Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New wireless door communicator works with VHF or UHF 2-way radios!

Who's that knocking at your door?

It could be a parent, a delivery person, or someone you really do not want to let in!  Cameras don't tell you what you need to know.  Wired intercom systems require that you be at a fixed location. 

Neither cameras or intercoms are suited to the unique needs of churches, day care centers and schools. The better solution is the DoorCallÔ system - an affordable wireless 2-way intercom that provides communications from the door to a personal communicator that goes where you go! 

For more information, click here.  Get all the facts without obligation!  We've got your back, your front, and your side covered - Doors that is!  Our job is making every day a happy  one for you, like this little music clip (Click here).

Monday, February 27, 2012

MotoTRBO VHF Systems now limited to 10 watts ERP!

Here is a bit of news, passed on from the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) that may be of interest to those who are considering DMR radio systems (think MotoTRBO), in particular - public safety users.

The Public Safety Communications Council (PSCC) has advised the PSHSB that, effective February 6, 2912 and for a period of no longer than 90 calendar days, the four public safety coordinators that constitute the PSCC will not coordinate TDMA (7K60) fixed facilities in the VHF band at more than 10 watts ERP. This action is in response to reports of harmful interference to existing systems from TDMA VHF stations. 

The letter says that the PSCC is working with a predominant manufacturer(think Motorola) of these systems to identify the problem, but that testing has not been conclusive. The PSCC now has asked TIA to test “all currently available TDMA hardware operating in the VHF band to assess their impact on existing equipment. A copy of the PSCC letter is available by clicking here

For what it's worth, no such problems have been reported with analog, NXDN (think ICOM and Kenwood), or P25.  If you are unfamiliar with the term "ERP", it is the total Effective Radiated Power that can be transmitted from the antenna of a mobile, base station, or repeater.  This is calculated by taking the output power of the radio transmitter, deducting line loss and duplexer (if applicable) loss, and adding the gain of the station antenna.  Typical ERP for VHF stations ranges from 150 to 300 watts.

Well now - ain't that a kick in the head?  Want a better solution?  Call us at 800.489.2611 or email ServingU@falcondirect.com.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

ALD-800 Assistive Listening System for Churches

As church members get older, many of them would appreciate the gift of being able to hear the service. The ALD- 800 Assistive Listening System connects directly to church soundboards with a standard phone jack.  This allows the audio to be transmitted to wireless receivers assigned to the hearing impaired. With a range of up to 300 feet, this system can serve the needs of both small and large churches. 

The Nady Systems ALD-800 assistive listening system is in use around the world and fully compliant with Title 1 and Title 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This system is ideal for small churches and the price is RIGHT! You can get a complete starter system with transmitter and four listening devices for just $345!  Visit our web store to order by clicking here.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

By way, if you already have an ALD-800 system or need more receivers with your new system, we have a special offer for you! For a limited time, we are offering replacement or additional ALD-800R receivers or just $45 each! Five different models are available to match your existing system.  For more information, give us a call at 800.489.2611

Four Things You Need To Know About Digital Repeaters

Converting VHF or UHF repeaters from analog to digital may not be quite as simple as you may think. It turns out that digital repeaters often do not talk as far as analog if you simply replace an analog repeater with a digital repeater.  The reason being that digital receivers like to see a near perfect impedance match and the lowest possible noise level.  Analog receivers have similar requirements, but are a little more tolerant.   

There are four IMPORTANT considerations that must be addressed when you change from an analog to a narrow band digital repeater.  We are going to tell you about ONE of the four things you need to know at this time. We'll tell you about the other three later.

You can make digital repeaters work BETTER than analog by starting with your duplexer.  If it is over ten years old - REPLACE IT.  This also applies to antennas and transmission line systems.  Now, let's like at the not so obvious things, beginning with the cables that connect the repeater to the duplexer.  If they are over ten years old, REPLACE THEM!

Measure your old cables.  If they are not cut to the proper length, they can cause you some real problems.  Start by measuring the cables between the repeater and the duplexer (they will generally be around 2 feet long, sometimes black, sometimes a metallic copper color).  To determine the proper length for LMR400 .405" black cable or LMR200 .195" cable go to www.info4u.us/Cable_Calculator.xls. Other cable calculations are available on request.

Normally, the transmit frequency will be the cable marked TX on the back of the radio and LO on the duplexer.  The cable for the receiver will normally be marked RX on the repeater and HI on the duplexer.  If in doubt, always use the TX and RX markings on the repeater to be sure you are measuring the correct cable.

As we mentioned earlier, proper cable length is just ONE of four primary requirements for a correctly installed digital repeater.  Want to know what the other three are?  There are two ways to get this information.  If you are not a Falcon Direct customer, the information will be provided free when you purchase your new connector cables from us.  Call 800.489.2611 for a quote.  As an existing Falcon Direct customer, this information is free on request by dropping us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com

Friday, February 17, 2012

Narrow Band News Update 02/17/2012

A recent article comment by a competing dealer suggested that many VHF and UHF 2-way radio dealers were being misled by other dealers who were persuading users to move from analog to digital.  A copy of the dealer comments is available at by clicking here.

While we acknowledge that digital provides a higher level of locking in a customer to a particular system or technology, we have to also consider that the equipment providers that will be most adversely affected will be the discount Internet retailers.  Admittedly, the features available in digital radios require higher level programming and system integration than is applicable to analog radios, but this is no reason to disqualify the benefits of digital.

Our real issue with those who criticize the efforts of others is that the writer of the article neglected to mention any positive solutions for the alleged victims, other than contacting him for help.  Somehow, I think existing 2-way radio users have the intelligence required to make a rational decision IF they are provided with factual information.  Our comments to the publisher are as follows.

While I appreciate the opportunity given by your publication to allow article submissions and comments, I feel compelled to address the recently published comments by another dealer.  Rule #1 in communications is to never defend, never attack, and always clarify.  To publish generalized statements by dissident competitors contributes nothing to the benefit of those who are allegedly being misled by certain awful people who might be taking advantage of an uninformed public.

Although I am not one of those awful people, I see no value in simply stomping the ground and telling everyone that they should come to you for guidance and assistance.  I see nothing wrong with offering services, but the offer should be extended on the basis of merit, not emotion.  What the writer offered was nothing more than assuming prospective buyers were incapable of making a decision.  I beg to differ.  The buyers with whom I deal on a face to face basis are very capable of analyzing the offerings of various equipment providers. While it may be true that a local equipment provider may have the edge over an Internet discounter, it is equally true that facts beat feelings every time!

To logically address the assumed problem of unscrupulous equipment providers misleading consumers, it seems to me that one should provide the information required to allow the prospective consumer to make an informed decision. That is why we have an extensive library of articles on the subject of narrow banding that is freely offered to all who are interested.  Perhaps the most useful is a link to the FCC web site which allows an existing user to check for themselves whether their equipment is narrow band capable.  Additional information is available at http://falconinfo.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-tell-if-your-radio-is-narrow.html.

Burch Falkner, President/CEO
Falcon Direct, Inc.
Birmingham, AL

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Been looking for a great deal on a portable Air Band radio?

Your search is over!  Get the incredible ICOM A14 for just $215 at either our Amazon or eBay web stores. The ICOM A14 VHF Air Band Transceiver Easy to use, rugged and compact with ICOM's "V Speed" Audio! 200 channels, full keypad, 8 character display.  The A14 comes complete with antenna, pocket clip,  high capacity Lithium-Ion battery, and BC-179 holder type battery charger. Complete specifications are available by clicking here.

If you are looking for a great airport ground control mobile, check out the ICOM A110 for just $877! Additional information is available by clicking here. This radio is also available on our Amazon and eBay stores with free shipping,  Want to make the deal even better? Apply for an AmazonVISA card and get a $30 credit on your purchase of any Falcon Direct product offered on Amazon including the incredible Kindle Fire or the basic KindleReader for just $79! We have other special offers on our products sold at Amazon.  Call Joy King at 800.489.2611 for more information.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Rapid Deployment Repeaters Now Available!

Introducing America's most affordable DHS approved transportable P25 repeater!  Our new RDR-100 series is available in your choice of VHF or UHF, or even VHF/UHF cross-band if you wish.

Take it anywhere!  It operates from 12 VDC or 110 VAC. The RDR-100 is PC or keypad programmable with no special tools required on up to 500 channels with 50 watts of power! Choose from a transportable model, rack mount, or desk mount model.  All are covered by a three year Next Day Exchange warranty.

The RDR-100 was originally designed for use as a rapid deployment repeater for emergency use. It can be connected to a duplexer for fixed frequency use or to separate antennas for use on any frequency pair.  Best of all, the prices start at UNDER $5,000!  Drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com for more info!

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to tell if your radio is narrow band capable

As the deadline for narrow band compliance became law on January 1, 2013, no longer was an option.  It is mandatory!  Unfortunately, there are those in our industry who will try to scare users into making unnecessary purchases or converting from analog to digital on the premise that “you’ve got to”.

Let’s make one point VERY clear.  There is NO requirement for VHF or UHF systems to convert to digital.  There are some very good reasons for moving up to digital (a subject discussed in a Planner available by clicking here), but there is no requirement!

The real issue is determining whether you radios can be converted to narrow band or if they must be replaced.  Don’t take someone else’s word.  Check it out for yourself!  Here’s how!

Click here to go to a special FCC Office of Technology web site than can be used to quickly determine whether or not an existing radio can be converted to narrow band. Find the FCC ID number on your radio.  On mobiles, it will be found on a label on the outside of the radio (generally on the side or back).  You will need to remove the battery on a portable radio which will allow you to view the label inside the radio.

Let’s check out the popular Motorola GP300.  We start by removing the battery.  Inside, we see a label indicating this radio was made in the USA by Motorola (that statement alone will generally tell you that the radio is too old to be capable of being narrow banded, but that’s another story).  You will see an FCC ID number.  In this example, the number is ABZ99FT4010.  The first three digits (ABZ) indicate Motorola.  The remaining digits (99FT4010) designate the Product Code.

At the top of the page on the line marked Grantee Code, enter ABZ in the space provided.  On the line below marked Product Code, enter the remaining digits of 99FT4010.  Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Start Search.

Now, click on the Check Mark below the Display Grant column  (3rd column from the left). On the far left hand side you will see a column marked Emission Designator. In this example, the first two digits of 16 appear. This equipment is capable ONLY of 20/25 kHz operation.  It is NOT approved for narrow band (12.5 kHz operation). This radio can no longer be used after December 31, 2012.

Radios capable of narrow band operation may be approved for both 25 KHz (16) AND 12.5 kHz narrow band, which will have the first two digits listed as (11).  The ICOM F50V is such a radio (FCC ID AFG306000).  The Hytera PD782 and other radios with both analog and digital capabilities will have both the 16 and 11 Emission designators as well as the single digit 7 or 8.  This would apply to other DMR radios as well as radios utilizing IDAS, NEXEDGE, or P25 digital platforms.

The main thing to remember, if the radio you are checking has ONLY the first two digits of 20 or 16, it is NOT convertible for narrow band operation. For an efficient and affordable migration solution, there is only one name you need to know – Falcon Direct! You can call us at 800.489.2611 or email ServingU@falcondirect.com for assistance when needed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meet Your Neighbor!

Here is a picture of your neighbor! He is his late teens or early twenties, hooked on Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, LSD, Methamphetamines  or Oxycontin, and perhaps  one or more club drugs including Ketamine, MDMA, Quaaludes, Rohypnol and Xanax, along with the old favorites of Alcohol and Hashish. His habit can easily  cost a hundred dollars a day or more. 

The question is, how does he support his habit?  The answer is he steals!  He is the guy that steels cars and copper.  That's bad enough, but when he pulls up his hood to rob a store or invade a home, the crime can quickly accelerate from worrisome to life threatening!

Last month, we introduced a program called HelpNet, based on the concept of community volunteers working together to create a strong and effective response to disaster situations as well as serving the everyday needs of crime prevention, care for each other, and proactive networking.

One of the programs included in the HelpNet plan is called HelpAlert.  This is a program specifically for small merchants in strip shopping malls, establishments in close proximity to each other with a particular emphasis on stores with only one or two employees.

The basis of HelpAlert is one of providing instant communications between participating merchants and law enforcement to address the increasing threat of robbery, both by gang professionals and those whose motive is to support a drug habit.  Nearly 20 million of our neighbors in the USA are in this later category.  Law enforcement resources are simply overwhelmed by hit and run robbers ranging in age from the  late teen to early twenties; many of whom live in your community.

We believe that affordable and efficient person-to-person communications can be a strong crime deterrent.  HelpAlert has been developed to address that need.  Additional information is available by clicking here.