A Group Call, as the name suggests, is when you send a voice message to multiple recipients.
Think of Group Calling as the RF version of a WhatsApp or Skype Group Call/Message – you can send crucial information to all the members in your team(s) at the same time. The only difference is that, when you transmit your voice call with your two way radio, your team members will hear the message over their radios when you send it (you don’t have to wait for them to first accept your call or download your voice note).
When your Group Info has been programmed, your radio dispatcher can simply select the appropriate group(s) that they need to contact, either by manually dialling the designated group code, or selecting it from their contact list.
With modern Radio infrastructure and associated digital functions, reaching out to multiple people has become easier than ever before. There is no need for any of your Team Members to miss out on crucial information. This priority broadcasting function is especially useful in the public safety and security sectors.
Please contact our Sales Team if you’d like to know more about our Radio options that can facilitate Group Calls.
These safety tips should actually go without saying:
- Don’t use your hand-held radio whilst driving, unless the device is placed in a car kit holder utilising appropriate wireless or Bluetooth accessories.
- Do not utilise non-intrinsically safe two-way radios in the vicinity of petrol stations or areas where large quantities of solvents or combustible materials are stored.
Also, make sure that all employees who use installed two-way radio kits in any vehicles as part of their day-to-day jobs are sufficiently trained to do so safely; using hands-free solutions and audio accessories.
Make sure that everyone is aware that they need to handle their 2-wayradio in a responsible manner. Advise employees to:
- Exercise care when handling replacement batteries.
- Keep radio in a vertical position and the antenna at least 2.5 cm from the nose or lips to minimise RF exposure.
- Report any damage to the radio or antenna to a line manager.
- Ensure the device is carried ergonomically, utilising approved accessories appropriate for the work setting (such as carry case or holster) to avoid discomfort.
- Secure the device when working from height and utilise approved audio accessories to remove the risk of the device falling.
- Never place a radio’s speaker directly against the ear.
Acoustic Safety and Hygiene
Where high levels of background noise are an issue, radio users will be issued with a headset or earpiece that they must utilise at all times. Some basic housekeeping tips should include:
- Check you’ve turned down the volume before adding a headset or earpiece
- Sharing headsets or earpieces is unhygienic – don’t do it
- Ensure you regularly clean your headset/earpiece/voice tube with anti-bacterial wipes as per the user instructions.
- If you work in a noisy environment that exceeds the noise at work regulations, ensure you utilise an attenuating headset to prevent noise induced hearing loss.
In hazardous industrial or manufacturing settings, workers should be using handsets and accessories specially designed to operate in such environments.
Ensure personnel are briefed on the European Directives (ATEX) covering equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, so they understand the importance of:
- Always using ATEX approved handsets and headsets – and check equipment classifications for atmospheres containing propane/ethylene/hydrogen
- Checking specific on-site regulations for the use of headsets/battery changing.
For over a century, Two-Way Radios have been used in multiple sectors. We find it quite impressive to think that, in a world where tech devices are replaced so quickly, the walkie-talkie is still relevant today.
Over the years, two-way radio devices have definitely evolved to adapt to our ever-changing needs and requirements, but can they really outperform phones in the workplace?
Let’s first have a look at some of the mainstream modes of communication available:
As the name suggests, landline telephones require fixed locations and an infrastructure relying heavily on extensive cable networks. In South Africa, these are usually installed and supported by Telkom.Fixed lines may be perfect for people working in office desk jobs, but they are much less practical for the factory floor, construction site, school grounds, university campus, or any other work site that requires workers to be mobile while talking to each other.
Fixed lines may be perfect for people working in office desk jobs, but they are much less practical for the factory floor, construction site, school grounds, university campus, or any other work site that requires workers to be mobile while talking to each other.
Mobile phones and smartphones offer excellent mobile communication as long as their batteries are charged and they have adequate signal strength. However, mobile coverage is notoriously inadequate in some and totally unavailable in other areas, for example, remote areas and indoor spots like elevators, stairwells and underground tunnels. Furthermore, cellphone service (GSM networks) are easily overloaded in an emergency, rendering it useless when needed most.
Sending texts or emails are great options for people who are (more) comfortable with instant silent communication, but some people are just more comfortable when having an actual voice conversation – and some information simply must be conveyed by voice. Such scenarios render text and email useless.
Digital two-way radios with keypads and displays can be ideal for texting along with all of the other benefits they provide.
Now let’s contrast them with some advantages of two-way radios:
Mobile & Durable
Two-way radios are more durable in rugged environments and often meet waterproof and dustproof military specifications so they can be used effectively just about anywhere.
Unlike cellphones, obstructions are not a major challenge. Your two-way radios might just require added power or the addition of repeaters to increase signal range. In larger facilities and across vast campuses, distributed antennas and bi-directional amplifiers can even boost signals further in even the most challenging environments. This is why two-way radios are so essential in jobs like warehousing, security or property management where users have to roam over wide areas.
On two-way radios, users push just one button to talk to each other, saving the trouble of scrolling through a contacts list and workgroups can be programmed to give users the choice between communicating with a whole team, or with other users one-to-one.
This flexibility makes workers much more efficient and it’s invaluable in emergencies or other situations where critical communications are vital.
With a cellphone or landline telephone, you have no choice but to wait for the call to 1) connect and start ringing, and 2) be answered. On a two-way radio, one-button functionality enables instant voice communication as soon as you start talking.
Instant communications are not only vital in any emergency when delays can cost lives, but also to speed maintenance technicians to the site of production line breakdowns or to help sales staff check with the warehouse to see if more products are available.
On a two-way radio network, a single user can call an entire group of people with the push of one button. Ever tried to set up a conference call or find different workgroups using a cell phone in a hurry?
Digital technology makes radios even cooler:
Digital radios convert voice signals into packets of data that can be transmitted over traditional networks, both wired and wireless. This makes your two-way radio a computing device that can send texts, receive text (including emails) and transmit voice signals around the world via the internet.
Digital radios also improve sound quality in noisy areas, and they use less battery power than analog radios, which means you can keep them on the job for longer periods of time.
They can even generate user data that can help track people’s locations and identify inefficiencies to help make businesses more profitable.
“Now, aren’t you glad we’re still here?”
– Two Way Radios everywhere
We came across an old blog post by Michael Martens, which contains an excellent explanation of what it means when people talk about Antenna Gain / Dbi.
Since it also clarifies the reason for antennas in the two way radio world, we HAD TO share.
“I’m gonna take a confusing subject and hopefully demystify it. Antenna Gain is a popular subject amongst hams. We talk about gain all the time, we’ll compare antenna systems and apply values to as how impressive they are by their gain figures. But what exactly is antenna gain, and what do those numbers mean to…”
Source: Antenna Gain Explained
Feature photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock
We live in an age of constant technological advancement, so it is no wonder that even two way radios have gone digital.
One product, we’re specifically excited about, is the Vertex Standard EVX-Link. This little box of magic, makes it possible to extend your digital two way radio network as far as you want it to go, without the need to invest in various repeater towers, antennas, etc.
In addition to such innovative accessories, if you compare an analog two way radio with a digital two way radio, you’ll notice that the digital radio’s audio quality is also much better – not only because it doesn’t gradually deteriorate the further your radio users move from away from each another, but also due to a crisper sound and less background noise.
The increased static you’ll hear on an analog two way radio the farther out you go, might be quite obvious (we’re talking RF signals here), but as for the rest, we’ll let Bearcom explain why:
With analog two-way radios, the natural human voice is carried by radio signals. You can hear the person’s voice exactly as it sounds, and interference, obstacles, and coverage limitations can significantly degrade quality. In contrast, digital radios create an electronic version of our voices. The vocoder inside the radio converts traditional analog voice signals into positive and negative binary signals, and transmits this digital information to the other radio. Then the vocoder on the other end translates the signal back to an analog voice, so the signal goes from analog to digital and back to analog.
One of the major shortcomings of an analog radio system is that once you push the button to talk, you’re speaking into an open microphone that picks up any nearby noises and transmits them along with your voice. A digital radio is designed to do a much better job of filtering out background sounds that can clutter analog transmissions. The vocoder essentially knows how to turn up the human voice and turn down everything else. That’s because the vocoder has been programmed to identify the sound of people talking.
Trunking is a cost effective radio communication technique that makes communication significantly easier and more effective than traditional radio communication methods systems such as ComReps (Community Repeaters), where different users operate on separate radio frequencies or radio channels.
A challenge with traditional radio systems is that the number of channels is often exceeded, whilst radio trunking smartly controls and guides the users toward a free channel, thereby reducing waiting times.
The principal of trunking is based on automatic and dynamic allocation of a small number of radio channels among a large number of radio users in the most efficient and transparent way. Finding a free channel is therefore not the user’s obligation as the system does it automatically and in the shortest possible time. Trunking therefor permits a large number of users to share a relatively small number of communication channels.
This process is managed through tried and tested control equipment and the entire allocation process is transparent to the individual user. Radio trunking enables a dispatcher to be in instant contact with vehicles in the fleet as trunking optimises resources to reduce queues and speed up channel allocation.
It is clear that Two Way Radios beats Cell Phones with experience!
You reap what you sow – change to Vertex Standard’s digital eVerge series and Evolve to Better.
Agricultural specialty services provide a necessary backbone for the U.S. farming industry. When their operations are less than optimal, crops are affected.
But with good communication – and Vertex Standard – there are rewards to be reaped.
Read the full story: http://bit.ly/1QBnZ3t