Month: July 2019

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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Hytera Makes Its Mark On The Cellular Market

Many companies have previously decided to complete research and development into radios operating over cellular networks. Hytera are the latest company to try their hand at the up and coming technology and in doing so have released the PNC370 and PNC550 PoC radios. Aiming to rival radios from companies such as Motorola, Telo and Icom, Hytera’s PoC devices look set to be an ideal solution for any cellular radio needs.

If you’re looking for a cellular two way radio that isn’t to dissimilar in looks to your more traditional radio then look no further than the Hytera PNC370. Built to IP55 Ingres protection standards the PNC370 has a limited protection against dust intrusion, this whilst also being safeguarded against jets of water from all angles. MIL-STD-810 G ensures the radios continuous operation in a variety of environmental conditions, allowing the PNC370 to withstand temperatures from as low as -20°C through to 60°C. Hytera also understand that radios can be dropped, this is why the PNC370 has a drop resistance of 1.2 meters.

The PNC370 stands at 121mm tall, 55.5mm in width and 24mm whilst weighing just 185g whilst the battery is connected. Coming with the Hytera PNC370 is a 3100mAh Li-Ion battery, this will allow for up to 18 hours of life using a 5-5-90 working cycle. In order to program the radio there is a Micro USB 2.0 connector this alongside a 2.5mm audio jack to connect any accessories to the radio, these are both covered by flaps to ensure that there is no intrusion of dust. On the front of the PNC370 is a 2” Non-Touch display that allows users to view information such as current channel, battery life remaining, network coverage and also information such as the current date and time. Beneath the screen is a partial keypad that allows for the user to accept and reject calls, alongside programmable buttons and a navigation key that allows the user to move through the options on screen with ease.

This radio runs using the Android 5.1 operating system, the same that can be found with older versions of Android Cell phones. A quad-core 1.1GHz processor allowing the PNC370 to smoothly run even after extended periods of use, this also helped out by the 512MB of built in RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Due to the Hytera PNC370 using cellular networks to talk communicate with other radios the device requires a SIM card, the card that is used with the PNC370 is a Micro SIM (12x15mm), this is the card used with cell phones released around 2010 although they can still be purchased today.

The main benefit of using a cellular radio is that the range covered is unlimited, as long as there is service coverage in your area then you are free to send out transmissions even if you’re contacting someone on the other side of the world! Along with the unmatchable range, due to operating on a cellular network a GPS positioning system, when used with dispatcher software, is available to help track both safety and efficiency of workers. Bluetooth 4.1 is also present on both the Hytera PNC370 and the PNC550, this allowing for the connection of selected Bluetooth accessories to the radio meaning no more wires getting in the way of the user whilst working.

The second radio we will be talking about is the PNC550. This is in my opinion one of the most impressive looking two way radios on the market, why? Because it looks just like a mobile phone that you’d use for everyday life.

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.

Similarly to the PNC370 the PNC550 has a USB 2.0 charging interface, but unlike the former the PNC550 has a 3.5mm common audio interface meaning that normal headphones can be plugged into the device, although they would not work with the two-way radio capabilities. The radio has a 3 colour indicator light flashing either red, yellow or green, this allows for the user to view at a glance should they have a notification on their radio without having to switch the screen on.

As previously mentioned the PNC550 has GPS, this can be used in connection with one of the features that is found on the radio which is a Compass. There are 2 other features that can be found on the PNC550 that use a sensor to operate, these are both a gravity sensor and a proximity light sensor. Two cameras can be found on the radio in similar positions to that of an everyday smart phone, a 13MP on the back side and an 8MP front facing camera, these are the same quality that you would expect to find on any smart phone that is released over the next few years. These cameras will allow the user to take photos of any issues they be having whilst on site, this meaning that a problem may be diagnosed without another member of staff having to come to the rescue to add their input in person.

All things taken into consideration Hytera have certainly made a lasting impact upon their first entry to the cellular two way radio market. If you’d like to know more about either of the radios that have been mentioned in this blog then be sure the check out their dedicated pages on our website, for the PNC370 click here and for the PNC550 click here.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone one to one about the possibilities of these radios, why not call one of our highly trained sales team members on 01425 533 533.

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PD 7 Series- Hytera PD705LT

Hytera have a huge selection of two way radios that are ever advancing. The PD7 series is having a huge affect on the two way radio industry and the PD705LT (Light) is one of the more affordable radios out of the PD7 series, this whilst still being excellent in quality and having a vast amount of features.

Physical Attributes

The Hytera PD705LT is a compact, robust digital two way radio which stands at 119mm tall (with antenna) 54mm wide and 27mm in depth. It is rated IP67 meaning it is incredibly strong and resistant against water and dust. Two robust switches are located at the top of the radio which are the channel selector switch, volume and on/off switch, along with these is the emergency button which can be used to notify your fleet of an emergency with an alarm.

The left side of the PD705LT is where the push to talk (PTT) button and the two programmable buttons are located, many features are available to be programmed into these for ease accessibility in the workplace.

On the right side is where the accessory connector is located which is where earpieces, remote speaker microphones, headsets and other accessories like programming cables can be connected. These accessories can help make the users life much easier when working.

The back of the radio is where the belt clip is attached to the battery. From the picture below you will notice the two screws that allow the belt clip to be screwed onto the radio, this making it more robust and reliable compared to the average belt clip on other similar types of two way radios.

 

Features

48 channels are available with the PD705LT, this being split through 3 zones with 16 channels on each, however at Radiotronics we programme the amount available with the users license. Channel scanning is present which will scan through all the channels to allow the user to find an ongoing transmission. Mixed mode scanning is also present for the users who wish to use analogue and digital two way radios in the same fleet, this could be when a company is transitioning from analogue to digital and they wish to have their new digital radios to connect and transmit to their old analogue radios. Selectable channel spacing can be programmed into a users radio which is great to determine how many channels they wish to have in there block of the radio spectrum. The smaller the spacing between channels the more channels can fit into their zone, but the larger the spacing is between channels the better the reception and audio quality is. With the PD705LT a user can choose between 12.5MHz/20MHz/25MHz as their channel spacing.

Transmit interrupt is available to be programmed into the PD705LT and this allows the user to interrupt any transmissions that may be currently ongoing to notify the whole fleet, usually of an emergency. This is great when the user is wanting to notify the fleet urgently. Another feature that can also be programmed into the PD705LT is lone worker that is incredibly useful for users who work alone. A signal will be sent out after the radio has been in active for a pre-set amount of time and if the signal is answered then the supervisor will know that person is safe, if it isn’t answered to then another signal will be sent out to the rest of the fleet, notifying them that the worker, working alone hasn’t answered and may be unsafe or injured. 5-tone signalling is present, but this is only available in analogue mode. A digital equivalent would be colour code which allows the fleet to make personal calls once programmed. VOX (Voice Activation) allows the user to transmit to their fleet without using the PTT button, this may be useful with compatible earpieces and remote speaker microphones (RSM) that also have this feature. This prevents a user from having to reach down to their radio which may be attached to their hip, freeing the hands to do their job.

Accessories

There are many accessories which are compatible with the PD705LT which can be used for many different reasons. Remote speaker microphones like the SM18N2 can be used with the PD705LT which means the user can transmit information without having to bring the radio to their mouth, the RSM will clip onto the users shoulder or collar creating easy access to their radio.

SM18N-RSM

Earpieces like the Hytera EAN23 can also be connected to the RSM with a 3.5mm jack which means that as-well as having easy access to making transmissions, the user will also be able to hear other people’s transmissions straight to their ear rather than having them broadcast out for everyone to hear. This can be useful for when a user may be in covert, sensitive environments and not wanting the information transmitted to be shared around strangers or people that can’t be listening to the possibly sensitive information.

EAN23-Earpiece

Another earpiece that works amazing in covert, sensitive environments is the D-shape earpiece which is designed to wrap around the ear preventing it from falling off the users ear when moving around. It is comfortable around the ear with the small speaker covering the eardrum giving clear audio. The D shape earpiece connects directly into the radio in use rather than into a remote speaker microphone just like the EAN23 covert earpiece.

D-Shape Earpiece

Headsets like the ECN18 are brilliant for when working on roads or in loud environments such as a construction site. They are noise cancelling headphones which will protect your ears from the loud noises as well as allowing the user to hear other people’s transmissions. Along with this is a microphone that will pick up any voice while blocking out the loud background noises, this could be cars passing you on a motorway when working on roads or a loud drill on a construction site. The ECN18 connects directly to the PD705LT and because of this it would be very unlikely to disconnect.

ECN18-Headset

Chargers

The user will be needing a charger for their PD705LT and depending on how big their fleet is may change what type of charger they need. If a user is buying a larger fleet for the first time they will want to buy a charger like the Hytera MCA08, this is a six unit charger and can hold six radios in one place and charge them all at the same time, in the same place. This is actually more affordable and better for organization rather than buying six single pod chargers. If the user is planning on buying only a couple of radios for the first time without the idea of buying more in the future then the single pod charger or the twin charger is available. The two pods that have been merged together allow the radios to stand back to back while charging only needing one power supply to charge them at the same time.

Twin Charger, Single Pod, 6 Unit Charger

Because of the PD705LT‘s affordability it is available and useful in most work environments, this could be for security, in schools, maintenance, event management or even on construction sites. It’s features enable you to use it in emergency situations and with earpieces, for discretion, it can be used pretty much anywhere except places with gas or oil nearby that may cause damages. ATEX is better off for environments like this.

If you wish to know more in a visual way then watch our comprehensive video where we talk about all of it’s features, the chargers and the compatible accessories that are available with the Hytera PD705LT.

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