GoTenna A VHF Front End For Your Smart Device


I found out about this device from a crowd funding source so I checked it out for my readers. The concept is not intuitive although no special skills are required to use it. In fact, the only things required are the GoTenna transceiver, a smart devices with Bluetooth support and the GoTenna app.

The idea is to provide point-to-point communications with another paired device in an area where there is no 2G, 3G or 4G coverage. GoTenn is a VHF transceiver front-end for your smart device.

GoTenna operates in a frequency spectrum the FCC designates as MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service), 151 Mhz – 154 Mhz. In that space there are five channels available to MURS communications devices as follows:

  1. 151.820 MHz (11.25 kHz wide)                                
  2. 151.880 MHz (11.25 kHz wide)                                
  3. 151.940 MHz (11.25 kHz wide)                                
  4. 154.570 MHz (20.00 kHz wide)                                
  5. 154.600 MHz (20.00 kHz wide)  

Because GoTenna is classified as an MURS device, there are no end-user or station licensing requirements and can be used by anyone in any age group.

GoTenna, uses anyone of these channels to transmit text messages and georeferenced  information like GPS coordinates. GoTenna uses a proprietary r.f. net protocol that detects the least used channel then sends traffic on that channel to the receiving station. If someone steps on that frequency GoTenna handles the retransmission. GoTenna does not frequency hop it merely selects the least used channel prior to sending traffic.

All communications between GoTenna devices is encrypted end-to-end using 1024 bit asymmetrical encryption, RSA-1024, which is secure.

GoTenna are sold in pairs and can be preordered for $149.99 for late Fall delivery. Your card will be charged at the time of preorder.

Detailed Specifications

Key app features
  • Send & receive text messages for free
  • Share locations on detailed offline maps
  • Instantaneous transmission within range
  • Automatic message retry & delivery confirmation
  • Individual & group messaging
  • ”Shout” broadcasts to anyone within range
  • Proximal friend map & location pinging
  • Emergency chat
  • End-to-end encryption (RSA-1024) & self-destructing messages
  • Compatible with iOS & Android
Key hardware specs
  • Antenna
  • 2-watt radio
  • Flash memory good for 1000’s of messages
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Micro-USB connector
  • BluetoothLE data interface
  • Status indicator lights
  • Nylon attachment strap
  • Water-resistant
  • Dust-tight
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