Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fire Protection and Safety Grant Program opens December 17th

The 2012 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program opens on December 17th.  You will have 31 days to prepare and submit your application.  We’ve got some good news and some bad news – the bad news first.  Historically most departments don’t even make an attempt to apply for this grant.  The ones that do, traditionally apply for smoke detectors, coloring books, and an occasional trailer.  These are all useful, but in many cases already done.  
So the question is what kind of program is available that is truly unique, never been done, can be effective in saving lives, and a virtual slam dunk to be a winner for funding?  That’s the good news!  We have developed such a program.  It is efficient, affordable, and manageable.

If you are involved in fire protection services and would like to do something really good for your community, we would welcome the opportunity of working with you.  For additional information, please drop us an email with full contact information along with a short note to request details.  Upon receipt, we will get back to you. This information will not be given by phone or published for the general public.  

Our email address is  We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Is there ANY reason to upgrade to digital radios?

We recently published comments that were somewhat less than supportive of VHF digital radios using TDMA technology , and in particular MotoTRBO.  Our real issue is not so much with the technology, but the sales tactics used to "sell" the product.  The absence or withholding of facts from prospective customers is a shameful tactic.  Fortunately, this is not true of all MotoTRBO dealers, but all too often, the tactic is evident.

That does not mean the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater.  There ARE many situations where digital radios DO have an advantage over analog, but NOT for wide area VHF (136-174 MHz) repeater systems used by public safety agencies.  So where does digital have the edge over analog?  The answer is when the system operates in the UHF 450-470 MHz band, and in particular for on-site use in construction, educational institutions, hospitals, logistics centers (we used to call them warehouses), and manufacturing plants, among others.

So just what exactly are the practical advantages of TDMA digital over either FDMA digital (like ICOM and Kenwood use), P25 digital, or analog?  The simple answer is CHANNEL CAPACITY.  Both MotoTRBO and Hytera radios use TDMA and both give you the benefits of having two operational channels for the price of one.  You can have two voice channels, two data channels, or one voice and one data channel on a single 12.5 kHz narrow band channel.  This is accomplishing by splitting the channel into two separate 6.25 "slots".  This is a HUGE benefit and a primary reason why we almost always favor TDMA for UHF wide area and on-site systems.  We rarely recommend the use of TDMA for use by wide area VHF users for reasons contained in the recent report issued by the frequency coordinators advisory committee (Click here for a summary of that report).

For purposes of clarification, we should point out that there are variations of TDMA. The TDMA standard employed in MotoTRBO and Hytera radios is known as the DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) standard.  You can read more about this standard, and in particular as it relates to Hytera, by clicking here.  This brings us to the obvious question is which is better?  MotoTRBO or Hytera?  Good question!  Motorola is the Number One 2-way manufacturer in the world.  Hytera is Number Two (bet you didn't know that), so we can conclude that the two companies are about equal in technical capabilities, reliability, features, function, and support.  With that being said, we will also say this.  We support HYTERA!  Here's why!

On average, model for model, Hytera is a least $100 per radio LESS than Motorola.  Hytera offers a five year warranty versus two for Motorola, and Hytera includes two channel trunking capability at no extra charge.  That is a HUGE benefit!  Most importantly, Hytera operates on an open operating standard which means it is compatible with other DMR radios.  Motorola radios can operate in the open standard mode, but most systems are designed around a feature called Capacity Plus which locks out all other suppliers.  In other words, once you have purchased a Motorola DMR system, you will pay whatever price your supplier chooses to charge and you have no alternatives.  This may be good for Motorola stockholders but not so good for the user. Oh, BTW, there is one more reason for choosing Hytera.  For every 25 radios purchased, you get a FREE repeater!

So, in summary, there ARE situations where digital is the better choice over analog.  Just make sure you have all the facts before making a decision.  If you have any questions, give us a call.  You'll be glad you did in the long run.  Our toll free number is 800.489.2611 or drop us an email to

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Special Message for Mayors

The November elections of 2012 had many surprises.  Among some of the larger surprises was the activity at the municipal level with a lot of new mayors coming in and many of the incumbents showing surprising strength in retaining their positions. The message by the voters was very clear.  They want to see progressive action in the form of increased services and reduction in the cost of government administration.  That is easier said than done UNLESS you know about our new ServingU Program!

To accomplish enhanced services and costs reductions, you need a PLAN!  We've got it, and we are ready to share it with you! We have introduced five new programs developed to better serve the public while simultaneously cutting cost.  The flagship program for enhanced safety in the community is known as the Something Nice Program while one of the major cost savers is the LookUp Program.  You can learn more about these programs as well as three others at

Check them out, then give us a call at 205.854.2611.  We can help you serve those you serve - BETTER!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New MURS Radio at Special Introductory Pricing!

We are pleased to exclusively  introduce the all new  PT-150M!  This is an affordable alternative to high priced commercial radios that can cost hundred or even thousands of dollars more than our incredible low introductory price of just $199!  The PT-150M is IP65 water and dust resistant, MIL-SPEC 800F tested and approved. Full specifications are available by clicking here.

Better yet, you don't have the bother of FCC licensing - No cost, no processing delays, no compliance issues, no narrow band requirements, no renewals, and no threats of fines for improper use. The PT150M is ideal for churches, construction, retail and personal use

 A long life lithium ion rechargeable battery gives extended operating cycles before charging is required, and ithe PT-150M is compatible with a full line of AMERICAN MADE base stations, wireless PA's, customer assistance call buttons, and wireless intercoms. You can order the PT-150M on Amazon,, or eBay. See our special MURS product web page at for additional information on all of our MURS  and other license free products.  If you have any questions, just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or drop us an email to You're going to like the PT-150M. Try a couple - you'll see!

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Narrow Band 50W repeater less than $700!

Your're not going to believe what you can do with our new TM8000R repeater.  For starters, you can put it in a vehicle and extend the range of an associated portable radio to be equal to the range of a mobile, BOTH transmit and receive!  The price?  Less than seven hundred dollars!  Want to know more? Go to If you need a good portable radio to go with your mobile repeater, check out

Our new TM8000R repeater is also an affordable solution to replacing older repeaters that can’t be upgraded to narrow band! Three models are available. The TM8000R can be connected to an existing power supply and duplexer.  The price is right – just $695! Your choice of VHF or UHF.

The TM8000RP is supplied with a high quality slim line AC power supply for just $845.  Just connect it to you existing duplexer and you are ready to go! If you need a duplexer, the TP8000RPD at just $995 is right for you.  This model includes an AC power supply and low loss duplexer for use when frequencies are separated by 3.5 MHz or more.  

Our low repeater prices include free programming and shipping plus a three year factory warranty.  For more information or to order, just give us a call at 800.489.2611.  Do it today to assure delivery before the narrow band deadline!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A special message for Hospital 2-way Radio Users

Are rules, regulations, policies, mandates, procedures, and changes relating to the operation of hospital wireless communications systems giving you a king sized headache?

We're not surprised!  With no less than ten regulatory agencies involved with helping you do your job, often with conflicting policies, changing procedures, lack of guidance, and unfunded mandates; things can get a little confusing.

When a directive is issued that all 2-way radios must be narrow banded by the end of 2012,  the question then arises - Which 2-way radios?  In the typical hospital there can be ten or more different types of "2-way radio systems", each with a different set of licensing and operational requirements.

Then someone throws a bunch of terms at you that were never taught in the medical or even business administration professions.  Words like "D" Block, P25, FCC licensing, Interoperability, and Narrow Banding can be REALLY confusing! 

So the question is - Where do you go for help?  The answer is RIGHT HERE!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Air-To-Ground HEAR Frequency in Alabama!

Following a recent audit of the Hospital Emergency Administrative Radio (HEAR) system in Alabama, The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) launched a program to restore the HEAR system to it’s original purpose of providing communications between first responders and hospital trauma facilities.  The HEAR system, originally constructed in the early 1970’s was designed to provide both ambulance-hospital communications as well as hospital-to-hospital systems using VHF radio frequencies in the event of a failure of traditional phone services.

Over the years, cellular phones became the accepted communications tool for day-to-day needs with the frequency of 155.340 MHz used primarily by volunteer fire and rescue first responders to communicate with air ambulances.

As the original HEAR system was revitalized for it’s new role as a backup in the event of phone service disruption (both landline and cellular), it was recognized that a new frequency would be required for air-to-ground communications.  The problem is that an airborne radio can transmit at distances well over 100 miles – not a good thing when you have many hospitals in operating range.  Additionally, in a real emergency, the frequency of 155.340 MHz could be overloaded when called upon to handle both ground rescue personnel/vehicles and air-to-ground radio communications.

The solution is to move all ground-to-air communications to the new frequency of 155.3475 MHz effective January 1, 2013.  The announcement of this change was made by ADPH in their October EMS Newsletter. This may have been missed by many public safety users.  So, we are giving the program an assist by announcing this new requirement along with the news that hospitals operating on 155.340 have ALREADY switched to narrow band. Click here for a current listing of known hospitals with operational radio systems operating on 155.340 MHz. 

If you haven’t already made the switch to narrow band, NOW would be a good time to do it. Be SURE that your radios have the proper access CODE for your local area hospital (See previously mentioned list). As for the new airborne frequency (155.3475), we would suggest that you include the same transmit code as used for 155.340 MHz for access to your local area hospital. If you are operating in the UHF band, the frequency of 453.750 MHz can be used for ground to air communications.  No tone squelch code required.

It’s not to late to get your radios narrow banding using our TEN DOLLAR PER RADIO NARROWBAND PROGRAM.  Additional information is available by clicking here, or by calling us at 205.854.2611.