WiFi Walkie Talkies?
#1
I find it odd that there are essentially *zero* good and affordable solutions for push-to-talk systems.  Everyone just accepts crappy FRS quality since there's not really anything better available.

It would be amazing to have a simple dedicated device with a speaker, mic, 3.5mm port, a tiny display and menu button, and a push-to-talk key.

It could come out of the box preprogrammed with a few ESP-NOW based channels, and then allow you to add RTP multicast paging on a proper WiFi network(Which seems to be what the expensive SIP phones use).

The ESP32 can handle Opus compression, so there should be enough bandwidth for a few repeater hops.

If it was 18650 powered it should be able to last all day, so you could just leave a few around as repeaters, one hop is probably enough for 90% of things FRS is actually good for.


The same hardware could also connect to a smart voice assistant server, act as a wireless media streaming target, or be a wireless doorbell beeper for home assistant.


I've seen a bunch of projects like this, but nothing available as a mass produced, ready to use device.
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#2
This seems like a perfect software project for the Pinephone. Go for it!
:wq



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#3
(05-14-2024, 03:43 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: This seems like a perfect software project for the Pinephone.  Go for it!

It does seem like a pretty good use case, but the pinephone isn't in semi-rugged walkie talkie form factor, and costs several times more than an ESP32 device would need to, plus it doesn't have any builtin longer range radio(Or does it?), and the power consumption is probably higher than you could achieve with a simpler dedicated device.
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#4
A rugged case with a battery could be done. LoRa is already available.

As far as longer range radio, what are you looking for? I don't know where you are, but here we have things like MURS, and good old 11m Citizens Band. FRS isn't terrible, either. If those aren't good enough there's always the Amateur Service. The market is rich with devices for all these bands. Sure it would be nice to have everything in one package. But I presume that you could use ESP-NOW on the Pinephone relatively easily. That and a KX-3 plus a VHF/UHF handheld can do a *lot*.

The trouble is getting everyone you know to use it. If it's too expensive nobody will buy it. If it's too cheap they will lose it and forget about it. No matter what you do most people won't bother. They've got SMS and MMS and Twitter and Facebook.
:wq



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