Archive for June, 2013

Why All the Channels

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Hi Friends,

Commercial grade two way radios usually have 16 channels but in some cases have as few as 2 or as many as 512.

It is easy to understand one or two or just a few channels but 512! Read on and I’ll tell you why sometimes 512 channels are needed.

Each channel on a commercial grade radio is programmable using a PC computer and a special cable and software. Typically a radio might be programmed with different frequencies on each channel so different work groups can talk independently. A school for example might use one channel for the maintenance staff and another channel for the administrative staff and yet another channel for the athletic department.

Sometimes the entire staff is on one channel but additional channels are used to avoid interference.

Many of our customers use 2 channel scanning. Two channel scanning assigns each group of radio users 2 channels. The first channel uses the regular frequency assigned to that group. For example the staff that works in the warehouse uses channel 5. When these folks go to work they put their radios on channel 5 and they talk to each on channel 5 all day. Their radios are programmed to listen for broadcasts on channel 5.  Additionally their radios are programmed to listen for broadcasts on channel 1. (We call channel 1 the “all call” channel.) During the day if someone wants to call everyone simultaneously they would use channel 1. Radios pick up the call on channel 1 because they are continuously scanning for broadcasts on channel 5 and channel 1.

Each department might have their own channel but still share the all call channel.

Some radios have as many as 512 channels. These channels are arranged in groups of 16 channels. A 512 channel radio has 32 groups of 16 channels.

A fire department that services multiple counties or districts or states may store each town’s or area’s frequencies in a group. Then when they are called to help fight a fire they can immediate tuned to the pre-programmed group of frequencies. For example in a given township there maybe a channel for the police, a channel for the fire department, a channel for city works and so on. A properly equipped radio can be up and running as soon as it is on the scene.

Radios are cool. You can learn more about 2 way radios by downloading your free copy of the Little Green Radio Book.

Let us help you get the most out of your 2 way radio equipment. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy. Give us a call today at 239-601-1969.

Best Wishes,

Manzie R Lawfer

Family Gatherings and 2 Way Radios

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Hi Friends,

My brother Joey and his wife Janie are in town visiting this week. Joey and Janie live in Louisville. Joey is one year, one month and one day older than me. It seems like we only see each other at weddings and funerals. This visit there is no wedding scheduled and everyone seems pretty healthy.

Yesterday our family gathered to enjoy each other’s company. We met at Dad’s condo and took over the pool area. His condo has a great pool house party room. There is a gas grill we put to good use. Grayson is our designated grill man. Grayson knows how to play a grill, ‘just like a ringing a bell’ to quote Chuck Berry.

When our family gets together my Dad, who is nearly 91 years old is the most senior. My brother and I (we are in our sixties) and our wives (who’s ages we do not reveal) represented the second generation and my sons Jay and Grayson (these guys are in their 30‘s but appear much younger) represented the third generation. The fourth generation comprised of grandchildren from age 9 to 16 rounded out attendance at our family outing.

At these family events we have grown accustom to hearing people say:

You have really grown.
I didn’t know that!
I don’t remember.
I can’t remember anything.
I’ve never seen a potato do that!
How hot do those get?
Do you ever see _____________?
I can’t believe how much weight he’s lost.
I can’t believe how much weight he’s gained.
Do they float?
You’re the best.
No you’re the best.
We sure do miss you.
We have to do this again soon.
I love you.

If your family is like our family you probably hear these same expression or slight variations at your outings. The only one that is important is the last one.

Let us help you find the best 2 way radios for your business, school or government agency. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy. Give us a call at 239-601-1969.

Best Wishes,
Manzie R Lawfer

2 Way Radios and Poison Raspberry Ultra Drops

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Hi Friends,

We use Google advertising to find new customers. We also use Facebook, LinkedIn,   Twitter and continually update our website to attract interest for 2 Way Radio Express. Finding new customers is a never ending job for most every business.

Of course after you attract new customers you have to make them happy and want to buy from you again and again. Keeping in touch with customers is critically important and is just as challenging as finding them in the first place. We send out a 2 way radio newsletters twice a month. Our blog (which you are currently reading) is written to keep in touch with our friends, prospects and customers. Our blog typically talks about stuff that is important to us and the people that use 2 way radio equipment. Sometimes it is about playing guitar or riding bicycles or other things that occupy our lives and bring us pleasure but more often it is about 2 way radio equipment.

Life revealed: it is the new millenium and we are living on the web.

Last week I was looking at my Facebook page and what to my wandering eye did appear but an entry from me touting some diet plan.

“hey, i’ve been on Raspberry ultra drops for about 2 weeks now and lost over 12lbs! you should really check this out… I thought it was bogus, but it actually works…”

It even had my profile picture. The thing is… this was not from me. I have never heard of Raspberry Ultra Drops. Even if I had heard of them I can’t imagine my so called endorsement would mean anything. If my endorsement is worth anything I want it to be promoting 2 way radios not Raspberry Drops.

I feel hacked. I feel violated. I’ve been taken advantage of. Help me! Show these scallywags they can’t just push people around. Don’t buy Raspberry Ultra Drops. Instead buy 2 way radios. Buy 2 way radios from us. You’ll be striking back for decency and the American Way. Buying 2 way radios is the right thing to do.

Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy. Call us at 239-601-1969 today.

Best Wishes,
Manzie R Lawfer

Smoking Drinking and 2 Way Radios

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Hi Friends,

I use to smoke cigarettes. I was a smoker. I liked opening the package. I liked the smell and taste of cigarettes. I really liked everything about smoking. I was in my early twenties. Smoking was cool.

Then in the early 1970’s we found out smoking was dangerous to our health. It would kill us if we kept doing it. We later learned it would even kill the people around us. Plus it was expensive and the price was going up.

I could save big if I quit smoking. When I finally quit, cigarettes were selling for a dollar or two a pack. I was smoking a pack or two a day… so do the math. When I quit smoking I started saving about $3 day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I was saving around $1000 a year. Knock off the smoking and save big.

This same kind of math equation was in play when I stopped drinking scotch everyday and became an occasional imbiber. Knock off the drinking and save big. (Add another $1000 a year to the savings account.)

Haircuts are also costly. About 10 years ago the ever talented Joy Ann began cutting my hair. I don’t wait in line for an hour or more at the local barber shop. I simply put on my haircutting uniform (more about than at another time) and show up in our well lighted foyer every 2 weeks for a trim. Bingo bango, at $15 per haircut I am saving nearly $400 per year.

So where is all this money going. I am not smoking, drinking or hanging out in barber shops. I should have a ton of extra money. It must be phantom savings.

Two way radios save money. Two way radios save money by increasing safety, improving efficiency and boosting productivity. Two way radios let you contact your staff at the push of a button. No dialing or waiting for someone to answer. Push the button and deliver your message. If you are using 2 way radios you don’t have to chase people down or search all over the building to find them. And 2 way radios let you deliver your  message to everyone at once.

Two way radios produce savings you can see. The savings produced by 2 way radios can be seen and counted in increased production and improved efficiency. We have a little formula that lets you calculate the savings from using 2 way radios. Remind me next time you call and I’ll share it with you.

Let us help you find the best 2 way radio equipment for your needs. Give us a call at 239-601-1969. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.

Best Wishes,
Manzie R Lawfer

Constancy of Purpose

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Hi Friends,

Constancy of purpose is a term coined by W. Edwards Deming. Doctor Deming was the father of modern management. The US government sent Dr. Deming to Japan after WWII to help the Japanese become more efficient and skilled in manufacturing. Wow! He did a great job.

I am a student of Deming’s teachings. Constancy of purpose tells us that there is always room for improvement. Whatever it is that we are doing Deming would tell us that we can improve. Too often businesses and people change course rather than improve the course they are on.

Honda and Toyota have built their automobile manufacturing companies on Deming’s principles. Even the simplest hinge or door latch is forever being improved at these companies. Make it lighter, smoother, more accurate, there is always room for improvement.

There is something really solid about Deming’s teachings. He tells us it is not where we start but where we finish that is important.

The Japanese are legendary for their electronics. We see it in the 2 way radio equipment we sell. Japanese radios are the best. ICOM radios are made in Japan. Every year the batteries get a little bit better: longer duty cycle, greater life expectancy, more durability and faster charging. Batteries are just one example of the ever improving 2 way radio equipment.

We have been selling ICOM 2 way radios for several years and they just keep getting better. We seldom see ICOM 2 way radios come back for repairs. We offer a 4 year warranty on ICOM radios and batteries and less than 5% every come back to our shop.

We believe Deming’s encouragement and challenge to constantly improve also applies to the sales and customer relationship arena. Actually we believe it applies to all aspects of our lives.

Every day, every day, every day we strive to improve who we are and how we do business. It is the Deming way.

Let us help you find the best 2 way radio equipment for you business, school or government agency. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.

Best Wishes,
Manzie R Lawfer

2 Way Radio Range

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Hi Friends,

The question we get asked most often is: How far can you talk on those radios? In just a moment I’ll share with you how to determine 2 way radio range but first let me observe that most of our customers only talk a mile or less. Our customers are schools, businesses and government agencies. Their biggest concerns for radios are reliability, ease of use and affordability. As long as the radios broadcast with clarity throughout the plant or campus our customers are happy.

That said, the distance two way radios broadcast is determined by radio power (measured in watts), antenna height and environmental factors.

Generally speaking more wattage means more distance. Hand held two-way radios have between 1 – 5 watts. Mobile radios, the kind you might find in a fleet of delivery trucks, broadcast between 25 -100 watts.

A general rule is to expect a 1 watt radio on flat land to provide about 1 mile of coverage. Doubling the power increases the range by about a third. A 2 watt radio on flat land provides about 1.3 miles of coverage. A four watt radio broadcasts about 2 miles.

The need for power is negated by the height of the broadcasting antenna. It does not take much power if there is little between the sending and receiving radios. For example the radios that the astronauts used on the moon to successfully talk to earth had less than 1 watt. This is because there is nothing between the moon and earth to block the signal. In effect the height of the Moon acted as an antenna.

The third factor in determining distance is the broadcast environment. If a radio signal is blocked by buildings, electrical interference, trees or mountains the signal will not reach the receiving radio.

A combination of power and antenna height solve most of these problems.

You may have seen radios at a discount store or the local sporting goods store advertising radios with talk distances of 10 miles or 12 miles or 18 miles. This is purely bogus. If bogus sounds too harsh to you, just ask the seller to demonstrate the advertised coverage. He will not be able to do it. Usually discount store radios can not broadcast to the front of the store they are sold in much less the distance advertised on the front of the package.

Give us a call to help you determine the best 2 way radios for your application. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.

Best Wishes,
Manzie R Lawfer

2 Way Radios and Reward Cards

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Hi Friends,

We are forever saying, “Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy.”

I use that expression at the end of nearly every newsletter and blog that I post. At first it seems odd to say, “doing business with us is easy.” Most businesses tout their selection or prices or locations. Some businesses promote their “Big Sale!” or “Limited Time Offer.” I can’t think of any other business that wants to build their reputation on being easy to do business with.

There is a trend in retailing that encourages that business’s customers to become members of their rewards program. When I checkout at the register of these businesses they ask, “Do you have your Rewards Card?”

I tell them, “No.”

They ask, “Are you a member of our Rewards Program?” (At this point they have a little tone in their voice, as if to say I can’t believe you’re not a member.)

I tell them, “No.”

They ask, “Would you like to sign up?”

I tell them, “No thank you.”

They tell me, “It’s free.”

I tell them, “Look I don’t want to be a member.”

By this time the people behind me are getting impatient. Then it dawns on me I was impatient just a few minutes ago when the customer in front me was being grilled while I waited.

The reward should be not having to be asked if you have your Rewards Card.

There should be a line just for customers that do not have a reward card and don’t want a reward card. I am guessing it would be the most popular line.

We don’t offer rewards cards. We offer everyone great service and prices. We want it to be less cumbersome to do business with us.

When you call we are all about making it easy to do business with 2 Way Radio Express. We are open from 8 AM till 8 PM Monday through Saturday. We include shipping in the price of every 2 way radio we sell. We keep your existing 2 way radio frequencies on file. We keep track of what make and model 2 way radios you are using. We deliver the best value in 2 way radios to your door.

Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy. Give us a call at 239-601-1969.

Best Wishes,

Manzie R Lawfer