Getting started with RoIP

There are three main types of set-up:
  1. PC node
  2. Mobile phone
  3. Radio node

PC node
Parts required:
  • PC / Laptop / Mac
  • Internet connection
  • RoIP Software
  • Microphone / Headset (optional)
  • Speakers
Pretty much any PC will work. You can use the PC you already have, or buy a cheap second hand desktop.
The operating system can sometimes make or break the situation. Anything from XP to Windows 7 seems to work just fine, but Win8 and Win10 seem to have weird side effects with the RoIP software. I haven't come across anyone using Apple desktop products for RoIP, but quite a lot of RoIP software can be manipulated to run on anything Mac.
The PC has to have some sort of an internet connection, some sort of speaker system and a microphone. Your audio would sound FAR better if you used a headset microphone, and these can be bought quite cheaply on Ebay.

Mobile phone
Parts Required:
  • Mobile Smartphone (Android / IOS)
  • Data / WiFi connection
  • RoIP Application
Using a mobile phone for type of work has really taken off in the last few years. The driving force has been software providers offering applications (apps) for RoIP which run on Android and IoS.

Radio Node
Parts Required:
  • Node radio (preferably a mobile radio)
  • Antenna (for node radio)
  • Coaxial cable (to connect antenna to node radio)
  • Portable radio (for you to talk / listen to)
  • Interface (to connect node radio to PC)
  • Node PC (PC / Laptop / Mac)
  • RoIP Software

The node radio is the radio that you will connect to your PC. It will transmit audio from your software to your mobile / handheld radio, and you will transmit audio from your mobile / handheld radio back to the node radio.

It helps if the node radio can be powered from a mains supply so that you aren't having to keep an eye on battery levels . Also, try not to leave a handheld connected to any kind of charger, as chargers usually don't have the output capacity to "run" the radio whilst it transmits, and this usually results in a buzzing sound being transmitted.

The "best" type of radio to use is a mobile radio of some kind (depending on the application). They normally have a direct 13.8V DC input for power, a loudspeaker socket, microphone socket and a co-axial antenna socket. This all depends on the radio standard (446, Tetra, DMR etc) that you decide to use and obviously your budget.