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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Network radio... a glorified Android phone made to look like a transceiver, gimmick or not?

Today I became aware of a device called the Inrico TM-7, a so-called network radio being sold by Martin Lynch & Sons, which in essence is a dual-SIM Android phone that can be made to work with both TeamSpeak and Zello, and also Echolink if you are duly-licensed of course, but I have one question, why?

First off I can see a somewhat practical use for this in an environment for the Amateur where antennas are impossible to erect, though this thing is touted as a mobile rig and does plug into a car cigar socket, but most hams who want Echolink usually use a computer or phone so all this is doing is adding a hand mic to the mobile Echolink app (which probably can be done anyway without having to buy this).

I became aware of this radio via Twitter on a post from Martin Lynch & Sons, not the usual sources of new radio news, though this thing has been sold by the Chinese for some time (being dual-SIM is a giveaway of its Chinese origins as many mobile devices sold there are configured this way).

I think this "radio" is a bit of a gimmick and I think I should give it a review to see if my mind is changed, of course I would have to buy it if I am to do so.

From what I understand, this device works on WiFi as well as the mobile networks so should require little to get it working at home, it also has GPS so you could, in theory, add APRS functionality to it as well using the well-known and popular APRSDroid app (remember this "radio" is an Android device).

Upon doing further digging it does not appear that the TM-7 is the first of its kind either, there are others as well, the point in these I still feel is a bit of a gimmick but testing these out is probably worth it.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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