If you saved your company a great deal of money by shopping for the best bargains on two-way radios and other communications devices throughout the year, you may have some leftover funds in your communications budget. Before asking yourself what to do with this extra cash, check out these 10 savvy ways to use your leftover communications money before the end of the year.
- Earpieces and headsets. If you want to really increase productivity and even add privacy to your employees’ conversations, invest in some earpieces that are compatible with your existing radios. These handy devices make for hands-free communication, and they prevent conversations from being broadcast for all to hear.
- New batteries. Invest in a few newer model lithium ion batteries to extend the lifespans of your existing radios.
- Maintenance. Just like a car, a two-way radio needs regular maintenance to prevent it from needing replaced. Take your radios to a local radio repair shop and schedule a thorough once-over.
- New antenna. If the antenna on your current radio is looking a bit worse for the wear, you may not be getting as much out of it as you used to. This is a fairly simple and affordable fix that can greatly improve your radio’s performance.
- A multi-unit charger. If your business or family owns a number of two-way radios, it only makes sense to invest in a multi-unit charger so that you can charge them all at one time.
- Radio cases. If your employees are frequently handling their radios on dangerous job sites, invest in cases to cut down on wear and tear.
- Digital conversions. Convert your analog radios to digital systems to keep up with the times and keep them in operation for longer.
- Spare radios. If you only have enough radios for the number of people using them, you’re in big trouble when one breaks. Always keep a couple extra on hand just in case.
- A battery fleet management system. This handy device allows you to monitor the battery life on all of your radios at once, making it easy to check them all without testing each individual radio.
- A maintenance contract. Easily budget for any unforeseen maintenance on your radios by purchasing a maintenance contract.
January 19th, 2017
Technology is such a huge part of our lives now that we almost don’t even notice all of the ways that we use it; from our vehicles to our interactions with friends, we’re practically never apart from some type of device. With so many constant changes in technology, however, you may start to wonder how the way we use tried-and-true items like two-way radios will start to change. Here are some interesting facts about the way technology is changing the way people use two-way radios.
- Many modern styles of two-way radios operate much like cell phones (aside from the network and data plan). With modern two-way radios, users can now communicate via both voice and text message, depending on your needs.
- Today’s two-way radios still allow for communication from person to person between a base unit and dispatcher. This is what keeps them so reliable, especially in case of a catastrophic event.
- There are applications on the newer models of two-way radios that allow users to control their email, text, location tracking, and even system monitoring.
- For those who use two-way radios in the workplace, these technological advancements have greatly increased productivity. Instead of just being able to communicate with employees from different departments, you can now manage work tickets and various systems throughout the workplace.
- While traditional two-way radios operated on a conventional system, newer versions like Motorola radios operate on Conventional, Connect Plus (multi-site digital trunking), Capacity Plus (a single-site digital trunking solution used with the MotoTRBO two-way radio system), Linked Capacity Plus (which allows integrated voice and data without using a separate network controller), or IP Site Connect (which uses the Internet to extend coverage).
- In general, the largest change we’ve seen in the technological advancement of two-way radios is in their functionality. Instead of only allowing the user to communicate, now they allow the user to track productivity, efficiency, safety, and many other features.
January 16th, 2017
While many families bring along two-way radios to communicate with each other on a cruise ship, an airplane comes with its own rules and regulations. It’s certainly not as common to bring a two-way radio on an airplane, but it is illegal? Here’s what you need to know before bringing your radio on your next flight.
- The short answer: yes, you can pack a two-way radio in your bag on an airplane. Most experts would recommend that you keep any type of unusual electronic device in your carry-on (so that you can talk about it directly with the TSA agent inspecting your bag), but it’s not against the TSA’s guidelines to bring these common communication radios with you on the plane.
- If you own a more complex radio setup, such as “hacked” two-way radios or HAM radios with gel batteries, messy cords and wires, and other accessories, you may want to leave them behind – or at least scale your operation way, way down. These unusual electronics make TSA agents nervous because they only have a certain amount of time to check each person’s bag, and some of these items look a bit too much like explosive devices for comfort. If you only own a simple two-way radio set, however, you should be safe from questioning.
- While you are able to pack the radio in your bag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it on the plane. Many people say that when the captain says to turn all electronic devices to “airplane mode,” you should also stow away your two-way radios.
- If you own any type of radio that requires a license to operate, make sure to bring your license along with you when you go through security. This will make things a lot easier for everyone involved.
January 12th, 2017
Before investing in a two-way radio to use for recreational, family, or even work purposes, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your new radio. This means purchasing one that has all of the features you’ll need for your future uses, and none of the features that you won’t need (which may drive the price of the radio up). Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself before purchasing a two-way radio.
- Where will you use your radio most? Whether you’ll use it at home, at work, on vacation, or even out in the wilderness, this is an important first question. This will help you to narrow down your choices between heavy-duty two-way radios designed for long distances and lightweight, short-distance two-way radios designed for use indoors.
- Do you need for your radio to be compatible with other radios? If you (or someone you’ll be communicating with) already own other two-way radios, you’ll want to make sure that your new ones are compatible with those existing ones. Not all two-way radios work with one another, so be sure to check the specs before purchasing.
- What type of activity will you be doing most? Using your two-way radio while on a cruise is a whole lot different than using it while doing manual labor. There are radios designed for either recreational or work uses, so be sure to consider this.
- How many groups of people will be talking on the radio? This determines how many separate channels you’ll need, because each different radio comes with a different number of channels. If you’ll only be communicating with, say, your family, you’ll likely need a lower number of channels than if you’re communicating with 10 groups of employees.
- How long will you need to use the radio for at one time? If you’re going on an overnight camping trip where you won’t have access to electricity, you’ll want to invest in a radio with a long-lasting lithium ion battery.
January 9th, 2017
While you may think of two-way radios as common in the worlds of hiking, family vacations, or small business operations, many of the world’s top industries also frequently use these handy, efficiency-boosting devices. Here are just a few of the largest industries that count two-way radios as essential parts of their daily operations.
- Hospitality. It’s no secret that the hospitality industry benefits greatly from the use of two-way radios, both in the back-of-house and the front-of-house. From hotels and resorts to restaurants, these hospitality operations rely on radios to quickly communicate issues, place orders, and even call for assistance from other staff members.
- Health and safety. Police officers, EMTs, and firefighters use two-way radios every day to call their headquarters and to dispatch help in the case of a crisis. Oftentimes, especially in the case of large-scale disasters, cell phone signals will become too congested to connect, and that’s why these incredibly important industries rely on two-way radios as their main source of communication.
- Retail. If you shop at department stores or even at your local mall, you’ve likely noticed store clerks calling for assistance with merchandise in the back rooms of the store. Two-way radios are also used in areas of loss prevention within retail operations, as they make it easy and safe to call for security in case of shoplifting or violence in the store.
- Manufacturing. On factory floors or assembly lines, two-way radios are used to instantly communicate with managers or maintenance staff in case of interruptions.
- Mining. Mining is one of the most dangerous professions in the world today, so miners rely on two-way radios to call for help when cell phone signals just won’t do. These devices help to prevent injury or death in case of fire, collapse, explosion, and any number of other dangers.
- Security. Security guards can easily radio for help on surveillance operations when they notice suspicious activity or theft. These types of radios are discrete and reliable, which is essential in the world of security.
January 5th, 2017
Are you in the market for a new two-way radio, but just not sure which type is best for you? If you’re unsure about how to choose the perfect radio for your unique home or business uses, Tech Wholesale makes things easy with our one-of-a-kind radio finder. On our website, you can take a quick quiz to find out how to choose a radio based on your particular needs. Here are just a few of the things that you’ll need to take in to consideration before choosing the right radio for you.
- UHF versus VHF Radios. Make your search much easier by first deciding between a UHF or VHF radio. UHF radios (or Ultra High Frequency radios) are the most common, mainly because the waves are shorter and they can get around areas of interference. VHF radios (or Very High Frequency radios) are less common, but they can cover more distance with less power. These only work well if there is a clear line of sight without interference.
- Choose the proper power setting. Handheld two-way radios use between 0.5-5 watts of power to broadcast a signal, Business radios run between 1 and 5 watts, and current FRS models broadcast at 0.5 watts.
- Decide between family or business use. Tech Wholesale divides many of our radios into home or business uses, so decide which you’ll need before shopping.
- Name a budget. If you don’t have a large budget, it may be best to choose a more recreational radio rather than a business radio. You can also shop Tech Wholesale by price in most categories.
- Decide where you’ll use your radio. Will you use your radio inside or outside? This is an important factor when choosing a radio, because some radios won’t work with interference (such as trees or buildings).
- Check out compatibility. If you already own one or more other radios, make sure that your new set is compatible with the radios that you currently use.
January 2nd, 2017
If you recently invested in a Kenwood Two-Way radio for personal or work use, you’ll certainly want to program it before attempting to use it. This Japanese electronics manufacturer produces a very popular line of portable radio equipment, and its wide range of two-way radios is often used in both home and corporate settings. While a Kenwood radio can be programmed to a particular channel or programmed to search for channels, whichever type of programming you choose, it only takes a few minutes to set up. Here’s how to set up your brand new Kenwood two-way radio:
To set a specific channel:
- Turn the radio off and hold down the menu button. While still holding down the menu button, turn the radio back on and then release the button.
- Using the arrow keys, select whichever channel number you prefer.
- Once you land on the correct channel, press the menu button again.
- Next, use the arrow keys to select your preferred frequency within that channel.
- If you want to program multiple frequencies within each channel, repeat those same steps for every channel.
- Press any other button to exit.
To set your radio to scan for channels:
- Turn the radio off and hold down the menu button. While still holding down the menu button, turn the radio back on and then release the button.
- Press either one of the arrow buttons repeatedly until “Sc-on” appears on the screen.
- Press the menu button again, and then press PTT, Mon or Cal to exit.
- Hold down the up arrow button until “Scan” flashes on the screen. Your radio will automatically scan frequencies within its range and connect to those that it finds compatible.
December 29th, 2016
Whether your neighborhood already has a designated neighborhood watch or you’re looking to start your own, you’ll likely need a radio to communicate with the rest of the watchers in your neighborhood. Many people use GMRS radios for this type of protection, and if you’re looking to invest in a GMRS radio system for your neighborhood watch, here are a few reasons why these are great options.
- GMRS radios are designed for short-distance two-way communication, so while they aren’t ideal for long-distance activities (like hiking or hunting) or group activities (like tours or workplace use), they are great for communicating with a partner on a neighborhood watch. The range between radios is usually 1 to 2 miles, while mobile units with antennas can work up to 5 miles away.
- GMRS radios require a license for use in the US, which allows you to communicate on the channels within the Family Radio Service. While the GMRS operator must have a license in order to use the radio, the license allows the owner’s immediate family members to communicate with him or her in case of danger or emergency.
- GMRS radios are more expensive than your standard walkie talkies or two-way radios, but that’s because they are considered a higher quality than those types of common radios. They won’t drop the connection, and they maintain much more private connections than other radios.
- If you’re on neighborhood watch and notice suspicious activity, you can easily and privately communicate with a partner by using a GMRS radio. Before approaching the suspect or interfering with the activity, you can call for backup by alerting the other person via the GMRS radio. You can even ask your partner to call the police if you feel that the situation requires even more assistance.
December 26th, 2016
Family cruises are great vacations because they enable your whole crew to go to one or more destinations without worrying about travel accommodations, lodging, food, and other additional expenses. Everything is all-inclusive on a cruise, and the beautiful waterfront views make your travel time feel like vacation time as well.
If you’re embarking on a cruise with your whole family, you may be wondering how the kids and adults can stay in communication with one another while on the incredibly large cruise ship. Because it’s common for cell phones to lose signal in the open water, you may want to invest in a two-way radio system for your family to use. Here are just a few of the benefits of using a two-way radio on your next family cruise.
- Many people underestimate the size of a cruise ship – until they actually step on board. These ships are very, very large, and using a two-way radio makes it easy to keep track of all of your family members when they all rush off to do different activities on deck.
- Like we mentioned before, cell phones don’t work aboard a cruise ship. Unless you want to have the crew page your missing family members, you’ll want to invest in some long-distance two-way radios.
- Many types of two-way radios operate at a distance of 23 miles or higher, which means that they’ll work on the ship even if one person is tanning on the top deck and another is bowling below deck.
- Two-way radios have dozens of channels to choose from, so you know that you’ll always find a channel for your family to use.
- If you’re worried about maintaining privacy from the other family aboard the ship, you can use a privacy code on your two-way radio. These types of codes are entered before communicating on your chosen channel, so even if another family is using that same channel, you can be sure that you won’t hear their conversation – and vice versa!
December 22nd, 2016
There are a number of ways to operate a two-way radio, and although these devices may seem simple, some of their more advanced uses are fairly complex. One of these unique usages is something called “trunking,” which is a way to share a small number of two-way radio frequencies with a large group of users.
With trunking, this group of people (whether it be a group of coworkers, friends, family, or a social organization), can take advantage of one “talkgroup,” instead of one singular channel. This means that individual users are able to talk to other users in the group at any time, rather than waiting for idle time in the conversation to pass until someone else is able to chat. The talkgroup automatically finds a vacant channel within the group whenever the person decides to call in, enabling unrelated conversations to occur at once within the channel.
A trunked radio system works because each individual user’s radio will send data packets to a computer, which operates on what is called a “control channel”. This channel requests communication within the talkgroup by sending a digital signal to all other radios within the group, and it then instructs those radios to switch to the frequency indicated. Once the initial user is done speaking, all of the other radios will return to monitoring the control channel in case of other transmissions.
Many people don’t understand the difference between the way a trunked radio system works and the way that a conventional system works. Basically, a standard radio system uses one designated channel or frequency for a group of users, while a trunked system uses a number of different channels for one group of people. This means that when talk is idle on one channel, the same people will hear communication on the other channels.
December 19th, 2016