Thursday, March 27, 2014

Everybody Ought To Own A BlueBox!

In a single day, two of our customers had a repeater go down. One was a Motorola, the other was a Midland. Both of them suffered a transmitter failure, a very rare issue. Neither customer had a spare, but both situations were mission critical. So, how did we get them back on the air?  With a BlueBox! So what is a BlueBox you may ask?

The BlueBox is many things to many people.  It can be a mobile repeater to extend the range of portables, a range extender to make up for lost coverage in rural areas, as a control link between widely separated base stations, as a cross band repeater to bridge VHF or UHF analog radios to digital radios (DMR, NXDN or P25), conventional or trunked, in the  150, 450, 700 or 800 MHz bands.  And now it can serve as a repeater fixer!

Here's what we did to take care of our two mission critical customers.  Both were back on the air within hours after the reported failure.  One of the users brought his repeater in to us.  The other requested on site service.  In both cases the repeater was not field repairable. We simply took a mobile radio on the users frequency, connected the BlueBox, and programmed the BlueBox to act as a repeater receiver and the mobile as the transmitter.

We charged the users a small 30 day rental fee so they would have something to use while their repeaters went back to the factory.  When the repeaters are repaired and returned, the BlueBox temporary repeater can be returned or we will apply the rental cost to the cost of the BlueBox repeater which is LESS than a thousand dollars including an AC power supply!

If you would like to know more about the BlueBox and what it can do for you, click here! Or, better yet, just give us a call at 800.489.2611 and let us tell you to be ready for an emergency BEFORE it happens! BTW, speaking of service and emergencies, and things like that, click here for a very interesting alternative for keeping repeaters up and running.......

8.6 Billion in 2013 Grant Funds Remain Unspent

In earlier posts, we noted that significant amounts of 2013 federal grant money remains unspent.  We now know that the the amount is 8.6 billion dollars.  We recently provided suggestions to law enforcement agencies in Alabama and Mississippi with recommendations for funding requests that might be approved.  Obviously, there are other opportunities, in particular for our No Time For Crime program.

The following is an excerpt from a recent article published on line by RadioResource  Media Group that may be of interest to our law enforcement readers:

From the Office of Violence Against Women, the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program specify that the money must be used for something related to domestic assault/violence and/or stalking. However, how agencies choose to use the funding is up to them and can include procuring new technologies that relate directly to the grant, but can be used for other day-to-day purposes as well. One other potential grant opportunity is unspent funds from previous years. In 2013, DHS announced that there was $8.6 billion in unspent funds, and put specific parameters on how to apply.

The content of the full article is available by clicking here.  Another article by the same magazine provides additional information on the 2014 grant programs.  Click here for more information. Suffice it to say that funds remaining from prior years should be spent before new funding is distributed. 

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with municipal government officials to discuss ways that we can work together to make America's cities great places to live, work, and play. Additional information on our services is available by calling 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to 
Photo and article excerpt courtesy of RadioResource Media Group

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Alabama DHS Ready for 700 MHz Report

Our readers will recall an advisory reporting of possibly missing a Department of Homeland Security deadline requiring all States to provide or be prepared to provide substantial 700 MHz service to at least one-third of the population by June 13th of this year. Click here for a copy of that advisory.

At that time, only two Alabama counties were known to have operational 700 MHz radios systems (Baldwin with a population of 190,790 and Madison with a population of 340,080).  We have now learned that Alabama will apparently be in compliance with this mandate since Etowah county is expected to be operational shortly. This will add another 100,355 for a total population served of 634,235.

I never was too good in math, but according to my calculations, the population of the State is 4,822,000 which divided by 3 equals 1,607,300.  Based on these calculations, Alabama has less than half of the required population served, even if Etowah county comes on line in a timely manner.  Does this mean Alabama will be able to more than double the number currently served in less than four months when it has taken over six years to attain a number of less than half the requirements?

Attendees at he Wireless Communications Commission for Alabama were recently advised that contrary to the comments of "a vendor", that Alabama DHS indeed would meet the June 13th deadline. Details of how this would be done have not been forthcoming at this time. 

New SiteAlert II can reduce police response time by up to 80%!

If you've ever wondered.......

why so many burglars and robbers get away, it's because the premises are not protected by a security system, or when protected by a security system; the delays associated with the reporting process through the phone system, the alarm call center, and 911 before an officer receives the call.

The average response time for an officer to arrive on the scene after detection of a burglar or a call button activation in a robbery situation is ten minutes.  The average time for completion of a crime of burglary or robbery is four minutes. That's the problem!

A possible solution is to add a device known as SiteAlert II, which can send a message directly over the police radio system.  The result is a typical reduction in response time from ten minutes to two minutes or less!

SiteAlert II simply connects to your existing security system for a one time cost of only $499.  There are no monthly fees and your security alarm contractor can connect it in just a few minutes and we will give you a $100 allowance to pay for having it installed!

SiteAlert II can be mounted anywhere with no AC power required (It can operate for up to one year with six internal AA batteries.  It even tells you when the batteries should be replaced and it has an emergency call button built right in.  A quick push of the red button bypasses everything to send an emergency call for assistance!

For a demonstration, just call us at 800.489.2611 or email

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Hytera Low Cost Wall Mount Analog/DMR IP Connectable Repeater Announced!

America's newest, low priced DMR repeater has been announced by Hytera.  The RD622 provides both analog and DMR digital capability in a compact wall mount cabinet and you have have up to 16 CTCSS codes in the analog mode to separate user groups.  No need for an external power supply - it's built in!  If you need a duplexer, that can be built in as well.

And, if you need power and reliability, the RD622 provides up to 25 watts of continuous power output with automatic battery backup switching.  If you need to extend range, just add the firmware upgrade for IP connectivity. So what does all this cost?  Just $1,903, even less for those who qualify for GSA pricing.  Everything is included with free programming on the frequency of your choice anywhere in the 400 to 470 MHz range as well as shipping anywhere in the USA.

If you want the optional internal duplexer, add just $357.  If you want optional IP connectivity, just add the IP connectivity option for only $334. For more information on the RD622, click here or give us a call at 800.489.2611.  For more information on Hytera radio products, please visit

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The difference between Tetra and everything else

TETRA is an interoperable wireless integrated work flow management system - Everything else, including Analog, DMR, NXDN, and P25 systems are just 2-way radios.

So why do we say this?   Simple!  Everything else was designed for voice communications! TETRA was designed for voice AND data communications with 4 to 1 channel efficiency versus 2 to 1 channel efficiency for DMR and Phase 2 P25. The features that cost extra in other systems, like GPS, and Man Down capability are standard with TETRA. Additionally, integration with SCADA and advanced touch screen dispatch consoles are available that follow, select, and administer individuals and work groups.

TETRA is scalable to meet both current and future needs whether you are starting with a single site or looking at metro, county, regional, or even international coverage.  And, speaking of international support, TETRA is used in over 120 countries around the world and it is based on open standard architecture. Every TETRA radio, regardless of manufacturer, can talk to every other TETRA radio. No other mission critical communications system can offer this capability, including analog!

So maybe you've heard that TETRA is expensive compared to other technologies. Well think again! While it is true that TETRA is not your best choice for just a few radios, it is equally true that a few radios can be be served by a TETRA network at a cost comparable to DMR or NXDN.  Larger system users (250 units or more) with city or county wide coverage requirements can enjoy the benefits of TETRA radios costing approximately half that of P25 radios WITH INFRASTRUCTURE COST INCLUDED! And did we forget to mention that TETRA portables can operate in the full duplex telephone mode?

So if YOU are thinking about a new radio system, even if you are a small user, you need to be looking at TETRA!  For additional information on TETRA, just click here!  We'll be glad to tell you all about TETRA products, by Hytera, America's largest TETRA system provider.  Better yet, just give us a call at 205.854.2611. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hytera Now On GSA Contract With Digital Portables Priced Under $285!

Hytera products now available on GSA Contract at incredible savings!

Government users have long used the GSA contract to save money and expedite the purchase process.  When we say government, we mean federal, state, county, and municipal, along with first responder organizations - both paid and volunteer.  If you've been looking for top quality products meeting Six Sigma and MIL-SPEC standards, consider Hytera - the second largest communications manufacturer in the world!

The pricing is incredible! For example, qualified purchasers can acquire a new DMR digital portable for UNDER $285!  The complete Hytera GSA contract is available by clicking  here. Prices start on page 18.  Comparable discounts are extended on accessories not listed on the GSA Contract.  Prices are available by clicking here.

If you would like to know more about the Hytera GSA contract offerings, just give us a call at 800.489.2611.  If you would like to know more about us, and our special capabilities, please visit our special Hytera web site. Here, you can learn about the complete line of analog radios as well as the new TETRA system for transportation and utility users.  In wireless communications, the name to know is Hytera from Falcon Wireless!