Archive for January, 2016

Transform the Workplace with Clip-On Compact Digital Two-Way Radios from Rollts

Take a few minutes to learn how you can empower your team and enhance productivity with the smallest digital two-way radio system ever invented! The Rollts S1 and Rollts E1 wearable digital walkie-talkies, first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show CES2016, take business communications to the next level. They offer license-free 900 MHz transmission, full-duplex capability, clear digital signals, extremely compact sizes, AES-256 encryption and FHSS frequency-hopping for optimal security and enhanced battery life.

Rollts digital radios are unique. They’re the first sub-compact two-way radios in the next generation of wireless communication devices. Their advanced features put them in a separate class from larger top-of-the-line radios currently on the market.

900 MHz License-Free Digital Radios for Clear Communications
The Rollts digital radios operate at the 900 MHz frequency range, giving you key advantages over analog systems. Digital transmissions provide crystal clear signals over the entire range of your device. For the Rollts digital radios, that’s approximately 1.5 miles. You won’t experience any weakening of communications as you get to the edge of the radio’s reach. This frequency is extremely reliable. It saves both time and money when instructions are clearly and correctly heard. The full-duplex capability allows for simultaneous two-way multiple-party calls. In this mode, it operates like a cell phone. Another big plus, especially for smaller organizations on a tight budget, is that you do not need to purchase an FCC license to operate a 900 MHz digital radio.

Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and AES-256 Encryption for Optimal Security
For organizations and companies that demand secure, private communications, a Rollts wearable digital walkie-talkie is ideal. In addition to using the more secure digital frequency, the radio has advanced AES-256 encryption and frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology (FHSS). Established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001, AES encryption has been adopted by the U.S. government and is widely used around the world. Frequency-hopping is repeated switching of frequencies during transmission that prevents interception and interference. This powerful combination gives you optimal security and the clearest signal possible for sensitive business communications. This higher level of privacy is essential for legal firms, law enforcement, emergency responders, security personnel, hospital staff and others in medical fields.

The Rollts Digital Radio: The Smallest Digital Walkie-Talkie Ever
Available in 2 sizes, the Rollts two-way radio won’t take up much space on a business suit or uniform. The E1 is the earbud model, sized 56 by 32 by 8.5 millimeters (approximately 2.2 by 1.26 by .33 inches). The S1 includes an external speaker and is 39 by 77 by 13 millimeters (approximately 1.53 by 3.03 by .51 inches). Both models are also extremely light. The E1 weighs just .51 ounces (16 grams) and the S1 weighs 1.34 ounces (38 grams). Both can be easily clipped to a shirt pocket, lapel, belt or lanyard for maximum mobility. These tiny two-way radios are ideal for workers in service industries such as wait staff, front desk receptionists, hotel workers and retail clerks. The units are barely noticeable and won’t interfere with public-facing work. The Rollts is the smallest and lightest hands-free digital radio ever invented.

Unsurpassed Power in a Compact Walkie-Talkie
Rollts, a global leader when it comes to innovation, uses the latest communications technology and low-power control design technology to greatly extend battery life. The E1 gives you 240 hours of stand-by time and 32 hours of talk time. The S1 provides 1,000 hours of stand-by time and 120 hours of talk time (at 1.24 miles or 2 kilometers) or 75 hours of talk time (at 1.86 miles or 3 kilometers). With a whopping 75 hours of talk time, the radio doesn’t have to be charged for 3 days!

A Robust Two-Way Radio That Connects and Empowers
There are other features that set this digital radio apart from its competition. Though the Rollts E1 and S1 models are designed for short-range radio, you can broaden that range by using Cisco’s InstantConnect to plug it into your company’s WIFI network. Doing so connects all radio push-to-talk (PTT) users with the rest of the company, regardless of what type of device they’re using (computers, tablets, smart phones, etc.). As a full duplex digital walkie-talkie, you can talk to teams of people at one time, or you can set up channels for various groups such as departments, workgroups, maintenance teams, security teams or upper level management. There are up to 50 channels available.

Take your company to the future with the smallest and sleekest digital walkie-talkie available today!

Rollts Radio E1
Earbud model
2 kilometer (1.24 mile) range
size: 56 x 32 x 8.5 mm (approx. 2.2 x 1.26 x .33 inches)
weight: 16 grams (.56 ounces)
Full duplex; half duplex
Stand-by time: 240 hours
Talk time: 32 hours
AES-256 encryption, frequency-hopping (FHSS)

Rollts Radio S1
Speaker model
3 kilometer (1.86 mile) range
size: size: 39 x 77 x 13 mm (approx. 1.53 x 3.03 x .51 inches)
weight: 38 grams (1.34 ounces)
Full duplex; half duplex
Stand-by time: 1000 hours
Talk time: 120 hours (at 2 km); 75 hours (at 3 km)
AES-256 encryption, frequency-hopping (FHSS)

Add comment January 25th, 2016

A 900 MHz Digital Radio Primer: The Next Generation of Two-Way Radios

Harness the power of digital technology and put it to work for your personal or business communications. Digital two-way radio devices that operate on the 900 MHz frequency band offer advantages over analog radios. They combine the power of digital communication with the convenience of cell phones. Spend a few minutes to learn why they’re far superior to analog two-way radios and cell phones.

More Power with Less Energy Usage
Using just a single watt, a digital two-way radio has the signal strength and range of a 4-watt analog radio. In addition to being eco-friendly and energy efficient, a charged battery will last up to 14.5 hours. This is based on the specifications for the Motorola DTR410, one of their high performance digital radios.

Talk Farther and Clearer with No Interference
Digital audio technology provides a much clearer static-free signal than analog, and certain models can cover up to 300,000 square feet or 30 floors. Unlike analog radios, digital radios will give you a perfectly clear signal up to the very edge of your coverage area. Audio clarity is especially important in noisy environments. With the Motorola digital radios, interference from other nearby radios is virtually non-existent due to the 10,000 available privacy codes.

The 900 MHz Frequency Band – For Indoor and Outdoor Use, with No License Required
To understand the revolutionary nature of 900 MHz digital technology, keep in mind that the VHF (very high frequency) radio band operates between 30 MHz to 300 MHz, while the UHF (ultra-high frequency) radio band occupies the 300 MHz to 3 GHz range. This places digital radios within the UHF frequency band, but with its own unique frequency. What this means is that 900 MHz digital walkie-talkies will have a range similar to a UHF radio. As with UHF radios, they’re highly recommended for indoor use, since the higher frequency radio waves can penetrate concrete, metal and wood. They’re also recommended as the best overall indoor and outdoor two-way radio, though they typically won’t have as great of a range outdoors. One of the most enticing features of digital 900 MHz radios is that they do not require an FCC license to operate. This saves you both time and money, as you’ll be able to get up and running immediately with no additional fees.

Private, Secure Conversations
With a digital two-way radio, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology lets the radio skip between frequencies, creating a random sequence of different sub-channels. This creates a very secure and private communication environment.

Speak to Everyone or Just One
A tremendous advantage of digital radios over analog is that in addition to their superior technology, they offer many of the same features as cell phones. This includes direct calling, the ability to speak to individuals in addition to groups. With a digital radio, you can address the entire team, and then if someone has a question, they can contact you privately. This gives you far more flexibility than other types of two-way radios.

Cell Phone Features Without Monthly Service Fees
Digital radio offer other cell phone features that make them convenient and instantly familiar for all users, such as text messaging, caller ID and data cloning. It’s the best of both worlds.

Longer Battery Life than Cell Phones
Many smartphones don’t have such impressive battery life, and they aren’t able to last for an entire work shift. However, certain digital two-way radios, because of their energy efficiency, can last up to 14.5 hours on a single charge.

Rugged and Reliable
In general two way radios are designed to be more rugged than cell phones. There are specific models (such as Motorola’s DLR Series and DTR Series radios) which are built to military specifications. These heavy duty radios can withstand vibration, shock, dust, moisture and extreme temperatures. They are also designed with durable polycarbonate housings.

Discover the digital two-way radio difference and be on the leading edge of wireless radio communications.

Add comment January 19th, 2016

Learn the Telltale Signs of an Aging Two-Way Radio System

Can you hear me now? Those are 5 words that you never want uttered during vital company communications! You might not want to spend money to update an older two-way radio system, but the end cost of using outdated, decrepit radios can be far greater. Spend a few minutes and learn how to spot the signs of an aging two-way radio system so you know when it needs to be replaced.

Loss of Clarity and Signal Strength
If you notice that your radio is losing signal strength and clarity, you should first check the batteries. Make sure they are fully charged. Try them in another device, if you can, to be certain they’re working as they should be. Rechargeable batteries, even if properly cared for, don’t last forever. You should also pay attention to where you’re trying to communicate. If you’re on a VHF radio, are you trying to use it a location with many obstructions? If yes, you should know that VHF frequencies have trouble penetrating concrete, metal and wood, so they’re best used in wide open or hilly terrains. If it’s neither of these things and you feel you should be getting a better signal, then perhaps your radio is losing its effectiveness due to old age.

Are you on eBay Again Looking for Spare Parts?
If you regularly find yourself on eBay or another used radio parts website, it might be time for a new radio. You’re taking a big chance when you purchase replacement parts from a third party seller. You can’t be completely sure that what you’re buying is fully compatible with your unit and if it’s of high quality and reliable. The safest bet is to purchase original manufacturer’s replacement radio parts, and of course, most manufacturers will stop making older parts after a certain length of time goes by.

Is Anyone There? Communication Break Down
Do those who rely on internal radio communications have trouble hearing each other? Any newer radios that are brought on board may be unable to communicate with the older devices. Even if they are all UHF or all VHF radios, not all radios are completely compatible with each other. Consumer two-way radios that operate on certain frequencies using either the FRS or GMRS bands are more straightforward than business radios. Choosing the correct frequencies for business radios is not the only issue. It is possible that older units have pre-programmed custom frequencies that might not be compatible with a newer radio. This might be the case even if they are the exact same model!

This Won’t Connect with That
If you’re having trouble finding access accessories such as headsets and microphones that will work with your older handheld two-way radios, then it may be time to update them. There are several different kinds of radio earpiece and headset connectors. Motorola and Kenwood each have their own proprietary connectors, such as the Motorola M1 and M2 connectors and the Kenwood K1 connector. You might not be able to find an older earpiece and headset that has the right connectors for your older radio, and newer accessories might not be compatible.

The Ragtag Army of Outdated Radios
When you have a ragtag mixture of different vintages of radios attempting to communicate with each other, this is bound to create unexpected failures at different times, leading to a lot of frustration and potentially a dangerous situation of not being well-connected in the event of an emergency.

For many reasons, it is critical to have up-to-date, fully operational equipment. For example, firefighters need to know when it’s not safe to stay inside a building. They must be able to hear the radio call from their supervisor who is advising them to retreat. Police officers must be able to quickly reach their precinct to request backup in a dangerous situation. Campus security at colleges and universities must be prepared for any kind of emergency. Knowing the telltale signs of an aging radio system and being aware of when it needs to be replaced keeps your entire team operating at their very best.

Add comment January 15th, 2016

Advantages of Radio Communications in an Age of Heightened Security

Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. With so many scary scenarios playing out on the world stage, we can’t live in fear, but we can take important steps to keep ourselves protected and safe. There are different kinds of security to consider, including physical security for our communities and data security for our businesses. Two-way radios are important tools in handling both. There are many security advantages of radio communications over landlines and cell phones for emergency situations and for sensitive company transmissions. Spend a few minutes and learn what they are.

Two-Way Communication is Essential in an Emergency
The better connected our emergency responders are to each other, the more equipped they are to handle an unexpected event. Radio communications, whether from handheld two-way radios or mobile radios in vehicles, enable communication between multiple points without the need for a hard-wired connection. This makes it an ideal medium for security personnel and emergency responders. The technology lets a security guard alert their entire team to any suspicious behavior so that further action can immediately be taken. It’s a faster way to bring in backup than calling someone individually on a cell phone. Certain radio models are small and lightweight with available earpieces and microphones that enable discreet conversation. This makes it much easier for personnel to notify others on their security detail about a situation unfolding without alarming the public or alerting the perpetrator.

Add a Family Walkie-Talkie System to Your Household Emergency Kit
If you’re putting together a household emergency kit for your family, consider a personal walkie-talkie system. As we have seen in the past, during catastrophic emergencies cell phone towers can become overloaded, making cell phone use extremely difficult. Two-way radios operate on a closed circuit with others that are nearby on that frequency, so they are not dependent on cell phone coverage. Many family radio models include technology that minimizes interference from other users, so your family can enjoy clear communication.

Keep Business Communications Secure with a Two-Way Radio System
Many business radios use voice-inversion scrambling technology and digital privacy codes to enhance the security of their transmissions. This makes two-way radios for business far less susceptible to eavesdropping than ordinary cell phone conversations. Digital radios using the latest innovations offer even greater security protection. Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology enhances privacy for sensitive business communication. Digital radios also allow individual conversations in addition to broadcasting to an entire group. They have similar features to cell phones such as GPS and text messaging.

Maintain Security on Campus and in the Office with Repeaters and Call Boxes
Keeping a university campus or office building safe and secure is becoming more of a challenge in these times of heightened security. However, radio communications provide an easy and cost-efficient way to enhance safety and security. With a base station and radio repeater, it is possible to increase the power of a handheld two-way radio system considerably to cover a large college campus, big industrial complex or high-rise office building. Security personnel with handheld devices can alert each other to any suspicious activity and request backup if needed.

In addition to well-equipped security details, call boxes that connect with all users on the two-way radio system can be installed in any building. When placed inside residence halls, student centers, cafeterias, sports buildings, arenas, public spaces in office buildings and factory floors, it gives employees, students and teachers a way to immediately contact security without having to pick up a telephone. At a time when cell phone service might be down due to overuse in an emergency, having call boxes available for public use can literally be life savers.

Add comment January 12th, 2016

Non-Commercial Two-Way Radio Use Ideas

Join the exciting world of two-way radios! If you think that two-way radios are just for police officers, firemen, emergency medical services, security personnel and construction crews, think again! There are many personal uses that can make a two-way radio system invaluable for families, friends, volunteers and other non-professionals. Spend a few minutes reading this article, and we’ll give you many suggestions.

Divide and Conquer on a Family Shopping Trip
Two-way radios are great to have while out shopping with the family. In addition to making sure that no one gets lost in the mall, they’re also useful for considerably reducing your shopping time. Send everyone to different stores (or to different aisles in that gargantuan supermarket), and if they have any questions as to which type of dog food or ice cream to purchase, help is just a “push-to-talk” button away. Don’t use up those minutes or waste your cell phone batteries. The rechargeable batteries in two-way radios last far longer, and there are no usage fees. If you transmit using the Family Radio Service (FRS) band, there are no fees whatsoever, since an FCC license is not required.

Connect the Campground
If you’ve gone camping with the extended family or a group of friends and are at different campground locations, it’s not a problem. With two-way radios, you’re always connected, even if you’re on the other side of the camp. They’re especially useful in remote locations, where there might not be a cell phone tower nearby and coverage is spotty or non-existent. Use walkie-talkies to plan a hike, invite to a campfire and organize meals.

Commandeer the Ski Slopes
Imagine being able to be connected to all your friends and family members while you’re taking on the slopes. Not all ski resorts have great cell phone reception, and there are usually various trails and slopes. This means that people can easily get separated. But when everyone is equipped with a two-way radio, the lines of communication are always open. Many radio models are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, shock, vibration and other harsh conditions and are built extremely tough, so there’s no need to worry if it starts snowing. Radios feature hands-free operation, and there are lightweight earpieces and microphones available, so you can speak to your crew while navigating the mountain. Besides the obvious reasons, such as setting up a meeting time or planning for dinner, two-way radios are extremely important tools to have if an emergency situation arises. Many models are also equipped with NOAA weather channels, which is very helpful if there’s a storm approaching.

Communicate Easily and Cheaply While Traveling
It’s fun to travel, but depending where you are, it’s sometimes difficult to stay in touch with your traveling party. If friends or family members go off exploring on their own, they’re never far away with a portable two-way radio. You can save expensive cell phone surcharges and not have to worry about coverage in certain areas outside of major cities.

Organize a Backyard Wedding
Are you having a big wedding at your home or renting out a large estate? Walkie-talkies are a great way to coordinate groundskeepers, security staff, caterers, servers, event planners, valet parking attendants and the wedding party, so that the big day goes off without a hitch (so to speak). If you’ve ever been married, you’ll know that there’s a lot that can go awry if you haven’t planned for everything or if there’s a lack of communication. You can minimize the confusion with a two-way radio system.

Coordinate a Multi-Family Yard Sale
Yard sales are fun and they can be profitable. If you’re planning a big neighborhood sale, you can use two-way radios to make everyone hawking their wares far more efficient. For example, if someone needs to break a $50 bill, there may be someone a few houses down who has the change. Rather than run around, just send out a request to the entire sales force with a single radio message.

Vanquish the Theme Park or Renaissance Faire (without anyone getting lost)
Does your family enjoy going to theme parks, amusement parks or the Renaissance Faire? A family walkie-talkie system keeps everyone from getting lost. Kids will enjoy using them (they’ll feel like they’re on a cop show on television), and parents will have peace of mind and be able to relax and enjoy themselves.

Those are just a few ideas of how you can make the most of two-way radios for non-commercial use. Be safe and have fun!

Add comment January 7th, 2016

Inside Police Radio Communications: A Tell-All

The mysterious world of police officers has fascinated people for many years, as evidenced by the popularity of cop shows on television. Are you curious to know what goes on inside police radio communications and how they keep each other well-informed and their communities safe? Spend a few minutes reading this article to find out!

History of Police Radio Communications
The first police department to recognize the usefulness of two-way radio communications was in Bayonne, New Jersey, in 1933. They began using two-way radios in their patrol cars, giving officers the ability to speak with headquarters and other units instead of only being able to receive calls. Detroit was the next city to adopt the use of two-way radios for their officers, and this soon became standard in all police vehicles. Today radios are used not just by dispatchers to send police units to crime scenes, but by the officers themselves to request backup and to update their supervisor about the situation.

Police Radio Codes and Signals: Much More Than Just 10-4
Many police radios are encrypted to prevent people from listening in. For the ones that aren’t, it is possible to listen in to police radio communications with a police scanner. Since a police officer has to quickly communicate many different kinds of situations to headquarters so that further action can be taken, a brevity code was developed in 1937 to facilitate this critical communication. Called ten-codes, this collection of numbered codes was originally used to overcome limitations in early radio transmissions, when first syllables of a word were often difficult to understand. The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO) further developed the code into the one police use today. However, many organizations have their own 10-4 codes, which makes it very confusing when trying to decipher the meaning. Certain codes, such as 10-4 (affirmative, message received), 10-7 (out of service) and 10-20 (location) are standardized, but many others aren’t. In recent years, there has been a push by certain groups to replace 10-4 codes with plain language.

A Sampling 10-4 Codes
Here is a small sampling of police 10-4 codes.

10-1 Receiving poorly
10-2 Receiving well
10-3 Stop Transmitting
10-4 Message Understood, O.K.
10-5 Relay message
10-6 Busy, stand by
10-7 Out of service
10-8 In service
10-9 Repeat Message
10-10 Negative
10-11 On Duty
10-12 Stand by
10-13 Existing Conditions
10-14 Message/Information
10-15 Message delivered
10-16 Reply to message
10-17 En route to…
10-18 Urgent
10-19 Return to station
10-20 What’s your location

You can also see a more complete listing of APCO 10 Codes.

About Police Scanners – Is It OK To Listen In?
A police scanner is a special kind of radio receiver that can quickly check or “scan” many different channels. It lets you listen in on two-way radio calls. People will often have a scanner so they can keep apprised of local police activity in their neighborhood. Though they’re called police scanners, you can often use them to listen in to fire departments, hospitals, air traffic controllers, schools, military, retail stores and utility services. As for whether it’s permitted to listen in to police communications, it depends upon where you’re located. In nearly every state, it’s legal to listen in. However, certain local ordinances make it illegal. For example, in Los Angeles, you must have a permit to listen to a police scanner. In New York, mobile police scanners are illegal. Whatever the law is in your region, is always a good idea not to listen to one in close proximity to an officer.

The Next Generation of Police Radio Communication: Encryption
Before you run out to purchase a police scanner, you should know that many law enforcement organizations are starting to encrypt their radio communication in the interest of security. There may be a concern with media outlets hearing about police activity and compromising a crime scene. The last thing police need is for a suspect to receive advance notice of a supposedly secret sting operation. When radio transmissions are so easy to listen in to, it makes the police’s job that much more difficult. There are currently debates going on regarding whether encryption is a good or bad thing, so you will no doubt be hearing much more on the subject.

Add comment January 4th, 2016