Hytera’s New Remote Video Microphone Range

Companies known for producing traditional two way radios are, for what it seems, forever releasing new and improved products to keep up with modern technology. Hytera have recently taken a plunge and entered into the body-worn camera market, releasing 4 different cameras with a range of accessories to boot.

Continuing to become a much needed requirement for a variety of working environments, instant radio communications allow for workers to continue operating both safely and efficiently. In recent years there has been a shift within certain industries highlighting the deterrence of crime whilst also collecting evidence to bring conviction towards guilty parties. Up until recently there has been a lack of products that were directly compatible with two way radios for video recording purposes, but now with the release of Hytera’s Remote Video Microphone (RVM) it has bridged the gap.

The Hytera RVMs are designed to perform two vital roles with the obvious being to capture, store and share vital evidence collected whilst working and secondly to be integrated seamlessly with Hytera two way radios as a remote speaker microphone. Built to perform in the harshest of weather environments, the lowest Ingres protection rating that you will find on any of these Hytera products is IP67 meaning that not only is the radio completely protected against dust intrusion but also is submergible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

The 4 different camera’s that are available are named the VM550, VM550D, VM685 and VM780. All differing in shape, size and functionality each RVM have been designed to use with certain two way radios apart from the VM780 which doubles up as a PoC radio. The VM550, VM550D and VM685 can be used with Hyteras PD6, PD7, PD9, PT580H, PDC/PTC760 and X1 radio ranges.

Hytera VM550

The fact that the VM550 model is the most basic RVM camera that Hytera have released speaks wonders for the quality of the range. Capable of recording in both 720 and 1080P, with up to 60 frames per second in the former and 30 frames per second with the latter this will provide exceptional video quality to ensure that the target of your recording will be clear to view.

Standing at just 86.5mm in height, 58mm in width and 25.7mm in depth whilst weighing just 145g when the battery is attached the VM550 is extremely compact and lightweight. Aesthetically there are many physical features that help with usability for the operator, from programmable buttons to the 5344 x 3000 pixel fixed HD camera. Due to the VM550 doubling up as a remote speaker microphone there is a textured push to talk button on the left hand side of the radio, this allows for quick access to communications should your connected radio be kept at your hip. Below the PTT button are both a button to begin video recording and to capture an image should you need a still of the ongoing situation. An emergency button on the right hand side of the radio will allow for an alert to be sent to radios within your network should you be in trouble, these cameras are most effective when used as a security feature and should a safety issue arise this button will allow for your colleagues to act fast should you be in trouble.

Alongside the many tech features that the camera holds there is also a screen present on top of the VM550. A lattice 0.9” OLED black and white display shows call signs and current battery life to the operator, letting them know should there be any issues with recordings or when the camera is close to dying due to a low battery. The VM550 is supplied as standard with a 2500mh battery, this allows for up to 7 hours of continuous use whilst also being able to remain in standby mode for up to 250 hours.

Hytera VM550D

We’ll keep this section short and sweet due to the VM550D being a slightly upgraded version of the previously mentioned VM550. The D version of this camera/remote speaker microphone replaces the 0.9” OLED top display with a 2” display on the rear of the unit, this allowing for you to view any images or videos you have taken moments after it has happened. Other call signs that are displayed on the screen of the VM550D include the time, battery percentage and current connectivity status.

Hytera VM685

The VM685 is one of the more advanced RVMs that Hytera have released. With a completely different look to the previously mentioned VM550 and VM550D, the VM685 still has a similarly small stature. Standing at a slightly larger 106.55mm in height, 60mm in width and 24mm in depth whilst weighing 170g.

The camera unit within the VM685 is capable of high quality recording with a fixed focus (0.1m – Infinity). Recording at 720P at up to 60 frames per second and 1080P up to 30 frames per second, the VM685 has a 16 Megapixel camera providing crystal clear video and images. The attached lens is 180° rotatable meaning that it can record at a variety of angles with 140° diagonal, 106° horizontal and 78° vertical. Due to the capability in movement of the camera this allows for simple positioning of the camera, meaning that should you be in a compromised position with a simple turn your camera can be angled to see exactly what you’re seeing.

The VM685 comes as standard with a 2500mAh battery that will allow for up to 8 hours of continuous use whilst also being able to be placed into standby mode for up to 250 hours. The 8 hours of continuous recording that the BP2501 Li-Poly battery provides to the VM685 will be more than sufficient to cover the average working shift of the operator. Should you require additional hours on top of the 8 hours supplied by a single battery a secondary battery can be purchased for easy change over. Although not to worry as a second charger won’t need to be purchased, this due to a secondary slot on the RVM’s pod charger that allows for the charging of a battery on its own.

Hytera VM780

The VM780 differs massively from any other RVM that Hytera have released. Doubling up as a push to talk over cellular radio, due to this the VM780 doesn’t require an external two-way radio for communications. A SIM card slot allows for connection to already set up 3G/4G cellular networks, meaning that no matter where in the world you and your colleagues are providing there is coverage your communications will be sent and received instantly. With the VM780 also operating as a PoC radio a higher capacity battery is required, supplied as standard with a large 3500mAh battery this will allow for up to 9 hours of operating time to ensure that more than a usual working shift can be covered.

Pretty much doubling up as a mobile phone, the VM780 has a 2.8” 240 x 320 QVGA touch screen that will allow for navigation through various menus and options. In a similar fashion to a mobile phone the VM780 has a bar running across the screen that displays pieces of information such as Bluetooth, time, battery status and signal strength for both WiFi and cellular. The home screen can be adapted to display applications that you require quick access too, allowing for simple and efficient usage. The screen can also act as a monitor to view both current and previous recordings, this allowing for playback of an incident instantly whilst still images can be viewed so that a person of interests appearance can be viewed repeatedly without having to look through endless footage.

A massive feature difference between the VM780 and the other VMR’s within the range is the fact that this model can live media stream. When used in collaboration with the HyTalk application this will allow for a live feed of both audio and video to any location you would like. This can be effectively used in situations where a large crowd needs to be monitored, with a second team monitoring a live feed they are able to look for people committing crimes or offences without the ground staff having to move away from their current position to deal with a situation, this can help with the application of justice in both the short and long term.

The VM780 has a 16 Megapixel camera that is capable of recording in both 720P at 60 frames per second and 1080P at 30 frames. Recording up to a distance 10 meters when in low lighting environments the VM780 can be used just as effectively whether during daylight or night time. The camera itself doesn’t actually remain stationary, a 216° rotatable lens (116° diagonal, 101° horizontal, 57° vertical) means that the user can angle the camera to wherever they see fit, ensuring that even at the most awkward of angles no important pieces of video evidence will be missed.

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DMR Radio Comparison- Hytera, Motorola & Kenwood

Kenwood, Hytera and Motorola are some of the largest companies to provide us with two-way radios and each of them have their own popular DMR radio. Kenwood’s most popular DMR radio is the TK-D240/340. Hytera has the PD405 and Motorola has the famous DP1400.

First lets start with the Kenwood TK-D240/340. They are both exactly the same in every way except the 240 is VHF and the 340 is UHF. All the features and physical attributes are identical. Both radios stand at 122mm tall, 54mm wide and 34mm in depth meaning it is designed to fit in the user’s hand comfortably. It is thinner than most radios which makes reaching around the radio to other buttons much easier. The TK-D’s only weigh 285g which is pretty light for a taller radio. Looking at features the user has many to choose from. 32 channels comes as standard with both radios through two zones and channel scanning can be used to scan through all the channels in use to hear the next incoming transmission. Rating IP55, the TK-D’s can withstand dust and has limited protection against water. Lone worker is also available to be programmed which allows the user to work safely when working alone. Should the user’s radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time an alarm will sound. If  the user does not respond to the alarm in a set time then an alert will go out to their fleet, notifying them that they are potentially injured or unsafe while working alone. This can work great for many different work environments like a warehouse or as security. Transmit interrupt is available which allows the user to interrupt any on going transmissions in an emergency to notify the fleet. This works well when the channels are busy and there is an emergency. This feature is usually programmed into the supervisors radio as only one or two users may need this feature. CTCSS and DCS prevents unwanted transmissions and digital transmissions from reaching your TK-D340, this can be useful on a construction site where you may have to listen closely to instructions for safety. As well as this, busy channel lock out will also block some transmissions out when the frequency appears or is in use. The user’s receiver could could be receiving another signal but it is muted due to squelch settings. The TK-D240/340 has the time out feature which will electronically prevent the PTT button from being used if it is held down for a long period of time. This stops any damages to the user’s radio and it means that all commands and transmissions should be short and simple.` If the user wishes to talk to someone personally then direct mode is available. This will allow someone to talk directly to a member of their fleet personally to discuss anything private or sensitive. There are many other features available and a great digital feature is the fact that the TK-D’s enables the user to have to separate conversations on the same channel frequency. As we can see the TK-D340 and TK-D240 have many great features available and it is incredibly clever. It is cost effective and can be used in many different ways.

The next radio we will be looking at is one of Hytera’s most favoured radios, the PD405. This radio is much more cost effective than most entry level DMR radios but does it match and keep up with it’s competitors in productivity? The Hytera PD405 stands at 112mm tall, 54mm wide and 28mm so it is a similar in size to the Kenwood TK-D240/340. Weighing 240g the PD405 is lighter than the famous Kenwood radio making it even more comfortable in hand. UHF and VHF is available with this radio meaning it can be used in any work place in any environment. There are many features available with the PD405 that can be used to create more efficient work, better communication and greater safety in the workplace. This radio comes with 16 channels that can be used as analogue, digital or a mix of the two (hybrid). DMR signalling is present which betters the quality of the audio and the connectivity between radios. VOX is available which allows the user to activate transmissions without the need to press the PTT button. Once the user begins to talk the radio will automatically begin to send a transmission. This works amazingly well with compatible earpieces and remote speaker microphones. Lone worker is available meaning this radio can be used for user’s working alone. An emergency button can be programmed into one of the programmable buttons. Once this is pressed an alarm will be sent to the whole fleet which will notify them all of an emergency. This feature can be used as an alarm to evacuate the premises or to keep employees away from a certain area or situation. Roaming is available which allows the user to switch between sites on multi-site conventional systems giving flexible communication between the fleet. There are not many other features available for this radio. The important features are included but it is not quite as accessible as the TK-D240/340 but the PD405 is  much more affordable.

The final radio that I’m going to talk about is one of the most famous radios released and has been at the top of the market since it was released. Motorola’s DP1400. Coming with UHF or VHF this radio can be used in any environment from farming in open fields to security in a city. This radio is affordable and it comes with so many features to make work life even more easier and safe. It stands at 127mm tall, 61mm wide and 42mm in depth making it he largest out of three radios I’ve spoken about. But imagine it is just holding in so much potential! A lot goes into this radio and although it is that little bit larger, it does fit comfortably in hand. The DP1400 can also come in different colours when buying from Radiotronics for an additional cost. Rating IP54 the DP1400 can withstand dust and it has limited protection against water. 16 channels comes as standard and channel scanning can be implemented to allow the user to hear the next incoming transmission from any channel. CTCSS and DCS is present which will block out any unwanted analogue or digital transmissions from reaching the user’s radio. Lone worker can be programmed for those who work alone. VOX is available for anyone wishing to communicate easily and quickly without the need to use their hands. Transmit interrupt is available for emergency announcements to the whole fleet. So the DP1400 has the main features that the TK-D240/340 and the PD405 have but there are many other features like busy channel lock out, digital private line, talkaround, audio gain control available. This radio is more advanced than the others which is why it is so popular in many different countries around the world. It is in the middle for price with these three radios but as it has so many features it could easily have been the most expensive. The voice quality and connectivity is very clear and it does not sound robotic like at all. The connectivity is also great because of the DMR signalling. The DP1400 is easy to use in many different ways in many different work environments and can make a huge difference in any work place. Motorola know how to get the public’s appreciation with a great radio that is also affordable. Many accessories are available with this radio including remote speaker microphones, headsets, earpieces and carry cases whereas with the PD405 there are limited accessories available. The best thing about Motorola radios is that they are built to last. The DP1400 is incredibly robust and will last an incredibly long time.

To summarise we have the very technically advanced TK-D240/340 which is a very strong and reliable radio. There is the more affordable Hytera PD405 that has the important features and we have the Motorola DP1400 which is greatly reliable because of how robust it is.

If you wish to see the comprehensive video talking about this topic and actually seeing the radios in hand then click then see below.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Icom Incorporated

This blog post is a part of our recent “Pick of The Bunch” series. You may have seen these blogs on this website or via our weekly newsletter (You can sign up for this here!) and although they are extremely long and factual (Some people may call it boring), we have covered a range of radios from manufacturers such as Motorola, Kenwood and Hytera.

Icom are our chosen brand for this weeks blog, they are a Japanese company that specialises in the manufacturing of radio equipment. A brand that you may very well be aware of, Icom has been a popular choice for many industries within the UK for a number of years. No matter what type of radio you are looking for whether it be a simple black box or a more complex feature rich ATEX two-way radio there is an Icom option for you.

Similarly to Kenwood, Icom’s way of differentiating a radios frequency band is via the product name. Using the IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 as an example, the former is a VHF radio whereas the latter is a UHF radio, this wildly different from let’s say a Motorola radio. Whereby both UHF and VHF is covered under the same name, for example the Motorola DP1400. For clarity, throughout this blog post I will be talking about both radios by using the UHF (Ex. IC-F2000) product name.

Icom IC-F1000/IC-F2000

As I mentioned this radio in the previous paragraph I will begin with the Icom IC-F2000. This is by far the most popular choice that we at Radiotronics supply due to its many variations. In total there are 6 different models of this radio available to choose from including the IC-F2000 black box model, the IC-F2000S full display and 4-key keypad model and finally the most advanced IC-F2000T that has both a full display and full keypad. All radios are available with both UHF and VHF frequencies.

All models in the IC-F2000 series of radios are built tough, this being a key factor as to why they’re so popular, meaning that they can be used in almost every working environment with the exception of industries such as coal mining or nuclear power where an ATEX radio would be required. IP67 protection rating ensures that the IC-F2000 radios not only have a full Ingres against dust intrusion, but are also fully submergible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This alongside being put through various tests to ensure it meets military standard (MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G). These military standards ensure that the IC-F2000 range can continue operating in a wide range of environmental conditions, ranging from snow and sleet at -30°C through to extreme heat in sandstorms and such at 50°C. The military protection rating also ensures that the IC-F2000 is protected against shock and vibrations.

There are many features available to be programmed into the IC-F2000 radios, each with their own way of helping to improve both safety and efficiency within the workplace. Starting simple, every IC-F2000 can be programmed to make use of a channel announcement feature. This is ideal should you be working in an environment that has minimal lighting, when the user changes channel the channel number will be announced by the radio to ensure that the user is transmitting on the correct channel at all times. These announcements are heard from, the IC-F2000 has a large forward facing 36mm speaker giving off an impressive 800mW audio power. This comes in alongside a built-in bridged-mono transformer-less BTL amplifier, delivering loud and intelligible audio even in the loudest of working environments ensuring that a transmission is never missed.

The IC-F2000 has a built in motion sensor that is used to detect its current position, state of motion or non-motion and is capable of sending an emergency signal should an operative be in danger. The motion sensor can also be used in collaboration with advanced features that are available to be programed into the radio such as Man Down and Lone Worker. These features are designed with worker safety in mind, the former monitoring the radios orientation and the latter monitoring activity levels of the radio. How both of these work is explained below.

Lone Worker: This feature monitors the activity levels of the radio. Should the radio be inactive for a pre-programmed period of time an alert will be sent to the user, if this alert is still not responded to then a high priority alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that the radio user may be in trouble, allowing for fast action to be taken.

Man Down
: Working similarly to the previously mentioned Lone Worker, Man Down monitors orientation rather than activity levels. As suggested by the name should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-programmed period of time then an alert will be sent to the user, if unresponsive then an alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that their colleague may be at risk.

All versions of the IC-F2000 are supplied as standard with a BP-279 1485mAh Li-Ion battery. A waterproof battery, the BP-279 will supply your IC-F2000 with up to 14 hours of operating time when the radio is used with the power save function activated.

Finally we will discuss the dimensions of all three versions of the IC-F2000 and some accessories that can be purchased to help with usability. Standing at 111.8mm in height, 52.2mm and 24.5mm the IC-F2000 range is relatively compact, and although the F2000S and F2000T have aesthetical differences such as screens and keypads they remain the same size as the black box design of the F2000. Weighing in at just 240g even when the BP-279 battery is attached makes the radio lightweight compared to many other radios that are on the market, this ensuring that it will cause minimal strain on the user should they be carrying it via a belt clip, carry case or wrist strap.

There are many accessories that can be used with the IC-F2000 including batteries, antennas, chargers, earpieces and microphones. Although the radio is supplied as standard with the BP-279 1485mAh Li-Ion battery there are many other options available when purchasing. Both genuine and aftermarket Radiotronics batteries can be purchased, ranging from the lower capacity 1180mAh Icom BP-278 battery through to the highest capacity Icom BP-280 2280mAh Li-Ion battery. The only Radiotronics battery that we offer is the 1500mAh Li-Ion BP279LI. With any radio you’re obviously going to need a charger, options available include single pod chargers (BC213) and multi chargers (BC-214, UK6WAY). The single pod chargers can be used in a vehicle when used with the MB130 charger bracket and CP23L cigar lighter power supply.

Icom IC-F29DR

We will now be talking about Icom’s premier licence free radio the IC-F29DR. This radio is digital DMR446 meaning that for a licence free radio the sound quality is exceptional. There is an analogue equivalent of this radio in the IC-F29SR but we will solely be focusing on the DR version in this blog.

Being a digital radio the IC-F29DR is also capable of talking with analogue licence free radios. When programming the radio it is possible to program 8 analogue and 8 digital channels, this meaning that should you have existing PMR446 radios then your new DMR446 can still communicate with them until they have been removed from circulation. Should you be communicating using any of the analogue channels obviously as the distance between radios increases the sound quality will worsen, but the sound projected when using digital channels will be crystal clear until maximum range has been reached, this in part due to the large 36mm 800mW speaker located on the front of the radio.

Usually when looking at licence free radios they commonly have low Ingres protection ratings, due mainly to them being used as toys or for leisure purposes and not in working environments. What makes the IC-F29DR stand out is the fact it has an IP67 rating. This rating not only ensures that the radio is completely protected against the intrusion of dust, but can also be submerged in water that is 1-meter-deep for up to 30 minutes. Although it wouldn’t be recommended to use a licence free radio when working due to a limited distance coverage, should you be adamant that you want one then the IC-F29DR is more than capable enough of dealing with the rigors of working a construction site.

There are many internal features with the IC-F29DR that help with usability for the operator. When using the radio with the optional HS-94LWP or HS-95LWP VOX Voice Activation allows for the radio to be used hands free should it be needed. Being able to simply speak and your message be transmitted, without having to press the PTT button, allows for users in working environments or partaking in leisure activities where both hands are required to still have adequate communications. This feature also works in louder environments, so should there be a lot of noise where you are then there is no need to worry as the microphone will only pick up on your voice and not the environment around you, this due to the technology within the headsets.

With the IC-F29DR being licence free you would presume that it would be easy to use, and you would be right. For a radio so rugged the operation is extremely simple, this because there are just three main controls… Transmit, volume and channel selection. The simplicity of this radio means that it is ideal for use in working environments where a high turnover of staff is expected or less advanced safety features are required.

Icom IP501H

On the Radiotronics blog website we have often ranted and raved about the introduction of cellular technologies to the two way radio market. Icom released their cellular radio in 2017 named the IP501H, and for a device so small in stature it certainly packs a punch.

As I mentioned it in the opening paragraph of this section let’s get right into the dimensions of the IP501H. The radio stands at just 95mm in height, 59mm in width, 32mm in depth and has a weight of just 240g* means that the IP501H is relatively tiny in size compared to some competing radios in the marketplace. Usually at this point I would say at this point that the low weight means that the radio can be carried stress free to the user via a belt clip or wrist strap, but due to the dimensions and weight mentioned that’s a fairly obvious point to make.

*When standard BP-272 battery is attached.

A running theme with the previously mentioned Icom radios and the IP501H is the IP67 Ingres protection rating. Although it has been mentioned twice before this rating not only ensures that the radio has a full resistance to dust intrusion, but it also confirms that the radio can be full submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. With this IP rating and the radios industrial look and feel, the IP501H would look like it belonged in a variety of working environments. Although commonly used in transportation companies due to the radios unlimited range, the IP501H could be used on constructions sites whether that be for a single site or to connect sites cross country.

Due to the IP501H operating using cellular signals to transmit, this also brings the added bonus of GPS capabilities. Location tracking can be activated when your system uses the Icom UK RMS-Net dispatch solution with this software also providing benefits such as IP Repeater Connection, Radio Recording and Complex Call Routing. Location tracking is a great feature to have should you be using features such as Man Down and Lone Worker with your radios, allowing for the potentially injured worker to be found quickly. If you want to see the full description of how MD and LW work then you can see this in the IC-F2000 section of this blog post.

There are many features that the user of the IP501H will benefit from. Starting with calling features the radio has the ability to perform individual, group and all calls. Fairly simple to gather from the names an individual call allows for a private call to be made from one radio to another, group allows for multiple radios to be contacted and all calls are used to contact every radio within the network. Priority interrupt is classed as an all call, this allowing for a transmission of high priority to interrupt any ongoing conversations to relay an important message, usually used in emergency situations. The IP501H can also make use of a vibrate alert function, this ideal should your work need to remain covert.

A 500 memory address book allows for you to quickly find the person or persons you are wishing to contact, the IP501H is able to store individual and groups whilst also having the ability to store telephones. Not only can you contact the user you need via PTT, you can also send and receive pre-programmed text messages with the IP501H. Common messages that Radiotronics have previously programmed include “Arrived at Location” and “Job Complete”.

Finally a note on an accessory feature, although there are many accessories available to use with the IP501H to help with usability for the operator there is one, technically two, that stand out. Should you purchase the BC-218 charger cradle and the HM-215 Remote Speaker Microphone, due to the IP501H Bluetooth abilities this allows for the radio to be used even when charging due to the RSM being wireless. As long as you are within Bluetooth connectivity distance you can still use your radio as though it was at your side, this can even be done when the radio isn’t in its charger.

Icom IC-F3202DEX/IC-F4202DEX

Because of their appearance ATEX models are usually one of the radios a first time customer will ask about, but ATEX radios are actually only needed in highly dangerous working environments. Before we get into talking about the IC-F4202DEX’s features and functions, I previously mentioned that these radios are for use in dangerous environments. In order for the radio to be used in these environments they need to pass certain specifications and certifications, the codes of which can be found bellow.

ATEX Certifications
Mining : I M2 Ex ib I Mb
Gas : II 2G Ex ib IIC T4 Gb
Dust : II 2D Ex ib IIIC T110°C Db –20°C≤Ta≤+55°C
EN 60079-0 (2012), EN 60079-11 (2012)

IEC Certifications
Mining : Ex ib I Mb
Gas : Ex ib IIC T4 Gb
Dust : Ex ib IIIC T110°C Db –20°C≤Ta≤+55°C
IEC 60079-0 (2011), IEC 60079-11 (2011)

The IC-F4202DEX is Icoms flagship ATEX radio. Commonly with other brands I would be typing now about how this ATEX radio has a much higher IP rating than the others mentioned in the blog, but due to this being Icom this radio has the already high IP67. We don’t need to go over this in too much detail as It has been mentioned 3 times previously, but what this means is that the radio has a full Ingres protection against dust whilst also being submergible in water.

Due to the fact that the IC-F4202DEX is designed for dangerous working environments there are many safety features present. The previously mentioned Man Down and Lone Worker are a possibility, this alongside an emergency button to instantly alert other members of the workforce that you could potentially be in trouble. The Icom IC-F4202DEX also has VOX capabilities, this will allow for the radio to be used hands free when used with compatible accessories. VOX stands for Voice activation allowing for the user to simply speak and their message will be transmitted, this is a feature that is most effectively used in environments where use of the hands is an absolutely necessity, and not in workplaces where the feature would be seen as a novelty as it decreases the sound quality of transmissions.

These radios are very complex and are only required in dangerous working environments. Should you want to learn more about the IC-F4202DEX then you can check out our product page for this and the VHF IC-F3202DEX.

All radios mentioned in this blog post are available to view on the Radiotronics website, should you wish to learn more about any of them you can check out the website here or give our sales team a call on the following number to discuss any queries – 01425 533 533.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Kenwood Communications

Our “Pick of The Bunch” blog series are written to help you get a better understanding of the two way radios available from the world’s leading manufacturers. In this week’s blog we will be talking about the options available from Kenwood, although you may be used to hearing the name Kenwood when talking about car stereo equipment, they also supply some of the best two way radios currently available on the market.

A vast array of radios are available from the Japanese manufacturers, no matter the environment that you are working in Kenwood will have an option for you. Unlike other manufacturers Kenwood’s radio’s aren’t a single product with the option for UHF or VHF, how Kenwood works is the attribute an odd or even number at the start of the product name with odd being UHF and even being VHF. An example of this would be the Kenwood TK-D340 is UHF and TK-D240 is VHF.

Kenwood TK-3401D

The first radio that we are going to be taking a look into is the licence free TK-3401D. Using DMR446 frequencies the TK-3401D is ideal for a variety of working environments these including businesses that offer services such as hospitality, leisure activities and education. With the radio being licence free the TK-3401D as suggested doesn’t require a licence, this saving cost but with a downside to this being that the radios will not transmit as far as many of the other radios that we will be talking about in this blog post due to power limitations.

Exceptional sound quality is both transmitted and received due to both an AMBE+2TE vocoder for audio input whilst a BTL audio amplifier provides 1.5W output both with minimal delay. The TK-3401D also has VOX capabilities, this allowing for hands free usage of the radio should it be required within your working environment. When used with compatible VOX accessories should the user be completing work that requires both hands or be unable to reach for their radio, voice activation will allow for the user to simply speak and their message will be transmitted on their current channel. Something to keep in mind though is that this function needs to be activated when programming the radio, it won’t just work right out of the box unless stated to your supplier you require this feature.

The TK-3401D comes as standard with a 2000mAh Li-Ion battery. With the battery being high capacity it allows for the radio to work for up to 18 hours, thus meaning that no matter the work or activity you are partaking in the battery should be more than sufficient to last. Should the radio begin to run low on charge though, a low battery warning notifies the user that their communications may be about to cut short, allowing ample time for the user to get the radio back on charge or to replace the battery with a spare. Should this not be an option, there is also a battery saver mode that reduces transmitting power and allows for the radio to continue operating for a brief period of time.

Built to IP55 standards means that the TK-3401D has a limited protection against dust intrusion whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water. Tied in with its black box design not only does the TK-3401D look rugged it backs it up with its IP rating. Operation of the radio remains simple in line with all models available from Kenwood. The face of the radio has both the speaker and microphone whilst the top of the radio is home to the antenna, tri-colour LED for status updates, channel selector knob and also a volume/power knob.

Kenwood TK-D240/TK-D340

The TK-D240 and TK-D340 are digital two way radios from Kenwood, with the latter being UHF and former VHF, these are the most popular current Kenwood two way radios on the market. Depending on the environment you will be working in, this will decide what frequency band is best for you. Should you be working in built up areas such as a city then UHF will be the best choice, but should you be working in wide open lands such as farm sites then VHF is what we would recommend. To avoid confusion, throughout this section of the blog I will be referring to both radios as the TK-D340.

This is yet another radio that takes on the common black box design, the TK-D340 is rugged yet simple to use making it an ideal choice no matter what environment you are working in. Built to IP55 protection standards ensures that the radio not only has a limited Ingres against dust intrusion, but also is protected against high pressure jets of water from all angles. Alongside its Ingres protection rating the TK-D340 is also built to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G, this ensuring its continuous operation in a variety of weather and environmental conditions, allowing the TK-D340 to operate in temperatures as low as -30°C through to 50°C.

There are many accessories that are available for the TK-D340 that make it an ideal choice of radio. Audio accessories such as remote speaker microphones allow for the radio to be kept at the waist whilst transmitting a message, similarly earpieces allow for any incoming transmissions to be heard directly into the ear meaning that every message received is heard with crystal clear quality first time. Single or multi chargers are available to purchase for use with the TK-D340, your choice will obviously depend on both quantity and the distribution of radios around your workplace.

The TK-D340 despite its ruggedness is a fairly compact radio, standing at 121.4mm in height, 54mm in width and 33.8mm in depth whilst also weighing in at 285g*. Weights and dimensions may differ depending on the battery that you have attached to the radio, but even with heavier batteries the TK-D340 is still capable of being carried via the use of a wrist strap or belt clip.

*Accurate when used with the Kenwood KNB-45L 2000mAh Li-Ion Battery

With 32 channels this allows for sufficient communications between a medium to large workforce. The TK-D340 has the ability to perform channel scanning. With the 16th of 32nd channel programmed to channel scan, when selected the radio will continuously skip through programmed channels until an ongoing transmission is found, once complete the radio will then continue scanning. Key lock can also be used on the TK-D340 to ensure that accidental operation of the radio doesn’t happen.

If you would like to learn more about the TK-D340 then you can check out our comprehensive video review by Jacob below.

Kenwood TK-2000/TK-3000

The next radio I will be talking about in this blog post are the only analogue ones featured, the Kenwood TK-2000 and TK-3000. Yet again the differing names refer to the two bands with the TK-2000 being VHF and the TK-3000 being UHF, for sake of simplicity during this section of the blog I will be referring to both radios as the TK-2000.

An extremely simple radio the TK-2000 is the best value for money device featured within this blog post. A very much “No Thrills” communication device the TK-2000 does exactly what it says on the tin, provides instantaneous crystal clear transmissions whilst remaining rugged and reliable no matter the environment that it is used in. The TK-2000 stands at 113mm in height, 54mm in width and 24.9mm in depth whilst weighing at 203g with the KNB-63L 1130mAh Li-Ion battery attached. Relatively lightweight in comparison to other radios available at this price point, the TK-2000 can be carried via the use of a belt clip or wrist strap with ease.

Features available to use on the TK-2000 include VOX voice activation, this allows for the radio to be used hands free if required when used with compatible accessories. Busy channel lock out ensures that should a channel currently have a transmission ongoing then you will not be able to transmit until the other user has finished, this ensures efficiency with communications as it doesn’t allow for cross communications.

Kenwood NX-3220/NX-3320 Range

The Kenwood NX-3220 and 3320 range of two way radios are an advanced set of two way radios each with their own characteristics. A black box, partial keypad with screen and full keypad with screen models are available for both UHF and VHF bands. Similarly to the Kenwood TK-D240 and TK-D340 the NX-3220 is the VHF model and the NX-3320 is the UHF model, the only difference in naming being that the second number is the indicator. To make the reading of this part of the blog easier I will be referring to both UHF and VHF versions of the radio as the NX-3220.

Due to the three different models of NX-3220 radios having relatively similar features I will be talking about those features here, should you want to learn more about the aesthetics of these radios they will be discussed further down in the blog.

The main talking point of the NX-3220 range of radios is the fact that it is GPS compatible. Ideal should you be working in environments where workers have potential for their security or safety be at risk. When used in collaboration with a dispatch solution, radios can be monitored to their exact location whether that be city wide or within a working site. GPS is ideal for working alongside such features as Man Down and Lone Worker (Explained Below), this will allow for fast response to ensure that risk of fatality or injury is minimised.

Lone Worker: This feature monitors the activity levels of the radio. Should the radio be inactive for a pre-programmed period of time an alert will be sent to the user, if this alert is still not responded to then a high priority alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that the radio user may be in trouble, allowing for fast action to be taken.*

Man Down: Working similarly to the previously mentioned Lone Worker, Man Down monitors orientation rather than activity levels. As suggested by the name should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-programmed period of time then an alert will be sent to the user, if unresponsive then an alarm will be sent to the base station notifying them that their colleague may be at risk.*

*Does not require dispatch solution but effectiveness greatly improved when used with GPS.

The NX-3220 range has an amass of features that can help with usability of the radios for operators. Busy channel lockout ensures that transmissions do not cross to help conversations flow, should someone already be transmitting on your selected channel then you will not be able to interject until they have finished talking, cutting out the chance of potentially irritating repeats of instructions. Another feature to make use of with the NX-3220 is “Key Lock”, by the press of a button all functionality of your radio will be locked to ensure that no accidental transmissions are made when carrying the radio, this ensures that channels are kept free for people who actually need to be using them. Alternatively a time out function will automatically cut out an ongoing transmission should it go on for too long, this could be through accidently press of the PTT button or just a colleague rambling.

Designed for use in harsher working environments these radios are built to IP67 rating. This rating ensures that the radio has a full Ingres protection against dust intrusion whilst also being protected against submersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

A final note being on the large collection of accessories available for use with the NX-3220 range of radios. Towards the bottom of each product page on our website you can see accessories that fit each radio specifically including such items as chargers, batteries, antennas, belt clips, carry cases, earpieces, microphones and much more. The only differing factor is with antennas you obviously need to purchase one for your selected frequency band (UHF/VHF) whilst also, should your radio have a screen and keypad a case that would still allow for use of this would need to be purchased.

An additional note on accessories for this radio is that Bluetooth comes readily installed to this radio, meaning that it can be used with selected wireless accessories.

NX-3220E3 & NX-3320E3

The most basic of the three styling choices of the NX-3220, the E3 takes on a black box design allowing for grab and go use of the radio with minimal training required. Aesthetically the face plate of the radio has both a speaker and microphone for incoming and outgoing transmissions. On the top of the device next to the antenna is both a channel selector knob and volume control knob, the latter of the two doubling up to power on the radio. There is also both a 7-colour light bar on the top panel of the NX-3220E3 whilst also having a status LED indicator.

For sending transmissions with the NX-3220E3 there is a large textured push to talk button on the left hand side of the radio, this alongside an emergency button that can be programmed to send out an alert should a radio user have an issue with safety or security. The NX-3220E3 also has two programmable buttons, these allowing for such features as “Talk Around” to be quickly accessed should the system you are using’s repeater to be out of action, bypassing the repeater and sending transmissions straight to other radios within the fleet.

NX-3220E2 & NX-3320E2

This model is the midway point of the NX-3220 range of two way radios. The E2’s only aesthetical difference to the E3 is the faceplate, with it having both a partial keypad and screen allowing for the user to easily manoeuvre around various menus and options available with the radio. As mentioned the partial keypad various functions including a menu access button to the top left, a back button to the top right, a home button bottom right and an enter key to the bottom left. These buttons are all placed to the side of a large 4 direction arrow key. The screen that is on the faceplate of the NX-3220 allows the user to navigate previously mentioned menus, this whilst also allowing the user to see signal strength, channel number and various call signs allowing for you to see whatever information you are looking for at a glance.

NX-3220E & NX-3320E

Finally is the most advanced radio of the three the NX-3220E. A full numerical keypad opens up the possibilities when using the radio, allowing for text messages to be sent to other radios alongside the ability to talk via voice with the push to talk button. Not much more can be said about the NX-3220E but should you be looking for a radio from Kenwood that supplies top of the range communications whilst being packed full of features then look no further than the NX-3220E.

Kenwood TK-D740/TK-D840

The final radio from Kenwood that we will be talking about today is the mobile TK-D740 and TK-D840, the latter being UHF and the former VHF these are the most popular mobile radio available from Kenwood. As has previously been said in this blog post due to the two different names for frequency bands, I will be referring to both radios as the TK-D840.

Ideal for use in a variety of working environments the TK-D840 is most commonly found within a vehicle. Mountable on a dashboard or within a DIN mount, the simple design makes it a great choice because it is less distracting to drivers. Aesthetically the TK-D840 has a two-digit numerical display showing the current transmitting channel, with an up and down arrow to the left allowing for the user to easily change channels when required. The radio in question is supplied with a remote speaker microphone, this allowing for the operator to send transmissions without having to fiddle with the radio itself providing they are on their desired channel. The TK-D840 is also great for use as a base station for supervisors, if the user isn’t required to move whilst using the radio then having a powerful mobile radio such as the TK-D840 makes logistical sense.

32 channels are split over 2 zones with the TK-D840, this allowing for it to be used by a larger workforce. A channel scan function can be programmed to one of your channels allowing for the radio to quickly cycle through channels looking for transmissions, once a transmission is found the radio will stop, listen to the transmission, and then continue with its scan until the next is found.

One final feature to talk about with the TK-D840 is Lone Worker. Although this is a fairly basic radio one feature that is of great benefit to both the user and the workforce is lone worker. I have previously explained this feature within the blog post, but briefly how this works is that should the radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time then an alert will be sent to the radio, if not responded to then an alarm will be sent to a base station with high priority, this ideal should it be mounted in the cab of a vehicle as it will allow for the base to know should the driver be left in danger.

All radios mentioned in this blog post are available to view on the Radiotronics website, should you wish to learn more about any of them you can check out the website here or give our sales team a call on the following number to discuss any queries – 01425 533 533.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Hytera

In the first part of this series of blog posts we spoke about various radios from Motorola Solutions including the GP340, DP1400, DP4401e, SL1600 and the XT420. You can read the full post by clicking here.

This week we take a look into Motorola’s closest competitor in Hytera. Founded in China in 1993, the company has quickly risen within the industry and has already released many iconic radios. A now global company Hytera have their fingers in many different pies, having released radios operating on UHF/VHF frequencies, Push to Talk over Cellular and PMR and DMR446 radios, this whilst also offering ATEX radios fit for use in dangerous working environments.

Hytera PD365

The first radio that we will be looking at is the Hytera PD365. One of the most popular devices from the Chinese manufacturers, the PD365 is compact yet packed full of features whilst remaining at a great price point. Ideal for use within environments where discretion is needed, the PD365 can be easily hidden out of the sight of customers especially when used with one of the many compatible accessories and microphones.

As mentioned the PD365 is small in stature which is helped in part by its antenna that is already attached to the body of the radio, something usually seen on licence free models. On the face of the PD365 there are many features that makes it stand out and help with usability.  A 3-Line monochrome display shows the user their current transmitting channel, whilst also displaying information such as signal strength and battery life. Beneath the display on the PD365 is a partial keypad, this with many buttons that all offer different purposes. Directional keys allow for navigation through menus on screen, allowing for selection of quick text messages to send to other radio users, the most common messages programmed by Radiotronics include “Job Complete” and Arrived at Location”. There is also an accept and reject call button, whilst also having three programmable buttons that allow for quick access of selected features.

One feature that you won’t find on any other two way radio is the PD365 has wireless charging capabilities. When used with the POA113 and compatible battery, simply place the PD365 within the cradle and your radio will begin charging without needing to “Slot In” as how two way radios are usually charged. These chargers can also be mounted to a rack meaning that all of your radios can be charged from a central location, you can see how one of these rack chargers are built by clicking this link to view our video.

Due to the PD365 being both analogue and digital compatible this means that it is capable of mixed mode operation. You may be wondering how this is a benefit because if you have the option for digital then why would you need analogue too? Well this is ideal should you already have existing radios within your workplace that don’t yet need replacing. Programming your new PD365 radios to have 8 analogue and 8 digital channels will allow for your new radios to communicate with both themselves and the older analogue radios, then once you have replaced your old radios with new models your 8 analogue channels can be converted to digital.

The PD365 is also available as a licence free model, the PD365LF is ideal for use in smaller working environments or for leisure activities. You can check out our product page on the main Radiotronics website by clicking here. Jacob our YouTube Guru also created a video comparing the PD365 and PD365LF, you can view the video by clicking here or checking it out below.

Hytera PD405

Following on from the PD365 we have the Hytera PD405. A radio suited to more rugged environments, the PD405 draws direct comparisons from radios such as the Motorola DP1400 and the Kenwood TK-D340. Built to IP55 protection rating the PD405 has a limited protection against dust intrusion whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water from all angles. Environmental protection also means that the radio can be used outdoors and in a variety of weather conditions, continuing to operate seamlessly from temperatures as low as -30°C through to 50°C.

Standing at 112mm in height, 54mm in width and 28mm in heights the PD405 is compact enough to fit comfortably in the palm of the operators hand. Weighing at 270g (When BL1504 Battery Attached) the PD405 is also relatively lightweight, this allowing for the radio to be easily carried whether that be through the use of a belt clip, carry case or hand strap. As previously mentioned the PD405 has the BL1504 1500mAh Li-Ion battery as standard, this will comfortably last a standard 8 hour working shift.

The PD405 has a standard black box design where minimal error can be made when operating the radio. On the top of the radio is the antenna next to both a power/volume knob and also a channel selector knob. On the right hand side of the PD405 is a textured push to talk button above two individual programmable buttons, these can be used to allow quick access to functions such as an emergency call out to let your colleagues know there may be a safety or security breach.

Similar features are present with the Hytera PD405 that have been mentioned previously with the PD365. Mixed mode operation and quick text messaging are both a possibility with the PD405. Other features that can be made use of is Radio Check, this allows for you to check whether another radio within your fleet is available to contact. Roaming can also be used if set up, this allows for the radio to switch between sites on that are using multi-site systems, meaning that no matter how large a company you work for the radios will work with other radios on site no matter where you are. The final feature I am going to talk about is Priority Interrupt, this will allow for a radio to make an urgent transmission cutting out any ongoing conversations, this used in situations where an urgent message needs to be relayed to everyone on site in the instance for example of an evacuation or security breach.

Radiotronics are currently working on a video review of this radio, you can be alerted when this comes live by subscribing to our YouTube channel or checking back here where a link will be placed.

Hytera PD705

The PD705 is one of the more popular two way radios from Hytera, it is also available as a light version, of which we will touch on at model at the end of this section of the blog. A GPS version of this radio is also available but as we will be covering a different GPS model from Hytera we won’t be touching on this radio now, but should you wish to learn more you can check out its product page on our main website here.

Billed as a versatile professional digital two way radio by Hytera, the PD705 offers a vast variety of functionality whilst also having incredible build quality making it ideal for use in a variety of working environments. Yet another simple black box design the PD705 is similar in styling to the PD405, with both volume and channel knob on top of the radio and textured push to talk button and programmable buttons on the right hand side of the body. Although looking similar to the PD405 the PD705 has a lot more internal features that sets it apart from its Hytera counterpart.

As mentioned there are additional features that the PD705 has over other models from Hytera, the most notable being the availability of Lone Worker for use. How this works is should a radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time then an alert will be sent to the radio, think of this as an “Are you okay”. If the alert is responded to then nothing will happen but should it be missed then an alarm will be sent to other radios within the network, this allowing for fast action from colleagues should the radio operator be potentially injured. Other features that can be used but have already been mentioned previously in this blog post include the option to add an emergency button, Roaming and priority interrupt.

There are many accessories that can be used with this radio but a feature that ties in with this is the radios VOX capabilities. VOX stands for voice activation and when using a compatible accessory allows for transmissions to be made by voice alone, this ideal for industries or jobs where it may not always be possible to reach down and activate your push to talk button.

The PD705 is built to IP67 protection standards which is one of the highest ratings available to two way radios. This rating ensures that not only does the radio have a full Ingres protection against dust intrusion, but also has the ability to be fully submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Hytera PD785

The most advanced traditional two way radio that we will be mentioning from Hytera is the PD785. This radio wouldn’t look out of place next to an early 2000’s mobile phone with its styling, the PD785 has both a full colour 1.8” display and full numerical keypad. The radio itself stands at 125mm in height, 55mm in width and 37mm in depth meaning that it will also fit comfortably in the palm of the operator’s hand. Weighing in at 360g whilst the standard 2000mAh BL2008 Li-Ion battery is attached, this meaning that it wouldn’t be uncomfortable to carry this via the use of a belt clip or hand strap.

Starting off with something we’ve previously talked about in this blog the PD785 has an Ingres protection rating of IP67. This rating ensures that the radio has a full protection against dust intrusion whilst also being capable of submersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The PD785 is also built to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G ensuring its reliability in a variety of weather and environmental conditions including blizzards, fog, sandstorms and varying levels of shock and vibration. There is an ATEX intrinsically safe version of this radio available in the PD795Ex that we won’t be talking about today buy you can find out more about it on its product page here.

The PD785 can be upgraded to the PD785G in order to use GPS tracking. When used in collaboration with a dispatch system this will allow for each radio to be individually tracked whether it be across a large area of land or in your companies own facilities. Helping to improve both workplace efficiency and safety, there are multiple features that can benefit by the use of GPS with one being the previously mentioned Lone Worker. Similarly, to LW there is also Man Down that operates in a similar manner, but rather than monitoring the radios activity levels it monitors the orientation of the radio. Should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-set period of time then an alert will be sent to the radio, if unresponsive then GPS will allow for the base station operator to know exactly where the radio and user is to minimise risk of serious injury to the worker.

Due to both the screen and keypad the PD785 is capable of sending out full text messages between devices just as a mobile phone would, short text messages are also possible for less urgent messaging. Vibrate alert is also possible allowing for the user to be notified of incoming calls or messages, this ideal for situations or environments where discretion is key. Without rambling on too much about the PD785’s similarities to a mobile phone, the radio is capable of both group and individual calling, this allowing for private conversations to be had over the radios should they be required.

There is an endless list of possibilities when using the PD785 that would leave me writing for days, but should you wish to learn more about what this radio can do then check out our product page on the Radiotronics website by clicking here.

Hytera PNC370

The final radio that we are going to talk about in this blog post is the latest push to talk over cellular radio from Hytera the PNC370. A technology that has taken the communications market by storm in 2019, PoC allows for instant communications no matter the distance via the use of cellular signalling. By using 3G, 4G and even WiFi this means that there really are no limitations to how far your communications can go, this ideal for use in working sectors such as transportation and public services where workers aren’t confined to one area of land in order to perform their duties.

Standing at 121mm in height, 55.5mm in width and 24mm in depth the PNC370 is a relatively compact radio, this whilst also weighing in at 185g with the standard 3100mAh Li-Ion battery being attached. There are two carrying solutions available in both the BC08 belt clip and RO01 wrist strap meaning that due to its weight no matter how it is being carried it is comfortable and will cause no strain to the operator.

Due to operating using cellular networks GPS tracking comes as standard with the PNC370. When used in collaboration with a dispatch system back at base the location of each radio can be tracked, this allowing for both improved safety and efficiency when working. Another positive of using GPS tracking especially in the transportation industry is that it allows for accurate arrival times, allowing for the end consumer to be prepared for whatever shipment may be arriving.

The hardware inside the PNC370 allows for the radio to run smoothly even after extended periods of use. Some of the specifications that the radio has included a 1.1GHz Quad Core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of Internal memory all whilst running on an Android 5.1 operating system. On to the aesthetic look of the PNC370 the face of the radio is made up of multiple features. A 2” full colour display notifies the user of information such as time, battery life, cellular coverage and allows for the user to easily navigate through menus to access functions and make both individual and group calls. Beneath the monitor is both an options, back, home screen and navigational buttons. Whilst even further down are an accept and reject call and two programmable buttons, allowing for important functions to be accessed at the click of a button.

The PNC370 is the most simple of the Hytera PoC radios. If you would like to learn about the more advanced Hytera PNC550 or PDC760 then you can access them on our website by clicking either of the product names in this paragraph.

If you’d like to know more about any of the radios that have been mentioned in this Blog post then you can check them out on our website by clicking here. Alternatively, if you’d like to chat to one of our Sales Executives then call this number: 01425 533 533

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Hytera PD365 and PD365LF Full Review

Hytera continue to progress in their technology to make their customers life easier when using two way radios. In 2015 the Hytera PD365 and the PD365LF (licence free) were released and since then they have still been incredibly popular on the market. It is mostly popular for their size and accessibility and how easy they are to use with many different keys and options.

Hytera PD365/LF

Both the PD365 and the PD365LF come as analogue and digital. The LF is the licence exempt version meaning when working in small environments like schools, nurseries or small warehouses the PD365LF would be more suitable. The LF transmits PMR446 and DMR446 frequencies which is for licence free radios only. The PD365 comes with UHF and VHF frequencies. UHF best suits areas with obstructions but still works the same in open spaces and VHF is better suited to open spaces with minimal obstructions. This radio is incredibly versatile and can be used in all work environments except when working around gas, oil or nuclear materials. An ATEX/ intrinsically safe radio will be needed when working on oil rigs, in power stations or in mines.

Physical Attributes

As you can see by the picture the Hytera PD365/LF is not the usual looking two way radio with a large body and long antenna. Designed to be compact and comfortable in the user’s hand it only stands at 107mm tall, 55mm wide, 23mm in depth and only weighing 160g. The small antenna on top is designed this way so it does not get in the way of the user and allows it to be kept safe in the user’s pocket. The antenna guarantees that transmissions will still be sent long distances reaching up to 1 mile for the PD365 and around 500 yards for the licence free version. Moving to the left side of the radio the PTT button and one of four programmable buttons are located. On the left side is where the accessory connector and the charging port is. And on the front there are many keys which can look complicated but it is quite the opposite. First lets look at the 3 remaining programmable buttons which are the P1, P2 and P3 keys. These can hold a single feature each which can be used in many different ways. Above these are the answer and end call keys and the end call key is also used to turn the radio on and off when held down for around 3 seconds. In the middle are the navigation keys which allow the user to go through the menu, different channels and different features on the radio which will be listed on the LED screen. Finally, the two keys at the top left and right are the enter and return keys. When the user is navigating through their menu the left key can be used to click through different options and the right key can be used to return back to the previous option on the menu. At the top there is also the speaker which will allow the user to hear any transmissions being received. And the microphone is located just underneath which will pick up the user’s voice once the PTT button is held down or if the user makes a call. These physical attributes are the same for both the PD365 and the licence free version.

Features

There is only one major difference between the PD365 and the LF which is is the range of communication. As mentioned before the LF will reach around 500 yards making it much more suitable for small workplaces and the original is better for large spaced environments. The PD365 will have greater audio quality as it is licenced but the audio quality for the LF is one of the best in its class. Many features can be programmed into both the PD365 and the LF and these include private call, text messages 256 channels for the PD365 and 16 for the PD365LF. At Radiotronics we only programme the amount of channels suited to the licence purchased from Ofcom. Obviously the licence free PD365 will not need a licence which is why this only allows for 16 channels to be used. VOX is available for both radios which allows the user to activate their transmissions using their voice without pressing the PTT button. This means that the user can simply talk and the radio in use will automatically pick it up and transmit the information to the channel they’re on. Pre-programmed messages can be used and the PD365/LF have 10 available slots to send each containing messages with up to 64 characters each. This can be incredibly useful for communication in covert environments or for organisation in the workplace. An emergency alarm is also available to be programmed which allows the user to press the programmed button which will send an alarm to everyone in the fleet to notify them of an emergency. This can be used to evacuate the premisis or to avoid a certain area or incident. These are all available for the PD365 and the LF but there are a few more that are available on just the PD365 as it is licenced. These are remote monitor decode, enable and disable decode and transmit interrupt. Transmit interrupt allows the user to interrupt any on going transmissions on their channel to notify the whole fleet of an emergency.

Chargers

The Hytera PD365 and PD365LF comes with a few possible ways to charge the radio and they are either directly into the radio with a micro USB cable or with the optional paid extra wireless charger. The micro USB cable will charge the battery and gives the radio power to last around 12 hours but it has nothing to stand in like a pod charger.

Hytera Micro USB Charger

The wireless charger is what it says on the tin. It charges the user’s radio with no wires included and is a great way to keep the fleet organised while charging and all kept together safely. It is also another way Hytera have shown off their new technology and made themselves look much more advanced and creative then ever before.

Hytera Wireless Charger

The final way of charging the radios is suited best for larger fleets and this is a 6 way charger. This has 6 cables all routed and converted into one cable which plugs into one power supply. This allows the user to charge up to 6 radios at a time with them all being together and organised. The 6 way is also more efficient as it only plugs into one power source whereas 6 single cable would need 6 separate plugs which can create separation when charging and storing the fleet.

Hytera 6 Way Charger

Accessories

There are limited accessories for the PD365 and PD365LF there is only one earpiece available specifically for these radios and that is the EHS16 earpiece which is a receive and reply earpiece. It fits comfortably onto the ear and allows the user to hear any transmissions directly to their ear. The EHS16 also comes with an integrated mic and PTT which means transmissions can be sent without the use of the radio itself. This accessory can be used in most work environments and is great to use when working in loud or quiet places. In covert conditions, the earpiece will allow the user to hear transmissions while no one else in the room can hear them. In loud environments the EHS16 will allow the user to hear transmissions over the noises in the background as the user may not be able to hear them through the radio’s speaker. Clearly the EHS16 can be used in any condition.

Hytera EHS16
If you would like to check out the video Jacob created on this subject including a tutorial on rack charger building then see below.

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Pick Of The Bunch: Motorola Solutions

Not quite sure what you’re looking for in a two way radio system? In this series of blog posts we’ve decided to break down your best choices from a variety of brands, even including a few case studies too to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting with each radio.

The two way radio industry has been dominated by Motorola for quite a few decades, this the reason why they are the focus of today’s blog, but as time progresses more and more competitors are entering the market. Hytera have been hot on the heels of the American corporation but companies such as Kenwood, Entel and Icom are commonly known names in many industries across the United Kingdom. A technology that has snowballed into consideration over the past few years is Push to Talk Over Cellular, although big companies are now throwing their hat into the ring, a company that Radiotronics highly recommend for PoC is Telo who we will be talking about at a later date.

Motorola was initially founded in 1928 as Galvin Manufacturing Company, at this time the company was producing battery eliminators, but in 1930 the company sold its first car radio under the product name of Motorola. Moving on to more recent times, Motorola has been hugely dominant in the two way radio industry taking up a large portion of the marketplace sales for multiple decades.

Motorola GP340

The GP340 is the first two way radio that we will be talking about, although many radios were released before this model, the GP340 is an Icon within the industry as it is still the best selling two way radio ever. Ideal for a variety of different environments, the GP340 was affordable yet feature rich meaning that you got more than your money’s worth when purchasing.

Although now a discontinued radio, Radiotronics has existing stock of this product so should you be looking to purchase the old faithful then we are the only company in the country that still supplies them. Available for both UHF and VHF frequencies, the GP340 is analogue meaning that it can only be used in an analogue system, but it is capable of operating with digital models should they have analogue channels programmed into them. For it’s time the GP340 has exceptional sound quality, X-Pand™ Voice Compression ensured that any communications are crisp and clear even in the noisiest of working environments, low level expansion also allows further improvements by reducing noises that can often be heard in pauses of conversation.

Emergency features were aplenty on the GP340 with emergency signalling a possibility, this allows for a pre-defined alert to be sent to a specific person or group of people should the user be in trouble, this done by simply pressing the programmable emergency button on the radios body. Lone Worker is a feature that is present on almost all new radios but was something that really made the GP340 stand out, this feature monitors the radios activity levels, should the radio not be used for a pre-programmed amount of time then an alert will sound on the users radio, if the operator is unresponsive an alarm will be sent to other radios within the network making them aware that a member of staff is potentially unsafe.

Some of the basic need-to-know facts about the Motorola GP340 is that it is an average sized “black box” two way radio. The GP340 stands at 137mm in height, 57.5mm in width and 37.5mm in depth with the standard battery attached, the battery that comes as standard with the radio is 1400mAh Li-Ion and when connected brings the radios total weight to 420g. The supplied battery allows for up to 11 hours usage based on a 05 05 90 duty cycle.

The Motorola GP340 has 16 channels ensuring that it is more than sufficient for small to medium sized businesses, the radio is available on both UHF and VHF frequencies meaning that it is ideal for use in both built up areas and wide open spaces. Channel scanning allows for the user to quickly skip through channels in search of an ongoing broadcast, whilst standard encryption ensures that any communications sent and received are safe from eavesdropping.

Motorola DP1400

Although not the direct replacement for the Motorola GP340, the DP1400 almost certainly took the prize of most popular current two way radio that is available on the market. Yet another “black box” design from the market leaders, but what it lacks in aesthetics the two-way radio makes up for in features. The DP1400 is simple and affordable, a common theme with Motorola radios, but its ability to perform on both analogue and digital frequencies makes it perfect should you be looking at a system migration.

Starting with the basics of the radio, the DP1400 stands at 127.7 in height and 61.5 in width, depending on the battery that is attached to the radio the depth and weight will change. Should the 1400NiMH battery be attached then the radio has a depth of 42mm and a weight of 406g, the 1600mAh Li-Ion slim battery is slightly smaller in depth being 39mm and much lighter weighing in at 341g, finally the high capacity 2200mAh Li-Ion battery is 44mm in depth but only 346g in weight.

As previously mentioned the DP1400 can operate using both analogue and digital, although digital is a paid upgrade, having a radio with both analogue and digital frequencies will allow for the DP1400 to be used as a transitional radio should you be moving from an analogue only system to a digital one. The Motorola DP1400 can be programmed with 8 analogue channels to match the old radios and 8 digital channels, this meaning should you not have the funds to buy a full set of radios for your business you can continue to use the old ones alongside your new radios until you have a full set, at this point you will be able to program your transition radios to be all digital channels. Alongside being both analogue and digital capable the DP1400 can operate using both UHF and VHF frequencies, this meaning that it would be ideal for use in both built-up and open areas of land.

There are many features that the Motorola DP1400 holds. One of the most basic and seen on almost all two way radios is the emergency button, when pressed this will send out a distress signal to all other radios within the network alerting them that you may be in trouble, this can be pre-programmed when purchasing a new set of radios. Channel scanning allows for the radio to quickly run through channels to check for any ongoing transmissions, whilst a channel monitor function allows for a single channel to be listened to even when sending messages on a second channel, this is often used as a channel to alert workers of any issues or safety concerns quickly. The last safety feature that I will mention is Lone Worker, this exactly the same as the one found on the Motorola GP340, whereby should a radio be inactive for a pre-set period of time an alert will be sent to other radios within the system.

The Motorola DP1400 also has accessibility features that help improve the user experience with the radio. An Integrated voice allows for channel number announcements when the channel is changed by using the knob on top of the radio, this ideal should you be working in lowly lit environments where you may not be able to see the markings around the knob. Busy channel lockout ensures that only one person can transmit at a time, this helps as it allows for you to broadcast without being interrupted, the radios would be effectively useless should every time you go to transmit your message is merged in with another operator’s transmission.

A final note on the DP1400 is its ruggedness. Built to IP54 rating this ensures that the radio has Ingres protection from dust intrusion whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water, this ideal should you be wanting to use it in an outdoor environment where there is a risk of rain or a construction environment where dust presence is common.

Motorola DP4401e

The Motorola DP4401e is one of the DP1400’s big brothers. Although not identical to the latter, take away the Motorola logo and you would still be able to tell that the DP4401e is a Motorola radio. A durable look and feel, the DP4401e was designed for use in harsher work environments where the radio equipment used may be subject to accidental drops or coming into contact with excess dust or splashes of water.

Built to IP57 Ingres Protection this means that the DP4401e has the same dust intrusion protection as the DP1400, but the main difference being that the DP4401e is capable of being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Military specification (MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G) ensures that the radio can be used in a variety of environmental conditions whether this be storms or high humidity, the DP4401e can continue to operate in temperatures as low as -30°C through to 50°C.

Due to the DP4401e being designed towards environments where worker safety is crucial, the radio has a variety of different features that can both assist in safety and efficiency of the workplace. Alongside the previously mentioned “Lone Worker” there is also a man down function, acting in a similar manner, should the radio be laid on its side for a pre-set period of time then an alert will be sent to the said radio, if unresponsive then an alarm will be sent to a base station or other radios within the network to alert them of a potential issue. Man down and lone worker can both be used in collaboration with GPS location tracking, this would allow for the user in need of help to be found quickly to minimise the risk of serious injury or damage. GPS is an optional extra purchase and would also require the use of a dispatch solution for tracking of radio and user location.

Motorola claim that the DP4401e has best-in-class audio and having used one I can confirm that the sound quality is crystal clear. A loud front-facing speaker and intelligent audio automatically adjusts the volume of the radio to ensure that no transmissions are missed, should you be working in a loud environment then the DP4401e would be perfect. Should you also not be in a situation where you are able to talk to a co-worker, pre-programmed text messages can be sent to notify others of your status, some examples that have previously been used by customers of Radiotronics include “Arrived at Location” or “Job Complete”.

Unlike the 2 previously mentioned radios in the blog the DP4401e also has Bluetooth capabilities. When activated this will allow for the user to make use of the many Bluetooth accessories that Motorola make for this radio, although not something that everyone will want or require, this feature is handy as it allows for the user’s movement to not be limited by wires that may get in the way.

A final mention on the DP4401e is its ability to perform over multiple sites and with thousands of devices without the need to add extra frequencies. Using IP Site Connect and Capacity Plus the internet is used to extend voice and data capabilities via MOTOTRBO. Linking up to 15 different working sites this can spread across multiple geographical locations it is almost definitely too complicated for me to explain in a simple paragraph, if you would like to learn more about this then you can check out our dedicated page on our main website by clicking here.

Motorola SL1600

The SL1600 is a relatively new device from Motorola having only been released in the past couple of years*. This radio has a sleek design, quite different from the previously mentioned models in this blog and is ideal for use within hospitality environments. Small in stature the SL1600 is easily concealed weighing 169g and standing at just 126mm in height, 55mm in width and 22mm in depth, this meaning it easily fits in the palm of the average hand.

Available for both UHF and VHF frequencies means that whether being used inside a building or covering estate grounds the SL1600 can be modified to suit your surroundings. With the radio being digital this provides exceptional voice and audio quality, ensuring that transmissions sent and received are heard clearly first time round so that no miscommunications are made.

The SL1600 has an active view display using hidden LED lighting to show current channel, radio and volume information. This screen is easily visible in both light and dark conditions, ensuring that user knows exactly what channel they are transmitting over. Should looking at the screen whilst working not be an option, a voice announcement can be programmed into the radio to notify the user by ear when channel has been changed.

Unlike most two way radios the SL1600 doesn’t require a pod in order to charge, MicroUSB connectivity allows for the radio to be both charged and programmed simply by plugging a cable directly into the radio. Finally the Motorola SL1600 is famous for its simple operation with a standalone power button, channel toggle switch on top of the radio, volume control buttons and push to talk button on the left hand side, these adding together to make the operation fairly easy and allowing for one handed radio operation.

*Accurate as of 2019

Motorola XT420

The final radio that we will be talking about in this blog is the licence free XT420. Ideal should you be looking for an affordable radio to operate over short distances, the XT420 uses PMR446 frequencies and 219 selectable privacy codes to help ensure a clear signal. A powerful 1500mE speaker also helps to ensure high quality audio, this minimalizing distracting feedback when operating in noisier environments.

With two programmable buttons this allows for commonly used features to be easily accessed. The XT420 is also VOX capable, this is a feature that is required to be programmed into the radio, once activated VOX voice activation allows you to communicate without having to press the push to talk button located on the side of the radio. The Motorola XT420 also has a Tri-Coloured LED which updates the user on radio features and current status, allowing the user to check at a glance for any incoming messages or alerts.

The Motorola XT420 isn’t recommended should you be working over large distances or with heavy building coverage. The radio has an Ingres Protection rating of IP54 meaning that although it has a limited Ingres against dust and protection against splashes of water, using the XT420 in environments where it may be subject to adverse weather conditions isn’t recommended.

If you’d like to know more about any of the radios that have been mentioned in this Blog post then you can check them out on our website by clicking here. Alternatively, if you’d like to chat to one of our Sales Executives then call this number: 01425 533 533

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One Of The Most Popular Radios On The Market

Motorola GP340

One of the most popular radios of all time was the Motorola GP340 but after such a successful radio what could Motorola do next? Well they released a new radio, which has changed the market since, and that is the Motorola DP1400.

Physical Attributes

Motorola CP040

The Motorola DP1400 was made to replace the CP040 but also replaced the famous GP340 in popularity. It is an analogue/digital hybrid two-way radio, although as standard comes simply as analogue with digital being a paid upgrade, the DP1400 available for both VHF or UHF frequencies. Standing at 127mm tall, 61mm wide and 42mm in depth and weighing 240g the DP1400 is robust and reliable and is built to be long lasting in any type of environment. One of the main reasons people love this radio so much is because of its affordability while still having all the features needed in a standard radio. Motorola are great at doing this with a lot of their radios being at a great price point and the DP1400 is an example of this.

Motorola DP1400

Features

Moving on to features the DP1400 has quite a few important features that can be used in any work environment. 16 channels are available to be programmed into the user’s radio and channel scanning will allow them to scan through all the channels in use to hear any incoming transmissions. VOX is also available which allows the user to send transmissions without the need to press the PTT button, and instead just simply talk, this is a pre-programmable feature and accessories can be bought to support this function. Compatible accessories, earpieces and headsets, allows the user to use VOX while using these accessories. It can create a hands free mode which means any work can be done without having to hold the radio in their hand. Lone worker can also be programmed into the DP1400 which works perfectly to keep anyone working alone safe. If the radio is inactive for a pre-set amount of time, then an alarm will be sent to the worker’s radio. If the alarm is answered then the supervisor and/or fleet will know that the lone worker is safe and not injured, if the alarm isn’t answered then a separate alarm will be sent to the fleet which will notify them that the worker could be injured or unconscious and action can be made to help that person. Transmit interrupt is available for the DP1400 which allows a supervisor to interrupt any ongoing transmissions to deliver important and critical information when needed. This means that if any incident occurs that could put others in risk, they can be notified straight away rather than the supervisor waiting for a conversation to end to notify the fleet. Another way to notify the fleet of an emergency or incident is by using the programmable emergency button, once pressed this will instantly notify the fleet with an alarm that signals of an emergency taking place. This can be used to evacuate the workplace or to take caution of an area and situation.

Chargers

When you purchase a Motorola DP1400 a charger is not included but the user can choose from a few different chargers. The charger will depend solely on the size of the user’s fleet. A single pod charger is available for those who only wish to purchase maybe only two DP1400’s which will charge just one radio at a time. Buying two pod chargers will allow the user to charge both of their radios.

Motorola Pod Charger

For larger fleets a larger charger will be needed. If a user wishes to buy 6 radios, then a 6-unit charger will be the better alternative to power their radios. This keeps the fleet together while charging the radios from one power supply. This is much better for organisation when storing the radios in a safe place.

Motorola 6 Unit Charger

There are many ways to charge and power a DP1400 but the final option I’m going to talk about is our very own Universal Rack Charger. This combines 6 existing pod chargers to one power supply and rack which is great to keep all of them together. Each pod charger has its own wire and charging plug but the rack charger converts them all to one. It can be easily installed in the workplace and it is robust and designed to last an incredibly long time.

Radiotronics Rack Charger

Accessories

Many accessories are available for the Motorola DP1400 and they can all be used in different work environments. First I’m going to talk about the PMMN4013A remote speaker microphone which plugs directly into a DP1400. It allows the user to send transmissions to their fleet using the microphone rather than the one on their radio. This means the radio in use can stay clipped to the user’s belt and the microphone can be clipped to their shirt or jacket creating easy access for communication. The PMMN4013A also has an additional 3.5mm jack connector which can connect compatible earpieces like the PMLN7560 to it.

Motorola Remote Speaker Microphone

Earpieces like this one is great for discretion when working in covert environments. It allows the user to hear any transmissions directly to their ear which prevents anyone around hearing the information being received. As mentioned this is great for covert, sensitive environments but it also works amazingly well for loud and noisy environments. A door supervisor at a nightclub or bar will be in the middle of all the noise but with the covert earpiece that person will be able to hear any transmissions for instructions or direction. Using the RSM and the earpiece together with VOX ultimately creates a hands free way of communication.

Motorola Covert Earpiece

Although I have already mentioned a work environment I want to quickly list and talk about the variety of work places the DP1400 can be used. This may give perspective of how popular this radio actually is. It can be used in all sectors of work except when working around gas and oil. When working in them environments an ATEX radio is needed for health and safety reasons and we would recommend the DP4401 Ex. But back to the DP1400 it can be used on farms, in schools, in warehouses, on construction sites, nightclubs/bars, in catering of all types and security. From hotels to wind farms the DP1400 can be used anywhere. If you need an affordable, easy and organised way of communication in your workplace then the DP1400 is for you. It is incredibly robust and will ensure the user great organisation, safety and work efficiency if the features and the radio is used correctly.

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Deep Dive: Push To Talk Over Cellular

Here at Radiotronics we have previously written blog posts about Push to Talk Over Cellular radios that are entering the market place, the blogs act as product announcement explaining some of the radios key features, dimensions and capabilities without going into a great amount of detail. In this blog we will go into further detail to ensure you finish reading with a greater knowledge of how these radios can benefit your workplace.

Push to talk over cellular, commonly shortened to PoC, is a relatively new technological advancement that combines traditional two way radio functionality with innovative 21st century mobile technologies such as GPS and tracking functionalities. One question you may be asking yourself is, how is this any different to my digital two-way radio? The glaringly obvious point would be that no matter the distance between radios as long as there is cellular signal you are able to communicate instantly with your work colleagues, this being a considerable improvement on traditional radios whereby they usually only have around 1 mile in range. This can be improved upon though by the use of a trunking system, allowing for sites to be connected through the use of repeaters but this comes at a very high price point that the majority of small to medium sized businesses may not be able to afford.

No matter the PoC radio you choose there is an extended list of features that can provide great benefit to help improve both safety and efficiency within the workplace. There are different styles of the PoC radio that you can choose from, the Hytera PNC550 is a high end model that wouldn’t be out of place being used as an everyday mobile phone, the Telo TE580 is a smaller model with touchscreen that is compact allowing for safe carrying without getting in the way whilst working and the Telo TE390 takes on the design of a traditional black box two-way radio. Should you be looking to use your radio in a vehicle then obviously a remote speaker microphone can be attached to a portable, but a mobile version named the TM-7 from Inrico can be installed into the cabin of a car or a larger vehicle such as a truck or van.

When paired with dispatch software this allows for a base station to track and monitor any workers currently operating with a radio. Especially useful for such industries as private car hire, a base station will allow for time frames to be placed on arrival times to provide better customer service to clients. The dispatcher software when purchased with these radios has many other benefits, some of these tie into the GPS functionality that has previously been mentioned. Google Maps portable radio location tracking allows the radios to be tracked with up to date location even in new developments, this due to Googles outstanding commitment to providing the most up to date mapping available. Similarly, with a mobile device this allows for vehicle tracking allowing the user to playback a route that a driver has taken, this helping to improve efficiency as the base station operative will be able to provide the driver with road updates should there be closures or delays. Due to PoC radios working over cellular networks text messages are a possibility with devices that have a screen, this will allow for non-urgent messages to be sent without having to communicate with people through voice chat. All text messages and calls are stored within a cloud, this allows for the base station operative to look back on previous conversations or text should an issue occur or to check whether a job has been completed, these logs can also help should an security or safety issue arise whereby a Taxi driver has had a threatening customer for example.

Private and group conversations can also be made with these radios, allowing you to keep a conversation between 2 people should it be needed or broadcast a message to entire group should it be less sensitive information. Priority interrupt is present on every PoC model that we currently sell, this features allows for any going transmissions to be cut off in an emergency to broadcast a message to every radio within a fleet.

There are a wide range of accessories available for use with PoC radios including microphones, earpieces, chargers and carry cases, this obviously depending on the model that you choose to purchase. Bluetooth is a luxury feature when it comes to the traditional style of two-way radios, but with a PoC radio it comes as standard with pretty much every model available. Bluetooth accessories allow for ease of use for the operator, this because no wires will be potentially obstructing the users path when working allowing for a greater range of motion without the issue of damaging an accessory due to it coming loose.

Radiotronics have supplied PoC radios to many companies that differ massively in their specifications. A place that these radios are commonly used is in vehicles where long distances are travelled from a company’s head office or base. Whether it’s the transport of people or products, there are many options available for vehicles but the most commonly supplied is the base station. As previously mentioned the fact that these radios operate via cellular means that the location of lorrys/trucks can be tracked to give the receiver an accurate time of arrival. Taxi companies that we have previously supplied will often go for a handheld radio as their choice, this due to the radios being able to be attached to a phone holder within the cabin of a car and then a remote speaker microphone attached, this saves space due to the front of a car not really having much room for a larger mobile radio.

Often when providing companies with a PoC radio the buyer will usually choose a radio with a touch screen, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t standard black box designs available.

Should you be looking for a PoC radio with a simplistic design then the Telo TE390 is the radio for you. No different to your traditional two-way radio the TE390 is simply a black box with the usual buttons such as a PTT, volume control switch and channel selector to ensure that operators have the easiest usage experience possible. A small screen is located atop of the radio displaying channel number/name and signal strength, although limited, the TE390 still performs in the exact same way as the other models from Telo although text messaging isn’t a possibility. The TE390 has GPS present allowing for the radio to be monitored from a central location, this radio would be ideal for workers with less responsibility and their only real use for the radio would be to relay and communicate with their team. Bluetooth can also be used with the TE390 allowing for the connection of wireless accessories. Other areas that Radiotronics have supplied for before include both shop and pub watch schemes for town centres, outdoor activity centres, schools, building contractors and many more.#

Telo TE390

Moving on to more advanced PoC radios there are a variety of options from multiple different suppliers. To current date, the most popular cellular radio that we stock is the TE580 from Telo, a compact design this PoC radio runs on an android operating system meaning that its functions aren’t too dissimilar to a modern smartphone. Although small in stature, the face of the TE580 has multiple features including an LED indicator, 2.4” display and a partial keypad allowing for navigation through the menus. Although it wouldn’t look out of place being used as a daily mobile, the TE580 is built to IP67 protection rating meaning that it has a full Ingres protection against dust whilst also being submergible in water. The TE580 unlike almost all traditional two way radios has both a forward facing a rear facing camera. The rear camera is 8MP and has both auto focus and flash allowing the user to take high quality images, this is joined by the 2MP front facing camera for the occasional selfie taker in your work force. With the ability to take photographs you may be wondering how the TE580 is able to store images and contacts alike, this radio has a SD card slot allowing for additional memory of any size.

Telo TE580

In both the black box and mid ranged PoC categories we’ve mentioned radios from Telo, up until recently they haven’t been challenged by a market leader of traditional two way radios until Hytera threw their hat into the ring. Famous for radios such as the PD365 or the PD705LT, Hytera released a mid-tiered PoC radio called the PNC370. Although slightly larger in size than the TE580, the PNC370 only has a 2” screen alongside a partial keypad on the face of the radio, this screen allows for the user to scroll through menus and select calls by use of the directional buttons below or the answer and decline buttons. Running on the same operating system, Android 5.1, this means that many of the functions and applications will also be similar to some you may use on your everyday mobile phone. The PNC370 from Hytera would definitely be a radio to look at should you be wanting an entry level PoC radio to see what all the fuss is about, the look and feel isn’t to dissimilar to a traditional two way radio so might be exactly what you’re looking for if radio range is the only issue you’re looking to rectify.

Hytera PNC370

Icom have also made waves in the PoC scene, the IP501H is compact but don’t let yourself think that this means its anything other than robust and reliable. Standing at just 95mm in height, 59mm in width and 26mm in depth, this means that the radio is small enough to fit into the palm of even the smallest of hands. IP67 protection rating further reiterates the reliability of the IP501H, this ensures that the radio has a full Ingres protection against dust intrusion whilst also being submergible in water for extended periods of time. The IP501H has Bluetooth ready to use with one stand out accessory, using both the optional BC-218 charger cradle and HM-215 Bluetooth remote speaker microphone this allows for the radio to be still operational whilst being on charge, providing you are still within the Bluetooth range then you can continue to communicate with workers without interruption.

ICOM IP501H

Any radios that have previously been mention are very good value for money and all are popular choices should a business be looking to change over to a PoC system. But what if you wanted to go all out and invest in some of the most advanced two way radios on the market? Yet again it’s Telo and Hytera that have produced the goods with the TE590 and PNC550 respectively. The TE590 looks just like an everyday smartphone, this obviously if you discount the small antenna, channel selector switch and push to talk button but none the less it is an exceptional piece of design. The front of the radio has a 3.5” touch screen allowing for easy navigation whilst also offering high visibility in both sunlight and dimly light workplaces. A 4200mAh Li-Ion battery ensures that the radio has a lifespan that will last much longer than a working day so there is no worry that a worker will be left without communications. An Android 6.0 operating system paired with 2GB RAM and 1.3GHz processor ensures that the radio will operate seamlessly, 16GB of internal memory allows for the storage of images taken with the 13MP camera or contacts, this can be extended via the use of SD card.

Telo TE590

The second mobile phone, no sorry two way radio is the Hytera PNC550. Although it looks just like a phone you would buy from the store the PNC550s 5” touch screen is made from gorilla glass, this ensuring that it is extremely rugged and will not smash or crack easily. Built to IP68 protection standards the PNC550 has a full Ingres against dust intrusion, whilst also being fully submergible in water for extended periods of time. The Hytera PNC550 is built to MIL-STD-810 G meaning that it can continually operate even in some of the toughest environmental conditions, operating from temperatures as low as -20°C all the way through to temperatures of 60°C. The PNC550 stands at 156.6mm in height, 76mm in width and 14mm in depth meaning that it is around the same size as your usual cell phone. Other similar aspects to a mobile is that the operating system that the Hytera PNC550 runs on which is Android 8, this means that any features and applications that you would usually find on a Samsung or Huawei phone you can find whilst using this radio. A Qualcomm 1.8GHz processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory means that this PoC radio will be extremely quick, this alongside having a lot of room for storage that can be expanded with the use of a Micro SD card up to 64GB. There are 3 card slots located on the PNC550 with one being for use with the Micro SD as previously mentioned, and the other 2 for Nano-Sim cards, these the SIM cards that are used with all modern smart phones.

Hytera PNC550

If you’d like to know more about any of the radios that have been mentioned in this Blog post then you can check them out on our website by clicking here. Alternatively, if you’d like to chat to one of our Sales Executives then call this number: 01425 533 533

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The Licence Free Hytera BD305LF And It’s Licenced Equivalent.

Many of our customers wish to have a licence free radio for the simple reason that they do not require a radio with much range. Radios that do not require a licence are brilliant for smaller environments. Environments that could benefit from using a licence free radio include
nurseries, small warehouses or farming and many of our customers wish to purchase a licence free radio for personal use. There are limitations to these radios when comparing them to licenced radios but they are much more affordable and due to them being DMR446 there is no Ofcom license required when purchasing. The majority of brands have licence free radios available include Hytera, Motorola and Kenwood.

BD305LF

Hytera BD305LF

We’re going to start off by taking a look at the Hytera BD305LF radio from Hytera and then comparing it to similar radio from Hytera’s licensed range. The BD305LF is Hytera’s latest addition to their licenced free range and is one of the best in it’s class. It is incredibly small and light yet robust and reliable standing at only 101mm tall, 49mm wide and 26mm in depth. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, and does not cause any strain when carrying it as it only weighs 140g. The BD305LF has one programmable button which can hold features like VOX. This allows the user to activate their transmissions using only their voice instead of pressing the PTT button. Compatible earpieces allow the user to make use of VOX with an integrated mic and PTT, this meaning the radio can stay clipped and secure to the user’s belt without having to be touched.

BD305LF Accessories

Hytera have implemented new technology into the BD305LF, this extending the range capabilities compared to many other licence free radios. The BD305LF has around 500 yards of clear range, although no way near as good as a licensed radios, this allows the user to communicate with the fleet in close proximities.

There are two ways to charge the BD305LF while using the same cable that comes in the box when purchased. This cable can either be plugged directly into the radio or can be used if the user has bought the optional extra pod charger. The pod charger allows the user to stand their radio up while charging it and their fleet be both charging and stored more safely. Once charged they can last up to 16 hours, this making it more than capable enough to complete a full working day.

The Equivalent

Hytera PD505

The licenced equivalent to the BD305LF is the Hytera PD505 which is a digital two way radio available with both VHF and UHF frequencies. Standing at 115mm tall, 54mm wide and 27mm in depth, this makes the PD505 slightly bigger than the BD305LF, but it has a similar feel in the user’s hands. 16 channels are available to be programmed into the radio and channel scanning will scan through them all to allow the user to hear any ongoing transmissions. There are many more features available to be programmed into the PD505 compared to the BD305LF as it is licenced and this includes lone worker, VOX and digital basic privacy. There are many more features and perks to buying a licenced radio but the more options you require the higher the cost of the radio, this they would typically be used in work environments within a larger area. Environments that would benefit from these radios would be construction sites, large schools, colleges and universities or even for use by farms and their workers. Depending on the type of environment will determine what type of frequencies the user will need. If they work in open spaces, which could be farming, then VHF would be perfect or if the user works in a place with many obstructions, which could be construction sites, UHF would work much better than VHF. With the PD505 the customer will get this choice when purchasing the radio online whereas with the BD305LF, there is only one setting which is licence free frequencies. This means that anyone with a radio, that doesn’t require a licence, will be able to communicate with the user’s radio when on the same channel and in range.

There is more opportunity with the PD505 when it comes to accessories and chargers. There are many remote speaker microphones, earpieces and headsets that can be used to make communicating much easier when using the PD505. They all come in different shapes and sizes with their own features which can be used in the workplace. These include VOX, wind protectors, designs for comfort and extra programmable buttons. So yes there are many more possibilities with the PD505 but as a licenced radio it is designed for larger work environments and it is not used as much for personal use.

PD505 Accessories

Personal Uses

When a customer is wanting a radio for personal use we tend to show them our selection of licence free radios as they are more affordable, will be used in close quarters and they still allow them to communicate with clear audio. The Hytera BD305LF can be used for hiking, camping, day trips out, close range communication around their homes and much more. Personal licence free radios are also great for children who want to communicate with their friends while playing and having fun. The BD305LF is easy to operate, robust, affordable and a great way to communicate with family and friends.

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