Saturday, June 9, 2012

New low cost radio controller now available!

We are already seeing the effects of narrow banding.  There IS a reduction in operating range!  Depending on the condition of the antenna system and location, the loss is reported to be ranging from 5 to 20% with portable talk-back range being the most serious issue.

In many cases, the solution will be to add additional repeaters, but the problem doesn't stop there.  At the dispatch center, the operator consoles have to be updated or replaced which can often cost more than the repeater!  Fortunately, there is a solution, actually two!  

One solution is to replace older mobiles that can not be narrow banded with our new TM8000 mobile that comes equipped with a long range wireless speaker microphone. These devices allow you to talk at distances of up to several hundred feet away from the vehicle with the full power of the mobile in the palm of your hand!  You can read more about the TM8000 by clicking here.  More BIG news is what we have developed for use at the dispatch center!

Our new Controller II is not much larger than a standard desk telephone, yet is has the capability of controlling up to TEN radios - VHF, UHF, or even 800 MHz! Not only is the Controller II a super space saver, it is AFFORDABLE.  You can own a brand new Controller II for less that the cost of maintenance on a typical "console".

Controller II is flexible and expandable.  A low cost option is available that offers the ability to display the user name whenever a radio transmits on the system.  This option (shown with terminal above) is fully compatible with the popular MDC-1200 user ID function available in most public safety radios.  Another option allows your operators to send 2-tone pages to monitor type pagers and 2-way radios with page alert capability.

Controller II can be included as a part of a fire department application for a 2012 FEMA grant.  The AFG application period opens on June 11, and closes on July 6th.  If you would like to include the Controller II in your grant application, or if you need assistance in your communications planning, just drop us an email to or call us at 205.854.2611.

This will be your last chance to get grant money for narrow banding.  You need to be taking action NOW to meet the new requirements.  At a recent Interoperability Summit hosted by the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, an FCC representative made it very clear that the FCC is serious about the issue of narrow banding.  The fines can be as much as $6,000 PER TRANSMISSION for transmitting in the wide band mode after December 31, 2012.    If you need some help in your narrow band planning, let us know.