Friday, April 22, 2011
Funny thing about us humans….
We don’t like being told what to do! As a case in point, consider the federal mandate for P25 communications equipment. It wasn’t so hard to do for a federal agency to comply with a funded mandate. It is altogether a different matter for a rural volunteer fire department or small municipality to comply when the equipment is considerably more expensive than other equipment with comparable features and performance.
FEMA, through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, refers to the federal standard (SAFECOM) for the purchase of grant eligible equipment, then turns around and starts allowing exceptions. The result? NO interoperability and only very limited success in isolated areas. How do you fix that?
First you do a better job of educating users on the benefits to THEM! Next, you stick to your own rules with no exceptions. Lastly, the manufacturers have to produce a product that is price competitive to alternate technologies such as DMR and NXDN, even analog! I am delighted to announce that at least one manufacturer has risen to the challenge!
You can now purchase a P25 portable from Falcon Direct for only $795 with the mobile being only $100 more. This is compatible with the prices of ANALOG radios! Now, we’re talking!
Want more information? Give us a call at 800.489.2611 or email P254U@falcondirect.com. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!
Every once in awhile we have the opportunity of seeing humankind at it's best. We need to remember that there are still those out there who serve others without acclaim or personal gain. Today, I would to share our comments on a good example of what can be accomplished when people work together.
One of the things learned during Katrina, and other natural disasters is that our communications infrastructure, in particular cellular networks, can and will fail from a variety of causes. Clearly, a hardened emergency communications network is required in times of emergency.
On their own, The Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama State Department of Public Health and Alabama representatives of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) obtained a grant to provide a simple and inexpensive solution by using the capabilities of amateur radio communications equipment and volunteer HAM radio operators.
This program supplements an existing 2-way radio network known as the H.E.A.R. system. We are privileged to be involved as suppliers and installers of both systems, and just thought it would be appropriate to extend our thanks and appreciation to those who tirelessly work in the background for our safety. Thanks guys and gals! You ARE appreciated!
Additional information on these programs and other hospital related communications products and services is available at www.medicradios.com.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Well, it's starting to happen. As increasing numbers of 2-way users switch from wide to narrow band, the reports are coming in that my radio doesn't sound as loud as it used to and there seems to be more background noise. The worst thing is that I can't talk as far as I used to.
We hate to tell you so, but that what we have been telling you for over half a decade. There are two solutions to problems associated with narrow banding - You can put in more stations to compensate for deteriorating performance or you can go digital. There are no other alternatives regardless of what you may hear from the experts.
We feel partly to blame for not providing a simple explanation of what happens when you reduce bandwidth from 25 kHz (wide band) to 12.5 kHz (narrow band). We thought maybe an analogy might make it a little easier to understand.
Picture yourself in a basement with no windows. Suddenly a leak develops and the basement starts to fill with water. Think of the floor of the basement as NOISE. The water is rising rapidly, but it's OK because you have a boat in the basement floating on the water, or NOISE.
When you reduce bandwidth, the water (NOISE) starts to rise. The rising water (NOISE) starts to occupy more and more of the space in the basement. You start to lose space. Think of space as operating RANGE. With no water on the floor, you are free to use the whole basement. However as the water(NOISE) begins to rise, the available space (RANGE) is reduced.
As the water continues to rise, you ultimately completely run out of space (RANGE) which is what happens when you reduce bandwidth to the next proposed level of 6.25 kHz, known as Very Narrow Band (VNB).
In our example, when water occupies too much space, YOU can no longer efficiently occupy that space. That's what happens when you convert to narrow band. The basement is still the same size, you are the same size, but the space available for your use is diminished. You have more NOISE and less RANGE.
You also have another problem - reduced oxygen. A reduction in oxygen can cause breathing problems. Think of oxygen as AUDIO. As the water level rises, the AUDIO (think oxygen) is reduced. The higher the level of compression (water rising), the less oxygen (AUDIO) you have. Does that make things a little easier to understand?
In our example, a basement is a basement. It can be a small basement or a large basement. The result is the same. The age, brand or model of your radio doesn't make any difference. The effect of narrow banding is the same - Increased noise, reduced audio, and diminished range - Guaranteed!
You don't have to suffer from water in the basement. The way to do it is start your plan for migration to digital right now BEFORE the water starts rising. Helping you make the right decision as to how to make the transition from analog to digital is what we do. Putting us to work is a simple as picking up the phone and calling 205.854.2611 or emailing email@example.com. We've got quite a story to tell!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
We are delighted to announce the introduction of the newest HYT 2-way radio, the TC-508, a full featured, yet affordable personal communicator with MIL-STD 810 and IP54 ratings for durability. The TC-508 is especially well suited for construction, hospitality, institutional, manufacturing and retail use. And it's built to last with 5 year Accelerated Life Testing!
Available in your choice of either VHF or UHF with up to 16 channel capability and up to 5 watts of power in VHF or 4 watts in UHF, the TC-508 has all the features you would expect in comparable radios costing up to hundreds of dollars more than the low, low price of the TC-508.
Weighing in at only 9.8 ounces, TC-508 provides up to 14 hours of operation before recharging of the Lithium-Ion battery is required using the standard rapid rate charger (See www.info4u.us/TC508.pdf for additional information.
So, what did we forget? Oh yes - the price! Are you ready for this? Just $220 including programming, shipping and one year factory warranty! Want to try the TC-508? Just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're going to like the TC-508!
Monday, April 11, 2011
As a part of our services to those we serve, or hope to serve; we continually provide factual information of advances in technology, regulatory issues, and common sense alternatives in purchasing the most effective communications systems.
One of the major contenders in digital communications was essentially unknown to us just a few short years ago. Hytera has come from virtually nowhere to a world class contender in communications, in particular the DMR standard. The primary features and benefits are discussed elsewhere on our Blog, but there are some new capabilities that we felt would be of interest for those who are migrating from analog to digital mentality.
The limitations of analog are well known. One of the major constraints of analog is the ability to operate and control multiple antenna sites. Today, we have the capability of inexpensively linking sites by radio (Click here for more information) or via the Internet (Click here for more information).
We can even cross link repeaters (Click here for more information) or provide high level security with up to 256 bit encryption (Click here for more information). If you like an assist in developing your long term system evolution for your 2-way radio system, we invite you to review the aforementioned White Pagers. There is a lot of good information available to help you make the right choice - both for now, and for the future!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Received an email this morning from a writer who preferred not to identify himself or provide a return email address. I thought the writers comments might be of interest to others, so I am sharing them with you. His (assuming it is a "he") comments dealt with our Blog on the use of MotoTRBO for mission critical (aka public safety) use. If you didn't see the Blog, you can view it by clicking here. In a nutshell, we said (and still do), that MotoTRBO was not designed for public safety (aka mission critical) use.
The writer did provide his or her initials which are "jfr". So, jfr, and others who have an interest in such things, lets begin by providing others with a copy of your comments as follows:
You totally ignore the Case Study of a public safety MOTOTRBO system that Motorola publishes, and you totally ignore the fact that the accessories brochure for the MOTOTRBO portables contains "public safety" speaker/microphones. Now, if Motorola was not 'promoting' the use of MOTOTRBO by public safety agencies, then why would they publish these marketing materials?
As is often the case, many people don't take the trouble to get all the facts. The fact is that BOTH of the issues mentioned by jfr were answered in the Forum comments on the same Blog that he referenced!
However, for the additional enlightenment of jfr and others who want to know the real story of how MotoTRBO came to be and why, we invite you to visit www.info4u.us/The_other_MotoTRBO.pdf. The fact is that the DMR standard (to which MotoTRBO was designed) is a COMMERCIAL standard regardless of what jfr or anyone else "thinks" (which may not be the appropriate word). If you would like to know more about the DMR Association, we invite you to view a short video by clicking here. If you have additional questions, please call us at 205.854.2611 or email email@example.com.
Friday, April 1, 2011
We all know that the first of April is also April Fools Day, a time for pranks, tricks, and general foolishness. Here is a classic example! Over a decade ago, a chemical weapons incinerator facility was constructed near Anniston, Alabama to dispose of nasty weapons containing a multitude of toxic chemicals including Serine gas.
Since even a minor leak of these gases could cause near immediate death for the general population, our government developed the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP), a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of the Army to provide emergency preparedness assistance and resources to communities surrounding the Army’s chemical warfare agent stockpiles.
A special radio communications system was constructed for use by public safety agencies in the area. At it’s zenith, approximately 3500 radios were in use even though the system was outrageously expensive, plagued with problems, and programmed to provide only minimal operating features for the users. Still, a lot of agencies participated in the program since it was essentially “free”
Here’s some news for you – NOTHING IS FREE! Many of the users, in particular volunteer fire departments, hung on to their old UHF equipment because they knew that one day the program would end and the users wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain the system. Well guess what? That day has come!
Here’s the April Fool’s part. In order to continue using the system, at least 3000 user units must remain on the system and pay $15 per month for every radio used on the system – that’s $150 PER MONTH for a user with only 10 radios! If the number using the system drops below 3000, the rate goes up on a graduated scale starting at $22.50 per month, rising to over $50 per month PER UNIT depending on the number of participants.
The incredible thing is that there are actually users who are considering this alternative when in reality, a system with much greater capability can be constructed and maintained for a fraction of the cost of maintaining a decade old system that wasn't much to talk about when it was brand new! That’s what happens when you restrict your choices to a single vendor.
P.T. Barnum was right – There is a sucker born every minute! (Actually Barnum is not the one who made this statement. For the real story click here). If any of our readers are over in the CSEPP area, you might want to contact us for a better alternative than the one you are now facing. Our phone number is 205.854.2611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.