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
A walkie talkie (sometimes also referred to as a handheld transceiver, HT, two way radio, or just a portable) is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver.
They were originally developed during World War II and everything about their design was initially geared towards the needs of armed forces, but after the war, they also spread into the public safety sectors (eg. police departments) and was eventually also used commercially.Stacy Bravo notes that, over the years, with the advancements of technology, walkie talkies have often times been overlooked as a necessity in today’s world and thinks that everyone in every household should have a set.
To find out why, read the Source Article: Why You Should Carry Walkie Talkies
Commercial security can be dangerous business. Unfortunately we all too often hear about assaults and other serious incidents that those working in this sector face. In the worst cases, guards have faced serious injuries or even death.
A security guard recently died after he was allegedly hit by a vehicle and brutally attacked in an apartment complex in […]
High stress situations have a way of playing tricks on the mind. All of a sudden you feel like you’ve never had any common sense before – as if your mental library is just blank, all data wiped out. This is why we recommend that you drill BearCom’s five main tips into your head before an emergency might arise:
- You must be prepared.
If you are unfamiliar with two-way radios, take some time to learn how they function and what features your device offers (such as emergency alerts). When you’re getting trained on a new radio, insist on asking what you would do differently in an emergency.
- When talking, less is more.
Be brief and efficient — know what you are going to say before talking into the microphone; otherwise you’ll tie up the channel while thinking of what to say. (Remember: When you use the push-to-talk button, you’re preventing other people from talking on the same frequency).
- Don’t mind your manners.
While you must respect fellow users, you don’t have to be polite by saying “please” or “thank you.”
- Repetition rocks.
Repeat back information you receive to confirm that you heard correctly.
- You have no privacy.
Remember that group conversations are not private on open channels — any other radio user within range can hear what you’re saying by tuning to your frequency. Actually, this is a big plus in emergency broadcasts and SOS situations where the operator wants to relay a message to as many people as possible.
Read the source article by BearCom here.
LONG TERM RENTALS
The most common two way radio rental contract we offer, is the 12-month minimum contract. This contract allows you to continue renting the radios from us on a month-to-month basis after the initial twelve month period has expired, and payments are collected via debit order every month, but we can personalise the rental terms it to suit you.
Obviously, the sky’s the limit, but there are four basic rental contracts we offer:
Under the terms of these type of contracts, we can discuss & agree to a fixed rental period, during which you will basically pay off your hardware purchase. In other words the radio(s) will belong to you after the fixed rental period (lease period) has expired.
In addition to this “down payment” option, you can also add airtime rental to the bundle if you do not have a frequency of your own.
Radio + Airtime
If, however, you do not wish to purchase the hardware or your own frequency from ICASA, we can discuss and devise a plan by which you can rent both the hardware & the airtime from us.
If you do not wish to purchase the hardware, but you do hold a current valid Spectrum frequency license from ICASA, we can help you out any time. We will just require a copy of your frequency license upon signing of the contract. This will be placed on your file, and you may be requested to send a renewed copy each year for as long as you use our rental radios.
The other option you could consider, is to settle the hardware purchase once-off, and then just rent our frequency if you do not have your own.
SHORT TERM RENTALS
We know that many people in the Events Management sector, often need better communication than cell phones, but only for a short period of time (once-off, or annually). If this is the case, we are still happy to assist. Usually, it is best to contact us ahead of time (a few working days would suffice) to allow enough time to determine the perfect radio + airtime to match your delivery/collection requirements, your event’s location, as well as the surrounding area & all possible communication barriers such as buildings, long distances, etc.
Ever heard the terms ‘Lone Worker’ or ‘Man Down’ with regards to two way radios? Are you still trying to figure out what they mean?
Basically, these are two functions that can be activated (programmed) on certain radio models, such as the Vertex Standard VX450 Series.
Let’s say, for example, that you have security personnel performing ground checks a few times a night. Let’s also say that they don’t perform these security checks as teams, but that they’re responsible for handling them on their own. What if one of them walked into a seriously dangerous situation? How will they be able to let you know that they need help without alerting the intruders?
Switching a Vertex VX450 portable onto Lone Worker mode means that it will have a built-in timer that will require the user to reset it at a predetermined interval, and if not reset, the radio will automatically switch to Emergency mode to alert the rest of your network users that he/she needs help.
For this explanation, let’s assume that you are part of a team of firefighters. The nature of your job would mean that, whenever you are working at a scene of a fire and one of your team mates stop moving, it is extremely likely that something is seriously wrong with him/her.
The Man Down programmable functionality on the VX450 portables means you can set it up so that the radio will monitor a worker’s degree of motion by adjusting the settings of its 3-axis sensor. The moment any of you stand still for more than a predetermined period of time, the radio will send an Emergency Alert to the rest of the team.
Apex Radio also wrote an informative piece about these functions – you can read it here.