Frankenstein’s ham radio cell phone?

I belong to a Google+ group that combines two interests of mine, the augmented reality game Ingress (think geocaching, but with an elaborate backstory and scorekeeping), and ham radio. The group is for ham radio ops who play this addictive cell phone game. I was out Ingress-ing with a buddy of mine one night (the gameplay often requires teaming up with a partner or two) and while we were driving around the city in our separate cars, it occurred to me that if my buddy had a ham radio, we could communicate very efficiently. That led me to the G+ group, which has had very few posts since I joined.

runbo-q5-570x360But today someone posted a link to a very unique cell phone that seemed to be built around a shell containing a single band radio (select VHF or UHF when ordering). The gadget, which is based around an Android phone, sells for $570. Yuck. Most people already have a cell phone and are paying much less since they are on contract. As we all know, a Chinese dual-band radio is under $40 nowadays.

I do like the idea of carrying a rig and a phone in one compact package, but I don’t like the idea of buying them together.

Here’s what needs to be done: Someone needs to invent a phone case with a dual-band rig built-in. That way you can slip in an iPhone, Nexus or whatever your phone of choice happens to be.

In fact, studying that product, it looks to be basically a giant phone case with a radio built in. Now, just offer the case and this makes a lot more sense.

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