So what do you get if you cross a DMR handheld and an Android Smartphone?
The answer is the military-grade RFinder M1!
Not only that, if one loses wi-fi or cellular network connections the phone can be used as a two-way radio, keeping you on the no matter what. And yes, it works Down Under too!
Hi, everyone this is Eric with Hamradio Concepts and you’re looking at probably the best purchase that I’ve ever made in ham radio technology – is the Rfinder M1 hamradio smartphone.
If you have seen my little teaser video or my post on Facebook, this thing is a game-changer. A complete Android 6.0 phone, a powerful phone, a submersible drop-proof military standard phone that incorporates a software-defined DMR 4 watt transmitter inside.
This one here specifically is the UHF DMR version. It’ll do analog 3.2 Watts on UHF and DMR digital at 4 Watts but now you can get these in FM versions on VHF only analog or I think FM digital. But I choose the UHF DMR model.
And if you are not familiar with RFinder, basically RFinder is an app of a worldwide database. It’s not just an app.
It’s online as well but RFinder brand shows you quite possibly the largest list of repeaters in the world that you can see based on your location and shows you all the the frequency and the tone and all the aspects of the repeater and the cool thing is now that Bob has integrated custom software on this device with his app in order to allow point-and-click programming on the DMR or analog on this radio.
So there is no more code plugs. It’s just as easy to look at the repeaters in your area on the list based by GPS, find one that’s in your area like this K4CPJ Vero Beach and, basically, clicking on it and setting the radio to that.
You don’t have to worry about what’s the tone, you don’t have to worry about the offset. It’s done. DMR, the same thing. The color code, the talk group, all of its in there. I’m impressed.
And being the first video on YouTube to show you the M1 from RFinder, where to go in and out of it. I am using this daily as my phone.
I’ve tested a while and the coolest thing is that I have Bob, the creator of this, as support. I mean, there was a couple little quirks, honestly, and I work with Bob a couple times and Bob says “We’ll fix this, we’ll fix that” – Released an update and it was fixed!
You get support with this. You’re not having to communicate to a third party in China who is selling devices that don’t know what they’re selling. I mean he wrote the software for this.
This is his creation so he has the ability to fine tune and offer support. And that’s pretty much the reason that I spent the money I did on it.
It’s because I have support for future updates, for future ads and improvements and that’s going to make the device, you know, up to date and not have to worry about buying another one a year from now.
So let’s go into complete in-depth of it, I wanna show you few key feuatures. RFinder app and how powerful that is. I want to show you on-air testing and use my Hotspot. Show you some audio. This thing is loud!
I mean, talking about a loud radio radio. If you’re out in the field or driving with your windows down, this speaker right here is loud. I mean you don’t have to worry about this thing not being hear.
Let’s talk about the phone for a minute. The phone in itself. Submersible, again look at the screws on this thing. Look at how many screws are on this thing. This thing is like bolted together and the case design keeps it waterproof, submersible ,drop proof. It really is sturdy unit.
Looking at the top, so you have a channel indicator. 16 channels. Now, the channel indicator really wouldn’t be used through the RFinder app. There is a another Chinese standard PTT app on here, that you can set 16 channels on and change the channel on the knob on the top.
There is a male SMA on the radio so with thread, so you use a female SMA antenna which it comes with. The SMA antenna here, a standard antenna with a SMA female on it.
The red button on top can be set to automatically send SOS and Mayday calls, with precise location, to several radio networks and up to five contacts from your phone back at once. This button is for emergency calls only.
Let’s go to the left first. There is two PTT buttons, a SIM slot and memory card slot up here.
This does use a micro SIM card, a micro SD as well as a nano SIM card, in here.
Now, I will tell you this is one major thing that has to be closed in order to keep these submersible water proof, is that that the rubber grommet here you have to make sure it’s closed.
Two PTT buttons, so the radio PTT button would be the top one here and there’s a second PTT button which I can show you a glimpse.
If you’re familiar with the Zello app, you can use this similar to like a Nextel with an app that’s totally not related to Rfinder, but a free to download app for friends and, you know, nothing to do with ham radio but that’s a second dedicated PTT button, that can be used with PTT apps such as Zello, or some other ones.
On the right side, there’s another button, that looks like a PTT button. There’s no use for that at this time that I can see. I don’t get any response from it but maybe can be assigned third app. See, there are three buttons: power button here.
This is what a lot of people asked about: the charging port. The charging connector is not a standard USB, it’s not a standard connector at all. In fact it’s charging cable is a magnetic 6 pin connector.
It’s like the Apple MacBooks. It is capable to put this connector on, It’s got USB on it as while you charge it but also you can connect it on the computer and download stuff to the SD card and do updates and stuff like that.
So, it doesn’t have a headphone jack, case you’re wondering but, from what Bob has told me, they are going to have accessories for a headset and possibly Bluetooth or a Bluetooth PTT functionality with this.
So, that’s going to be a proprietary magnetic with a screw connector for the Rfinder, for additional accessories in the future.
Regular buttons on the front here, your home button, back button and that would be your menu button.
So, the bottom connector with the battery is: You can take the battery out. Again, this is another major waterproof connector that you have to make sure, looking at the door here, has the Rubber seal. This has to be closed and locked, in order to maintain its submersibility.
Here’s the battery. I’ll pull out and show you. So, that’s got like a nice fit in there but that is a 5200 milliamp battery, on here, so this thing, I’ll show you, last a long time in order to have the DMR or FM or analogue transmit ,as well as use it for a phone all day, you are gonna need a battery that lasts!
That battery really is a huge capacity battery. It lasts a long time on here. I haven’t killed this thing in one day, yet. Looking at the battery here all day, 9:03 p.m, I use an RF all day, use it as a phone all day, that’s the battery I have left.
Doesn’t even have a red X. Basically, 7:30 this morning to 9 at night using it quite a bit and my battery really does hold a charge all day long. That’s 4 watt at DMR, using it, sometimes with the hotspot, or low power and using as a phone all day.
The microphone is down here, on the bottom right. So you have to make sure with the waterproof of this phone. You don’t talk on the middle of the screen. You won’tl talk up here in the speaker. You talk down here on the bottom.
I haven’t had no problem yet talking into that microphone whole and people saying that can’t hear me. I know that with other brand name Icom and Yaesu radios, with the waterproof always had an issue where it sounded muffled. The sound is pretty good.
To my understanding, you can not get a case for this but you don’t need one. It’s got the belt clip on the back. Someone would say “Could you put an outter box on it?” I would you want to? The case is the phone! So, with the belt clip here, clip’s right on your belt and you are good to go.
Does have a camera on the front. A 2 MP on the front and 8MP on the back, with a flash and does take pretty good video and photos. Let’s look into the internals of the phone, such as the app and the software.
As far as the phone, here, we are going here to Settings, About Phone, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. So, on a previous video, someone said “well you know where up to Android 6 & 7 while you’re on 6” and I’m sure that there can be a build later that I will upgrade that but Android 6, that’s almost the newest version and definitely has a lot of the features that you’re familiar with in a phone.
Camera, it’s got a 8 megapixel on the back and 2 megapixel on the front.
The mobile phone portion works with all Australian LTE, 2G, 3G and 4G networks.