Saturday, January 29, 2011

XTS® 5000 comparable P25 radio as low as $1,145 through March 31, 2011!

P25 is the approved technical standard for public safety communications.  Most of our readers know that.  They also know there are three levels of P25 radios.  Since most of our readers are familiar with Motorola, we will use the XTS Series as a standard of comparison.

The XTS® 1500 is for utility, not mission critical use.  The XTS® 2500  is essentially an entry level public safety P25 radio while the XTS® 5000 is a top tier public safety P25 radio.  Both the XTS® 2500 and XTS® 5000  are available in three models – non-display, display, and display with full touchpad.  When comparing other brands or models, we recommend using the XTS® 5000 as a basis for comparison.  Specifications for the XTS® 2500 are available by clicking here, or for the XTS® 5000 by clicking here.

I should point out that not all Motorola dealers offer the XTS Series P25 radios.  We are one of those dealers.  For a brief explanation of why we don’t offer the XTS series radios, please click here. We do offer the PR1500 series of Motorola P25 capable radios which is essentially comparable to the XTS® 1500.  Since this model is not rated for public safety mission critical use, it is not recommended for our public safety users.  We offer BK Radio, ICOM, and Midland radios which ARE rated for public safety use which brings us to the topic of this Blog.

The ICOM F9011 portable radio is comparable to the Motorola XTS® 5000 portable while the ICOM F9511 mobile is comparable to the Motorola  XTLTM 5000 mobile (Click here for specifications).  Specifications on the F9011 portable are available by clicking here. Specifications on the F9511 mobile are available by clicking here.

Now, if you are seriously interested in purchasing a top quality P25 portable or mobile radio, we invite you to call your local Motorola dealer and get their best price on the XTS® 5000 portable and the XTLTM 5000 mobile. Now, consider the following.

Between now and March 31, 2011, you can purchase the ICOM non-display model of the F9011 for just $1,145 including rapid charger.  The display model is just $100 more and the display with full keypad model is just $1,345.  If you need a mobile, the price of the 50 watt standard non-keypad F9511 model is just $1,200.  The keypad model is just $100 more.  If you want the top of the top of the line 110 watt model with keypad, you pay only $1,650!  If you’ve been looking for the best deal ever on a top quality P25 radio, your wait is over!  To order, just give us a call at 800.489.2611, but be sure you do it BEFORE March 31, 2011.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Got questions about Interoperability?

Do you sometimes get the feeling that your radio communications supplier may not be giving you all the information you need?  For example, did you know P25 is the ONLY technology approved by DHS, FEMA, and SAFECOM for mission critical public safety communications?

Do you know what manufacturer has more VHF P25 radio system users in place in Alabama than all others combined? Do you know what brand was selected by the largest P25 system user in Alabama?

Do you happen to know what P25 manufacturer offers the longest warranty, the most powerful repeaters with the lowest current drain, and the smallest portables?  We could go on and on, but the point is that before making the decision to upgrade to narrow band digital; you should be talking to people who KNOW P25 communications!

Glenn Searles and I will be at the Alabama Association Chiefs of Police (AACOP) meeting in Montgomery, AL on January 31 through February 3rd.  You’ll find us at the Midland Radio booth.  Or if you would prefer a private meeting, just give me a call at 205.422.2011 or drop me an email –  Be sure and ask for a copy of our FREE Communications 101 Planner – You’ll be glad you did!

See you in Montgomery!  
Burch Falkner

Should you use a consultant for communications system planning?

As 2012 rapidly approaches, public safety users are being bombarded with contradicting information on upgrading to narrow band interoperable communications.  We received a Request for Proposal (RFP) the other day for a countywide P25 radio system.  They weren’t sure whether they wanted UHF or 800 MHz.  They thought they wanted trunking but no mention was made of whether they had FCC licenses, necessary locations, or even the budget to pay for the system.

This prospective user was attempting to make a multi-million dollar decision based on the “best” vendor proposal.  The fact is that no vendor could properly respond to such as request.  Further, by limiting the technology options, this user was restricting alternate technologies which may be better, more efficient, and less expensive.  This is not an uncommon occurrence.  Clearly, there has to be a better way of achieving the objective of building a wide area interoperable network.

To many, the word Consultant has a negative connotation, but the fact is that a good consulting agreement can typically save up to 20% of the cost of a new communications system designed by a single supplier.  A Consultant can review all available technology, vendors, and capabilities without bias.  A Consultant can assist in the areas of site selection, FCC licensing, funding, installation, and on-going services.

As the CEO of Falcon Direct, I have personally been called upon for consulting services, both in the USA and internationally.  My services are available to you as well.  Naturally, in a consulting role, I automatically exclude my company as a prospective vendor.  This assures that I will be working for you and not for others.

If you would like to know more about our consulting services, just give me a call at 205.422.2011 or email  You could be in for a very pleasant surprise!  Burch Falkner.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

FP&S Grant suggest project for Fire Departments!


Reminder for our Firefighter Friends
FP&S Grant application period closes February 4th!
January 13, 2011

There is now an opportunity available to do something truly wonderful 

for your community and for yourself. We have enlisted the help of 
Fireman Frank and Cousin Country to briefly tell you more in a brief 
cartoon style format.

We know you are busy, but this could be worth a few minutes of your 

time. Check it out. It's not for everyone, but it could be for YOU!  Click 
here to go to our video page, then click on the Play arrow at the bottom 
of the picture to view.  Oh, by the way - could you guess?  This is an
 in-house production.  We'll get better!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Brief Message to FEMA Communications Grant Recipients

Congratulations to those who have been awarded a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters communications grant!  First, may we be among the first to congratulate you!  Second, we hope you will extend to us the privilege of being considered as a vendor, and third – we would like to bring to your attention some information of possible value.

Let’s start with what we offer.  We are essentially a wireless communication system provider which includes 2-way radios, vehicle intercoms, wireless fire notification devices and related items.  We are the leading provider of DHS, FEMA, SAFECOM, and US Forest Service VHF P25 equipment in Alabama offering BK Relm, ICOM, and Midland. Extensive information is available on our Blog site at by inserting the word P25 in the Search box.

As a FEMA grant recipient for P25 interoperable communications equipment, there are several items worthy of your attention (at least in our estimation).

1)    You have a choice of purchasing from either the Alabama State Contract or the Federal GSA contract, both of which offer discounts generally greater than you would receive by competitive bidding. 

2)    You can go to competitive bid with the understanding that the bids may come in higher than the State or Federal contract prices. There is also the consideration that the low price vendor may not offer the value, features, performance, and cost of operation desired.  Also remember that you can NOT evaluate the award based on local service considerations.

3)    Simple rule – you can purchase what you asked for, not what the local sales rep says is “a better deal”.  The dealing is done when you submit your application!  We know of one department that was approved for a regional grant involving four departments requesting P25 equipment.  They then decided to ask for a modification for non-P25 equipment since they could get more units for the same money.  Remember the Simple Rule – You MUST purchase what you asked for – PERIOD!  An attempted change without written approval can result in loss of funding and exclusion from applying for future grants.

Alabama State Contract pricing on our most popular P25 radios is available on request for your consideration. A demonstration and/or additional information is also available on request, Just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or email We look forward to serving you!