2 Way Radio Express
4043 Skyway Drive
Naples, FL 34112
Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Most of our prospects find us on the internet. We are located in Naples Florida but we do business in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and the caribbean. We never really know who is calling when the phone rings.
For example, a couple of months ago we got a call on a Friday afternoon. The caller explained his construction company was doing a repair in a New York subway tunnel. “The cement truck is parked at street level and we are working as much as a mile in either direction in the tunnel. We need to be able to tell the cement truck operator to turn on or off the flow of cement. Do you have a radio that can do that?”
We suggested ICOM Lite UHF radios and a low wattage Ritron repeater.
Our prospect continued, “Oh, did I mention we need this tomorrow?”
We shipped the equipment overnight to New York and the job went like clockwork. The radios and repeater did exactly what our new customer needed them to do.
In this case like many others it is not the most expensive or most powerful equipment that is the best for the job.
We have equipped workers in deserts and rain forests, in airplanes and underground mines. Our customers successfully use our radios on cruise ships and canoes.
The truth is: the best 2 way radio has to be the best for your specific application. Our job is to learn as much as we can about how you will be using 2 way radios before we make our recommendation. We know the marketplace of 2 way radio equipment. We have experience in equipping a thousand different projects. We have the ability to get the right equipment to you as quickly as you need it.
Let us help you find the best equipment for you application. Give us a call today. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Monday, August 27th, 2012
Motorola is the dominate name in two way radios. Motorola wasn’t the first two way radio company but it was the first to make two way radios affordable, easy to use and therefore popular.
They say that Motorola represents more than 70 percent of the 2 way radio market and I believe it. The Motorola Radius series of two way radios are used in industry, education, hospitality and nearly everywhere else that 2 way radios improve safety, efficiency and productivity.
The big question: Is Motorola the best choice in two way radios today?
I think Motorola brand recognition is huge. I think Motorola market share is tremendous.
However I think there are better choices today. Most of Motorola’s radios are built in Malaysia. Nothing against the fine folks of Malaysia but I prefer equipment built in Japan or Korea. The Japanese and Koreans are legendary for the quality of their electronics.
Additionally Motorola radios cost more than radios that are comparable or even superior in quality, specifications and features.
The big three radio manufacturers are Motorola, Kenwood and ICOM. We sell all 3 brands but I prefer ICOM to the other 2 manufacturers. ICOM offers a wide selection, high quality and superior warranty. Typically ICOM also has the best price.
Great price without great quality is no deal. I believe true long term savings, safety, efficiency and productivity can only come from quality products and great service. ICOM delivers on all of these.
The US Military and TSA use ICOM radios. They use ICOM because: ICOM radios are reliable and easy to use.
Give us a call. We will help you find the best equipment for your 2 way radio application. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Friday, August 24th, 2012
Is your 2 way radio beeping and buzzing. This can be and should be a good thing. Two way radios for business use can be programmed to sound a short beep at the being of every transmission. This alerts the user of an incoming message.
The same beeping sound can be programmed to announce the end of transmission. These beeps are called leading and trailing beeps.
Other sounds are also available for programming. There are buzzes, bells and horns.
These sounds basically replace the old “Roger” or “Over” or “Over and Out.”
Leading and trailing beeps seem like a great idea until you actually being to use them. After an hour or two of hearing beeping noises the users enthusiasm begins to wane. Instead of helpfully alerting the user to an in coming message the beep becomes more of an irritation.
Generally we recommend not using leading or trailing beeps.
We do however recommend the use of “time out.” Time out is another programming feature found on most commercial grade 2 way radios.
Time out determines how long a radio can continually transmit. For example, most radio messages are fairly short, typically less than 10 seconds. Radios are designed with this brief message as an assumption. Of course you can talk as long as you hold down the push to talk button. But at some point the radio will begin to over heat and others users also begin to over heat because someone is hogging the radio.
Time out prevents these episodes. Time out can be programmed to limit transmissions to a maximum time. Most often we program time out at 15 seconds but this can be extended up to a minute or more.
Let us help you get the best equipment for your application. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Scanning is a programmable feature available on most commercial grade radios. A scanning radio automatically locks onto an active frequency or radio signal. Once that frequency goes silent the radio continues scanning until it finds the next active frequency. The traditional use of scanning was to monitor police, fire and other emergency services that use several different frequencies but only with sporadic use each.
Most modern automobile AM/FM radios have a scan feature. The user pushes a single button and the radio will scan for the next channel. Once the next channel is found the scanning stops for 10 seconds and then continues to the next channel. The user turns off scanning as soon as a good station is found.
Commercial grade 2 way radios only scan the frequencies that have been programmed in the radio.
For example, a cheese factory is using multiple channel radios. They have assigned channel 2 to their maintenance department, channel 3 to the production department and channel 4 to the shipping department. Channel 1 is the “all call” channel.
Each department’s radios are programmed to scan for messages on their assigned channel and channel 1.
Folks that work in the maintenance department leave their radios on channel 2. If someone needs to reach them that person would turn to channel 2 and talk to the fine folks in the maintenance department. When they finished their message they would turn back to their own channel.
If someone needs to reach everyone at the same time that person would broadcast on channel 1. Because every department’s radios scan their own channel and channel 1, the message would reach everyone.
This is called a 2 channel scan. Give us a call and we can help you determine if scanning is a benefit for your business. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Two way radios are amazing devices. Two way radios can be programmed to send signals that open or close switches, talk to pagers, sound alarms and do a thousand other chores.
Two way radios can be programmed to be activated by sounds. For example, you are operating a complex piece of equipment that requires your constant control with both hands and you want to talk on your two way radio. (Think race car or one of those cranes they used to build skyscrapers.) In these situations the sound of the human voice opens the radio and broadcasts the message. When you stop talking the radio stops broadcasting. Typically the radio has to be programmed to operate in the “voice activated mode” and a “voice activated” earpiece or headset is used.)
Stay with me on this. The biggest difficulty in using voice activated radios is the inability of the radio to discern the difference in sounds. For example, you are riding a horse and want to use a 2 way radio. Voice activation seems like a good idea. You can maintain balance, not take your hands off the reins and still talk on the radio. Not so fast. Most folks that are riding on a horse are continually making guttural sounds caused by bouncing up and down on the great beast. The radio can not determine whether you are sending a message or just grunting and groaning. Because the voice activation is indiscriminate the radio stays open broadcasting every wheeze. Not only can this be embarrassing but it blocks out other radios from being able to broadcast. The usual solution is an expensive and cumbersome headset that filters out unwanted sounds.
All is not lost. 2 Way Radio Express sells affordable audio devices with convenient and remote push to talk buttons. Our earpieces come with microphones that clip to shirt collars or lapels and are easily operated without having to remove your radio from your waistband or belt. We even have oversized push to talk buttons for ease of use.
Give us a call and let us help you solve your 2 way radio problems. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Monday, August 20th, 2012
Hand held two way radios have an effective range of a mile or two. You may see 2 way radios advertised to broadcast 10 or 20 or even 30 miles. This is purely bogus.
All 2 way radios operate on line of site. That means the sending and receiving radios have to see each other or at least be in line to see each other in order to receive the signal. Buildings and other obstacles as well as the curvature of the earth tend to make sending and receiving radios unable to see each other.
Part of the line of site issue can be corrected by height. For example, the astronauts were able to talk from the moon to the earth with radios that didn’t have any more power than Kmart radios. They were able to accomplish this because the sending and receiving radios were in a straight line. (In theory they could see each other.)
A base station can talk to other base stations and hand held radios that are much further away because the base station antenna (mounted on a tower or roof top) can see further than a radio at ground level.
Police and fire personnel are able to talk over much greater distances because they use repeaters with antennas mounted on towers. In effective these repeater rebroadcast radio signals from great heights and can be linked to other repeaters to offer state wide coverage.
The newest method used to dramatically increase range and coverage area is Straight Talk. Straight Talk uses the internet to rebroadcast radio signals. With Straight Talk one radio can talk to other hand held radios anywhere on the planet earth. Straight Talk is being used on oil drilling platforms to talk to refineries, college campuses in one part of the state to talk to all the other campuses, businesses with multiple locations to communicate instantly with all the other branch locations. Straight Talk is effective and affordable.
To learn more about Straight Talk and other ways to improve your 2 way radio coverage give us a call. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Friday, August 17th, 2012
Unless you are consciously looking for them, chance are you seldom see 2 way radios. But just like the “blue elephant” that you can’t get out of your mind once someone tells you not to think about it, two way radios are ubiquitous.
Home Depot, Office Depot, KMart, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a million other retailers rely on the convenience of two way radios to improve efficiency.
Schools are in the business of education. Elementary, middle, high, charter, private, public and all kinds of schools use two way radios to transport and protect their students. Colleges, universities and trade schools use two way radios to provide security and increase safety.
Manufacturers, construction companies, distribution and food processors, rail yards, refineries and farmers use two way radios to boost productivity.
Chances are there are literally hundreds of two way radios being used within a one mile circle of where you are sitting right now. Two way radios are ubiquitous.
Two way radios improve safety, increase efficiency and boost productivity. Two way radios don’t cost money. Two way radios save money.
Most of our customers report their two way radios paid for themselves in the first few weeks of operation.
Today’s two way radios are exceptionally durable, simple to use, compact, lightweight and are easy to deploy in almost every business model.
If you are not using two way radios in your business we can help you get started. We offer a free, no obligation 7 day trial. Call and we will send a “free trial form”. Complete and return the simple form and we will send a pair of radios for you to try for 7 days. In 7 days you will learn how easy and productive two way radios are for your business.
Give us a call now at 239-601-1969. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Thursday, August 16th, 2012
The less you know about something the more important the price. Think about it. The less you know about a product you are shopping for the more important the price appears.
For example, you are shopping for lettuce. One head of lettuce costs only a dollar. You don’t know anything about lettuce so you say, “let’s buy it, it is only a dollar.” Your wife or husband is a gourmet. They say, “I don’t want it. It is not organic. It just plain old iceberg. It is not even fresh.” Your significant other has forgotten more about lettuce then you will ever know. Guess what? The more you know about lettuce the less significant the price. Same is true of everything else. The more you know about something, the less important the price.
The less you know the more important the price. The more you know the less important the price.
Price is only important when you are comparing similar products or services.
Don’t compare 2 way radios on price unless the 2 way radios are comparable.
If you want to compare 2 way radios you first need to review 4 specific attributes:
The power of a 2 way radio is measured in watts. More wattage means better distance and sound quality.
A 2 way radio battery should have a sufficient duty cycle to perform to your expectations. For commercial applications a 2 way radio needs at least an 8 hour duty cycle.
Durability is demonstrated by meeting or exceeding Military Specifications, IP rating and the warranty being offered.
Two way radio features should the number of channels and special features that are meaningful to your application.
Using these 4 attributes to compare 2 way radios will produce far better results than relying on price alone.
Give us a call and let us help you find the best 2 way radio equipment for you application. You can also get your free copy of the “Little Green Radio Book: everything you need to know to buy, operate and care for two way radios.” by clicking here.
Doing business with us is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
There are 3 kinds of 2 way radios. There are hand held 2 way radios, mobile 2 way radios and base station 2 way radios.
Hand held 2 way radios are just that: held in the users hand. Mobile 2 way radios are mounted in vehicles. Base station 2 way radios are stationary at a given location.
Fundamentally mobile 2 way radios and base station 2 way radios are the same. It is how they are mounted and used that differs.
The same mobile 2 way radio that is mounted in a car or truck is used in a base station 2 way radio. The mobile version is powered by the vehicles battery while the base station version is powered by regular AC current through a wall plug. Because the base station uses house current a power supply must be used to “clean the signal” and convert from AC to DC current.
Additionally a vehicle mounted mobile 2 way radio needs an antenna that is also mounted on the vehicle. The base station 2 way radio uses an antenna that is usually mounted on the roof or the highest point in the building where the base station is used.
A base station 2 way radio has the advantage of a better and more productive antenna, more stable power supply and the reliability of always being in the same place. Folks who use hand held radios are often challenged with wondering where their radio went.
We offer several versions of 2 way radio base stations. Our least costly and most basic 2 way radio base station is the Ritron base station. Ritron is the brand. Ritron manufacturers their equipment in Carmel, Indiana. The Ritron base station is available in either VHF or UHF. It is a 10 channel radio and sells for $345. We can program a Ritron base station to work seamlessly with your existing radios.
Give us a call for more information or to schedule a free trial. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
The Grasshopper two way radio from TriSquare is a 1 watt 900 mHz multi channel radio. It was made for light duty and consumer type applications. At only $158 per pair the Grasshopper was a inexpensive way to start using radios. We sold hundreds of Grasshoppers. The Grasshopper was built in China.
The Grasshopper is no longer being manufactured. The limited supply of inventory is depleting quickly. Grasshoppers only work with other Grasshoppers.
We want to help our customers that purchased Grasshoppers migrate to new radios when they are ready. Since the Grasshoppers only work with other Grasshoppers and Grasshopper supplies are very limited the only clear migration path is to replace all the Grasshoppers being used at a given location.
The best path is to replace all Grasshoppers with commercial grade radios. Commercial grade radios are programmable and therefore going forward offer much great flexibility in replacements and additional radio purchases.
Primarily we sold Grasshoppers to schools and other light duty applications where distance and durability were not as important as low price.
Originally our first choice recommendation for these facilities was the Tekk X100. The Tekk X100 sells for $199 each. Most of our customers that purchased Grasshoppers would have preferred the Tekk radio but simply couldn’t afford it.
Today we are offering a trade in special. Anyone that purchased Grasshoppers can trade them in towards the purchase of the Tekk X100 (or any other commercial grade radio we sell). We will apply 50% of what you spent with us on Grasshoppers towards the purchase of new radios.
Some of our Grasshopper customers have expanded and while the Grasshoppers they have are in good condition they need more radios. When we receive trade-in Grasshoppers in good condition we will make those available to customers that need a replacement.
Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.
Manzie R Lawfer