When you are in the market for a two-way radio system, features and specifications can sometimes be confusing. The main question you need to ask yourself is how you are planning to use the radios within your company. Answering that question will help determine what type of equipment you require. Below are ten questions to think about when purchasing communications equipment.
1) Do you need analog, digital, or mixed-mode radios?
Most two-way radios today are digital, which has many advantages: clearer audio, longer battery life, and increased capacity, to name a few. The only downside is that digital two-way radios generally cost more. So, considering your must-haves in this area will help you decide which to choose – if you just need basic communications or you’re working within an existing system, analog may be the way to go.
2) What type of battery would you require?
Matching your radio with the right battery is critical. Lithium-ion batteries are now the most common batteries in radios because they offer top-quality energy densities, limited memory effects, and can be stored for long periods of time.
3) Where are you going to be using the radios?
VHF radios work best for outdoor applications where the maximum range is required with little to no obstruction. UHF radios work best for indoor applications with some obstructions. 800/900 radios work best for complex in-building coverage and trunking systems.
All Call” channel and get that important message out, Fast… We can even set up All Call for just a few TalkGroups as supervisory monitoring management in our platform.4) What type of environment are the radios going to be used in?Do you work in conditions that could damage your radios?If you are likely to be using the radios outside in all types of weather, waterproofing, dust-proofing, and other ingress protections are very important.Intrinsically Safe, IS, radios are made to withstand the elements and will benefit industries where harsh conditions are the norm, such as construction and emergency response. Radios with this certification are safe for use in the oil, gas, and mining industries, or any combustible environment where tiny sparks normally produced by standard radios could start a fire.5) Do you need special features for your radio?Emergency Call- Radios come with an emergency button which is usually orange and placed at the top of the device. It can be programmed to raise an alarm to the base station or to other radios, and the identity of the person issuing the alarm is shown to devices with a display.Lone Worker- The Lone Worker feature has a timer in the radio which measures inactivity. If the timer goes over, a warning is issued, and if there is no response to that, the alarm is triggered.Text Messaging– Functionality with a one-touch feature for pre-programmed text messages and voice calls.Man Down- The Man Down option will let you know if the radio has been tilted at a certain angle. This may happen for instance if the radio user has fallen over or is unconscious or injured. At this angle, or if the phone is horizontal, the alarm will be triggered after a warning is issued to the user.GPS– A GPS signal can help locate the person who has issued the alarm or who is in a “man down” situation. It can also allow for vehicle location through a dispatch solution.6) Do you want a headset, hands-free, or Bluetooth option?You should confirm the option is available on the models you are considering. Not all models allow for hands-free or Bluetooth operation.7) Interface Multiple TechnologiesWe can interface many types of systems together. VHF, UHF, P25, Analog, Digital, 800/9008) Will a repeater or repeater service be necessary?Repeaters can drastically increase the range of the system, help to eliminate dead spots and provide an even higher level of durability.9) Is an FCC license required?In almost all commercial applications an FCC license is required to operate the radios.10) Is a service agreement a good idea for your equipment?Like any equipment, it can wear out or suffer damage that needs repair. The higher the number of radios you own, the greater the likelihood you will deal with breakdowns and damage. Some workers spend all day on their radios, so it is more likely the radios will wear out sooner. Some operations simply can’t afford downtime. If your system is complex, using an experienced partner can help keep your system running smoothly.