Category Archives: 2 way radio

2 way radio

Do I need a license to Use a 2 Way Radio?

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Probably not, but it depends on how powerful you need the radio to be.

 

Most countries have a regulatory body that governs the use of radio frequencies. They do this so that different groups can use radio signals without interfering with each other (especially in the case of the emergency services). Here in the UK, radio transmission is regulated by Ofcom (Office of Communications), which is, in turn, regulated by the UK government.

However, if you are only planning on using a small device, Ofcom do allow some ‘licence free’ walkie-talkies. Here’s a description, taken from walkie-talkie-radio.co.uk,

“The UK government allows small, low-powered handheld radios that use a set of eight frequencies in the UHF band (around 446Mhz) to be sold and used without the need for any licensing. They may be used for both business and personal / leisure purposes. Radios that meet this standard (usually called “PMR446” radios) can only have a power output of 0.5 watts, which means that their range is less than the more powerful licensable business walkie-talkies, that have power outputs of 4 to 5 watts”.

One of the benefits of the European Union is that the standard for license-free radios is exactly the same, right across the EU. This means that if your radio is license-free in the UK, it will also be license free anywhere else in the EU).

If you wanted to use a more powerful radio (say anything over 5 watts for a handheld or 25 watts for vehicle radios and base stations), then you will need a license. 2wayradionline.co.uk has more on this,

“Licensed handheld walkie-talkies can have 5 watts power output, but “licence-free” PMR446 radios can only have ½ watt power output, so the licensed radios will have a better range and better signal penetration in buildings”.

The most basic licence available to you would be the ‘UK Simple’ license,

“This licence is effectively a licence to use the more powerful radios anywhere in the United Kingdom, using a set of frequencies that are shared by all users of this licence. This licence is quick and easy to apply for, costs £75 per organization, and is valid for five years. It is ideal for most users of business radios, and is the only choice for those who need to be able to use their radios anywhere in the UK”.

It is also possible to get a ‘Technically assigned Geographic License’ – essentially, this license allows you to use a specific frequency (or set of frequencies) that are uniquely yours. The catch is that you can only use them within a specific location. These licenses aren’t especially expensive to maintain, but the cost is rising in major cities, especially London.

If you are setting yourself up as an equipment lender, or rental firm, then you’ll need a UK Simple Business Radio Supplier’s License. This license allocates you a set of frequencies that you rent out to clients, along with your own equipment. Because the frequencies are licensed to you, the hirer of the equipment need not worry about obtaining their own license.

Getting any one of these licenses is as simple as visiting the licensing section of Ofcom’s website.  

Hope that helps!

SOURCES

http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/

http://www.walkie-talkie-radio.co.uk/two-way-radio-licencing-in-the-uk.html

The IC-F27SR: A PMR 445 Licence Free Radio

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The world is filled with really awesome, well written content. If you find one that catches your eye, you have to repost it, well i do! so with authorization of the original writer i’ve re-posted this for you to take pleasure in

Professional PMR446 Licence Free Two Way Radio

The IC-F27SR professional Licence Free Two Way Radio is the successor to the best selling IC-F25SR and retains the simplicity, functionality and build that made the original so popular. However, there have been some big improvements including a smaller and lighter body, 800mW loud and intelligible audio, built-in VOX function and several new scanning and security features. To top it off, the IC-F27SR includes highly efficient circuitry that provides up to a massive 35.5 hours of operating time with the supplied BP-265 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery pack.

High performance, Professional Licence Free Radio 
Outstanding audio quality, high performance and strong commercial build make the IC-F27SR the ideal licence free radio. This licence free radio is ideal for users in diverse areas such as construction, catering, event management, shopping centres, factories, farms as well as serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Up to 35.5 hours of operating time
The IC-F27SR features highly efficient circuitry, providing up to a massive 35.5 hours of operating time* with the supplied BP-265 2000mAh lithium-ion battery pack. This means it can be comfortably last an entire shift.
* Tx: Rx: Stand-by =5: 5: 90 with power save ON. 24.8 hours with BP-264

Outstanding audio quality 
800mW audio output is provided from the large 45mm speaker meaning the IC-F27SR can deliver loud and intelligible audio even in extremely noisy environments such as a busy shop floor or construction site.

Just three main controls
Transmit button, volume control and channel selector. This simple to use radio is ideal for high turnover environments and shift work where the radio is constantly passed from person to person.

Lightweight, Compact Body
Small size (58×186×36.5mm) and lightweight (285g) makes this transceiver ideal for all users.

Commercial grade construction
The IC-F27SR is extremely rugged. It has been tested to 11 categories of environmental and military standards for dust protection and water resistance making it suited to outdoor use.

Internal VOX for Hands-free operation
Built-in VOX function provides convenient hands-free operation, when used with our optional headset adapter cable.

500mW output power 
Provides wider communication coverage.

Other features 
• CTCSS and DTCS encoder and decoder for group call
• Surveillance function turns off the LED and beep sound
• Siren function can be used for security alarm
• Power save function
• Low battery alert
• Time out timer
• Monitor function

  • High performance, Professional Licence Free Radio
  • Up to 35.5 hours of operating time with BP-265 Li-ion battery pack *Typical operation with power save on. TX:RX:Stand-by=5:5:90
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Simple to operate, just three main controls
  • Lightweight, compact body
  • Internal VOX for hands-free operation (Optional headset and adapter cable required)
  • IP54 and MIL-STD-810 ruggedness
  • CTCSS and DTCS tone squelch for group call
  • Same accessories as “F3002/F4002” series handhelds
  • 2 year warranty on transceiver, 1 year warranty on accessories

Motorola Solutions Adds RFID-Enabled Knobs to Radios

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With such a lot of information on the internet about Radio’s it’s hard to discover the best and largely candid articles. here’s a piece from a good site that i believe to be true, do not quote me on it but please read and enjoy

The volume knob, which can be retrofitted into the company’s Mototrbo two-way radios, enables users to conduct inventory counts of 50 radios in six seconds, instead of four minutes.

Two of Motorola Solutions‘ business divisions combined forces this year to develop an RFID-based solution known as RFID Fleet Management, for managing the locations of its Mototrbo two-way radios. The system features a volume-control knob with a built-in RFID tag, enabling users to locate radios more efficiently than having to manually search through several models, reading serial numbers or scanning bar codes. The solution also includes Motorola EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHFRFID readers. Software to manage read data, as well as training, support and service, are being provided by Motorola’s reseller and solution-provider partners. Beginning at the end of this month, the new knobs will be shipped to customers, upon request, as a retrofit for their existing radios.

Motorola Solutions sells its Mototrbo two-way radios to customers, such as product manufacturers, and other companies with mobile personnel. Motorola Solutions’ Mototrbo customers include organizations that rent the radios to the end users. Both types of companies can have inventories of hundreds or thousands of radios, which must be accounted for periodically—at the end of each day, weekly or monthly, for example—to confirm that the radios have not gone missing, and that every user returns the correct units. Without RFID, each radio assigned or rented out must have its bar code scanned or its serial number recorded in order to create a record of which radio was provided to which employee or company, and when this occurred.

With the RFID Fleet Management solution, the radio’s original volume control knob (left) is replaced with an RFID-tagged version (right).

According to Carrie Angelico, Motorola Solutions’ senior channel business development manager for data-capture solutions, Mototrbo users told Motorola how exhaustive the inventory-management process could be, and the company’s radio division began discussing a solution with its own RFID division. The result is a volume-control knob containing a Motorola UHF RFID Custom Tag, made with an Omni-ID tag, encoded with a unique ID number that can be associated with the radio’s own serial number in the user’s software.

The solution is designed to be a retrofit option for those with Mototrbo two-way radios. Users first acquire the RFID-enabled knob as a replacement for the existing volume knob. The knob’s built-in RFID tag can then be read via any of Motorola Solutions’ handheld or fixed readers, including a desktop interrogator that could be used for checking radios into and out of a storage area.

– See more at: http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?11706#sthash.xhADvZzf.dpuf

We Have A Look Under The Bonnet Of The IC-4088SR

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So i discovered this short article on the internet and i understand that just posting it as the whole article isn’t an excellent thing, I got consent from the original writer and read up how to curate posts, so that is it…….i thought this was interesting as it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working inside the business.

PMR446 Handheld Transceiver

Designed to meet the demands of the licence free PMR 446 service, the IC-4088SR builds on its predecessor’s functionality, features and operating performance.

Featuring a high level of flexibility, the IC-4088SR allows instant communication between members of a group in and around buildings and over short distances. This makes it the perfect tool for keeping in touch with friends, family and work colleagues whilst in close proximity to them. The applications for the PMR446 service are almost limitless and the IC-4088SR would be suitable for camping, golf, catering, use in sports centres, on building sites, catering, events management, neighbourhood watch, factories, farms etc. What’s more it is water-resistant making it ideal for rambling, trekking, or for use on inland waterways etc.

An optional external charger socket or cigarette lighter lead allows you to charge and operate the IC-4088SR allowing you to use the IC-4088SR when and whenever you like. 

The IC-4088SR has all the hallmarks of a quality product. It is well designed, easy to use and very robust. Its strong body makes it ideal for outdoor activity enthusiasts, for example. In fact the IC-4088SR is ergonomically designed and there are an absolute minimum number of switches making operation quick and intuitive. The large, easy to read LCD shows operating information at a glance with clear status icons such as ‘low battery’ and ‘timer’ that are easily recognisable. 

In addition to its ease of use and aesthetic design the IC-4088SR is packed full of communication features that provides the user with a high level of usability and convenience. Among these useful functions are a simple voice scrambler that will provide secure private communication and a handy ‘Automatic Transponder’ function which automatically warns you if the other radios are out of range. 

Other useful operating functions include a call ring function, which allows you to send a ring tone when calling another party – similar to using a mobile phone. Ten different ring types can be selected from. To ensure clear communications with other radios, you can select from 8 different radio channels and 38 different group codes, giving more than 300 different combinations to choose from. A Smart Ring function is also included which lets you know whether your call has got all the way through.

The IC-4088SR transceiver is available with charger and four rechargeable batteries. Two commercial multi-packs are also available.

 

  • Rugged construction and high performance antenna
  • External DC power jack
  • Built-in voice scrambler
  • Simple to use for everyone
  • Economical three alkaline cells
  • Splash resistant construction
  • Built-in CTCSS encoder and decoder
  • Automatic transponder system
  • Smart-ring function
  • Call-ring function
  • Power save function
  • Low battery indicator
  • Automatic power-off timer (0.5–2 hours)
  • Scan function
  • PTT hold function
  • Variable time-out-timer (1–30 minutes)

Diverse Power Leverages Exalt Backhaul for Large-Scale UHF Radio Network

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So i discovered this post on the net and i heard that just posting it like a whole article is not the right thing, I got permission from the original writer and read up how to curate articles, so that is it…….i thought this was interesting because it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working in the business.

 

Exalt Communications, Inc., the leading innovator of next-generation wireless connectivity systems for private networks and Internet infrastructures, today announced that Diverse Power, an electric membership cooperative based in La Grange, GA has deployed Exalt ExploreAir microwave backhaul systems to link traffic from its TETRA UHF radio network back to its fiber core.

With 36,000 customers throughout counties in Georgia and Alabama, Diverse Power’s far-flung operations in this rural area require highly reliable radio communications among its maintenance personnel. Working with Exalt partner Dean’s Commercial Two-Way of Cataula, GA, Diverse Power deployed a TETRA UHF radio system for its workers and selected Exalt ExploreAir microwave backhaul systems to carry traffic among sites in Manchester, Mulberry Grove, and Red Oak, GA.

“We wanted a first-class system all the way with our radio network, and Dean’s Two Way recommended Exalt for its outstanding performance and reasonable price,” said Randy Shepard, senior vice president of Diverse Power. “Exalt gives us a fiber-speed backhaul infrastructure that we can rely on in all weather conditions, even during the recent ice storms.”

Diverse Power deployed Exalt ExploreAir systems in all-outdoor configurations on links between Mulberry Grove and Manchester, and between Red Oak and Manchester. The systems carry 100 megabits per-second of Ethernet traffic. While the microwave systems backhaul voice radio traffic today, Diverse Power is looking ahead to carrying SCADA traffic over the links in the future.

“Fiber and microwave are the only technologies that can reliably backhaul traffic, and Exalt microwave offers customers distinct advantages when expanding a network over a broad geographical area,” said Amir Zoufonoun, CEO of Exalt. “Our systems are scalable, providing customers like Diverse Power the capacity they need to optimize energy delivery, increase productivity, enable two-way information exchange with customers for greater control over their electricity costs, and easily add future service offerings.”

About Exalt Communications

Exalt Communications, Inc. is a forerunner in the global Internet revolution, delivering high-value wireless systems that transform the economics of connectivity. Exalt wireless systems extend or complement network fiber and replace now-outdated copper, enabling customers to accelerate time-to-market, optimize network performance, and reduce network infrastructure costs. Today, over 2,000 global customers, from the world’s largest mobile operators to independent service providers, government agencies, and multinational enterprises depend on Exalt systems as they move their applications to the Cloud, enable mobility, and connect the unconnected.

Read more at http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwgeeks/article/Diverse-Power-Leverages-Exalt-Backhaul-for-Large-Scale-UHF-Radio-Network-20140402#VrUcmLhd4WjO3IKs.99

Inventors That Changed the World: Al Gross

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Much like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the movie ‘Twins’, the walkie-talkie can claim to have many fathers. However, one of the most prominent names in the debate (and maybe the one with the single strongest claim to having invented the walkie-talkie) is Canadian/American inventor Al Gross.

The son of Romanian immigrants, Al Gross was born in Toronto, Canada in 1918, but his parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio, USA when he was quite young. Whilst on a steamboat trip across Lake Erie, the 9-year-old Gross encountered radio technology for the first time and, in so doing, ignited a passion within him that would change the world.

How passionate was he? By age 12, Gross had turned his parents’ basement into a radio centre. The bright young man would visit junkyards and salvage any material he thought he could use. Four years later –aged 16- Gross was awarded an amateur radio license, which was still in effect at the time of his death in 2000.

At the age of 18, Gross enrolled in the Case School of Applied Sciences. At the time, radio frequencies above 100MHz were relatively unexplored territory. Gross wanted to see exactly what could be done with them. He wanted to create a mobile, lightweight, handheld transceiver, using those uncharted frequencies. In 1938, he did just that, patenting the two-way radio, or ‘walkie-talkie’. He was just 20 years old.

War arrived on American shores in 1941 with the attack on Pearl Harbour. America scrambled to mobilize its armed forces and take advantage of any/all new technology that could aid the struggle against the Axis powers. The US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – a forerunner to the CIA – tapped Gross to create an air-to-ground communications’ system. The system Gross designed employed Hertzian radio waves and was almost impossible for the enemy to monitor, even when allied planes were in enemy airspace. Gross’ system proved incredibly successful (so much so, that it was not declassified until 1976).

After the war, the inventor turned entrepreneur and founded the Citizens Radio Corporation, which took advantage of the first frequencies designated for personal use. His company was the first to receive FCC approval for use with the new ‘citizens’ band’. He licensed radios to other companies and supplied units to the Coast Guard, amongst others.

Then, in 1949 came another amazing discovery. Gross invented and patented the telephone pager. He invented the system with doctors in mind, but the medical community was (amazingly) slow to respond to this new technology. Only New York’s Jewish Hospital saw the potential of the pager as a life-saving device, when they implemented it in 1950.

Throughout the 1950’s, Gross, ever the pioneer, fought hard to garner interest for his newest idea – a mobile telephone. It took him eight years to get mobile telephony, as a concept, off the ground. Talk about being ahead of the curve!

Unfortunately, many of Gross’ best ideas were so far ahead of said curve, that his patents ran out before he could garner the profit his genius deserved. Had he earned the money eventually generated by CB radio, pagers and cellular phones, he would have died an extremely rich man. However, it was not to be.

Gross invented a lot throughout the years, but nothing brought him the amount of money that he potentially could have made from his earlier inventions. However, Gross was able to make a comfortable living, spending the 1960’s working for large corporations as a specialist in communications systems. 

In the 1990’s, he was employed as a Senior Staff Engineer for Orbital Sciences Corporation in Arizona, where he worked on satellite communications, military equipment and aerospace technology.

As an older man, Gross got the most joy from visiting local schools and giving presentations. He took extra pleasure in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and thinkers.

In April of the year 2000, Al Gross (who had garnered numerous awards throughout his career, far too many to write about here) was honoured to receive the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award. He passed away eight months later in December 2000.

Gross never actually retired and was still working at the age of 82, a restless paragon of forward thinking, innovation and tireless imagination.

SOURCE

http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/gross.html

Is There a Difference Between a Walkie Talkie and a Two Way Radio

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Although the terms ‘walkie-talkie’ and ‘two-way radio’ can be used interchangeably, some minor differences between the two technologies do actually exist. In a professional context, it is best to know which device you are referring to before you refer to it (but this is substantially less important on a day-to-day level).

Essentially, a walkie-talkie is the same as a two-way radio; there is no overt difference between the two. However, because there are so many different radios on the market, a distinction has arisen. The term ‘walkie-talkie’ tends to imply a ‘hobby’ model, or an otherwise cheap radio. Conversely, the term ‘two-way radio’ tends to be more readily accepted in a business, as well as any equipment specific, context. 

Walkie-talkies were invented around the time of the Second World War and were principally used by the military. Although they came in different forms, the most common version featured a large handset, which had a long antenna protruding from it. Modern walkie-talkies, on the other hand, feature a smaller design, typically with a rugged outer casing and a short aerial. They usually operate via a PTT (Push To Talk) button and available models vary in range from cheap children’s toys to professional, military grade equipment.

Generally, walkie-talkies are limited to only a few watts of power and a relatively short signal range. To this end, radio services often use a repeater (a device that increases range and boosts signal by squashing unused frequencies) in order to improve the walkie-talkie’s operation.

For their part, two-way radios, although they are also portable hand-held transceivers (a device that can both TRANSmit and reCEIVE messages) and they also use the PTT system, are slightly different.

A two-way radio is likely to have a stronger range and a harder outer casing. This is because the term ‘two-way radio’ denotes a better class of product (usually). 

Some two-way radios are also capable of sending and receiving messages at the same time; this is called ‘full duplex’. An example would be a mobile phone, which employs two different radio frequencies at the same time. However, although a mobile phone is technically a two-way radio, the device is very different from what we understand as either a walkie-talkie or a two-way.

The most important distinction is that ‘two-way radio’ almost always refers to professional, licensed equipment, whereas ‘walkie-talkie’ more often describes unlicensed, consumer-grade radios. 

Why Can’t I Use a Radio or a Phone on an Aeroplane?

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The real reason is that the signals generated by your radio receiver (yes, it generates signals as well as receives them) can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation equipment.

 

In an article for ‘The Straight Dope’, published in 1987, Cecil Adams (who ran a similar, but far superior, column to this one) explained it far better than I could. He said,

 

“Most modern receivers use something called a “local oscillator,” which is sort of an internal transmitter. The oscillator generates signal A, which is mixed with the somewhat raw incoming signal B to produce nice, easy-to-work-with signal C. There’s usually some sort of shielding around the oscillator, but it’s not always effective and sometimes errant signals leak out to make life difficult for other radio equipment nearby. If the other equipment happens to be an aircraft navigation device, somebody could wind up digging furrows with a $25 million plow. So do your bit for air safety and bring a tape player instead.”

 

Of course, you can replace ‘tape player’ with ‘iPod’ and not lose anything in the discussion…Feasibly, you could replace ‘iPod’ with ‘smartphone’ and lose even less.

 

However, the oscillator isn’t always going to cause a major problem, in fact, 9 times out of 10 you’ll be fine, but is it really worth endangering the lives of every passenger aboard the plane just so you can catch up on the football results?

 

Any answer other than ‘no’ would be inhumanly monstrous. Unless, of course, its a penalty shootout…

 

Actually, I’m over-exaggerating somewhat, in fact, not even your mobile would be likely to cause that much damage. In theory it could, but the reality for phones being banned is a little bit less terrifying, as www.Wired.com’s Cliff Kuang explains:

 

“Sure, your mobile can interfere with avionics — in theory. But in practice, it’s far from likely. Cockpits and communications systems have been protected against electromagnetic meddling through safeguards like shielded wiring and support structures since the 1960s. So why the resistance? Part of it, naturally, comes from the call carriers. When phones ping for signals at 35,000 feet, they can hit hundreds of towers at once, necessitating complicated parsing of roaming agreements. Providers don’t want the hassle if they’re not being properly compensated, so the government has left the plane ban in place”.

 

So, essentially, it’s not worth the risk to use a radio receiver on a plane and you can’t make calls because it would be a bugger to regulate, as well as a logistical nightmare to deal with, for the phone companies. That’s about it, really. 

What is Ham Radio & How Does it Work?

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Ham radio (so called because its operators were originally derided as being ‘hammy’ in the 19th century, when the technology first emerged) is a term that applies to any form of amateur radio broadcasting.

 

There are designated radio frequency spectra available solely for public use. Uses range from recreation to communication and the non-commercial exchange of ideas. ‘Hams’ take advantage of these frequencies in order to transmit any number of things Continue reading

Hotel Radio Communication

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The tourism industry is a big one, with various holiday seasons bringing in huge revenues around the world, year in, year out. In some cases, tourism profits are actually vital to the survival of small towns and resort areas, as well as major factors in the host country’s GDP.

Approximately 30 Million people visit the UK from all over the world each year (and we don’t even get nice weather!). Drawn to our many sites of cultural interest, even more of historical interest, or just a slice on English country life, these tourists are actually a considerable part of our economy. Continue reading