Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hytera PD782 - No Wetsuit Required!

The new Hytera PD782 is not just water or splash resistant.  This radio was designed to work where fishes live – maybe not as long, but long enough to talk, even if you are under water!  Don’t take our word for it.  Just click here for a video demonstration of this MotoTRBO compatible radio.

We want you to prove to yourself that the PD782 is the best radio you can buy at no cost or obligation.  Be sure and ask us about our unique Try Before You Buy program. We want you to prove for yourself that the PD782 will outperform, outlast, and beat the pants off MotoTRBO pricing!  If you would like to know more about the PD782, just give us a call at 800.489.2611, email us –, or click here.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Santa Claus isn’t the only one giving away free things!  We’re doing our share as well by offering FREE NARROW BANDING for VHF and UHF radio users – Any brand, any model; we’ll reprogram it to narrow band for free!

If you have a radio, repeater, or pager that can’t be converted to narrow band, we’ll offer you the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase or lease new portable or mobile radios, base stations, repeaters, and pagers at unbelievable prices!  Your choice of BK/Relm,  HYT-Hytera, ICOM, Motorola, Midland, Ritron, or TEKK.

So is there a catch to this offer?  Not really.  There are some procedural issues that would be applicable to any program of this type.  We’ll be glad to provide complete information on request.  Just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or email  We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GPS and AVL Planner Now Available!

A LOT of people have been asking us about Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems.  The truth is that these services are just part of a much larger technology trend which we call wireless mobility.  In the context of this new definition, we discover that there are many applications of GPS technology which can be highly beneficial to many of those we serve.

So, we decided there was time for another “Planner”.  As you may know, we have produced a series of planners for 2-way radio communications users.  We have a list of these planners available on request (they are all free), so we thought it was logical to address the capabilities of GPS systems and networks as they primarily apply for public safety and transportation use.

As it turns out, we found that you really DON’T have to commit to long term, high cost contract services for cellular network service, and you DON’T have to spend a fortune on equipment!  We have partnered with some of the most innovative technology suppliers such as DataOverRadio, Hytera, and US Fleet Tracking to bring efficient, low cost alternatives to those we serve.  Click here for a brief but informative news story by an Oklahoma City TV station.

If you would like a copy of our GPS Planner, please drop us an email to  You are in for a very pleasant surprise!  Speaking of surprises, did you know that Google is watching over 13,000 satellites over our Earth, right now!
Click here to view a live view.  Isn’t it nice to know that you have a source for everything new in business, institutional, and public safety communications?  It’s all right HERE!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Get ready for Fire Prevention and Safety Grants!

On December 9, 2010, The Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Program Assistance Office issued an advance notice of the 2010 Fire Protection and Safety (FP&S) Grant program which will open soon.

FP&S grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to target high-risk populations and reduce injury and prevent death. Funding for FP&S also includes the Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity.

Historically, this program has been the least effective of any of the AFG programs with the majority of the projects involving coloring books and smoke detectors with many volunteer fire departments not participating.  This year, things are changing, and in our opinion, this is a good thing.

Although final guidelines have not been released at this time, a Get Ready Guide is available on line by clicking here.  We have been involved with the development and implementation of fire safety programs for a number of years and we are ready for this one (or at least, we think we are).

If you would like to work with us in developing a winning application that can be of benefit to those you serve, please contact us immediately at 205.854.2611.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Special News for Public Safety Users

Many public safety agencies are using SouthernLINC and Nextel Push-to-Talk devices as a supplement to conventional 2-way radios.  Over time, the monthly cost associated with “network services” has grown to become a major expense.  

At the same time, little or no planning has been addressed toward improving or upgrading traditional 2-way radio systems.

Many public safety users now carry at least three devices – a PTT device for administrative use, a 2-way radio for mission critical use, a cellular phone for reliable wireless phone communications and messaging plus a cellular Air Card for mobile data use.  Even though these services are expensive and often redundant, many users are simply letting things slide by rather than developing a coordinated plan for improved communications at less cost.  Now these users have an additional element to consider.

The technology used by Sprint (Nextel) is simply no longer efficient or competitive either in terms of voice or data capabilities.  This technology (technically known as iDEN) is incapable of handling high-speed data and voice communications have never been on a par with any of the traditional cellular network services.  On December 7, 2010 Sprint announced that the Nextel iDEN network would be phased out by 2013.  SouthernLINC can be expected to make a similar announcement shortly.  The bottom line is that alternatives need to be planned by public safety users and the time to do that planning is NOW!

For additional information on the Sprint/Nextel announcement, see  For assistance in planning for alternatives, please give us a call at 205.854.2611.  We’ve got some money saving efficiency improving ideas that we are ready to share at your convenience.  Call us TODAY!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Serving those who serve others.......

Many private and some public schools have student enrollments of less than 100 with a teaching staff of less than ten.  

This makes for a good student teacher ratio, but budgets and resources are always tight.  

A recent visit to one of these schools disclosed a troublesome lack of communications between administrative offices and classroom teachers.

With no intercoms or PA system, the only means of communicating involved runners (if available).  This can lead to disruptions for staff, an inability to provide a quick response, and occasional conflict between staff and parents.

An affordable and efficient solution proved to be our EZ-Call system.  In the office, a desk calculator sized wireless intercom provides instant contact with up to ten staff members, either as a group, or individually.  The cost?  Under $350!

Staff members are equipped with a tiny wireless transceiver that can be alerted from the office as necessary, either privately or as part of a group.  The lightweight (under 5 ounces) personal communicator transmits a personal ID for each user which is displayed on the office unit.  Classroom 2 appears as the number “2” on the display of the office control unit.  In an emergency, a teacher of staff member can summon assistance just by pushing a call button to silently alert the office of a distress situation.  They don’t even have to speak in an emergency situation!  The cost?  Under $150!

Unlike wired intercom systems, no installation or wiring is required.  EZ-Call is a simple Plug and Play system with minimal purchase and operating cost.  Want to see a system in operation? Just give us a call at 205.854.2611.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It’s all because of SuperGirls!

We had the greatest response to our December eNewsletter of any eNewsletter we’ve ever done (and we've done a lot of them).  If you are not on our list or missed yesterday’s eNewsletter, click here!

When I say “we”, I should point out that our eNewsletter is a personal effort by the BlogMaster (that’s me), but the real credit should go to the frontline folks who work with, and take care of Falcon Direct customers.  These are the ones who make it happen – Candice, Joy, and Suzanne.  I thought it was time that they receive the credit they deserve.  So, the costumes are on order and should be here shortly.  From this point on, you’ll be dealing with SuperGirls!

The most read article in our December eNewsletter was the one announcing the special offer on the Hytera portable radio.  You may have noted that a special Instant Rebate is available ONLY to Falcon Direct customers.  If you are not a Falcon Direct customer, you can become one with the purchase of your first 2-way radio (or any other product offered).

We didn’t want you to think that the Hytera PD782 was the only portable we offer.  To the contrary, we have prepared a condensed catalog of our top five HYT-Hytera products with pricing starting at under $150!  Better yet, we are offering Instant Rebates, quantity discounts, and a trade-in program on these other products along with our satisfaction guarantee!

Additional information on HYT-Hytera products is available at  Check it out.  You are in for a very pleasant surprise.  Or, if you would just like a quick pricing guide, go to

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're starting Christmas a little early this year!

Two problems with Christmas:
It doesn't  come often enough,
And,  it doesn't last  long enough!

So, we decided to fix all that by officially starting Christmas on December first and ending on December thirty first.  During this wonderful time, we are making a most extraordinary offer on our incredible new MotoTRBO compatible Hytera PD782 portable radios!

Here’s the deal!  Purchase one to nine of our new MotoTRBO compatible Hytera portable radios and get a $100 trade in for your old radio – ANY old radio!  We don’t even care if it’s working.  And, if you are a Falcon Direct customer, you are eligible for a $150 INSTANT rebate – no forms to fill out, no waiting for your money back.  You get your rebate when you make your purchase!  That’s a total of $250 off the regular price of the incredible new Hytera PD782 portable! If you are not a Falcon Direct customer, we can fix that REAL quick!

The PD782 is comparable to the Motorola XPR6550 with some important added features including a full color LCD display (You’ve got to see it to believe it) plus selectable audible or vibrate alert, plus a patented antenna design that guarantees better performance than an XPR6550 in a side by side comparison (more about this shortly).  Did we mention that you get up to 256 channels, a super low cost (and easy to use) programming kit, plus compact size and lighter weight?

Oh, by the way – did we mention that if you purchase during December 2010 that we will extend the standard three year warranty to five full years at NO EXTRA CHARGE?

And just in case you are wondering, we have quantity discount pricing in ADDITION to our trade-in and instant rebate plans.  If you purchase ten radios, we’ll throw in the eleventh radio FREE!  So what is the bottom line price?  Before answering, may we invite you to review a few informational videos to acquaint you with the PD782?  If won’t take but a few minutes, and we think you will better understand the true value of this incredible radio after viewing. Let’s start with an introduction at and move on to reliability testing at and conclude with a recent interview with the Hytera President Andy Zhao at  We think you’ll be impressed!

And, we’ve got a challenge for you.  We’ll put our PD782 up against the Motorola XPR6550 for a side by side test.  You pick the time and place.  If we don’t outperform the XPR6550, we’ll pay you fifty bucks for your time!  If we win, as we are sure we will, we’ll give you a price that beats the price of an XPR6550 by an IMPRESSIVE amount.  How impressive you say?  Call us at 800.489.2611 for a very pleasant shock!

We’ll help you make it a Merry Christmas with the best radio, at the best price, available anywhere – guaranteed! Call us today - you'll be glad you did!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Can We Talk?


More often than not, the answer is NO!  Wide band radios can’t talk to narrow band radios.  Police officers can’t talk to firemen, No one can talk beyond the range of their local 2-way radio system, digital radio systems can’t talk to each other, and the idea of radios talking to computers is out of the question!

Now, there is a solution.  It’s called an Eclipse2,  a super powerful repeater that is designed to provide additional features of particular interest to public safety users.  When connected to the Internet, the Eclipse2 provides a bridge between computers and radios as well as a link to other radio systems located anywhere in the world! See for more information.

If you are faced with the need to replace an existing repeater with one having narrow band and perhaps digital capability, we urge you to consider the Eclipse2 It’s a whole lot more than just another repeater, and it’s affordable!

Give us a call at 205.854.2611 to set up an appointment at your convenience.  Your time will be well invested – guaranteed!

What would YOU like for Christmas?

The ultimate Christmas present for many of our public safety users would be the ability to enhance communications capabilities while cutting costs.  Our new Vehicle Command Center (VCC) can do just that!

With a single device, we can give you a mobile computer, connection to a 32 channel vehicular repeater, a MotoTRBO compatible analog/portable digital radio, Internet access, mobile phone service with unlimited calling and long distance, data communications, GPS with free CAD dispatch software, voice connectivity to any PC or Smartphone in the world as well as compatibility with any type of 2-way radio system, including 700/800 MHz, LTE, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max! We can even eliminate vehicle cabin clutter by using you mobile computer as a monitor for your vehicle camera system!

Best of all, we can show you how to have all these services for LESS than you are now paying for what you have.  Kind of makes it worth going to doesn’t it?  Or, if you prefer, just give us a call at 205.854.2611.  We are always ready to talk about helping those who help others!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What the heck is a CostTech Integrator?

The cost of providing electronics for a patrol officer and vehicle can easily exceed the cost of the vehicle itself! Recurring costs for Cellular phone, LINC/Nextel PTT service, GPS, Maintenance, and Licensing fees can rival vehicle operating cost.  When you add the cost of infrastructure required to support dispatch operations, it becomes clear that the time is here for a new way of thinking.

The problem, as we see it, is looking at individual requirements rather than addressing total coordinated needs.  In public safety communications, the communications guy sells radios.  The IT guy sells computers, software, and Wi-Max.  The vehicle camera guy sells cameras and monitors, the LINC rep sells long range PTT, the cellular specialist cells cell phones and data cards.  The vehicle location folks sell GPS and CAD systems and NOBODY ever makes the effort to tie it all together to help you do more for less.

In the good old days, the primary requirement for public safety electronics was to be able to talk to people who were not at a fixed location in their vehicles.  Then we added portability so we could talk to them outside the vehicle.  Then, we started using vehicle cameras, primarily for litigation avoidance followed a little later by vehicle location (also for litigation avoidance and or litigation cost reduction) plus more efficient dispatching and administrative control.  Then we wanted to talk beyond the limits of our 2-way radio system and to others not associated with our work group.  More recently, data exchange capability became a requirement for information exchange and paperless report filing.  Somewhere along the way, things got VERY expensive!

Making vehicular electronics work better at less cost is what we do.  We even have a title which we invented for ourselves.  We are called CostTech Integrators.  The name says it all!  We look at your total needs with the goal of reducing cost while using common sense technology to help you do your job better.  Whether you are involved in education, fire fighting, law enforcement, or business, we have special reports available on request to help you enjoy the benefits of CostTech Integration.  These reports are free for the asking – just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or email  We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Two Finger, Two Cent, CAD System from Falcon Direct!

We all know that CAD systems can be VERY expensive; often a hundred thousand dollars or more.  Our CAD system is different.  The price is just 2 Cents! It could be free, but we had to charge something!

That’s our system shown at the right between the two fingers.  It loads on to an existing vehicle laptop computer with built in GPS, which is standard with most law enforcement grade vehicular laptops.  Most likely you already have an Air card if you are using a vehicle laptop.  On that assumption, let’s set up our system!

First, we take the disk and load the vehicle tracking program following the easy instructions on the disk.  Within just a few minutes the program will be loaded.  We can even hide the program so that the vehicle driver will never know it’s there!

After the program is loaded, the vehicle is being tracked 24/7 with 10 second updates using GPS satellite technology.  As the information is updated, it is automatically transmitted via the Air card to a secure Internet site.  Now we are ready for the next step.

Now, we log into a secure web site, enter our unique Login and Password, and just like magic, our tracked vehicle appears (along with other vehicles in the fleet when applicable).  Your dispatchers will instantly know who is available and who is closest for response.

From an administrative perspective, you can set up the system for daily reports to indicate excessive speed, long stops, even leaving the assigned operations area. If you wish, you can have an email sent to key personnel with the occurrence of any of the aforementioned events.

The cost of this incredible system is just $175 annually per vehicle after a one time $50 software fee.  The Internet based CAD system has a one-time cost of two cents, maybe less if you are a good negotiator!  Kind of makes you wonder how we do it huh?  There is an easy way to find out how we do it – Try one!

Would you like to try this system for 30 days?  Not a problem!  Just give us a call at 205.854.2611. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What do you do when "The Man" comes calling?

Non-compliance with FCC Rules and Regulations can be a scary thing!  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as scary as some would want you to believe.  A case in point is this thing called narrow banding.  It may be a whole lot less complicated than you thought.
Before you pay a lot of money to someone to upgrade your license to narrow band, take a look at your license (If you don’t have or can’t find your license, give us a call at 205.854.2611).  Assuming you have and can find your license, you will see your frequency(s) listed along with an Emission Designator over on the left hand side.

If the Emission Designator is 20K3F3E, you are licensed for wide band (25 kHz) channel spacing.  If your Emission Designator is 11K2F3E, you are already licensed for narrow band (12.5 kHz).  In plain language, if the designator starts with a “20”, you need to change.  If it starts with an “11” You don’t.  If it says something else, call is at 205.854.2611 or click here for more information. Let’s work together to be sure than “The Man” doesn’t come to see YOU!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New affordable CAD systems now available!

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) improves operator efficiency for both private and 911 dispatch centers. By knowing the location of fleet vehicles, the dispatchers can select the nearest available responder with minimal effort.

The key to an efficient CAD system is a combination of a GPS receiver in fleet vehicles plus a means of transmitting location data for distribution to operators and administrators.  Currently, the most efficient systems distribute vehicle location information via the Internet which allows password protected access at multiple locations.  For example, an Internet based system allows vehicle location viewing at one or more dispatch positions as well as administrative PC’s either at the dispatch center and/or elsewhere as desired.

The GPS data collected by the vehicle receiver must be transmitted from the vehicle to an Internet connected access point.  Falcon Direct offers three options to accomplish this objective beginning with a “live” reporting system that continually tracks all vehicles in real time.  The equipment cost is minimal, installation is easy, and the cost of connectivity is less than the cost of a cellular data card.

Live vehicle location reporting systems include “back office” program software which is provided at no charge.  The latest variation of the Live Tracking system utilizes an existing cellular data card service associated with vehicle computing systems.  Law enforcement vehicles are rapidly adopting vehicle computers as a basic tool for report generation and information access.  Most PC’s designed for use in police vehicles have a GPS receiver already built in as well as WiFi transceivers and cellular air cards.

Our Live Tracking software can be covertly loaded on an existing air card equipped vehicle PC to provide 24/7 vehicle tracking. You get complete daily reports and email notification of significant items of interest such as extended stops, excessive speed, or travel outside an assigned area.  Once loaded by an administrator, the driver has no way of knowing the GPS system is operational.  It’s kind of like having supervisory personnel in every vehicle!  You won’t believe the cost!

The absolutely most affordable system can be used in conjunction with many popular 2-way radios to provide automatic reporting each time the vehicle radio talks or, if desired, the location of any vehicle can be queried at any time.  There are NO monthly airtime charges associated with these systems!

If you would like more information on affordable and efficient vehicle tracking and Computer Aided Dispatching, just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or email  You’ll be glad you did!

Why don’t Motorola dealers support P25? MR Bird Picker can tell you!

Many of our readers have questioned our steadfast insistence that P25 is the ONLY approved public safety mission critical technology.  Elsewhere in our Blog, we have provided many references from government agencies supporting our position.  Still, the question remains of why are so many Motorola dealers promoting MotoTRBO (aka DMR) rather than P25?  We thought this question was worthy of an answer, so here it is, as best we can explain it.

First, you have to understand the definition of a Motorola “dealer”.  There are actually three different types of 2-way radio dealers, or channel partners if you prefer, which can be briefly defined as follows:

Business Radio Distributors – (Also known as BRD’s or “Birds”). These dealers have a restricted line that is primarily offered by catalogers, web merchants, and others that serve both consumer and entry level business radio communications users.  They do not have access to P25 products. It appears that this “channel” will ultimately replace the traditional Professional dealer (See below) for sales of all analog radios.

Profession and Communications Radio Resellers – (Also known as PCR’s or “Pickers”).  These are closest to what most users identify as a “dealer”.  These dealers are local area business-to-business communications products and service providers. They are “encouraged” to sell only in a defined local sales area.  These dealers are “encouraged” to focus their attention on the sales of MotoTRBO products to non public safety mission critical users.  In the past, these dealers sold the full line of Motorola 2-way radio products.  They are now being “encouraged” to adopt MotoTRBO as the primary focus for their sales.  They are given specific sales goals in terms of dollars.  Those who fall beyond a certain level will be eliminated.  Minimal producers will ultimately be forced out of the market by high volume resellers who are rewarded with higher profit margins. PCR's do not have access to P25 products. 

Manufacturers Representative – State and Local Government – (Also known as MR’s). These are the favored few who are given the opportunity to offer P25 products, along with some other “special” products that are not available to Birds and Pickers, both of which are known internally within Motorola as the Buy/Sell channel.  In other words, Birds and Pickers are given the opportunity to purchase and resell Motorola communications products as long as they meet minimum sales volume levels. MR’s are not resellers. They are commissioned representatives (i.e. they are paid a commission on sales rather than buying and selling).  MR’s work in partnership with Motorola direct sales and support personnel dedicated to serving the needs of State and Local Government through the offering of ASTRO 25 products.

It should be noted that ASTRO P25 is P25 compatible (well, kind of anyway, but that is another story).  If these select few have the right to sell P25 products, the question might naturally arise as to why they are not promoting P25.  There are two answers.  The first is their essential function is to sell “subscriber units” (i.e. mobiles and portables), not infrastructure.  The direct side of Motorola is responsible for sales of Astro 25 networks, which are generally proprietary in nature.  After the deal is made with the state, county, or large municipality by the direct sales force; the MR can then sell the subscriber units as well as providing service for the network.

NOW you know why Motorola dealers don’t promote P25.  They either CAN’T, as is the case with Birds and Pickers, or they won't in the case of an MR.  It can be very difficult for an MR to sell P25 product in an open competitive market since other offerings can be less expensive or more feature rich or both.  Therefore most MR’s find it is best to wait until the Motorola direct sales team has established ASTRO 25 as the P25 system of choice for a State, County or Municipal user, and THEN sell mobiles and portables without competitive pressure.  

Perhaps it is worth noting that some dealers simply do not feel inclined to pursue the public safety market or they may be unwilling to make the commitment required to move to a newer, more expensive technology.  Sometimes, we can get stuck in a comfort zone.  There were many dealers that refused to make the transition from tubes to transistors.  Their offspring are still with us!

There are other sales channels such as Federal Government Resellers, which are similar to the aforementioned MR’s, but with an emphasis on sales and support to federal agencies.  There is also another group known as Radio Solutions Resellers which specialize in network infrastructure sales and support (Consoles, data, etc.).  Additional information is available by clicking here.

Like it or not, agree or disagree, understand or don’t understand, the fact is that P25 IS the technology of choice for public safety.  By the way, Motorola also agrees that P25 IS the technology for public safety.  Click here for more information.   Others in agreement include APCO, All agencies of the federal government, All State Government Interoperability Plans, DHS, FEMA, SAFECOM, and now we hope, YOU!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New EZ-Ride2 system for large churches

In case you haven’t noticed…….

Our population is getting older and our churches are getting larger.  This means that church parking lots have to become larger while the members are experiencing decreasing mobility.

As a result, many larger churches are using People Movers (i.e. stretched limo golf carts) to pick up attendees in the parking lot and bring them to the church door – Nice touch!

However, any good idea can be improved.  That is why we offer the EZ-Ride 2 communications system to make the People Mover vehicles more efficient and to provide a higher level of service to church attendees. 

It starts with battery powered wireless Call Boxes at selected locations in the church parking lot.  People Mover drivers are equipped with personal 2-way radios to allow direct communications with users of the parking lot Call Boxes.  The system is simple, efficient and affordable with no wiring required for parking lot Call Boxes.

The EZ-Ride2 system is based on Call Box technology developed by America’s leader in wireless call notification technology and it is built right here in the USA.  The system is performance proven and has been in daily operation for over half a decade by such users as St. Vincent’ hospital in Birmingham, AL and by golf courses, malls, and industrial users around the world.

Want to know more about EZ-Ride2?  Call Candice Wilson at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to  You’ll be glad you did!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Communication Planning 101

Got a call from a Sheriff the other day who commented that his communications budget was rapidly approaching the point of exceeding the vehicle operations budget and if things got any worse, it might even surpass manpower!

We know he was kidding (hopefully) but his concerns were valid.  Communications used to be a radio in a car.  Now it is a radio in the car and on the officer, both of which are subject to mandatory narrow banding.  He had been told that when he makes his narrow band conversion that his communications range will be reduced and the only solution is to convert to digital.  If that isn’t enough, the folks with the grant money are saying that anything they pay for will have to be interoperable (whatever that is….).

The State is telling him that he has to go paperless in submitting incident reports, and of course if doesn’t submit reports, he gets no recognition (or funding) from the State.  To accomplish this, he has to put computers in his vehicles and these computers should have the capability to be connectable to the Internet.

His radio people tell him that data speeds on 2-way radio are too slow for Internet connectivity as do his cellular suppliers, in particular those with Push-To-Talk (PTT) service.  That PTT thing was a bit of a sore spot since the only reason he put in PTT phones was for the purpose of getting personal 2-way radio service in areas not within the service area of his 2-way radio system. Over time, the cost of these PTT cell phones doubled, and the cost is still increasing while the quality of service is actually diminishing!

To make his vehicular laptop computers compatible with the Internet, the Sheriff is now faced with either building a WiFi broadband system (a very expensive proposition) or paying monthly service charges for cellular air cards at a cost roughly equal to that of his cellular phone service (i.e. DOUBLING recurring cost!).

Then the 9-1-1 folks tell him he needs GPS tracking so that the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system can make dispatch operations more efficient.  This means adding even MORE recurring cost along with the cost of pagers used for administrative purposes.  The pagers are a special problem as service charges increase while coverage decreases.  This situation, he is told, is the result of fewer paging users.  He said that didn’t make him feel any better….

His Patrol Commander tells him that they need to improve communications security through the use of encrypted voice communications or acquiring equipment and services capable of operating in a text mode with individual, group, or departmental selective capability.

He told us that his recurring communications cost was running close to five thousand dollars a month and he was just wondering if we could give him an assist for improving his capabilities while simultaneously REDUCING his cost.

The answer is we CAN and we WILL, both for him and for YOU!  If you would like to know how, just give us a call at 205.854.2611.  If you prefer, just drop us an email to

By the way - That picture at the top is a condensed 75 year history of wireless communications starting at the top left and advancing to the bottom right.  We've been there the whole time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The V-COM Solution To The Top 3 Fire Communications Problems!

A number of Alabama Fire Departments recently received $2,500 grants to improve communications. The question most commonly asked was what can we do with this small amount of money to provide the most benefit for our department?

The answer is V-COM exclusively available from Falcon Direct!  The V-Com system provides a vehicular repeater to extend portable talk-back range from poor coverage areas.  The inability to communicate back to dispatch from marginal coverage areas was recently rated as the number one issue with the majority of fire departments, both rural (when in remote areas) and urban (when in buildings).  V-Com addresses and corrects both problems!

The second biggest complaint was being heard.  Drivers and pump operators can’t hear the radio due to high noise levels associated with sirens and pump operation.  Worse yet, dispatch operators can’t hear drivers and pump operators due to background noise on the scene.  To make matters worse, noise levels on fire vehicles often exceeds both NFPA and OSHA safety standards, a huge problem within itself.  V-COM solves these problems!

The third major issue was the need for tactical communications capability for administrative personnel that was clear, private (encrypted), and independent of the dispatch frequency.  V-COM provides a simple and affordable solution!

Want to know more about V-COM?  Go to for complete information.  You’ll be glad you did!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New covert vehicular tracking devices now available from Falcon Direct!

Falcon Direct will be displaying the latest in covert tracking technology at the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association Conference in Sheffield, Alabama on October 14, 2010. Candice Wilson will be demonstrating three different models of real time vehicular tracking devices with prices starting at well under a thousand dollars INCLUDING web based software for live viewing, daily reports, and email notification of vehicle activity.

Two of the tracking devices are battery powered with operational periods of up to 80 hours of driving time between charges.  A micro-sized weatherproof model is available for under hood mounting and direct 12 volt connection.  This extremely affordable and totally covert model is ideally suited for long term surveillance.

Other products being shown include the latest CrookCatcher wireless surveillance system with direct notification to most VHF or UHF 2-way radios as well as a new line of 2-way radios with silent alert, message recording, and encryption at incredibly low prices.

Compete information is available at  If you prefer, call us at 800.489.2611 or email

Monday, October 4, 2010

Affordable control of off premises devices, via radio, with SwitchBox!

Our new SwitchBox let’s you use your two-way radio to control all kinds of things!  You can turn electronic warning sirens on and off.  You can turn pumps on and off.  You can turn signs on and off!  In a nutshell, you can turn virtually ANYTHING on an off that uses electrical power for activation or deactivation.

The SwitchBox was originally designed for emergency operations centers to control activation of warning sirens in the event of severe weather or other emergencies. Since this is a mission critical application, the SwitchBox was designed for outdoor use in severe conditions.  If you ever stood in the middle of a high plains Nebraska wheat field in the middle of January, you KNOW what severe outdoor environments are all about!

The SwitchBox consists of a radio control receiver that can be activated by up 3 programmable ON codes plus an OFF code with connection to two programmable relay outputs.  The entire electronics package is housed in a NEMA 4 weather resistant case with an external antenna and internal heater.  The SwitchBox can be controlled by any two-way radio capable of transmitting standard 2-tone page codes, or optionally by DTMF.

The SwitchBox is available in your choice of VHF or UHF, custom programmed to your specific requirements. It’s made in the USA and it is affordable – just $1,095 for everything including a one year factory warranty, free programming, and shipping to anywhere in the USA.  An optional DTMF decoder adds $99 and you can purchase your own programming kit for just $49.

Got a need to control something by radio?  Get a SwitchBox!  Get it from Falcon Direct!  Get it TODAY by calling us at 800.489.2611.  Now, aren’t you glad we told you about SwitchBox?

Private firefighters?

Many of our readers are firefighters, both paid and volunteer.  That's why we thought a recent article in AOL's on-line news might be a topic for discussion.  If you missed the article, click here. In essence, the article deals with private firefighter services provided by major insurance companies to provide premium services for high value property owners.

The rich have long enjoyed the benefits of private security services, even soldiers of fortune!  Is fire protection any different? What are your thoughts?  Is there an opportunity here for professional firefighters to supplement or increase income? How do volunteer firefighters feel about working side by side with contract service firefighters?

Is this a new market for those who provide equipment and services to firefighters?  As always, your comments are welcome!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Atta Boy Award!

Every minute of every day we are bombarded with negative news from the media.  That’s a shame, because there is so much good news that can be shared. For example, let us introduce you to Allen Treadaway, Junior Alabama State Representative for District 51, and our nominee for an Atta boy award.  As a past president of the Birmingham Fraternal Order of Police, he is well aware of the needs of rural community first responders.

All Alabama state representatives receive discretionary allowances each year for distribution in the districts they serve. All too often, this money goes to special interest groups with voting clout.  Allen didn’t hold true to form.  He reached out to the volunteer fire community and offered financial assistance to those who could demonstrate a specific need to make their communities safer, both for the citizens and those who serve those citizens.

As always, only a few responded.  We were delighted to assist two departments who were successful in obtaining grants.  Our services, and those of Representative Treadaway and his staff, were provided at no cost.  Those who participated included the Cane Creek and Palmerdale VFDs. Cane Creek received a grant for some much needed fire fighter radios and Palmerdale received a grant for public assistance wireless call boxes at their fire stations and a wireless power failure notification system at their repeater site.

Thank you Representative Treadaway for helping those who help others, and thank you Cane Creek and Palmerdale for allowing us to help you!

And you know what?  Opportunities for year round grant money are still available and we are still here to help you get your share.  Click here for more information.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Crows in the field, deers in the woods, somebody’s done come, and stole all the goods…

Many of our readers know that our business is built on a foundation of service to others, not beating the other guy, not getting the Atta boy awards, and sometimes just doing what has to be done to take care of our customers, even if it means conflict with others.

We are well known for endeavors in assisting those we serve by finding grant money and helping develop cooperative programs, creative ideas, and service beyond the ordinary. The single objective is to help those who can most benefit through combined effort. It's called the Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) program.

We occasionally speak in parables, parodies, or prose (such as the poem above). Sometimes the parables tell a story (such as the one that follows), and occasionally we will use a musical selection to make a point. The purpose is always the same – to better communicate with those we serve, sometimes to share information, sometimes to encourage, sometimes to invoke creative thought and sometimes to reflect on the concept of mutual respect for the betterment of all. The following is about mutual respect.

Over a year ago, we introduced the idea to a group of volunteer fire departments in a rural Alabama county to come together for the purpose of improving communications in their communities. We explained the concept of a regional communications grant, got them organized, and set them up with a professional grant writer who offered to help them for little cost (It worked out to $125 per participating department). In return, they were rewarded with a quarter million dollar grant. We all understand the concept of quid pro quo. At least we thought we did. This group did not. Instead of working together with the one who made it all possible, they chose to consider us as just another bidder. Our response to them might better explain what business (and life) is all about. Here is an excerpt of this response. We should preface this by noting that the point of contact is involved in large farming activities and is the fire chief of a small volunteer fire department.

As a farmer, you know the process of preparing, planting, caring, and reaping with the anticipation that your efforts will be rewarded if this is in accord with the will of your Creator. He doesn’t owe you a crop but if the crop comes in, it is your crop. There may be others who didn’t plant a crop or those whose crop didn’t come in. That is unfortunate, but the fact remains that it is your crop.

Business is like that. We have gone through steps one through three and I now learn that another dealer has been given the opportunity to submit “a price”. He didn’t prepare, didn’t plant, and was not involved in the process of taking care of the details. Should he get the crop, or in this case, the business?

We understand that a highly publicized grant of the size awarded to your department would gain the attention of other dealers. We understand past relationships with local area or existing service providers. We understand brand preference and even personal likes and dislikes. We also understand people who didn’t plant a crop would take yours if they could. You now have the opportunity to give my crop away because we am simply  tenant farmers– not an owner. Like your Creator, you owe us nothing, but it may just be that treating us fairly could be of benefit to you and the others concerned.

In farming, you define not only what you are going to plant, but the specific type of seed to be planted. In business, we call this defining specifications. Without standards and specifications, we don’t know what we will get. All corn is not the same. All radios are not the same. You have to define a specification. To accept a price from another dealer without a defined specification is inviting disaster. That is why I made the effort to produce a twenty page document to explain your options, the theory of operation, the cost, and the intended result.That is a whole lot more than “a price”.

By following the previously provided product specifications , you can be assured that you will be acquiring equipment capable of meeting your requirements. You will know that the prospective vendor has experience in providing systems of this type, and you will know that you are getting top of the line equipment at prices that are in line with your grant limits.

Now, we have a question for you dear reader. If YOU had been the one who made the decision not to respect the efforts of the ones who helped you and YOU had received the aforementioned letter, what would YOU do?

That’s what business and personal ethics is all about – MUTUAL respect. That is the way we do business, and the way we will continue to conduct business and personal relationships for as long as our Creator allows us to continue to serve.

And what happened with the farmer/fire chief you may ask? It’s not important. What IS important is that we all do our best to live our lives in love and service to others. Sometimes, it is a very easy thing to do. Sometimes, not……..

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting; But the substance of a diligent man is precious.              Proverbs 12: 27