Month: June 2019

Case Study: No Matter The Environment, It’s Possible!

Radiotronics have helped to fit and supply radio systems across all of the UK. We have one of the highest stock holdings in our industry, with a large catalog online we can supply most items next day that are available to find on our website. From simple small business requirements of a few radios through to multi-site trunking system, Radiotronics have the knowledge and know-how to implement any system that you require.

In order for you to better grasp some of the services we offer we have put together a collection of case studies, these showing a wide variety of the jobs that we have been asked to complete, ranging from single site systems in a theatre to an entire city wide transport communication system.

Crescent Theatre

Radiotronics were tasked with supplying two way radios for the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, a building originally constructed in 1932, the theatre houses one of the oldest theatre companies in the city; The Crescent Theatre Company.

When the Crescent Theatre contacted us they had a number of ageing Motorola GP300 radios, these radios had been discontinued for nearly 20 years! They wanted to know a suitable like for like replacement for their trusted Motorola radios and had contacted Radiotronics for our help, alongside the radios they also wanted us to supply accessories such as earpieces and microphones for with their new radios.

The radios that we suggested were the Motorola VX-261, a new and improved version of the Vertex Standard VX-261 that was released after Motorola bought the Vertex Standard brand. The reason for recommendation by us was because of the radios robustness, this alongside its ultra-clear audio and the vast range of accessories that would be available to the users should they choose to purchase this radio. The accessories that the Crescent chose to go alongside their radios were a 6 position charging unit and covert in-ear earpieces, the earpieces allowing for quiet conversations so no disruption is made should an instruction need to be made whilst a performance is taking place.

Sheffield Hallam

A larger institution that contacted Radiotronics for radios was Sheffield Hallam University for use in their hubs building. The Hubs facility is made from a mixture of steel and concrete, one of the more challenging structures the Radiotronics had taken on fitting a two-way radio system. The building in question already had a signal extender fitted otherwise known as a repeater, this was to ensure that no matter where in the building the operator was their was full coverage.

As mentioned previously there was already an existing repeater and radio system in place but the radios where ageing and some beginning to fail. The University suggested that they wanted robust yet lightweight water-resistant two way radios, of which Radiotronics suggested that the solution for them was to take a look at the Icom IC-F2000. The reason that this radio was selected was because it is an extremely robust radio that can withstand most bumps and drops, it is also IP67 Ingres rated meaning that it can be submersed in water for a short period of time without it being at risk of damage.

An extra requirement that SHU requested was the ability to track each radio and their user, Radiotronics was able to implement this with a clock in and out system and the University has stated that it has helped to decrease the number of radios that have gone missing or become broken.

Liverpool YMCA

Liverpool YMCA is a community focused non-profit that was established in 1844, the already had two way radios that they were using within their building but they weren’t working properly, reporting both signal and audio quality issues. The building that the YMCA currently occupy is a large structure that is dense with moth steel and concrete, both of which are known to have a profound effect on the range and usability of licensed two-way radios, not to mention the low power walkie talkies that the YMCA was using.

The solution that Radiotronics chose to put forward was to supply a brand new fleet of radios to replace their existing licence free models. We choose to suggest that they should be using the high powered and hugely popular Kenwood TK-D340, this enough to effectively cover the building that the users operate in whilst still managing to provide ultra-clear audio. The 4W output power was able to give the YMCA 10x better performance than their existing radios with no issues of signal black spots.

Manchester Metrolink

Manchester Metrolink got in touch with Radiotronics to provide a solution for their transport systems during the 2018 Parklife festival that sees 80,000 people rushing to see their favourite artists. Unlike most jobs that come our way the requirement for this system was to cover the entire city of Manchester, all 44.6 square miles due to workers being stationed all across the city.

The solution for Metrolink, although it may seem a tough one, was to use a relatively new method of instant communications called Push To Talk Over Cellular. This is as straight forward as it sounds, a two-way radio with a SIM card that allows the user to broadcast over cellular networks rather than UHF or VHF frequencies. Therefore, anywhere you would have phone signal you are able to get in contact instantly to other users, even if they’re on the other side of the world! The PoC radio that we chose to offer Metrolink was the Telo TE580, the most popular cellular radio that Radiotronics have to offer.

Another benefit that was a great success for Metrolink was the ability to monitor the whereabouts of each radio from a central location, this accomplished by the use of GPS tracking. The main use for this job was to ensure that everyone was where they needed to be at the right time, but should an issue have arisen where worker safety was breached then this would have allowed for fast action due to knowing the location instantly.

Radiotronics have a sales team available to talk to should you be unsure on what system you may require. One of the best trained teams in the Industry, they can talk through with you any issues that you may be having and be able to offer you a solution. Call us today on 01425 533 533 with any questions!

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Why Should Taxis Use Radios, Not phones?

There are many pros to using two way radios as a taxi driver, although quite a few have transitioned to mobile phones, they could still be missing out on the advanced features available with radios. In this blog is all the main reasons and features as to why two way radios may be the best suit for a taxi driver.

Most people seem to believe that it is illegal to use a radio while driving just like it is to use a phone, but that is untrue. A taxi man/woman can use a two way radio while driving legally but if a police officer believes it is affecting their driving then they can be pulled over, all the police simply recommend is to not play with the settings or buttons while driving and only use the radio when necessary to reply to incoming transmissions. There are many larger companies that use a software named “Autocab” which manages booking information, dispatch and pick up times. Yes this software can be very useful in dispatch and delivery services but for taxi’s we definitely recommend a two way radio as it can be used to do all of the above things but with added communication with your colleagues.

There are many two way radios still on the market which are affordable with many features. All the radios I’ll be showcasing are designed specifically for taxis, delivery drivers or any vehicle transportation service.

ICOM IC-F110S

If you are reading this and are looking for a starter, entry level two way radio then the ICOM IC-F110S is the one for you. The production of this radio is beginning to be wound down by ICOM but can still be purchased online for a very affordable price. Many taxi drivers will say that they do not want to have a radio as they are “too big” or “they take up too much room”, well the IC-F110S is the smallest radio out of their range of vehicular radios and takes minimal room to install. It transmits VHF (Very High Frequencies) which is great for wide open areas with minimal obstructions. This would be a great addition to a taxi company that works mainly in country side areas or small towns and villages. It only weighs 400g and stands at 150mm wide, 40mm height and 117.5mm in depth meaning it has a small, compact design. There are 8 available channels that can be used to communicate with the fleet with channel scanning to allow the user to hear any incoming transmissions through the 4 Watt front mounted speaker. The volume can be adjusted with the volume switch so suit the users ear. A full LED display is at the front of the radio which indicates the channel in use which can be easily seen in the dark without a distracting glare while driving. Once installed the user can communicate with no calling or waiting and have easy access to talk to other drivers or their company base. The IC-F110S has a polycarbonate front panel and is made with a die cast chassis making it much more robust and reliable compared to a personal mobile phone. When making transmissions, security can be very important for sensitive information and the IC-F110S provides the necessary security for this with a password feature. The transceiver must accept a password before any transmissions can be heard to prevent anyone unauthorised talking with other drivers or the base. For anyone looking for a starter radio the ICOM IC-F110S is a perfect tool to boost communication, organisation and professionalism. If a user is wanting a UHF version then the ICOM IC-F210S is available on our website.

ICOM IC-F110S two way radio

Motorola DM4401e

The next recommended radio is the Motorola DM4401e, this radio is at a higher price point but for good reason, as it has a whole lot more features than the average radio in this class. It comes with 32 channels and channel scanning, it is digital and can transmit either UHF or VHF. It can be used in all environments if that be wide open spaces or built up areas like cities or large towns. The DM4401e only weighs 300g which is very light meaning it installs very easily without any struggle. One of the most dangerous parts of a taxi drivers job is the driving and if a collision does happen then the base will need to know where the accident happened. GPS is built in to the DM4401e which will allow the base to see exactly where each driver is at any given time as long as they have TRBOnet software. TRBOnet allows the user to track radios using GPS, record transmissions and perform complex call routing, this increases safety dramatically for the drivers as they have the reassurance that they are always watched and are always safe. The GPS is also incredibly good use for if/when a taxi is stolen as the base will be able to know exactly where it is and can give that information to the police to retrieve the vehicle back. Yes a mobile phone does have GPS but can not be used in the same way with all the other features available with the radio. In addition the GPS on a phone can be turned off whereas on the radio itself it would need to be programmed to disable it. 4 programmable buttons come with the Motorola DM4401e making features easily accessible when they are needed. Each button can hold a different feature and the user can pick the features they wish to have programmed into their radio. One feature that can be useful while working is the Emergency Button feature which would send a signal to the users base and fleet once pressed notifying them that the user is in danger or has had an accident. The voice announcement feature is available to be programmed to the users radio which allows them to hear pre recorded voice announcements whenever an operation like changing channels has occurred, meaning the driver has no need to take their eyes off the road and can listen to any changes made. Integrated already into the DM4401e is an X-Pand compressor which allows the user to talk quietly while the transceiver can still hear the transmission loud and clear. The compressor basically boosts your voice louder when it appears quiet resulting in the user not having to shout or talk loud for their colleague to hear them talk. When using a mobile phone while working you will have to have it connected to hands free Bluetooth as it is illegal to use a phone while driving. When a phone is on Bluetooth the phone will pick up a lot of background noise like the car or people talking and the audio is not very clear. The DM4401e gives clear, precise and easy to hear audio with no background noise and clear voice transmissions.

Motorola DM4401 two way radio

Accessories

For both of the radios I have spoken about, there are plenty of different accessories available. Different antennas can be attached to your vehicle allowing further transmissions or shorter (depending on the users needs). Some antennas are designed specifically for urban areas such as towns and cities and some are designed for wide open areas. Programming cables are available meaning the user can programme their radios themselves as long as they have the software.

Motorola DM401 programming cable

Other spare parts like remote speaker microphones are available to be purchased online and they all have different features available. Some have a volume control switch, some have a programmable button but they can all be used to make your job easier resulting in the user having to use the radio itself less and the RSM more which could be attached to your shoulder for easier access.

Motorola DM4401 remote speaker microphone

A DIN mount can be added to your vehicle allowing the radio to be installed to where the radio would usually be, meaning it can be kept out the way while still being easily used while driving. The alternative could be a dash mount which allows the user to install their radio to the dashboard which could be a little closer than where the radio would be.

Diagram of DIN mount

 

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Motorola DR3000 UHF2 – Forthcoming Discontinuation

Motorola Solutions have announced that the Motorola DR3000 repeater will soon be discontinued, with the final order date for this product being the 17th June 2019 (Whilst stocks last).

“The Motorola DR3000 repeater is a continuous-duty unit that supports two simultaneous voice or data paths in digital TDMA mode. DR3000 easily mounts in wall or rack systems. This Motorola DR3000 repeater is part of the MOTOTRBO series, delivering increased capacity and spectrum efficiency, integrated data communications and enhanced voice communications through a complete solution.”

The replacement for this repeater is an already existing product that is available to purchase from the Radiotronics web store. The SLR5500 is a digital repeater from Motorola. Operating with both UHF and VHF frequencies, the SLR5500 is capable of mixed mode operation between both analogue and digital. A channel capacity of 64 allows for sufficient communications for a larger business, expanding the range of radios across substantially sized facilities.

If you’d like to find out more about the remaining available stock of the Motorola DR3000, please call and speak to a member of our sales team on 01425 533 533. For more information regarding the replacement SLR5500 then please click here.

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