Friday, June 28, 2013

The difference between rabbits and turtles!

You may have noticed that the "best" deals generally come at the end of the month.  Sometimes, these offers are of genuine value, sometime not.  For example, we recently spoke with a prospective customer who had already purchased a dispatch console for use with a proposed new VHF digital system. To phase the migration from analog to digital in progressive steps would generally be considered a good idea, but the first step should have been FCC licensing - the most critical issue in any system upgrade!

Another user planned and defined a multi-million dollar VHF P25 digital trunking system, and spent close to eight million dollars before discovering that frequencies were not available to complete the system.  At this time, most of the money has been spent and they have basically nothing.

There are numerous cases of fire departments that have been awarded million dollar grants to be administered by applicants who have little or no experience in managing similar activities. In almost every case, the buyer was pressured into making a decision to get "the best deal" rather than careful planning that includes unbiased information from multiple supply sources.  We call this the Fire-Aim-Ready management style.  Rabbits ALWAYS encourage this tactic.  Objective planning with the USER need is simply not their style.  For example, I refer you to a recent newspaper article where a large system user was encouraged to upgrade their radio system.  Notice the amount of money involved (over three million dollars), and note what they will be getting for their money (a 7.7 system upgraded from a 7.4 system with absolutely no explanation of features, benefits, or value).  The article is available by clicking here.  That's the way rabbits win races!

Turtles are different.  Turtles take the time to plan a proper route, like getting an FCC license upgrade to digital BEFORE taking an order, making demonstrations, offering alternatives, and presenting ALL the facts, rather than hiding important issues like compliance with open standards to allow competitive choices.

We are a turtle, and proud to be one.  Want to see a turtle in action?  Give us a call at 800.489.2611.  It may take awhile, but we'll be there to help you as soon as we can!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Would you buy a square tire? A special message to prospective MotoTRBO and ASTRO P25 purchasers!

Think about this question.  Would you buy a product that wouldn't work with any other product (a tire for instance), that really didn't meet your needs, could only be maintained by a single provider who dictated the price you pay, the cost of service, and has the power to change the technical specifications at any time to require that you pay for a mandatory upgrade that you neither need or want?

If your answer is Yes, then there is no need to read any further.  If your answer is No, and you are considering the purchase of a MotoTRBO or a P25 ASTRO radio system from Motorola, you need to seriously consider the following:

MotoTRBO is based on a technical standard called DMR. Motorola P25 ASTRO is based on a technical standard called P25.  Both systems "could be" compatible with other open standards based equipment, but are normally configured NOT to be compatible with any radios other than Motorola.  In the case of MotoTRBO, conventional single site systems are "protected" by advanced encryption.  Multi site systems such as Capacity Plus utilize a proprietary platform that restricts use only to Motorola radios. Motorola P25 ASTRO equipment is non-compliant with open technical standards. (Click here for more information).

So, the bottom line is that Motorola can provide both DMR and P25 open standard equipment, but they will do so only by customer insistence.  If you are considering the purchase of either a MotoTRBO or P25 ASTRO digital radio system, INSIST that it be provided based on open standards (DMR in the case of MotoTRBO or CAI in the case of P25).  Otherwise, welcome to the world of the square tire!

Drop us an email to if you would like more information.  We'll tell you about some neat things like a DMR radio with a three year NEXT DAY EXCHANGE WARRANTY! Get all the facts, not just a razzle dazzle demonstration by a salesman who more than likely will not be there when needed.  

As a final point, you may have heard that there is a Phase 1 P25 standard and the Phase 2 standard.  Want to know what the difference is and how it could be important to you?  If so, click here!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Did narrow banding kill your portable operating range?

We can fix it!

We can give your VHF or UHF analog portable radios the same range as your mobile radio!  Our new BlueBox can give you back the portable range that you lost when you narrow banded your radio system!  You don't have to replace your mobile or portable radio.  Just plug in the BlueBox to the accessory connector on your mobile radio and let us do minor reprogramming on the associated portable.  Give us a little bit of money and you are in business!

Measuring just 4.75"W x 5.75"D x 2"H, the BlueBox weights in at just 24 ounces with your choice of Serial or DB25 cable and connector pre-wired for connection to your mobile radio.  BlueBox is ideal for rural area fire departments operating in weak signal areas, power utilities, and others who need to extend the range of portable radios.  A single mobile radio equipped with a BlueBox can serve any properly programmed portable radio at distances of up to one mile away from the associated vehicle!

BlueBox works with virtually all mobile radios, analog or digital including DMR, NXDN, and P25 Phase 1 and 2 in all frequency bands.  If need a portable, we offer an outstanding micro-sized high power VHF or UHF portable for as little as $149 ($179 with a speaker-microphone).  Additional information is available at

So where do you get a BlueBox?  Exclusively from Falcon Direct in Birmingham, AL where it was designed, built and serviced.  So what does it cost?  You'll have to call us for the answer to that question at 800.489.2611.  Be ready for a pleasant surprise!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

An "Exciting" Speaker-Microphone?

In the general scheme of things, speaker-microphones would mostly fall into the category of "utility devices".  However, when they don't meet their functional requirements in a cost effective and reliable manner, they can move from the background to the foreground for personal communications.

Until now, there were basically two categories - too cheap to be reliable and too expensive to be affordable.  Speaker-microphones are now the number one failing component in personal communications - way ahead of batteries, radio problems, even clips!

We were pleasantly surprised when Stone Mountain Ltd. came to us and requested our participation in the development  of a U.S. designed and assembled product to meet the needs of our users.  They even offered to provide custom connectors for some of our more popular brands.  They actually worked with us through the design process, incorporating the features and functions most desired by our customers.  Wow! Will wonders never cease?

The result is the new Phoenix Speaker-Microphone. Models are available for virtually any requirement with prices starting as low as $69 for an IP68 water submersible model with rotating belt clip, a two year warranty, your choice of a 2.5 mm or 3.5 mm audio jack and two-pin connector for the radio of your choice. Add $20 for high tier P25, DMR, or NXDN models.  Additional information is available by clicking here.

I can tell you this.  Once you try the new Phoenix microphone, you'll never buy anything else.  To order, call Candice Staggs at 800.489.2611.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Do you want safer schools?

So do we, which is our reason for reaching out to you to offer our services during your summer planning sessions. We would welcome the opportunity to sit in with you and/or your staff at your convenience.  There is no cost or obligation for our services.

We can't solve all your problems, but we are available to assist you with common sense solutions in the areas of safety, both in and out of the classroom.  That is why we are offering to work with administrators in Alabama and Mississippi sitting in with you as required to help you with your planning.  A quick overview of our services is available by clicking here.  Better yet, give us a call at 800.489.2611 and let us know when you would like to get together.  There is no charge or obligation.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Compare Public Safety Communications - 1963 versus 2013

Is public safety communications today better than it was 50 years ago? Evidence suggests that after investing billions of dollars in high tech communications that we were more interoperable in 1963 than we are today! The lack of defined and sustainable standards for the development of improved radio communications for first responders has fallen far short of the original objectives. 

An article by our founder will soon appear in Mission Critical Communications (MCC) which compares interoperable communications in 1963 versus 2013. If you are not a reader of MCC, you can obtain a free subscription by clicking here. If you would like a copy of the pre-published draft, you can request a copy by dropping us an email request to Get ready for a shock! BTW, in case you are curious, the car shown is a 1972 AMC Javelin previously used by the Alabama State Troopers. You did NOT get away from one of these cars!