Best Uses for Two-Way Radios for Schools

Keep kids Safe! That’s Priority Number One for every parent. But what happens when they head off to school? To protect students and keep operations running smoothly are two great reasons for schools to use two-way radios. You might not realize how complex and multifaceted an average school is. In addition to student security, there’s traffic to direct, school buses to organize and administrators and teachers to keep well-connected and informed. Add to that the food service crew and cleaning staff and wow, that’s a lot of moving parts! At Tech Wholesale, we know how to enhance business performance with a top-quality radio system. Here are the best ways that two-way radios are used in schools.

  • Directing Traffic – Does the area around your school have traffic jams every morning? Two-way radios can be used by traffic directors and crossing guards to help control the flow of traffic and pedestrians for maximum efficiency and safety. Users can be notified of school bus problems, accidents, late-arriving students and other issues.
  • School Bus Drivers - When bus drivers are equipped with two-way radios, they can easily communicate with school officials and other administrators. This keeps them informed about changes in their route or issues at the school. Radios also allow drivers to call for help in the event of an emergency.
  • Security Guards – School security personnel keep a two-way radio on their belt to report any problem, suspicious activity or possibly violence in and around the school, the moment they see it. Radios are far more reliable than cell phones in an emergency, as it’s a closed system not susceptible to heavy cell phone usage.
  • Administration – Two-way radios let school administrators stay apprised of issues anywhere in the school, as they happen. This allows for immediate response, if need be.
  • Teachers – These days, most modern schools equip ever classroom with a two-way radio so that teachers have quick access to help if there’s any trouble.
  • Food Service – Just like in a public restaurant, a school’s food service staff use two-way radios to coordinate cooking, food preparation and serving duties for a smooth operation.
  • Cleaning Staff – Two-way radios help a school’s janitorial staff stay on top of messy situations, on call for teachers and nurses. They can also be part of the school’s security team, alerting supervisors of any suspicious activity.

Two-Way Radios: Real-World Results for Improved Safety in Schools

Read these real-world stories about how two-way radios have enhanced safety in schools. Challenging times demand robust solutions, and two-way radios give educators and school administrators the edge in dealing with situations quickly and effectively.

Convinced? Take the Next Step!

If you’re convinced that your school needs two-way radios to improve safety and efficiency, Tech Wholesale has the best radios at the most affordable prices. We’re an Authorized Dealer for Motorola and Kenwood, so we have an excellent selection of top models with advanced features. Discover the best radios for small schools and large school campuses. We also offer outstanding customer service, due to our many years of two-way radio expertise.

Add comment March 21st, 2017


UHF or VHF: Which is Best for You?

If you’re not already an experienced two-way radio user, the terms “UHF” and “VHF” likely don’t mean much to you. However, in the radio world, these two options can make all the difference when it comes to choosing the right radio for your specific uses. Here are a few facts about UHF and VHF radios – and how to choose between them.

  • “UHF” stands for “Ultra High Frequency”. These types of radios have frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz, and they are the most powerful types of two-way radios. These types of radios can be used indoors just as well as outdoors, and they can penetrate many types of barriers and interferences that other radios cannot. UHF radios can even penetrate steel and concrete!
  • “VHF” stands for “Very High Frequency”. These types of radios have frequencies between 30 MHz to 300 MHz, which means that they are significantly less powerful than UFH radios. Just because they are less powerful doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful, however; if you’re using your radio primarily for outdoor use in fairly open areas, these are still great options. They can’t penetrate structures or other obstructions, but they’re great for hilly or flat landscapes.
  • If you plan on using your radio for business or travel purposes, such as managing a warehouse or keeping in touch with family on a cruise, you should likely choose a UHF radio.
  • If you plan on using your radio for recreational or outdoor use, such as hiking, hunting, or music festivals, the VHF radio is the way to go.
  • If you want to maintain privacy and choose your own custom options when it comes to channel and frequency settings, the UHF radio is the one to choose.
  • If you want to stick to a strict budget and can’t afford to spend much on a radio the VHF is a great option.
  • If you don’t want to get a license to use your radio, you can really go with either option; today, there are styles of both UHF and VHF radios that don’t require a license to operate.

Add comment January 30th, 2017


How to Program Your Kenwood Two-Way Radio

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.

Add comment December 29th, 2016


Protect Your Neighborhood with GMRS Radios

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.

Add comment December 26th, 2016


Benefits of Utilizing a Two-Way Radio on Your Next Family Cruise

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!

Add comment December 22nd, 2016


What is Two-Way Radio Trunking?

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.

Add comment December 19th, 2016


Run Better Group Tours at Your Business

Whether you run a brewery or an industrial plant, there are a number of job sites that give tours to small groups. When you’re conducting a group tour, you’ll want to have a reliable walkie talkie or radio to allow you to communicate with the guests on your tour without losing the signal or losing your group’s interest. Here are a few smart tips for how to run great group tours at your business – and which products to use to make them even better.

  • Create a comfortable group. If you’re taking a group on a tour, you won’t want to bring along too many people, because this will make it difficult to hear, see, and even to walk together. Aim for a group of 10 or so people to best hold their interest and ensure that everyone can retain all of the information.
  • Make things fun. No matter what type of information you’re teaching, you’ll want to make it interesting for people to listen to. Give them the facts, but also throw in a few jokes and anecdotes, and be sure to leave time for questions at the end.
  • Use a digital receiver. To ensure that everyone is able to hear you clearly throughout the duration of the tour, use a digital receiver while speaking. Tech Wholesale recommends products like the Listen-Technologies LR-400-072 Portable Display RF Receiver, which features exceptional audio quality and convenient recharging options at a very affordable price. It operates over 17 wide band channels and 40 narrow band channels, and it has a digital display LCD screen to help monitor your selection.
  • Pick up the pace. When it comes to a good group tour, less is often more. Narrow your tour down to a few important sites, and weed out the less important areas. This will help your group to retain the most important aspects of the tour.

Add comment December 15th, 2016


Hiking Radios Perfect to Keep You and Your Team Safe

If you’re setting out into the woods on a weekend hike, you’re likely looking for every possible way to stay safe on your journey. Aside from wearing the proper hiking gear and going out with a group, you may want to bring along a two-way radio to communicate with your fellow hikers and make sure that no one gets separated. These handy devices are also great to use so that you can radio for help in case of injury.

If you’re in the market for a radio to take hiking, here are the best models available at Tech Wholesale.

  • The Motorola CLS1110. When hiking, the most important factor to look for in a radio is a long distance radius. Because you’ll be out in the forest and potentially very far away from your fellow hikers, it’s essential that your radios can communicate from long distances. This Motorola model works at a distance of up to 200,000 square feet outdoors, so it’s the perfect choice for your next hiking trip.
  • The Motorola RMU2040. This affordable radio set is another great long distance option. It’s very lightweight to make it easy to carry while hiking, and it can be upgraded to include a high capacity lithium ion battery that stays charged for much longer than usual batteries. This particular model can communicate at a distance of up to 250,000 square feet outdoors.
  • Motorola RDV5100. This Motorola walkie talkie can communicate at a range of a whopping 300,000 square feet, which is a very impressive distance for long-distance hikers. This is a great choice if you’re worried about losing the connection with your fellow hikers, and it comes with a handy belt clip that makes it easy to carry with you while hiking. The lithium-ion battery is also very long-lasting, so you won’t have to worry about it dying while out on the trail.

Add comment December 12th, 2016


How Secure Are Two-way Radios?

While many people use two-way radios for work or recreation, some people use them for more personal or confidential matters. Many people think that with a simple switch of a channel you can access another person’s two-way radio conversation, but by taking a few simple steps to secure your two-way radio, you can keep out unwanted listeners. Here’s how to secure your radio.

  • Set up a privacy code. Many types of radios come with a Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) or CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System), which allows you to set up privacy codes that keep other people out of your chosen channel. These codes mean that you can subdivide the channels into a combination of the channel and a code that only your friends or coworkers will know.
  • Learn Morse code. If you’re only going to be communicating short, private messages, you may want to learn Morse code. This simple language has been used for decades, and it’s very easy to use on your two-way radio. Instead of talking, you’ll be able to communicate with a series of shorter and longer beeps with the simple push of a button. If you’d prefer to talk out loud instead of using a series of noises, you can also develop your own system of code words that other people on the same channel won’t be able to figure out.
  • Use an earpiece or headset. One of the easiest ways to keep your walkie talkie communications private in your direct vicinity is by eliminating the need to talk “into” the radio itself. Instead, invest in an earpiece or headset that connects to your radio, and makes it easy to talk and listen without people around you hearing your whole conversation.  When you wear the headset, you’ll be the only one who can hear the other person’s side of the conversation – and vice versa.

Add comment December 8th, 2016


Best Radio Accessories for Your Walkie

To really optimize your chosen walkie talkie set, you’ll need more than just the receives themselves. Whether you’re using them for personal, recreational use or to keep things safe and productive while on the job, there are a number of accessories that you can use to ramp up your walkie talkie’s performance. Here are just a few of the best radio accessories.

  • A Headset. While a walkie talkie is already a very convenient tool for long distance communication, it’s not exactly a hands-free device. If you’re doing a job that requires both hands as well as communication with your co-workers, you’ll want to invest in a headset that goes with your radio.
  • An earpiece. For even more discreet, hands-free communication, hook your walkie talkie to your belt and use an earpiece to talk to your coworkers. Most of these accessories have push-to-talk features that make it easy to speak when you want to and turn them off when you don’t.
  • A belt holster. Whether you’re using a separate headset or not, a belt holster is essential for keeping your radio on hand at all times. These swivel holsters make it easy to remove the radio without interrupting your duties.
  • A multi-unit charger. If your entire family or team of employees uses walkie talkies, you’ll want to purchase a multi-unit charger that charges multiple radios at once. It’s a huge time saver, not to mention a space saver when you’re charging your radios on the counter!
  • A high capacity lithium-ion battery. If you’re tired of your walkie talkie dying in the middle of the day, upgrade the standard battery to a high capacity battery that holds a charge for much longer. When fully charged, this type of battery lasts for 9 to 12 hours.

Add comment December 5th, 2016


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