Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New product announcement!

For everyone wishing their portables had the range of a mobile - we have a solution at www.falcondirect.com/facts. Specific versions of a new product, known as RoadTalk Pro are available for Business, EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, and Transportation users. At this same web site, you can learn about an amazing wide area communications system that is both analog and digital compatible. More importantly, it provides dual backup capability, flexibility, and affordability. We call it UltraComm II - you'll call it incredible!

A new virus is out there!  If you get an email from the United Postal Service with an attachment, DON'T OPEN IT!  This email contains a virus (worm).  Our virus protection program (AVAST) caught it.  If you don't have a virus protection program, we encourage you to get one.  AVAST is free and can be downloaded from http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html. 

Speaking of the Internet.  Microsoft has a new version of Internet Explorer (IE), Version 8 Beta.  DON'T download it!  We know that Version 7 is slow (actually VERY slow), but Version 8 Beta is not ready for general use.  If you want a fast, simple browser, try the new Google Chrome browser.  It's got some really neat features and it's faster than Firefox.  Have a great October, and let us know if we can help you in any way!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things your accountant doesn't tell you!

For many years, I have asked only three things from the CPA's (and there have been many) who serve us. They are as follows (1) Keep me up to date on changes that effect small business, (2) provide quarterly reports to help me in cash flow requirements, and (3) help me with tax planning BEFORE the end of the year. You may not be surprised to know that not a single one has ever accomplished this objective.

For example, we just learned by accident that the mileage allowance for business use of vehicles is now over fifty eight cents per mile! That means that depreciation and operating expenses is NOT the way for any high mileage business vehicle operators to report to the IRS. Do you know why so many rich people driver Hummers, Navigators, and Suburbans? It's because of incredible IRS tax savings given to those who drive gas guzzlers. Your "rich" neighbor is probably paying less for driving a Hummer than many of us are paying for driving Cobalts!

So what's the point? The point is that what you don't know CAN hurt you! Perhaps this is the reason why Motorola has taken it upon themselves to share valuable tax planning information that can allow you to purchase a new communications system for over 30% less than those who don't take advantage of the legal deductions available to those who know about recent IRS tax rulings. An excellent example is available at www.info4u.us/2008ESA.pdf.

So why are we sharing this information with you? Simple - SO YOU WILL BUY YOUR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FROM US!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ISO Compliance Products

We are not experts on ISO requirements, but we recently learned of a department that lost rating points for not having the ability to record and playback communications relating to the general public (both phones and radios). Additionally, this department lost points for not having a positive means of being notified when there was a failure of their 2-way radio repeater station.

We do know that a loss of rating points, results in a diminished classification, which in turn relates to higher insurance premiums for everyone in the community. Falcon Direct offers relatively inexpensive solutions to both of the aforementioned requirements.

The new TeleCorder recording and playback system can accommodate up to four inputs with any mix of phone line or 2-way radio connections as desired. The system is completely standalone, requiring no PC or external devices. An internal hard drive provides up to 7200 hours of recording time (about three years of service for the average small department). A USB output also allows data to be moved to an external storage device for archiving as well as connection to a PC for more detailed information display. The cost is less than $1,100. Additional information is available at www.falcondirect.com/recorders.

The AC Reporter provides a simple and affordable means of alerting supervisory personnel when there is a power disruption at a remote repeater site. The AC Reporter Plus model even notifies you by radio when power has been restored. The cost is less than $450. Additional information is available at www.falcondirect.com/ACR or by calling 800.489.2611.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New product for Fire Departments


We all know the drill for driving fire and rescue vehicles backwards. An observer walking alongside the vehicle uses hand signals, shouts, and/or uses a 2-way radio to stop before they roll over or into something not meant to be hit by an emergency vehicle.

As an administrative policy, this is a great procedure. In real life, there simply are not enough people (in particular with volunteer fire departments) to afford the luxury of someone walking alongside the vehicle! Most municipal departments use rear vision camera systems even though they do have the manpower to provide driver assistance. They seem to think they have more important tasks for their personnel. That's why most apparatus delivered to municipal fire departments in the USA are equipped with rear vision camera systems by Safety Vision! More emergency vehicle manufacturers have selected Safety Vision systems than all others combined!

Don't you think it would be a good idea for YOU to consider the benefits of a Safety Vision Rear Camera System from Falcon Direct? We've got a model for every budget with your choice of B&W or Color systems. For more information, just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or email sales@falcondirect.com.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New products for EMS

Falcon Direct has introduced two new products especially to address the needs of EMS patient transport vehicles. The first, known as the RoadVu Pro, is a front and rear event activated camera system similar to DriveCam (See http://www.drivecam.com/). The RoadVu Pro provides an excellent administrative tool for detecting and correcting improper driving habits as well as pro active litigation avoidance planning. Price will be under a thousand dollars.

The second new product,known as the RoadTalk Pro, eliminates problems associated with the limited communications range of portable radios, battery charging, dual operating positions in patient transport vehicles, and user accountability. The RoadTalk Pro completely eliminates the need for conventional mobile radios while simultaneously providing long range portable communications.

Both products will be formally introduced at the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads fall conference in Mobile, Alabama on November 8th 2008 at Ashbury Hotel & Suites. Additional meeting information is available at http://www.alars.org/. For additional information and/or a demonstration of the RoadVu Pro and RoadTalk Pro, please contact Burch Falkner of Falcon Direct by phone at 800.489.2611 or by email - burch@falcondirect.com.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

AAR moving forward with 6.25 kHz standard

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has come out in support of moving from the current 25 kHz channel spacing to 6.25 kHz. As many of our readers know, there are currently three digital technologies available in the USA for Land Mobile Radio (LMR) use (MotoTRBO, NXDN, and P25). Of the three, only NXDN and P25 offer full mixed mode operation that allows migration from analog to digital, and only NXDN provides operation on 6.25 kHz channel spacing, commonly known as Very Narrow Band (VNB).

Although there is no immediate requirement for users to move to VNB, the Association of American Railroads, after evaluating their long term requirements, and current scarcity of frequencies has recommended to their members to bypass an interim upgrade from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz, but to move directly to 6.25 kHz. This sends a clear signal to industry watchers that the defacto digital standard is rapidly evolving to NXDN.

In a prepared statement, the AAR announced that for interoperability, the Wireless Communications Committee recommends that any railroad purchasing VHF tri-mode radios for use in the 160 MHz band should specify NXDN compliance for 6.25 kHz Very Narrowband (VNB) operation.

Clearly, this will have impact on the purchasing decisions, not only for Class 1 railroads but for Short Lines and railroad service providers as well. Additional information on NXDN is available in an earlier comment on this Blog (Click here for details). Of the two current suppliers of NXDN equipment, ICOM is in the lead (at least in our opinion) with second generation technology. Falcon Direct will be participating in the introduction of the NXDN products and service both the Short Line Radios and railroad suppliers. Additional information is available by calling us at 800.489.2611 or emailing sales@falcondirect.com.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Correction to yesterday's post

In our post of yesterday, we referenced the wrong web site (now corrected) for additional information on our community network program for banding against the new breed of hit and run robbers. We incorrectly listed http://www.strategy1.info/ which deals primarily with cost cutting programs for county and governmental users. This is an excellent site to visit for some good ideas on improving fleet management and reducing fuel cost.

The correct site for more information on a working partnership between the merchant community and law enforcement is http://www.communityalliance.info/. As our problems with illegal Central American alien thugs continues, the need for a coordinated crime response will become more of a necessity than an option.

You may have noted an August 21st news item reporting the murder of five Hispanics near Birmingham, AL. The incident, which occurred in an apartment involved five victims, bound with duck tape, with their throats slashed. Apparently drug related, this event did not occur in a urban ghetto. It transpired in North Shelby County, an affluent suburb of Birmingham bordering some of the wealthiest communities in Alabama. This new generation of criminals will continue to escalate their acts of savage disrespect for human life until we ALL decide we've had enough and take positive action to work together. The Community Alliance program could be just right for your community. Check it out. It may not be a total solution, but it is a start!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What you don't know CAN hurt you!

Alabaster, Alabama -You didn't see the story of the convenience store robbery in the news or hear it on the radio, but it happened. The store was robbed, by a Mexican gang - most likely an MS-13 group operating out of Nashville, TN. What makes this robbery so unusual is the brutality involved. Store employees and patrons were savagely beaten without cause. It's not just happening in Alabaster. It's happening all over the USA, and it's not just MS-13, but MS-18 and a host of others as well.

As a municipal official, law enforcement officer, or retail merchant; you need to know about this growing threat and prepare to protect your community. Others have already started (See http://www.nationalconcernedofficers.com/Mexican%20Gangs.htm). Background material on gang activity in America is available at http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=14715. We had to get our information from Zurich, Switzerland on what is happening in the USA! We've made it a little easier for you.

Now, the question is what are you going to do about it? A good start might be to review our Community Alliance program and develop a working plan in your community. Additional information is available at www.communityalliance.info.