Monday, 10 April 2017

CHIRP Software Review

One of the most frustrating things to deal with as a radio operator is having a different programming software for each radio you use. Not only do you have to learn how each one wants to do things, but sometimes you have to deal with really bad Chinese to English translations. And in some cases you just have to deal with crappy software. Plus most software requires you to run Windows.
Luckily, there is a nice Open Source alternative called CHIRP.  It supports a bunch of different radios from a variety of radio makers. If you go to the CHIRP homepage, you will get a current list. They are adding rad

Monday, 3 April 2017

How Industries Use Two-Way Radios

When you’re thinking about buying two-way radios (walkie-talkies) for your organization, it helps to understand how your competitors are already using radios. After all, people in a broad spectrum of industries have already decided that the push-to-talk advantages of two-way radios offer a better choice than cellphones, landlines, texting and email.
The sectors below are some of the most likely to use two-way radios to streamline communications and make their operations more efficient:

Two-Way Radios for Hospitality
In hotels and resorts, housekeeping staff use radios to request maintenance help for problems such as large spills, damaged light fixtures, or other issues that require repairs or service. At the front desk, radios help confirm room availability and summon managers to resolve disputes. To keep guests happy, food service staff use two-way radios to coordinate between food-prep crews, servers, caterers and room service. Security personnel need radios to summon assistance at the first sign of trouble.
Rapid customer service and loss prevention are the primary benefits of two-way radios in retail enterprises. Sales floor staff can find out what merchandise is in the back room and clerks can use radios to get a price check or request manager assistance. Radios also help store security professionals coordinate a response when shoplifters strike or when customers are creating damage or a nuisance.
Health and Safety
Police, fire and rescue personnel depend on dedicated wireless channels to mobilize and communicate in a crisis. This is especially true in large-scale disasters that can overwhelm cellphone networks or when conditions such as smoke, heat, noise or loss of power can render other forms of communications useless. In public buildings, sport venues, hospitals, campuses, and other similar facilities, two-way radios are popular for the same reasons.

Factory floors present a multitude of communications challenges. A mile-long assembly line is bound to break down in areas outside the reach of a landline phone or Internet connection. Digital radios can be programmed to send instant alerts to managers, maintenance and engineering when there are production line interruptions. For day-to-day operations, staff in the front office and plant must be able to talk to each other – and radios make that happen with greater efficiency and flexibility than cellphones or other devices.
Two-way radios form the backbone of surveillance systems to improve staff collaboration and facilitate crowd control while keeping intruders out and sounding an alarm if intruders get in. They’re also vital for personal-security details to facilitate discrete and private communications or to broadcast alerts that mobilize a show-of-force response.
Mining and Oil Exploration
Mines and oil rigs often operate extremely far from civilization, taking cellphone service out of the equation. People in remote locations need to be able to talk to co-workers the minute trouble erupts, whether it’s a wellhead fire, a weather emergency or a bulldozer breakdown that halts production.
Blueprints can’t answer every question that arises when work crews are adding floors, windows, elevators and heating ducts to a new building. Radios enable construction workers to instantly consult with architects, engineers and supervisors anyway on the site — or summon extra crew or spare parts to keep jobs on schedule.
Event Planning
Events such concerts, sports, parades and craft fairs attract huge crowds – and pose huge risks. Events require instant communications to keep people moving or to call in emergency aid if somebody has a heart attack or nasty fall. Because events sprawl over large areas, they are perfect for two-way radio communications that allow staff to keep in touch without worrying about whether they have adequate cell phone coverage. Many events also rent two-way radios to improve safety and productivity.

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