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Okay folks, we are down one phone, so looking at our family strategy for communications. We got to thinking about walkie-talkies...

I like the idea of walkie talkies, especially because the only thing holding our phones in place is emergency communications.

I also bet I could get Clover's homeschooling buddies in on this, which serves as a *much* better device than a so-called "smartphone".

So please now bombard me with information about walkie-talkies and radio stuff for families. ^_^

@maiki @vfrmedia have a look at e.g. Sonnet and other data-over-radio devices?

@artsyhonker @maiki Sonnet hasn't shipped yet (at least from what info I can find). Some GMRS sets and the US FCC allow limited text/data transmission.

BTW the EU/UK equivalent of PMR446 radios are widely useed by schools for on site comms; but teachers and support staff are usually very careful never to mention a students name over the air for security (especially bearing in mind schoolkids themselves could easily own a similar set of their own)

@artsyhonker @vfrmedia that's cool, I will check all that out! I didn't even know that was a thing, but the FRS sounds pretty good, and worth experimenting with, so of course some level of data-transmission would be awesome (even something akin to a pager).

@maiki @artsyhonker @vfrmedia *nod* we were looking into it because an area of Somerset we visit regularly has almost no mobile signal. We're not usually more than a couple of miles apart, and being able to send texts would be super helpful for coordination reasons, especially when I don't have a bicycle with me.

maiki @maiki

@artsyhonker yeah, that is why we want it! We live on a hill next to a lake, and most of time are within a few blocks of the lake. So I think something to just ping each other would be awesome!

Small data messages would be amazing! But I'd settle for discernible bleeps and bloops. ^_^

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@maiki ( many neighbours do you need to not annoy?)

@maiki A hill with a lake makes me think an alphorn might do the trick but they are rather unwieldy.

@artsyhonker I am on the third floor, too, so I can just have it connect from my balcony. ^_^