Communication Solutions: Kenwood TK-D240 & TK-D340

Radiotronics are currently offering Kenwood’s TK-D240 and TK-D340 for £150*. This includes everything needed for a starter system for a business, with radio body, battery, antenna and charger all included. The TK-D240 is the VHF version of this radio, whilst the TK-D340 is the UHF equivalent.

The TK-D240/340 are an innovative set of radios from Kenwood. Benefitting from an amass of features, the one that truly makes these radios from Kenwood stand out is its ability to operate with dual-mode on a singular channel, making use of both DMR and analogue to have two conversations at once. A high grade professional radio, Kenwoods TK-D240/340 is suitable for a variety of working environments. 32 Channels allow for sufficient communications between a small to medium sized business, with these being split across two zones allowing for allocations across multiple business sectors.

IP55 rating means that these radios are protected partially against dust intrusion, whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water from all angles. Both the Kenwood models have been tested to military standards (MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G), ensuring its reliability in a variety of weather conditions such as high and low temperatures, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and varying levels of humidity.

Offering easy operating use, features such as voice annunciation make switching between channels easy, notifying the user what channel they are now broadcasting over without having to look down at the radio. Designed to be slim with an ergonomically stylish design, the TK-D240/340 stands at 121.4mm high, 54mm wide and 33.8mm in depth. This design allows for the radio to be easy to grip and operate, whilst also remaining both robust and reliable.

Radiotronics have previously sold these radios to a variety of differing industries, due to its flexibility this allows for the TK-D240/340 to be useful in many situations. A common radio found at live events, security teams who we have supplied with their communications equipment often find these radios in use at sporting events or live music events across the country. Due to its compact design, another common use is within the retail and hospitality sectors, the radios sleek design allows for the discreet use especially when paired with one of the many accessories available.

Should your business be looking to invest into a new communications system the Kenwood TK-D240/340 is an ideal solution, now at the low price of £150* this allows you as the operator to get even more out of your business communications at a lower price.

*Prices accurate as of 03/04/18

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Ensuring Radios Are Used Efficiently In The Workplace

Two way radios make communications within the workplace much easier allowing for increased productivity of workers. Although an efficient method of communicating many mistakes can be made if users are not trained properly to use them, the same training that would be applied should a new piece of machinery be brought onto site.

Although it may seem fairly condescending, because how hard is it to use a walkie talkie? Well many people often struggle with some of the basic functionality meaning that messages can be missed, ending up in a result where often it would be quicker to walk to the other operatives to explain your message.

Talking to quietly is a common occurrence this being because people often don’t realise quite how quietly they are talking resulting in impacted communications. A fairly simply mistake to rectify, ensuring that when using a two way radio you speak loud and clearly, making sure that the other members of your team will hear your message and understand all incoming communications.

Similarly talking to quickly can affect communications. This can be an issue for a number of reasons because not only will the message be difficult to interpret, but also the receiver of the message will often struggle to break down what you are saying meaning that things will be missed. In stressful situations the user may be panicked and speak quickly, but it is always important when in dangerous or stressful environments to remain calm and quicker action will be taken.

The final point in communications is to not talk over other communications, wait until the other person has ended their transmission before beginning your response. Ensuring these clear communications will allow the workforce to run more smoothly, helping to improve efficiency and the overall workload of staff. In some two way radios, a feature is present that will block communications until the person currently transmitting finishes speaking, meaning that this is not a major issue.

On to privacy, you should never assume that all of your conversations whilst using a two way radio are private, unless of course advanced encryption software is being used on your devices. As a user you should never reveal sensitive or personal information about yourself across the airwaves, minimalizing the risk of a data breach or leaked information because of human error.

Two way radios are built to high safety standards, with the Ingres protection rating of a radio ensuring its capabilities in differing working environments, something you can read more on here. It is vital that regular checks of radios are carried out, ensuring that all pieces of the radio are fully working when going out into the field. It is also important to ensure that the charge of the battery is sufficient for the shift it will be working, also monitoring the deterioration of the battery allowing for a replacement to be ordered prior to it no longer functioning as required.

Alongside ensuring that radios are checked regularly the storage is a key aspect on the lifespan of the devices. Storing your two way radios in places that are in direct sunlight or where warmer temperatures are present, this can also cause for the depletion of the radios. The same can be said for storing them in a cold or damp area this will lead to a similar outcome. Ensuring that your radios are in a cool, dry place will ensure that they continue to operate correctly through their expected lifespan.

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Motorola Solutions Cellular LEX L10i: The Future Of Handheld Communcations?

After the release of the Hytera PDC760 in late 2017 we took a look into some of its capabilities in a blogpost you can find here. Motorola have chosen to raise on Hytera’s card and moving forward into 2018 have announced the release of their LTE device the LEX L10i, capable of communications using a 3G/4G network connection.

Designed with first responders in mind the LEX L10i allows the operatives to work safer, smarter and faster. Addressing unique requirements of public safety, this by delivering functions such as a dedicated emergency button that is not available on consumer grade smartphones. Dual SIM slots allow for dual network access providing optimal coverage and performance, this both in public and private broadband networks.

The Motorola LEX L10i is built with a sleek design whilst also remaining extremely durable to survive some of the harsher environments it may endure. Standing at 143mm in height, 72.6mm in width and 13.9mm in depth, the LEX L10i weighs just 195 grams when connected to the standard battery. Rubberized top and bottom surfaces help the device to absorb impact should the radio be dropped, whilst a Gorilla Glass 3 screen provides resistance to scratches, drops and increase pressure.

Comparing this to current day smartphones the cellular device in question has roughly the same dimensions as many of the current market leading smartphones. But the key difference lies with both its safety features and durability, with the LEX L10i having an Ingres Protection rating of IP67. This not only ensures that the radio is completely protected against dust intrusion, but also safeguards the radio against submersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Rated to MIL-STD-810 G also ensures the robustness of the LEX-L10i, having been tested to withstand a 4ft drop onto concrete.

The LEX L10i has a USB 2.0 high-speed (micro-A interface) charging port, this allows for much more efficient charging with the device able to be charged from 0 to 80% in just 60 minutes. 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage capabilities ensure the LTE device continues to operate smoothly, whilst also being capable of memory expansion of up to 64GB via the use of a MicroSD card.

Running on a Security Enhanced Android operating system the LEX L10i is secured with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 hardware encryption, whilst also having secure boot in order to detect any potential cyber threats. With the ability to operate in covert mode, the LEX L10i can be paired with Mission Critical Bluetooth in order to remotely control the radios zones, channel, volume whilst also being able to activate an emergency. The cellular device can also be paired with Bluetooth mission critical Bluetooth accessories, this for easy push-to-talk capability.

An intelligent user interface helps to ensure the ease of use for the LEX L10i. Multiple sensors automatically detect ambient light, location orientation, proximity, vibration and drops in order to enhance the users context awareness. PSX Activity Builder allows for agents to create a custom user interface for operatives, this to improve workflow and operating procedures, alongside the PSX User Interface that allows for customizable and context-aware for differing environments or tasks improving productivity and situational awareness.

Although a cellular device the LEX L10i is a Motorola Radio Collaboration, this provides Bluetooth-based remote control and management of radios’ zones, channel, volume, signal strength, battery life, PTT and emergency. Meaning that the device has all the capabilities of a two way radio within a cell phone, making it ideal for situations or environments whereby radio communications need to be both discreet but continue working at long distances.

Although not currently released the LEX L10i promises to bring a different aspect to the cellular branch of the market, with release set for 2018 this device is something worth keeping an eye on.

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The History of Motorola Two Way Radios

1937 was a year in which George VI was coronated, but also the year a breakthrough was made in telecommunications technology. Canadian inventor Donald Hings was the man who first made a portable radio signalling system, this for his then employer CM&S who were a mining and smelting company now more commonly known as Teck Resources Limited.

The first radio to be widely known as the more common name “walkie-talkie” was developed by current market leaders Motorola. Then known as the Galvin Manufacturing Company, a contract was received in 1940 to develop a portable, battery powered voice radio receiver/transmitter from the War Department of the US Government. The size of a backpack, the SCR-300 was used by the American Army, with around 50,000 units believed to have been built over the course of World War 2. This radio being a huge success for the American Military was later adopted by the British, using the design of the SCR-300 for the “Wireless Set No. 31” in 1947.

The first truly handheld radio was the AM SCR-536 yet again made by Galvin Manufacturing, only 3 years after the SCR-300 was made in 1937. Mass produced in 1941 this radio would also play a large part in WW2 with 130,000 models being manufactured throughout the war, with this model being carried by many of the first waves to hit Omaha Beach in Normandy alongside operatives of the SCR-300.

“Walkie Talkies” have long been used for military communications since first being introduced before the second World War. Modern day TETRA units are now used in line with Militant Forces across the world, with the ability to communicate on a variety of bands and modulation schemes whilst also including encryption capabilities. The advancement of technologies for the military now allows for use of GPS in order to help locate troops and their radios.

The SCR-300 would have been a rigorous exercise for the radio carrier, even with the lighter version B battery the radio still weighing 15kg, whilst also having an antenna that was 33 inches in length, and having an optional 10-feet 8 inches whip antenna. The SCR-536 on the other hand is a much lighter radio, weighing more similarly to the modern-day communication equipment at 2.2kg although the radio was extremely large in size.

Communication technologies has come a long way since the first system development in 1937, used for a variety of working environments radios such as the SCR-300 and SCR-536 have shaped the way people communicate in a vast array of settings.

Moving forward in 1947 was when Galvin Manufacturing Company changed their name to Motorola, a brand that would become a house hold name in terms of telecommunications devices both cellular and two way radios. From this point Motorola would go on to release the HT200 radio, a portable device that was classed as small and lightweight at the time weighing in at just 0.9Kg but nicknamed the “brick” due to its shape and durability.

Following on from the success of the HT200 the MX300 was released in 1975, these radios would operate on the 900MHz band. Including such features as status, identification and emergency alert features would set Motorola’s latest radio apart from the rest of the competition, this alongside its ability to work alongside computer-aided radio dispatch systems.

Motorola began their TETRA development in 1996, apha testing on the Island of Jersey in the March of the year. Also being awarded a contract to provide a TETRA radio system for the new airport in Oslo Norway, the airport that would go on to become the main International airport for both the capital city and the country as a whole.

In the most recent decades Motorola have continued to lead the way in terms of radio communications equiptment, with the GP340 being branded as the most popular radio ever made. Although discontinued in 2015 the radio is constantly requested by business buyers as it is still renowned for its quality, although not currently in production there are many newer Motorola models that share traits with the GP340. The Motorola DP1400 is currently one of the market leaders more popular radios, this alongside others such a the DP2400e and the DP4400e.

Although Motorola have long been the dominant force within a small space for communications equptment, companies such as Hytera and Icom are hot on their tails moving into the 21st century with more big things to come from all participants in the market.

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Features For A Safer Workplace

Aswell as being a great form of communication for teams in the workplace, two way radios also house many safety features that could be the difference in saving a workers life. Here we have highlighted a few of those features, whilst some also have instructional videos showing you how they work.

VOX Voice Activation
VOX Voice Activation is a feature that is present on the majority of two way radios. A simple function that allows for hands free communications whilst using your telecommunications device, VOX is ideal for a variety of differing working environments. Some radios come readily equipped with a VOX function meaning that no additional needs to be taken, but should a radio not have it readily programmed accessories can be purchased that are VOX capable, from remote speaker microphones to headsets.

GPS
Global Positioning System otherwise known as GPS is a mechanism that will use a number of satellites in order to locate the position of a radio. Sending a signal back to a base station or repeater, this feature allows for a person to effectively manage their time via the knowledge of the exact location of each member of the team. Working hand in hand with another feature that we will mention, GPS can be useful when used in cooperation with the Man Down function, allowing for the operative to be found should they be in a dangerous position within the work place.

Man Down
A feature that is vital in dangerous working environments is Man Down. Whilst remote monitoring individual workers this feature can detect the orientation of the radio, detecting whether the radio is upright or not this will assume that the radio is on its side and that there is a problem at hand. Automatically detecting the issue, an alert transmission call for help will be activated and sent out to team members. Working similarly to how a smart phone works, whereby it can detect whether you are holding your phone in landscape or portrait mode, a system capable of GPS will also work in connection with this feature allowing for the operative to be found easily.

Lone Worker
Lone Worker is a feature that works in a similar manor to Man Down. Monitoring activity levels should the radio detect that it has been inactive for a pre-set period of time, 30 minutes for example, a sound will be played on the radio. If this sound is not responded to by the operative then an alert will be sent out to the other radios within the fleet, or initially to a base station for the operator to then dispatch someone to the scene of the incident. Lone Worker is often readily installed into many radios at a middle price point, radios such as the DP1400 from Motorola or the PD405 from Hytera.

Transmit Interrupt
Should an important messaged need to be relayed to a team quickly then Transmit Interrupt should be a feature of high priority to both you and your business. Should an immediate danger become apparent, Transmit Interrupt will allow for a high priority transmission to interrupt any ongoing communications between operatives. Transmit Interrupt can also be used for instances non urgent, whereby if a new set of instructions needs to be relayed then this is a great tool to use, allowing for effective and efficient use of workers tine.

Emergency Button
An emergency button is often present on two way communications devices, this is usually an orange colour and placed on the top of the radio. This can be programmed in order to raise and alarm to a base station or other radios within a group, if the devices being used have a display then the screen will showcase the ID of the radio in danger allowing for swift action to be taken. Seen on almost all radios, this is a safety feature that is of utmost importance in almost all working environments. Schools are able to take advantage of it should a disturbance be caused in class, or on a construction site where a person may be injured or urgent assistance is required.

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The Right IP Rating For Your Business

The IP code that comes in connection with your chosen radio may be somewhat of a confusion to the average user. The official meaning behind this code is to classify the degree of protection your radio has against intrusion, covering things such as dust and water immersion for set periods of time.

The two digits following the IP both stand for protection against different substances, for example the first number is in terms of solids that your radio may come into contact with, whilst the second being in relation to water. Solids range from a rating of 1 through 6, whilst water is protected from a rating of 1 through 9K. Should a digit of 0 appear in either the solids or liquids position, then this indicates that the radio is not protected against said material.

Radios without an Ingres protection would be IP00, although this is extremely rare for a two way radio to have no Ingres protection, with the most common protection rating from manufacturers such as Motorola and Hytera being IP54. This covers the radio for a limited Ingres protection against dust, whilst also being safeguarded against splashes of water from all directions.

ATEX radios are designed to be used in some of the most dangerous working conditions in the world, environments such as mining, oil refineries and power plants are common places for these types of two way radios. Due to the high level of danger in place, the IP rating tends to be higher at IP67. This rating not only conceals the radio completely against dust, but also protects the radio from immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for around 30 minutes.

Differentiating working environments will determine the level of Ingres protection you will need for your radios, for example in an education environment purchasing radios that are IP68 rated would be completely unnecessary, where radios that are IP54 would be the more logical choice. Leisure centres can be dependent on the fact of if there is a swimming facility, should this be the case then a radio that is IP67 and protected against immersion in water would be a better fit.

Popular Choices Per Ingres Rating

IP54: Motorola DP1400Hytera PD505Hytera PD365Kenwood TK2000/3000
IP67: Hytera PD705Hytera PD605Motorola DP2400eKenwood NX-200/300
IP68: Motorola DP3441eMotorola DP4400e

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Tips For Effective Communications

When using two way radios there are generally some unwritten rules on how to make best use of your communication devices. In order to make conversation easier between yourself and the recipient, various methods can be used.When first pressing the push to talk (PTT) button take a brief moment before relaying your message, this because there is a short delay with most radios before it begins to transmit. On newer releases of radios brands have began implementing a feature called time to talk, this sounds a bleeping noise until the radio is ready to transmit meaning that none of the communications are missed. Some radios that have this feature are the Motorola DP1400 and the Hytera PD505, although almost all current digital radios have implemented this feature.

Shorter talk time is also seen as the most effective way of communicating with colleagues. Due to only one person being able to transmit at a time, making a statement then waiting for acknowledgment before continuing with your next point allows for the person you are talking to being able to either agree or ask for further information on the subject. General terms are often used in radio communications, these may be things that you have previously heard not only via your own personal radio communications but in films and TV programs alike.

Radio Check – Can You Hear Me?
Read You Loud & Clear – Response to “Radio Check” Meaning Transmission is Good
Go Ahead – Ready To Recieve Transmission
Stand-By – Acknowledging the Message, But Unable To Respond
Roger/Ten Four – Message has been recieved/understood
Negative – No
Affirmative – Yes
Say Again – Repeat Your Message
Over – Message Completed
Break (x3) – Interruption due to Emergency
Come In – Asking second party to acknowledge they can hear you
Copy – You understand what has been said
Wilco – Meaning “I Will Comply”
Repeat – Used before repeating transmission

Identification is key in two way radio conversation, this because as mentioned before only one message can be transmitted at a time. Therefore, if a channel is populated with multiple radios in use, it may be unclear to other users who the message is directed towards. Identifying both who it is sending the message, and who it is targeted towards, unless of course it is aimed at a group of people then this should be made clear.

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet is the most widely used radiotelephone spelling alphabet. Created in order to avoid confusion, the Phonetic Alphabet allows for clear communications so that nothing is missed or misspelt. Recognised in a variety of languages, this alphabet is something that Radiotronics highly endorses to any company purchasing two-way radios, as if the work force is aware of it then it can make communications much more efficient.

A – Alpha – AL-FAH
B – Bravo – BRAH-VOH
C – Charlie – CHAR-LEE
D – Delta – DELL-TAH
E – Echo – ECK-OH
F – Fox-Trot – FOKS-TROT
G – Golf – GOLF
H – Hotel – HOH-TELL
I – India – IN-DEE-AH
J – Juliet – JEW-LEE-ETT
K – Kilo – KEY-LOH
L – Lima – LEE-MAH
M – Mike – MIKE
N – November – NO-VEM-BER
O – Oscar – OSS-CAH
P – Papa – PAH-PAH
Q – Quebec – KEH-BECK
R – Romero – ROW-ME-OH
S – Sierra – SEE-AIR-RAH
T – Tango – TANG-OH
U – Uniform – YOU-NEE-FORM
V – Victor – VIK-TAH
W – Whiskey – WISS-KEY
X – X-Ray – ECKS-RAY
Y – Yankee – YANG-KEY
Z – Zulu – ZOO-LOO

 

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Motorola Housing Front Cover Guide

Motorola offer housing (front cover) kits for almost all of their portable and mobile two way radios. But it is an absolute minefield of part codes. For this guide we’ll concentrate on rehousing kits, that’s complete kits, not the components themselves.

This article is work in progress. If you have a radio not listed, email spares@radiotronics.co.uk wth your model of radio.

What’s the difference?

A two way radio housing kit from Motorola usually contains quite a few parts that makes changing the housing relatively simple.

GP Professional Series

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
GP320 PMLN4253A £16.80 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B02 £1.60 GP320 Name Badge
GP330 PMLN5135A £24.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3380660Z12 £1.00 GP330 Name Badge
GP340
GP640
PMLN4216G £39.50 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B03 £1.00 GP340 Name Badge
1364279B06 £1.20 GP640 Name Badge
GP360 PMLN4302F £59.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B04 £1.00 GP360 Name Badge
GP380
GP680
PMLN4304G £122.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
1364279B05 £1.00 GP380 Name Badge
1364279B07 £1.00 GP680 Name Badge
Other Spare Parts
All Models 3680529Z01 £2.10 Volume Knob
3680530Z02 £2.10 Channel Knob
HLN9820A £4.00 Dust cover (also known as 1586059A01)

GP Professional Series (Compact)

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
GP344 PMHD4004C £106.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included (There’s also a rare 4-channel version, part code PMHE4024)
3385959Z07 £1.40 GP344 Name Badge
GP644 PMHE4006D £106.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3385959Z09 £1.40 GP644 Name Badge
GP388 PMHD4005 £77.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included (There’s also a rare 4-channel version, part code PMHD4004)
3386098Z05 £1.40 GP388 Name Badge
GP688 PMHE4007 £230.00 Name Badge & Knobs Not Included
3386098Z09 £1.40 GP688 Name Badge
Other Spare Parts
All Models 3680529Z01 £2.10 Volume Knob
3680530Z02 £2.10 Channel Knob
JMLN4638A £4.00 Dust cover

DP4000 (non-E) Series

The DP4000 (non-E) series has 6 models and does not have a front name badge. The model badge is on the rear of the radio on the top Back Panel above the battery.

As an example, to fully refurbish a DP4400 you would need 1x PMLN5691 housing, 1x 15012092001 back panel, 1x 36012004001 volume knob, 1x 36012005001 channel knob and finally, 1x 15012157001 accessory socket dust cover.

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
Housing Kits
DP4400 PMLN5691 £27.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015013 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4401 PMLN6111 £23.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015016 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4600 PMLN5690 £91.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015014 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4601 PMLN6112 £94.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015017 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4800 PMLN5961 £90.00 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015015 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4801 PMLN6116 £94.00 Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015018 £1.20 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
Other Spare Parts
All Models 15012092001 £1.50 DP4000 Name Badge Back Panel (Above Battery)
36012004001 £1.40 Volume Knob
36012005001 £1.80 Channel Knob
15012157001 £6.00 Dust cover

DP4000-E (Enhanced) Series

The DP4000-E (Enhanced) series has 6 models and, similar to the non-E series, does not have a front name badge. The model badge is on the rear of the radio on the top Back Panel above the battery.

As an example, to fully refurbish a DP4400e you would need 1x PMLN7323 housing, 1x 15012092001 back panel, 1x 36012004001 volume knob, 1x 36012005001 channel knob and finally, 1x 15012157001 accessory socket dust cover.

Model(s) Part Code RRP Comments
Housing Kits
DP4400e PMLN7323 £19.80 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015052 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4401e PMLN7361 £21.50 Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015053 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4600e PMLN7453 £43.00 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7420 £42.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015054 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4601e PMLN7452 £44.00 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7419 £43.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015055 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4800e PMLN7426 £56.14 (UHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7322 £42.50 (VHF) Name Badge, Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015056 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
DP4801e PMLN7427 £42.50 (UHF) Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
PMLN7360 £43.50 (VHF) Name Badge Back Panel & Knobs Not Included
33012015057 £1.40 Name Badge for 15012092001 Back Panel
Other Spare Parts
All Models 15012092001 £1.50 DP4000 Name Badge Back Panel (Above Battery)
36012004001 £1.40 Volume Knob
36012005001 £1.80 Channel Knob
15012157001 £6.00 Dust cover

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Tips For Improving Your Radios Battery Life

A common complaint people have of their two way radios is the battery life not being sufficient. This can often be down to simple mistakes you may be making as a user, in this blog post we will be talking about methods that can be used in order to prolong the life span of your radio communication devices.

Vital to your working process, the batteries used in your two way radios are just as important as the body and features each singular device holds. When in communications with a team or colleague, your radio may be vital if the environment is potentially dangerous.

Starting simple, the volume of your device could be drawing large power from your battery without you even realising it. Something we are all naïve of is that thinking that listening to a device on a higher volume will use the same power as if we were to listen to it on a lower one. Often professionals using radios in a quiet working environment will leave their radios on full volume, a recommendation by Hytera states that should you be working in a place where the noise levels are fairly low, then by lowering your volume this can add hours onto your batteries charge life.

Although not always a possibility for various reasons, our second tip for prolonging battery life involves having a second spare battery on your person whilst working. Should you be away from base and recharging your battery isn’t an option, a second battery will allow for you to continue working without need for interruption. Obviously, this comes with monetary constraints, but this is the method which will allow for the longest use out of your two way radio.

Using accessories with your radios can also help to improve the battery life of your radio, although this is an added cost, a dramatic improvement can be seen when using a headset or microphone. Reducing battery drainage, earpieces are designed in order to improve both operating comfort and also efficiency.

Over charging your battery can lead to it deteriorating in power fairly quickly, as we often see with modern day smartphones whereby people leave them on charge whilst in use or for extended periods of time. Often with people blaming the manufacturers, the same can be said about two way radios. A common complaint that we have about batteries is there reduced power over the first year of use, but this can easily be rectified by numerous actions you can take. Ensuring radios are turned off whilst charging will not only allow them to charge quicker but will also help to prolong the lifespan, this alongside the fairly obvious resolution of just not leaving the radio in charge for longer than it needs to be. In modern times companies like Hytera and Motorola both offer smart batteries to go with their radios, this sufficiently improving the life span due to the technology involved, information on these can be found here.

The final tip is a fairly simple one in regards to the storage of your radios and batteries when not in use. It is advised by almost all manufacturers that your battery is kept in a cool and dry environment, this to ensure optimum energy storage.

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Motorola DP1400 Vs. Hytera PD405

Motorola Solutions have long been market leaders in the radio communications market. Producing devices such as the GP340, which has been described as the most trusted radio device for the past 2 decades. Moving into more modern times, Hytera is hot on the trail of the communications giant. With popular models such as the PD705, and a technological first in the radio communications market with the PDC760, a radio which can act as both a two-way communications device and a smart phone.

In this blog post we will be comparing two devices from Motorola and Hytera, the DP1400 and the PD405 respectively. Starting with price, there isn’t much between the two with the PD405 coming in marginally cheaper at £119.99* and the DP1400 being £125*. Not only similar in price, a lot of the features are identical. With both radios working to both analogue and digital modes, broadcasting over UHF and VHF frequencies, and the two having a capacity of 16 channels.

*Price accurate of the date 22/01/2018

The DP1400 and the PD405 signalling types are similar also, with the two devices making use of CTCSS, DCS and DMR. Voice activation capabilities are present on both devices, meaning that should hands free contact need to be made by the user this is a possibility with the two radios. Alongside the radio body, a battery and antenna are included when purchasing each radio, with a charger being the only additional cost incurred when purchasing these devices. Although upgrades can be purchased for each radio, with a larger battery being an additional cost available should you need it.

Further safety features include lone worker. When purchasing the PD405 from Hytera, this is something which is built into the radio, but is classed as an optional extra with Motorolas DP1400. An important feature of every radio to be used for a working purpose is its safety rating, Motorolas device has a protection rating of IP54, this means that it has a limited ingress of dust and is also protected against splashes of water. The PD405 on the other hand is IP55, yet again being protective of dust but can also be protected against low pressure water jets.

Although not produced by Motorola, available from Radiotronics for the DP1400 are a variety of coloured shells for these radios. These can help to identify different divisions within your operation, or even if just a plane black radio isn’t quite what you’re after when purchasing a new fleet for your company.

All in all, both devices are market leaders at this price range, and are great options should you be looking to fit out your company with its first radio communications equipment. With both pricing and the features included on the device being extremely similar, it would be hard to pick a favourite from the two. All depending on what purchase you decide to make, these devices are definitely on option worth looking at for a variety of different working environments

Hytera PD405 Dimensions                               Motorola DP1400 Dimensions
Weight: 270g                                                     Weight: 240g
Height: 112mm                                                  Height: 128mm
Width: 54mm                                                     Width: 61.5mm
Depth: 28mm                                                     Depth: 42mm

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