I’m interested in using radios that have better range for some roles, particularly reaching greeters and/or the waterfall, but I foresee a couple things that might make commercial radios a bad fit for general in-camp staff use, where the range of the eXRS really haven’t been a problem.
The biggest one is batteries: At a con like BLFC, turning your radio in to a charging stand at the end of a shift is no big deal. Even for people who might need to be roused in the event of an incident, falling back to contacting them by phone works well enough. That doesn’t apply for CFT: even the subset of staff who go actually off-radio still keep their radios on hand, because the speed difference for getting back online might really matter (press on button, versus get dressed and stumble to wherever) if something is happening. We can’t rely on being able to call each other—very few of us even keep our phones powered at all.
The second issue stems from the first: We don’t have a place that’s appropriate to leave a bunch of valuable stuff that staff can drop in and out of at a whim. Even if the radios had removable/rechargeable packs separate from the radios, manning the security of them would require resources we don’t have. (We also don’t have 24-hour power, although I’m all ears if that can be changed or arranged.)
For a system to be viable, we’d need to be able to somehow keep a charged radio or pack available for all staff at all times, for swapping out the radio or battery as they die.
I’m also concerned re how easily we could be crippled by someone using one stolen radio to act as a jammer, whereas with eXRS we can very easily switch to a different code that puts us on an entirely different FHSS pattern. (Mal intent not even being necessary for a radio to become a jammer we can’t do anything about, re the outhouse incident.)
We are quite good on the number of eXRS radios—it’s actually quite possible that I have the largest collection of them aside from whatever the manufacturer held onto.