Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are analog radios "old fashioned"?

We sometimes wonder if firefighters would be using $3,000 digital portables without the massive infusion of federal grant funds, in particular, when we know that analog works better on the fire scene! We had an unusual request the other day.  An EDACS equipped Fire Department was at a cross roads.  The old EDACS (GE, Ericsson, MA/COM, Harris) system was getting very expensive to maintain and an upgrade was going to be very costly.  

The department was looking at a choice of upgrading to 700 MHz P25 system or simply purchasing batteries and repairing their old radios. There was some resistance on the part of fire department operations personnel to switch to “another” digital radio system or pouring good money after bad for maintaining expensive and obsolete radios. Neither of the alternatives appeared to be a good solution.

They had learned through experience that all digital radio systems are based on the use of a converter (Vocoder) to translate analog voice to digital.  In that process, the Vocoder cannot adequately distinguish the difference between a human voice, a siren, the noise of an air pack, or a pump.  In reality, analog works better for firefighters on the scene and the fact is they don’t need a two or three thousand dollar radio for fire ground communications.

The bottom line is that our firefighter friends had a third option!  They chose to purchase brand new portable radios that work very well for about the same price as a BATTERY for their “mission critical dispatch radios”!  We suspect that may be the case with other fire departments as well – maybe YOU!

To make our point, we have prepared a new report on three of our top selling analog radios priced at UNDER $150.  You might find this to be of interest.  It’s easy enough to find out if this would be a good solution for you, just click here!

BTW, for all you folks that have been looking at affordable alternatives for upgrading to digital, we thought you might like to know that we now offer a MotoTRBO/Analog compatible portable for LESS than $300!  For more information, just click here!

Photo courtesy of the Verona NJ Fire Department