Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Smart Video System Now Available for Law Enforcement Agencies

You are looking at the future of vehicle camera systems! This tiny 2 inch camera mounts BEHIND a patrol vehicle rear view mirror! If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't see it, but that is only part of the story about our new Smart Video System!

The REALLY big news is that this camera requires no DVR, monitor, or storage devices that necessitate removal of CD's DVD's SMS Cards or thumb drives. You don't even need a wireless microphone. You can use your SmartPhone as your wireless microphone and personal camera system that feeds back to Smart Video server!

Did we mention that the system can provide real time vehicle tracking with email or SMS alerts sent to your PC or SmartPhone when a vehicle goes into pursuit, or a selected patrol location to monitor activity? Did we tell you that video can be instantly retrieved by name, date, or event in an Internet connected Courtroom? Or did we tell you that this incredible system can maintain a graphic file on all crime activity in your community?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A word about 800 MHz Statewide networks

To sum it up simply, 800 MHz Statewide networks don't work.  The reason?  Start wherever you wish, beginning with the fact the 800 MHz doesn't work inside buildings (which is very important to law enforcement officers and firefighters).  

800 MHz doesn't serve the needs of rural communities any better.  Rural Sheriff's Departments and volunteer fire departments that are off the main highway are generally not served by these multi-million dollar proprietary systems.

The fact is that 800 MHz Statewide Networks are designed for vehicular, not personal communications.  If you need a radio when you are out of the vehicle, your needs would be much better served by much less expensive and more feature rich technologies developed over the past few years.

Cost is another factor.  For every square mile covered, 800 MHz will cost on average, at least four times more than VHF or UHF and more often than not, ten times as much or more.  As to the cost of mobile and portable radios, the ratio is about as bad - four to ten times more for 800 MHz versus VHF or UHF.

Why the cost difference?  Antiquated technology and/or proprietary operating networks would be a good place to start.  When there is no competition, prices skyrocket!  Case in point, compare any state using an 800 MHz network versus one using VHF or UHF.  Notable examples include Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, and Pennsylvania, all big users of 800 MHz.  Then take your pick of those that don't such as Nebraska, or Wisconsin; both of which are much closer to the real world of cost versus benefit.

Pennsylvania is pretty much the granddaddy of 800 MHz statewide networks.  It is one of the oldest and biggest in the nation.  Click here for a recent article on the situation in Pennsylvania at the present time.  Want some better alternatives?  Give us a call at 205.854.2611.  We can save you a lot of money and provide common sense affordable solutions. That's our job - helping others do their job better!

By the way, before closing our comments on the subject of 800 MHz, it is only to fair to point out that digital radios in general have taken a bad rap for voice quality.  The fact is that the publicity deals primarily with first generation vocoders (the electronic circuit device that converts analog to digital).  A good example is a recent article dealing with problems associated with digital radios at West Point.  Regrettably, the article neglected to mention that the radios used were first generation models.  Of equal importable, the demonstration involved a fully suited firefighter talking through a face mask.  You couldn't understand what was being said with or without the radio!

In the interest of fairness, it should be noted that advanced model vocoders are getting better and better, and will soon surpass the audio quality of analog (as was the case in consumer home entertainment systems).  The new Broadcom G722 vocoder chip has an audio range of 50 to 7000 Hz which is significantly better than current analog radio technology.

The bottom line is that all 800 MHz isn't all bad anymore than all digital radios are all bad.  The trick is to make sure you are dealing with fact - not fiction!

Georgia-Pacific Fire Grant Program Now Open

The application period for the Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade™ grant program is now open. Fire departments located in communities that have a Georgia-Pacific facility are eligible to apply for a grant to help purchase needed gear and equipment.

Contact your local Georgia-Pacific facility to obtain the Bucket Brigade grant application form. Visit or contact for more information

To view a listing of Georgia-Pacific communities, visit The deadline for applications is August 9th 2011.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Better Fire Protection for Churches in Forest Home, Alabama Made Possible Through Teamwork!

Any one associated with a volunteer fire department knows about fund raisers.  It takes a lot of work and support by vendors to be successful.  Mary Till of the Forest Home VFD contacted Falcon Direct in the hope that we would be able to contribute a prize for a drawing at a fund raiser fish fry. We responded with an offer a little different than she expected. Click here for more information.