2B or to B1
Forgive the double entendre as this post has two parts. First, I must congratulate & then thank Tack Baldwin from https://www.saraid.org/. Tack has given the last 13 years & 8 as the training officer for the organisation of highly trained volunteers that travel to the world's worst disasters from Tahiti, Haiti, Kathmandu and Beirut. Tack was with the team, on a 4 day exercise scrutineered by a U.N team of classifiers from around the world, that became the first NGO in the UK & 3rd light team to gain U.N INSARAG accreditation as a USAR team worldwide.
Second, thank Tack for an opportunity to investigate placing comms kit under the same conditions as they would, should they be used real world. This our initial appraisal of the Rfinder B1. Tack & I work together at https://www.shadowrescue.uk/ & have known one another over 22 years, we test kit at work but this would be different. Finding a comms solution for Tacks other day job with the newest U.N INSARAG classified team. The issue is layered from HT’s for team members, forward team & base of operation, and command level integration back to Blighty. We have enlisted some serious help from https://moonrakeronline.com/ as rather than a quick field test it necessarily has to be an ongoing evaluation.
Previously (read many years ago) we have used analogue UHF Retevis RT1 and had passed that on to Saraid as a robust workhorse using licensed Business radio simple & light frequencies https://www.radioreference.com/db/aid/8664 But this is 2022 where a new solution is much needed.
Data sharing in the form of files, photos, maps & locations etc are needed quickly & readily. We had learnt that value with https://www.arednmesh.org/
The accreditation brought the need for redundancy. If anything got broken, lost, deleted or just became unusable, there had to be an alternative or solution.
Form factor is an issue between personal carry & team carry protocols.
Multi purpose handset with dual band 5 watt digital capability. When we discovered the B1 it did offer next level integration. If you’re not familiar with the B1 :
The B1 & now B1+ are a lot of tech in one handset, the support group on Facebook has a good handle on issues, workarounds, hacks plus solutions and as one commentator neatly summed up :- “Although this is a no codelpug solution, a knowledge of DMR & codeplugs is an advantage”
It is an android phone & how will that affect its future longevity. How might we best integrate the layer cake of comms. Does this handset start at Team Leader level
How might we best integrate the layer cake of comms. Do operators need this handset or does it start at Team, Section Leader level ?
Certain programming criteria have to be met before using the B1 to full effect by Ham or professional users. For my callsign usage I followed the PDF highlighted here : https://www.rfinder.net/docs/Rfinder-Android-Radio-Manual.pdf
I read that the largest SD card that was usable was 64GB in each slot giving a combined total of 128GB. You will of course need a subscription to https://androiddmr.com/ for directory & the rather neat cloud based programming options.
You will then wrap up the available DMR options with your Brandmeister and or TGIF account details. I added my Zello, Echolink & Teamspeak accounts to the phone.
With all that wrapped up the handset is functional & it’s time to start learning. L plates on.
Final thought here, walk in with your eyes open