Month: June 2018

Icom IC-F1000 & IC-F2000 Get A Facelift

The Icom IC-F1000 (VHF) and it’s brother the Icom IC-F2000 (UHF) have undoubtably become one of the best selling radios on the market right now. Not only down to their very small size and lightweight design, but also value having an average retail price of around £150 each *.

* Average price. Current prices are on our website.

But here’s the good news – IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 are getting a facelift. Their physical appearance will look just like the image above. The top half remains largely the same. But the bottom part of the front panel appears to have an inner embossed design which will lively be ideal for dealer branding labels.

Here’s even better news – IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 are also getting a speaker upgrade. The current model has an 800mW speaker. Whereas the facelift model has a massive 1500mW speaker. That means louder and clearer audio.

The facelift IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 models are not yet available. If you’d like to be notified when they are released, please join our mailing list by using the form at the very bottom of our website.

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New Universal Motorola Analogue Radio Programming Cable

Radiotronics has developed this amazing multi-radio analogue programming cable for almost all analogue Motorola two way radios that removes the need for a Radio Interface Box (RIB) and hence is considered a “RIB-Less Cable”.

> You can buy the Universal Motorola Analogue Programming Cable here

Compatible Radios Include

  • GP-Professional Series: GP340 & GP640
  • GP-Professional Compact Series: GP344 & GP388
  • GM-Professional Series: GM340 & GM640
  • CP-Commercial Series: CP040
  • CM-Commercial Series: CM140, CM340

Programming Software

This cable does not usually include the programming software. The correct software is as follows, which can be purchased from our website separately.

What Else Do I Need?

USB to Serial Adapter? You will need a computer with a serial RS232 port that looks like the image below. If you don’t have an RS232 port on your computer, you will need a USB to Serial cable which we also sell (click here).

> You can buy the Universal Motorola Analogue Programming Cable here

Note: For analogue radios only.

Note 2: Only suitable for programming. Not suitable for upgrading radio firmware.

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Analogue To Digital Migration Possibilities

Analogue radios have been used for business purposes from as far back as the 1930’s, although variations were first used by US soldiers back in World War 1. Many companies today may be still using analogue radios as there is no legal requirement to change over to digital, but the additional benefits of a digital two way radio may be enough to sway you towards an upgrade or migration.

In comparison, a digital system can offer a variety of incentives that will help to improve efficiency and safety of your workforce. A wider coverage area allows for radios to be used freely over larger working environments, whilst also having clearer communications at these distances due to the digital voice. Multiple conversations can be had at once using these radios, this allowing for a second channel to be monitored by an entire team for important announcements or instructions.

Should you already have existing radios that are fully operational and not in need of being replaced, there are many radios that are both analogue and digital compatible allowing for a slow migration. With your new digital radios being programmed to have half analogue and half digital channels, this will allow for your old radios to continue in operation with the new ones up until the point where they are replaced, then allowing for the analogue channels to be replaced by further digital.

Here are a few radios and repeaters that may be used in order to help complete a digital migration, although your options may be limited based on the existing system that you have in place.

Kenwood TK-D240/340
The TK-D240/340 are the UHF and VHF versions of Kenwood’s leading two way radio. Available to be used with both analogue and digital signalling types, this radio is unique in the fact that it is capable of recieving both types to the same channel, something that is not a possibility with many other radios. DMR TDMA is a technology that allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The Kenwood TK-D240/340 has a 32 channel capacity, but also has a selectable 16 channels using the channel stopper feature. Built to MIL-STD-810 (C/D/E/F/G) this also aids to the radios reliability, noting that it has been tested in harsher working environments whilst maintaining the same level of operation.

Motorola DP1400
The DP1400 is one of Motorola’s most popular radios, a direct replacement for the CP040, the DP1400 is a mainstay in many workplaces due to its reliability and ruggedness. IP54 Ingres Protection means that the DP1400 is protected not only against dust intrusion but splashes of water, meaning that the radio is suitable for a variety of working conditions. 2 Programmable buttons allow for the radio to be personalised to the users’ needs, allowing for quick access to features that may be important within the workplace. 16 Programmable channels allow for sufficient communications between teams, allowing for a split between analogue and digital channels means that the radio is ideal for a migration system. The Motorola SLR5500 is a repeater that can be used to help complete n analogue to digital migration process.

Hytera PD405
The PD405 is a radio allowing for analogue to digital migration from Hytera. A robust and reliable radio, the PD405 is a simple communication solution that is easy to operate whilst being ideal for a variety of industries. Ideal for an analogue to digital migration, the PD405 is packed full of features to help improve both efficiency and safety of the workforce, features include an emergency mode and pre-programmed quick text messages. IP55 rating means that the radio has a limited Ingres protection against dust whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water, this allows for the radio to be used in outside environments or conditions where the radios may be subjected to damp. A 32 channel capacity allows for the radio to be parted into analogue and digital channels, giving the PD405 to be used as part of a migration process from analogue to digital. The Hytera RD625 is a repeater that can be used to help complete an analogue to digital migration process.

More Information?
For more information about Radiotronics installed radio communications solutions, please contact our sales team by sending an email to sales@radiotronics.co.uk or telephone us on 0345 0 955 955. Currently our installation solutions are only available in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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New Ofcom Frequency Spectrum Tools

Ofcom Logo

Ofcom has released a selection of new tools, presumably to replace the WTR tool that was removed last year.

Tool 1 – Spectrum Map

The spectrum map allows you to quickly, easily and visually see what part of the spectrum is used for what purpose. There’s also handy check boxes at the top to show and hide frequencies of interest.

Tool 2 – Frequency Allocation Table

Whilst this is not strictly a new tool, this tool works similar to the tool above. However the results are in table format.

Tool 3 – Spectrum Information System

This is the tool that presumably replaces the frustratingly removed WTR system. There are 4 sub-tools: Spectrum Overview, Application Detail, Licences and Licence Trades.

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Wheelabrator Technologies Chooses Hytera

Wheelabrator Technologies, a pioneer in clean energy generation from normal daily waste has chosen Hytera as it’s two way radio communications solution at it’s forthcoming facility in Kent.

Wheelabrator initially required a basic conventional two-way radio system that would give 4 individual talk channels and a small number of radios for Wheelabrator’s staff and colleagues to have instant communications whilst the facility is being built. Once the facility is built, the system is to be moved to the main building and expanded to a large number of radios with multiple talk channels, lone worker and many other features. This undoubtably means Hytera XPT is the ideal solution. Since Wheelabrator didn’t need the Hytera XPT features until the facility is fully built and the system is moved to the main building, it made sense to start with the basics, but keep expansion and upgrade in mind.

This meant that we two options. Option one was for Wheelabrator take a conventional system on a rental basis until the facility was built. Option two was to initially invest in XPT-compatible repeaters but leave the XPT licence investment until it was actually needed. Wheelabrator opted for the latter and decided to make the investment in the start of their system.

Since multiple voice channels would be needed in the final solution, we also recommended a Procom 2-channel antenna combiner which solved the issue of needing multiple antennas.

The amount of equipment required was starting to mount up, it was all housed in a nice and neat wall-mountable rack mount cabinet with a lockable door. One key is given to the client to ensure they have access to the cabinet for emergencies. The other key stays with us at Radiotronics H.Q. so that we will always have the spare if needed.

Here’s what the wall mount cabinet looks like:

Here’s the list of what’s in the cabinet. All of these items are available from stock, except the combiner which takes 3-6 weeks as it’s made to order.

Build Plan – Here’s The Technical Bit

Repeater & Power Supply

The Hytera RD985S repeater, which is the XPT-ready version (RD985-non-S is not XPT possible) does not not have an internal power supply. Therefore an external power supply is required. We opted for the Samlex SEC-2125G Power Supply as it supplies a constant regulated 20-25A of current. But in order to rack mount the PSU, the Single Unit 19″ Rackmount Kit was also required.

Repeater & Combiner

As one would expect the Hytera RD985S has both a N-type TX and RX connector on the back panel. That means that N-Type patch leads were required to connect all 4 sockets to the combiner. There’s a notable amount of loss in the combiner itself. In order to minimise further loss by insertion, we used LMR195 cable with 50 ohm tuned crimped N-Type connectors finished with heat-shrink.

Wall Mounting

Wheelabrator did not need the rack cabinet installing on the wall at it’s temporary initial location. However, wall brackets were provided as it did need wall mounting at it’s final destination once the facility was fully complete. Our rackmount cabinets come with a pair of wall brackets that can take up to 60Kg of weight inside the cabinet (provided the cabinet is fixed onto a solid brick wall using suitable anchor bolts).

Two-Way Radio Choice

Wheelabrator’s portable radio requirement was the capability of individual calls, lone worker. But most importantly, transmit interrupt, future XPT-compatibility and they must be lightweight. Only one radio fits the bill. The Hytera PD600 series is both lightweight and XPT-compatible.

There are three radios starting with the PD605 which is the non-display version. The PD605 can receive individual calls but making individual calls is challenging. So that leaves the PD665 and PD685. They’re the same radio with the PD685 having a complete telephone-style keypad. To easily make individual calls, as long as the radio has the recipient in the internal contact list, a full-keypad is not required. That means that the Hytera PD665 is the right fit.

A Note About Carry Cases

It was also important to note that, initially whilst the facility was being built, the site is a building site. In order to keep the radios in as good condition as possible, we recommended that the team at Wheelabrator used carry cases. This will ensure that the radios suffer minimal damage and will still be an a reasonably useable condition when the facility is complete.

If you use a carry case with your two way radio it can mean the difference between you radio lasting a couple of years to a decade or more.

More Information?

For more information about Radiotronics installed radio communications solutions, please contact our sales team by sending an email to sales@radiotronics.co.uk or telephone us on 0345 0 955 955. Currently our installation solutions are only available in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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