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Why Police Officers and Firefighters Don’t Use Cell Phones

Have you ever wondered why police officers, firefighters and other essential emergency personnel don’t use their cell phones to communicate with one another on the job? With so many technological advancements to cell phones in recent years it may seem like these devices are the most reliable forms of communication, but in reality, it’s the classic two-way radio that gets the job done in times of crisis. Here are just a few reasons why police and fire departments rely on two-way radios.

  • Two-way radios don’t operate on phone lines. Because two-way radios don’t require phone lines, they always work, even when the lines are congested. In large-scale emergencies when dozens of people are trying to use their cell phones in one specific area, the phone lines often become so congested that calls are dropped or don’t go through at all. Two-way radio signals, however, don’t use this same type of phone line, which makes them much more reliable even when the phone lines aren’t.
  • They’re much faster than cell phones. When you use a cell phone, you first have to dial the person’s phone number and then wait for them to answer the phone. With a two-way radio, however, you can be in almost instant communication with the other party simply by pressing a button.
  • You can communicate with a whole network of people all at once. When everyone at a police department or fire department uses the same signal on their two-way radios, it’s easy to send an instant message or announcement to all parties at one time. This is especially important in cases of fires, robberies or shootings when emergency departments need all hands on deck.
  • Cell phones are too fragile. In terms of practicality on the job, cell phones are also just too fragile. Most two-way radios used by emergency personnel are waterproof, resistant to heat from fires and even durable enough to survive a fall or crush, which makes them much more practical than delicate cell phones. 

Add comment July 14th, 2016

How Does a Repeater Work?

While a two-way radio is a very simple device to use, many people don’t fully understand how it works. This is especially true for the two-way radio repeater, which is an essential part of any reliable radio setup.

A two-way radio repeater is a device that acts like a link between two radio operators so that they can cover a larger area than usual. While many two-way radios only offer line-of-sight coverage, by incorporating a repeater into your setup, you can contact friends, family members or coworkers from much farther away.

Repeaters work by receiving the frequency from your two-way radio and re-transmitting it at a different frequency in real time. When the repeater re-transmits the frequency it does so at a higher wattage than usual in portable radios, which allows your two-way radios to broadcast audio to a much wider range of reception.

Not only can a repeater receive a frequency, it can also transmit a frequency at the very same time. Because of this, repeaters are often also called “transceivers.”

The components of a repeater are the receiver, which accepts the incoming signal, and the transmitter, which boosts audio signals and transmits them to travel farther. A high-gain antenna is also an essential component to a repeater, as it transmits and receives signals. Aluminum cable feed lines are used to connect the antennae to the source, while a controller activates the repeater’s transmitter, identifies the repeater’s station ID, sends out pre-recorded messages and does a number of other tasks.

If you think that your two-way radio system could benefit from a repeater, Tech Wholesale carries a very reliable Two-Way Radio Repeater that works with a number of different two-way radios from top brands.

Add comment July 11th, 2016

3 Tech Essentials Needed When Starting a Business Today

Nowadays, you don’t just need a great idea and a great staff to start a successful business. The technology industry is always evolving and changing, which means that to keep up with your competitors, you’ll need a few reliable tech essentials. Here are 3 of the most important items that you need when starting a business today.

  • Reliable Wi-Fi. From restaurants to handmade clothing companies, every business needs reliable Wi-Fi to keep in touch with customers, handle orders and manage your finances. Even if you have to pay a bit more per month, it’s worth it to have a reliable Internet provider that you can trust. Make sure that you check in with your Internet provider from time to time to keep your service up to date, as Internet failure can result in the loss of a great deal of business.
  • High quality computer systems. To keep track of inventory and stay up-to-date on your company’s e-mails, you’ll need a reliable computer system as well. Whether it’s a slim, portable laptop or a few desktop computers with large screens, there are endless options out there to suit your business perfectly.
  • A great internal communication system. Stay in touch with your employees through every part of the production process by investing in two-way radios like the ones sold at Tech Wholesale. This will ensure that you know about any issues that may arise, keep your employees working seamlessly as a team and fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. Options like the Motorola DLR Digital Radios are great for communicating one-on-one within large workplaces, such as in between two departments.  If you’re looking for a way to communicate from a manager to a whole team, you might want to try Motorola Group Tour Radio Systems or a Ritron Liberty Repeater  to increase the range that your portable radios cover. 

Add comment June 20th, 2016

5 Outdoor Radios for Sports Coaches and Teams

If you want to give your sports team a truly professional look and much smoother communication, you might want to try using two-way radios both on the field during games and while running drills at practice. You often see professional coaches using these types of outdoor radios during televised games, and you can purchase the same high quality radios through Tech Wholesale. Here are just a few of the best outdoor radios for sports coaches and teams.

  • Motorola MURS Walkie Talkies. This affordable, easy-to-use walkie-talkie is great for just about any use outdoors, including coaching sporting events. These walkie-talkies even come with belt holster clips that you can attach right to your coaching uniform.
  • Motorola CLP1040. For a more professional, hands-free look, try this sleek, convenient Motorola ear piece. The adjustable ear piece is great for communicating without taking your eyes off the game, and the belt clip makes it easy to take with you wherever you go.
  • Kenwood PKT-23. If you’re looking for a discreet two-way radio that’s not as bulky as the usual options, this one is a great choice. While it doesn’t attach right to your ear like more expensive options, it is only the size of a credit card, which makes for very easy usage on the field.
  • Kenwood KHS-34 Ring Ear Hanger. If you want to upgrade your Kenwood walkie-talkie and make it hands-free, simply add this affordable ear piece. This one doesn’t fit inside your ear like other styles, so it’s very comfortable to wear through the whole game or practice.
  • Listen Technologies LT-700-072 Portable Display RF Transmitter. If you want to project your voice to the whole team without using a microphone, this is just the transmitter for you.  Wirelessly broadcast audio of your voice or even fun music to get your team pumped up for the big game.

Add comment June 16th, 2016

Tech Wholesale Saves the Day for Stanford University with State-of-the-Art Radio System

Faced with the task of orchestrating a perfectly organized tour of the world-renowned SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for 60 members of its Board of Trustees, with just 4 days to bring it all together, Stanford University reached out to Tech Wholesale for help.

Founded in 1962, this facility is one of 10 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science laboratories, operated by Stanford University on behalf of the DOE. It is focused on the technology of the future, attracting thousands of the world’s most respected scientists with its cutting-edge research to discover new medicines, advance electronics and produce green energy for a healthier environment. Stanford’s trustees include some of the most prestigious business leaders, such as the CFO of Google, the CEO of GM and Stanford’s president. Needless to say, for this important tour of their research center, they needed to be at the very top of their game. They required a world-class radio tour system for a professional presentation that every guest could hear clearly. They needed the best equipment on the market – and they needed it fast.

Tech Wholesale to the rescue! When the Tech Wholesale team heard of their challenge, we dropped everything and made their radio tour system our top priority, expediting the shipment so they’d have them in ample time. Our efforts were applauded by their greatly appreciative tour organizer. He was able to easily program the units in his kitchen over the weekend, in preparation for Monday’s tour.

“I cannot overstate how grateful I am for Tech Wholesale’s exceptional help and generosity in providing this hardware to us on such short notice and at such a steep discount,” Interviewee, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “It is truly a much greater level of service than I expect from any supplier, particularly one to whom SLAC was an unknown customer just a few days ago.”

The high performance tour group system that we recommended and rushed off to the Stanford accelerator laboratory was from Listen Technologies. Their portable radio systems are specially designed for guided tours, to create the highest quality listening experience for visitors, new employees, potential clients and others for whom uninterrupted, clearly communicated information is of utmost importance. The system consists of a portable RF transmitter, carrying case, discreet wearable microphone and multiple receivers and ear speakers for the guests. With this specialized system, guides are able to be heard without having to shout or run around in an attempt to keep everyone together. Guests can hear the guide even in noisy locations, and there are custom systems available for any group size. The units are easy to use and they’re extremely portable for indoors or outdoors.

These systems have many uses in a wide range of environments. A tour group radio system can be used to show shareholders the daily operations of a manufacturing plant, take visitors through a guided tour of a museum exhibit, address attendees in a house of worship or guide visitors around a busy zoo. Using the right equipment can turn a potentially chaotic tour into a smoothly run, easy-to-hear and informative presentation that benefits both the speaker and the guests. Tech Wholesale is with you every step of the way to make sure you receive your tour group radio system quickly, answer any questions you might have and help you get everything up and operating perfectly. We’ll help make your guided tour a great success!

1 comment June 2nd, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Listening Technologies

TechWholesale has a wide range of products by Listen-Technologies that incorporate some of the most up to date audio technology for a listening experience that you will find virtually unmatched.

The Listening-Technologies Lineup

The Listen-Technologies LA-278 Behind-the-Head Microphone is secured over the speaker’s ears and wraps around the back of the neck. The LA-278 boasts exceptional audio clarity, with its ability to cancel out ambient noise, as well as superior comfort for the user and the capacity to be used for a long-term session. A radio frequency system made for conducting tours of up to 15 people, the Listen-Technologies LS-07-072 15-Person Portable RF System is 72 MHz and made to ensure that listeners can hear every word clearly either indoors or outdoors for auditory assistance and language interpretation on tours.

Other Must-Have Two-Way Accessories from the Brand

The Listen-Technologies LA-164 Ear Speaker with strong volume output and an antenna built into the cord of the headphone fits easily over your ear, is easy to keep clean and includes a clean earpiece that is reusable and which can be used with hearing aids. The Listen-Technologies LA-311-01 16-Unit Portable RF Product Charging/Carrying Case with sturdy construction and a shoulder strap for easy transportation is designed to store and charge up to 16 portable Listen RF products. Drop the units in the Portable RF Product Charging/Carrying Case and relax, because as soon as they have reached a full charge, they will shut off by themselves.

Add comment May 12th, 2016

What is Wireless Cloning and Why is it Used?

Are you at risk of being cloned? No, we’re not referring to the act of another version of “you” being created in some test tube, but rather the practice of wireless phone cloning, which only became a widespread issue over the last couple of decades.

A Primmer on Wireless Cloning

Copying the identity of one mobile telephone to another is called “cloning.” The most common purpose of cloning, which is really a form of identity theft, is so someone can place calls under the name (and on the billing account) of the actual subscriber. Coning has been a common practice with individuals with friends and family who live far away. Through cloning, they could phone home across oceans and continents and save on very expensive calls.

“Bag” phones – personal transportable cell phones made and used in the 1990s – brought about more widespread incidents of cloning, which increased with the advent of “brick” phones later in that decade. The act of cloning involved the perpetrator modifying or replacing the EPROM in the phone with a new chip. The phone’s electronic serial numbers (ESN) would be reconfigured via software and both it and the Mobile Identification Number (MIN) would be reprogrammed into a computer chip of another wireless phone. The phone calls made by the cloned phone are listed on the monthly bill of the person whose phone was cloned. The ESN-MIN could be captured over the airwaves and then cloned. The ESN-The carriers have developed authentication features that have greatly reduced cell phone cloning.

It’s not Sci-Fi; It’s Reality

Of the three types of fraud risks – cloning, theft and subscription fraud – incidences of cloning have actually fallen off quite a bit in recent years, although the other fraud risks have remained high. Not all cloned phones are created for illicit use, however. Some companies provide their employees with wireless phones that are intended strictly for business use. In order to keep their employees from using the phone for personal use, businesses mandate that their employees travel and work with two phones, without regard to how cumbersome that can be. Also, there are Third World nations served by networks operating in limited geographic areas, so the demand in these areas for a single Mobile ID Number can be high.

Add comment May 2nd, 2016

Navigating Tricky Radio Communication Waters without an FCC License

Do you want to use two-way radios without having to go through the paperwork and expense of obtaining an FCC license? You absolutely can! Take a few minutes to learn how, and save both money and time. We’ll also explain the status of the different frequency bands, what’s allowed, what isn’t and what the future will likely be for non-licensed radio bands.

To understand changing FCC regulations regarding radio bands that require licenses (VHF, UHF, GMRS) and those that don’t (CB, MURS and FRS), it is helpful to look at the licensing history of the Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service. When CB radios came on the scene, they were only used by “ham operators.” The FCC decided to open up the band to the general public since it wasn’t being widely used. They began charging fees for licenses, then switched to free licenses and eventually, when it became impossible to enforce, it became completely unlicensed.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is headed in that same direction. GMRS is designed for short distance, two-way communication, and uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. As it stands now, an FCC license is required to communicate on a GMRS frequency, and a single license is only valid for the licensee and their immediate family. However, FRS/GMRS combination radios are gaining in popularity. Those who purchase these radios are told that they can only legally use the FRS frequencies without a license and must be licensed for GMRS use, but many users ignore these rules. Though one can never be absolutely certain, it is highly unlikely that you will be fined for using GMRS on your FRS/GMRS radio. In 2010, it was proposed by the FCC to remove licensing requirements for GMRS, but this decision is still pending.

Following are the radio bands that do not require a license to operate.

Citizens Band Service (CB)
CB radio service comprises 40 channels between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz. This began as a radio band that required a license. However, it is now “licensed by rule,” which means that you do not have to purchase a license to operate a CB radio station. However, other rules do apply, which are outlined in the FCC’s CB Service information. CB radios, available as base, mobile and handheld units, provide local and long distance range. When they were first introduced, they were highly susceptible to interference, but as other license-free bands became popular, they are becoming less popular for casual use and therefore don’t have as much interference issues as they once did.

Family Radio Service (FRS)
The Family Radio Service (FRS) is, as its name suggests, intended for use by families to communicate with walkie-talkies. They’re great in shopping malls, theme parks, campgrounds and flea markets, to keep track of family members. FRS units are inexpensive and won’t run down batteries, but they are low power, which means they will only offer coverage over a short distance. If you’re going hiking or hunting in the deep woods, you will likely want a two-way radio with more power, such as a combination FRS/GMRS radio.

Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)
The MURS radio service uses 5 channels between 151 MHz and 154 MHz, and is used for two-way communications over a short distance for either business or personal use. Since it operates in the VHF band, MURS radios have become popular with outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. VHF frequencies have the farthest range when they do not have any obstructions in the way, such as in open or hilly locations. It does not require an FCC license to operate and there is no age restriction. MURS has a greater signal range than FRS, which makes it preferred by hikers, campers and hunters. It can also be used by base camps with antennas to maintain contact with hikers, campers and emergency workers. One important restriction is that MURS can only transmit up to 2 watts of power. Other restrictions, such as maximum antenna height, are discussed in the FCC guidelines.

In short, you can definitely enjoy two-way radio communications with friends and family without the need of an FCC license, so long as you understand the rules of the game!

1 comment December 14th, 2015

Radio Communication Christmas Gift Ideas

Excite, inspire and bring family and friends closer together with a very special gift this holiday season – the gift of communication! Two-way radios are not just a fun hobby for all ages. They’re also a wonderful way to keep in close contact with loved ones while on exciting adventures or during hectic daily outings such as dropping the kids off to their various activities or while shopping at the local mall. They’re easy to use, and your children will feel like they’re on an important mission, even if it’s only to buy groceries for dinner.

Two-Way Radios: Advantages Over Cell Phones
There are several important advantages of walkie-talkies over cell phones. Perhaps most importantly, if you’re hiking or camping in a remote location or anywhere that has spotty or non-existent cell phone service, you can still stay in touch with family members and friends. This is very helpful if you’re hiking on various trails, skiing down different slopes of a ski resort or if you accidentally get separated at a giant theme park. Whether it’s to plan where you’re going to have dinner or coordinate a meeting place and especially if something unexpected happens, to have immediate contact with two-way radios is invaluable. Another great benefit of two-way radios is that if you purchase radios that use the FRS (Family Radio Service) band, you do not have to pay for an FCC license to operate them. The absence of license fees and cell phone charges will save you a lot of money, especially if you and your friends or certain family members like to talk a lot!

Family Walkie-Talkies Make Great Holiday Gifts
For younger children, walkie-talkies are often much easier to use than cell phones. They’re also built tough, with certain models intended for outdoor use. This also makes them especially child-friendly. Another big plus with certain two-way radio models is the addition of NOAA weather channels. These special radio channels broadcast local weather forecasts and also give notification of emergency situations. With family walkie-talkies, they are often available as sets of radios, and since they don’t require a license, you can get up and running immediately. Think of how much fun that’ll be for you and the kids on Christmas morning! But these are not just toys – they’re extremely valuable tools, and can be an important part of your family’s household emergency kit, in case of a bad storm or a power outage. Accessories such as holsters and lightweight earpieces allow for active movement while keeping in touch.

Radio Accessories Are the Perfect Stocking Stuffers
For those who already use two-way radios, high-quality accessories make thoughtful gifts and perfect stocking stuffers for the holiday season. Does your walkie-talkie enthusiast enjoy skiing with friends? Get them a lightweight microphone and earpiece, so they can be extra stylish and quick on the slopes. Those who take part in group activities such as paintball will appreciate a multi-unit charger to help keep the entire team fully charged and ready at all times.

Shopping at Tech Wholesale for your holiday gifts is fast, fun and easy. You can browse our recommended personal two-way radios by activity and find authentic Motorola and Kenwood radio accessories by radio model. We take the guesswork out of buying Christmas gifts, so you can spend more time with your family and friends. And they’ll love what you got them this year!

Add comment December 7th, 2015

Obtaining a Two Way Radio FCC License

Read these easy instructions and quickly learn how to get a two-way radio license from the FCC. Radio bands that require FCC licenses are the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF).

How To Apply for a GMRS License
The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) band uses channels in the frequency areas of 462 MHz and 467 MHz. It’s used for two-way hand-held radio communication and is similar to the Family Radio Service (FRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS), but unlike those frequency bands, using GMRS requires an FCC license. You must be 18 years or older to apply for a license. However, once you have a GMRS license, all family members of any age can operate stations and radio units within the licensed GMRS system. The FCC recently eliminated the regulatory fee for this license, bringing the cost down by 28 percent. The total cost to apply for a GMRS operating license, as of September 2015, is under $100. To apply for a GMRS FCC license, complete FCC forms 159 and 605. These forms can be found on the FCC forms page, and can either be send in or filed electronically. It is also possible to apply for a GMRS license online using the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) web site.

These are 5-year licenses, and they can be renewed as early as 90 days before its expiration up to the expiration date. If the renewal date has already passed, you must request a new license. New GMRS licenses are only granted to individuals, but if a non-individual (such as a business) has an original license that was grated before July 31, 1987, it can be renewed under certain conditions. Read the complete FCC GMRS service rules in Title 47 C.F.R. Part 95, Subpart A. Note that you don’t have to apply for a license before you purchase a GMRS two-way radio, but you do need to be licensed before you can legally operate it.

Applying for FCC UHF and VHF Licenses
While many individuals and businesses do not acquire FCC licenses to operate their UHF or VHF two-way radios, the FCC requests that you do. They state on their website, “Be aware that if you operate a radio transmitter that requires a license, or use a radio that is authorized for use only in a specific service, in another service, you may be fined or imprisoned, and/or the equipment may be confiscated.” Note that you do not need a license to purchase radios, only to use them. Two-way radios that operate on FCC Private Land Mobile frequencies are subject to certain rules and require a station license to operate. The application forms you’ll need are FCC Forms 159 and 600. They can be downloaded from the FCC website or you can request them by calling the FCC forms hotline at 1-800-418-FORM FREE. However, if you have purchased a two-way radio from Tech Wholesale, you will receive FCC licensing information and the necessary forms in the package with your new two-way radio. For any questions about the license application, you can contact the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC FREE (1-888-225-5322).

Add comment November 13th, 2015

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