the-air television and radio. I think a DVB-T receiver connected to PineCom could serve as a single device for consumption of such broadcast content and can also serve as two-way communication with the teachers for clearing doubts and to submit course work via text messages.

I request you all to please check this need gap and share your feedback.
@Abishek_Muthian

Your idea sounds of sincere intent, but with a five inch (or smaller) screen,  perhaps this device is not the best choice.

   Though a device with the long range wireless capability to be used as a 'hot-spot' for a PineTab(s) or a Pinebook laptops
   "may" be a good low cost option..?
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(11-28-2020, 08:28 AM)Abishek_Muthian Wrote: I feel a device like PineCom can help deliver remote education for the underprivileged.

During this pandemic remote education became a norm as availability of an Internet connected device is being taken for granted. But children from marginalised sections of the society from around the world weren't able to receive their online courses due to the lack of access to devices and during lockdown teachers lost track of students living in remote areas due to lack of cellular/Internet coverage.

Since major Telecom and ISPs don't bother serving in those areas, LoRAWAN setup by the NGOs or even Govt. in those locations could be the communication backbone; In that case a device like PineCom would be an immensely useful communication/computation platform.

As for the education, without proper Internet access these children can now receive educational content only through over-the-air television and radio. I think a DVB-T receiver connected to PineCom could serve as a single device for consumption of such broadcast content and can also serve as two-way communication with the teachers for clearing doubts and to submit course work via text messages.

I request you all to please check this need gap and share your feedback.

PineTab better fits for the above application.
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I think the important thing here is that this is *not* going to be a phone.  The PinePhone already looks awesome, and I'm sure all kinds of mesh stuff can be added.  For this to be at it's best, it should be unique.

This could be your data logger, your calculator, your 2 way radio, your flashlight, and a new class of thing you keep on it's charger on the coffee table, as a remote for the whole house, in your toolbox for many different uses, or take along on a long expedition.

I think that one of the very best things it could possibly have is a docking connector.  So we can put it on a charger when not in use, in a durable and professional way, but also so you can mechanically connect it to add-ons, I'm a way that feels like you are only holding one device.

Any exposed pins should of course be well protected electronically, for real field use.

Preferably, a dock on the back, and two small ones on the front.  No need for video or high speed data, just SPI, power in and out (Solar charge add-ons!), and I2C.  And extra points if the mechanical interface is easy to 3D print.  I'd like to see it go together entirely magnetically, but with a screw hole for permanent attachment or bulky things.

Another excellent thing would be dual or triple 18650 batteries, and excellent software control to extend cycle life, or even to enable alternate chemistries.  As this probably won't be carried in a pocket every day, might as well use a standard battery, and give people a *lot* of power, for robotics, high power add-ons, etc.



It doesn't need anything more than just your basic cheapo cameras.  It doesn't need a ton of CPU power, or even that much RAM It really just needs modularity, swappability, a crazy long battery life, and as much connectivity as it can get.

It doesn't even need to be thin and light. 

GPS is definitely useful. Front cameras are cool, but realistically, this won't replace a phone, so it shouldn't try to.  I'd rather have NFC, infrared, or just lower cost.

This could be the real life version of the ubiquitous gadgets in every sci-fi movie. The little handheld computer that you use to defuse the bomb, reprogram your spaceship engine, and get a message out to HQ.  It could help people learn, and be a part of making scientific equipment more accessible to the public.

Connectivity is cheap, and large batteries are too.  But all the coolness disappears if you take too much inspiration from phones.  

Phones never lived up to the promise of being a platform for add-ons because there's no mechanical interface.  Smartphone based gadgets usually don't solidly connect, and feel like one device you can comfortably take with you, with the exception of FPV controllers.


I also think that whatever LoRa module is used should also have good support for plain FRS, LoRa isn't quite so good at short range, too much wasted bandwidth.



Possible add-ons that someone might like to make:

* 2 way radios, because FRS sucks. Use Opus over 250KBPs 915MHz, or WiFi

* TV remotes.  Is there any reason not to put 38khz IR TX/RX?  That's a cheap easy way to talk to Arduino type gadgets

* Multimeter/Oscilloscope/Signal generator.  They're big and bulky at the moment, but a small little addon modules would instantly give this thing a place in any toolbox

* Home automation dashboards

* Spectrum analyzers/HackRF type tools

* Laser distance measures, thermal cameras

* All the random meters and cable testers

* Calculators.  If this thing had a super long batter life, it would be a nice graphing calc

* Drone Controllers:  Just dock it into something with the analog sticks, and you've got a great screen for FPV and telemetry

* RTK GPS

* OBD tools
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Yep FRS stinks but then there's GMRS, MURS, CB, and other obvious things that no one cares to use either, so why do we need another such service? People only use FRS because you can buy a pair of radios for $5.

I'm starting to firmly form the opinion that a PinePhone already does all the things proposed here but also has phone capabilities for those who don't want to carry yet another device.
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