Friday, July 26, 2013

Things you need to know about digital radios.

This is a test.  The questions are as follows: 

1)  Do you know the difference between a Phase One and a Phase Two P25 digital radio? The answer: Phase Two is capable of trunking and  gives the user two simultaneous talk paths on a single channel.  So why would you even consider a radio without Phase Two capability or at least the ability to be upgraded to Phase Two?  Want to know more?  Click here

2) What manufacturer offers an American made product capable of doing Phase Two trunking AND analog two tone paging?  The Answer:  The BK KNG Radio by Relm Wireless.  There is no other alternative.  Better yet, the price is typically half (or less) than the cost of a near comparable trunking model by Motorola.

3) What is the only SAFECOM approved technical standard for Mission Critical communications? The Answer:  P25, or APCO 25 if you prefer - Not MotoTRBO and not NXDN.  Better yet, today's offerings by BK Radio are competitively priced with MotoTRBO and NXDN.

4) Is there any good reason why you should not consider BK Radio by Relm Wireless as your first choice for digital communications?  The Answer:  None that we can think of except that you may have some concerns about service.  After all, Motorola is known for outstanding customer service.  The even have a term for it.  It's called Managed Services.  The City of Detroit is under a Managed Service Contract. To better understand how it works, click here.  We think we've got a better solution.  We'll be glad to tell you more.  It's just one of many good reasons to choose Falcon Direct for serving your needs. It's easy to get more information and/or to put us to work. Just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or email to

Attaboy Award to the State of Mississippi!

We have often commented on the tactics employed by Motorola to protect market share.  In a free market economy (which capitalism is meant to be), all is fair as long as it's legal.  Lobbying is an area that is on the fine line between ethical and unethical.  Case in point.

Motorola spends a tremendous amount of money with lobbyists.  Why do you think they do that? TO PROTECT THEIR INTERESTS! This has nothing to do with serving the common good. To the contrary, it has to do ONLY with serving the interests of those who will directly benefit. Almost single handily, Motorola has literally destroyed any hope of true interoperability for public safety by developing proprietary technology to lock out competition. Now tit appears that they are hard at work to derail an open standard nationwide public safety broadband data network..  

Fortunately, some of their large customers are waking up and saying enough.  Mississippi is leading the charge.  You really need to take a few minutes to see just how far a company can go to protect their interests.  Be sure and read not only the article, but the links as well by clicking here.

And, in spite of all this, we still deal with prospective customers who spend taxpayer money on a sole source supplier, totally ignoring bid laws, free and fair competition, or even plain common sense.  We experienced such a situation just this week where a Sheriff discounted the recommendations of his staff,  and ignored the fact that an alternate supplier had performed tests exceeding the user expectations.  The response by the Sheriff was to request pricing from Motorola which was significantly higher than that submitted by the one who did all the work.

It now appears that the Sheriff intends to purchase Motorola because HE likes Motorola.  I hope he likes them enough to go to jail because that is exactly what could and should happen to those who abuse their power, waste taxpayer money, and ignore the law.  It only takes a few concerned citizens to stop this kind of foolishness.  Please join us in our campaign to restore responsible spending of public funds. The benefits will be worth the effort.  Mississippi has shown it can be done!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

An Introduction to Samaritan Services

For some of us, our goals are more oriented toward doing the right thing than winning. On that conclusion, I decided there is a need for a reputable, competent , and objective resource to aid communications users. Our function is to help others in getting their best value for their communications investment, while simultaneously complying with unclear regulations that could result in substantial financial risk.

You don't get this kind of information from a sales rep.  The information you receive is to help the sales rep make a sale.  True salesmanship is based on presenting facts, features, and benefits that help the customer.  Unfortunately, not every sales rep is equipped, or chooses to perform this function.  That is why we feel a customer advocate service is needed to help you stay on the road and out of the ditch!

Please understand that this new role is not as a consultant, but as a team member. Our services can range from simply making sure you are compliant with current FCC licensing requirements.  Whether you are a private business, church, school, county or municipal agency, the chances are fairly good that you are NOT in compliance with FCC rules.  Ignorance of FCC rules can have major negative financial consequences. 

For those who have beem approved or federal funding on communications equipment, you need to know that there are two standards - rules and policy.  Not knowing the difference can cost you a lot money.  And, managing a major grant is NOT for people who have regular jobs, a family, and a life. Having someone to help with the details is well worth the minimal cost

The simple process of planning for the migration to upgraded technology is an overwhelming task.  You don't need an opinion from a single vendor.  You need someone who can objectively work with you in separating the wheat from the chaff. That's the job of Samaritan Services.

You can learn more about Samaritan Services by clicking here.  Check it out.  Your time will be well invested!  Burch Falkner and the Samaritan Services team. BTW, if you would rather just talk, call me personally at 205.202.1269 or email We'll keep you out of the ditch!

First Bouquet and Brickbat Award for 2013

Our winner for the Bouquet Award for July is Mr. John Johnson for his statements in a recent Mission Critical Communications article where he correctly stated the real cause of failure for interoperable communications.  A copy of that article is available by clicking here.

Mr. Johnson's views reflect the frustrations of many of us in the industry.  In the politest of terms, Mr. Johnson hits the nail on the head.  The reason interoperability has failed is lack of oversight and administration by the responsible federal and state agencies, greed and self interest by manufacturers and their distribution channels, and lack of knowledge by user agencies.

Those who have tried to correct the mistakes in the marketplace have been stonewalled, ridiculed, and persecuted. The people who have worked so hard in establishing P25 interoperability with open standards have been received no support from government, the communications industry, or even those who would benefit by open competition. 

Thank you Mr. Johnson for telling the APCO side of the story.  You deserve a Bouquet.  As for the manufacturers and dealers who have ignored the common good of this country for individual gain, I bestow upon you, the Brickbat award!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Desktop monitor for fire stations and public alerting

Got a call the other day from a 911 Director looking for alternative products suitable for use as fixed station monitors.  Some folks use the Minitor V with the amplified charger and external antenna connector.  Others use the our 2TR9.  Both have their limitations. Neither can monitor more than 4 page codes. Our user wanted to monitor 8 frequencies with two different codes per channel. So much for Minitor V and the 2TR9!

The TM-610 Scanning Page Monitor with an AC wall power module can do the job and it’s only $325 programmed and ready to go with your choice of VHF or UHF.  The 5 watt audio from the internal speaker is much better than the 2 watt output of the 2TR9 or 2.5 watts for the Minitor V audio amplifier charger.  The warranty is better too!  2 years versus 1 year for the Minitor V or 2TR9.

Here’s some more good news!  The TM-610 is capable of receiving text messages using the popular MDC-1200 messaging system and it has an external audio output for connection to a PA system amplifier.  A 13 watt high power remote speaker is optionally available for only $74 additional.

If you are looking for the best, and most affordable fixed station monitor, look no further than Falcon Direct!  For more information, give us a call at 800.489.2611 or drop us an email to  We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!