Month: September 2018

Base Station Two Way Radios, Power Supplies, Base Microphones & Antenna Solutions

A question that gets asked very frequently is “Do you sell base station two way radios?”. The fact is that, other than talk through radio repeaters and some HAM radios, there are no actual business type base station two way radios – certainly not on the market right now.

Question: But how come I’ve seen base station two way radios in control rooms and taxi offices? Like this one?

Base Station Two Way Radio

If you look closely, you’ll see that this is actually a mobile radio (like one you see in a taxi or lorry) sat on top of a base stand that has a built-in power supply. So when we say there are no base station two way radios, that’s not strictly true – but it does mean that you can build your own (or we can build it for you). Then you simply select a base station microphone instead of a handheld microphone.

We sometimes call this setup a “fixed mobile”, “base station mobile”, a “dispatch radio” amongst many more names. But they all mean a mobile radio with a mains power supply and microphone. Do you have some more names for base station two way radios – let us know in the comments.

So what’s needed to make a base station two way radio?

Here’s a handy list of what you need for a two way radio base station. The principles of this guide can also be applied to CB radios and Amateur (HAM) radios.

1) Mobile Vehicular Type Radio

Motorola Vehicle Type Mobile Radio

Almost all manufacturers of two way radios make a vehicle type mobile radio, as well as portables. All mobile vehicle type two way radios operate on a 12-13.8v D.C. power supply. In order to use this with a mains supply you’ll need a power supply unit (or PSU).

2) Mains to 13.8v Regulated Power Supplies

There are three different types of power supply see below.

2.1) Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Alfatronix makes a very innovative power supply called the Alfatronix AD power supply. The AD is a two way radio stand, power supply and backup battery charger. The model in the picture below is the Alfatronix AD “universal” version. But they make a specific version for the most popular Motorola, Hytera, Kenwood and Icom radios.

Alfatronix AD Universal Power Supply

The main benefit of the Alfatronix AD series power supplies is that they also have a backup battery connection where you can hook up a lead-acid battery. The battery will stay charged whilst the mains is connected. If the mains fails, the backup battery will kick in and power the radio.

2.2) Alternative – Encased Type PSU

There are many encased type power supplies. But the most notable are made by Samlex – see here on our website.

Samlex Two Way Radio PSU

The Samlex Encased style power supplies are fantastic as they position the radio around 1cm (approx. 1/2 inch) above the PSU which reduces the chance of noise from the PSU affecting the radio. You can also position a hand held microphone clip to mount a handheld microphone on the side; or you can choose a base station microphone (as shown below).

3) Selection of Microphone

You can choose one of two different types of microphone. Handheld microphones and Base station microphones. Almost all of the most popular vehicle based two way radios can be purchased without a microphone. That means you can choose the microphone you’d prefer rather than settle for the microphone you’re given.

Base Station Two Way Radio Base Microphone

Here at Radiotronics, we strongly recommend a Base Station type microphone. This is because base station microphones can help reduce fatigue, but also typically develop less faults over time and work out cheaper in the long run.

4) Antenna

The last, and most arguably most important, piece of the puzzle is the Antenna. When using a base station radio, you have two options for antenna.

Short range: If you want only short range; for example, you’re operating via a repeater or you’re operating without a repeater but your other radios are within a few hundred yards, you could consider a short rubber type antenna (shown on the base station unit above). We offer some great “right-angle” type rubber duck stubby and whip antennas from as little as £10+VAT. It’s worth noting that you’re unlikely to get much of a signal and these type of antennas only really work up to a few hundred yards at the most. But they’re ideal for repeater-based radio systems.

Medium to Long Range: If you need long range, then the only real option is a large high-gain outdoor antenna. The cost purely depends on the height and quality of antenna. We can advise further if you provide us a few details when contacting us.

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Hytera SmartXPT – Real Time Tracking and Communications Management

In the workplace it can often be hard to pinpoint exact locations or pass out additional information for an ongoing job. A smart system allows for location tracking of workers, dispatcher intercom to offer instruction whilst also voice recording of conversation for times when an issue may arise or instruction to workers needs to be replayed. You may be thinking that a smart system may be surplus to requirements due to a small site or smaller workforce, but no matter the size, whether it is a single site operation or cross-country organization something such as the SmartXPT can help to improve both safety and efficiency in workers.

The Hytera SmartXPT allows for organisations to professionally manage DMR conventional and XPT radio networks. Developed in-line with digital ETSI radio standard DMR, this application is designed for efficient communication and support tool to help manage all DMR Conventional Tier II and XPT radio subscribers.

Unlike some deployment applications available on the market, Hytera’s SmartXPT is not a single module, but a group of components that can be built up to a system, this based on various factors such as subscriber size, topology and coverage requirements.  There are many benefits to implementing Hytera’s SmartXPT, listed below are some that we at Radiotronics believe to be vitally important in helping your business expand via improved efficiency.

All Types of Voice Call
When using an XPT system this allows for a multitude of different calling capabilities. Private calls allow for individual calls to be made to specific radios, meaning that a sensitive message can be shared without other workers being interrupted. Group calls allow for factions to have their own talk groups, meaning that in a larger organization communications do not cross, allowing for factory workers and administrative staff to have their own communications without the talk ways becoming busy due to irrelevant conversations.

Voice Recording & Playback
Any calls that take place whilst using the Hytera SmartXPT are recorded and able to be played back if required. Including all types of DMR voice and PSTN interconnected calls, this helps to ensure that any important conversations are not missed. When searching through previous conversations Hytera have implemented a smart search system, allowing for conversations to be found easily via the use of caller ID’s and the time a call took place.

Remote Monitoring
When the microphone of a radio is un-muted the Hytera SmartXPT system allows for the base to monitor voice activities remotely even when the PTT button hasn’t been pressed. Ideal in a variety of situations, this can be used in order to remain updated on an ongoing work activity, or also in an emergency situation where someone may be in trouble or a malfunction of equipment.

Text Messaging
Dispatchers are able to send and receive text messages to DMR radios. Not limited to singular radios, a group message can be sent to multiple radios identified by a group ID. Using a chat-based GUI to send and receive the text messages, all incoming and outgoing messages are stored in a database to ensure that they can retrieved at a later date if required.

Real-Time Tracking
Real time tracking allows for the dispatcher to locate every radio at any given time dependent on the GPS settings. The radios GPS can be set to refresh after certain time periods updating the base station on its current location, this can be a variety of times from as low as every few seconds to once every 30 minutes. This allows for improved efficiency in the work being carried out, allowing for the company to take into account any delays that may occur.

Location History & Route Playback
When GPS monitoring is used with the Hytera SmartXPT any locational information will be kept within the system database. This allows for any radios location to be recalled, showing the path it had taken over a specific time period to help improve efficiency and help to solve issues should they arise.

Regions & Geofencing
Regions can be defined by the users on the maps as working or restricted for a predefined set of radios. Should a radio exit a region that it should be operating within then a geofencing alarm will be activated in the control centre, also having the option of a message to be sent to the unit to alert the user that they have left their zone. A feature such as this would be ideal for a large security team whereby individual workers have set patrol routes, allowing them to be notified should they wander out of their set zone.

Emergency Alarm
Each radio within a network has the ability to activate an emergency alarm. Should an operative find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation, the pressing of a designated button will signal to both the base station and other radios within the vicinity of the ongoing situation. Paired with Hytera’s SmartXPT this allows for the precise location of the radio to be found, helping to quickly source the person who is in a potentially threatening situation.

Alongside the features mentioned here there are many additional functions that the SmartXPT software offers to help improve your working environment. Other functions that the SmartXPT can perform include keyword enquiry, enable/disable unknown radios, reporting and statistics, radio stun/activation, GPS positioning and many more.

There are many radios that work alongside the Hytera SmartXPT software, ranging from a compact PD355 through to the more advanced ATEX PD795Ex for use in dangerous working environments such as the gas and coal industry.

All Compatible Radios Include:

Hytera MD655   • Hytera MD785   • Hytera PD355   • Hytera PD365
Hytera PD375   • Hytera PD405   • Hytera PD415   • Hytera PD485
Hytera PD505   • Hytera PD565   • Hytera PD605   • Hytera PD665
Hytera PD685   • Hytera PD705   • Hytera PD715Ex   • Hytera PD755
Hytera PD785   • Hytera PD795Ex   • Hytera PD985   • Hytera RD625
• Hytera RD965   • Hytera RD985S   • Hytera X1E   • Hytera X1P

For additional information or to purchase the Hytera SmartXPT software, you can email our sales team via sales@radiotronics.co.uk or call our head office between the hours of 9 – 5 on 01425 533 533.

 

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Hytera BD305LF – The Best Compact Digital Licence Free Two Way Radio?

Hytera has launched what’s possibly the most compact licence free digital DMR (yes, DMR, not dPMR) business-grade two way radio. Take a look the Hytera BD305LF in the image below.

Great Looking Compact Two Way Radio

Hytera BD305LF

Hytera BD305LF is supplied pre-programmed on 16 DMR446 channels  – that’s DMR446 tier-I, not dPMR like other digital two way radios. That basically means that the BD305LF is ready to be used right out of the box with no configuration needed.

Hytera BD305LF Features

Hytera BD305LF Features

Modelled on some of Hytera’s higher-tier two way radios, the Hytera BD305LF is well designed with all the features you would expect from a professional-grade two way radio. It even has a dealer-programmable button below the PTT on the left side. Front facing speaker and microphone, as you’d expect and a robust channel selector. Check out the feature image above.

Good Range of Accessories

There is a great selection of Hytera BD305LF accessories. From spare batteries to earpieces and an amazing optional extra drop-in charger* – is seems Hytera has thought of everything.

* You get a USB charger with the Hytera BD305LF – the drop-in charger is an optional extra.

Drop In Charger Option

Hytera BD305LF Drop In Charger

When buying the Hytera BD305LF you usually get a USB plug-in type charger included free in the box. However, that’s not always the best solution. A much better solution is the optional extra Hytera BD305LF drop-in charger. This works by plugging the included USB charger into the back. You can then simply slot the radio into the drop-in charger.

And that’s not all! The drop in charger also has an additional battery slot at the back – that means you can charge not only your Hytera BD305LF radio with the battery inside but also charge a Hytera BD305LF spare battery.

Innovative BD305LF Earpiece System

The Hytera BD305LF has an innovative earpiece system is made up from several parts. This is exceptionally handy as you can choose whatever earpiece you want. You start with the Hytera ACS-01 PTT module which plugs into the radio. Then you just choose any of the Hytera ES-02 covert tube earpiece, Hytera EH-01 C-Style Earpiece, Hytera ES-01 Earbud Earpiece or the Hytera EH-01 Swivel-Type Earpiece.

However, if you just want a no-frills basic earpieces, you can go for the cost-effective Hytera EHS-16 earpiece.

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