Communications Connection

Giving Back with The Terry Farrell Firefighter's Fund

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 @ 12:07 PM

terry farrell fund banner resized 600

"We get by with a little help from our friends." Paul McCartney and John Lennon sure knew what they were talking about when they wrote this.  There comes a time when even the most self-sufficient of folks need some help.  Thank goodness there are organizations and people willing to lend a hand.  Terry Farrell was one of these people.

Terry was a dedicated member of the FDNY as well as the Hicksville and Dix Hills Fire Departments.  Although I have never met Terry, I feel like I know him from reading about his tireless work helping people through the fire departments to his donation of bone marrow to a little girl suffering from T-cell lymphoma.  Unfortunately, I will never have the opportunity to meet Terry.  He was one of the 343 FDNY members who perished in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.  I have however had the opportunity to meet his brother Brian Farrell.

As the marketing coordinator for Telecom Communications, Inc., a leading Motorola dealer, I was searching for a charity that we could support.  There are so many worthy causes around but we wanted something personal to us and that relates to our customers.  I reached out to some firefighter friends and asked them a simple question.  "If we want to work with a charity that helps firefighters, what do you think is best?"  100% of the people responded to me in the same way "That's a no-brainer, the Terry Farrell Fund."  I figured they all couldn't be wrong so I did some research and reached out to the fund.  When I met with Brian Farrell and listened to him speak about Terry and the fund, it didn't take long to convince me.  His passion and enthusiasm to carry on with the spirit that his brother embodied and to continue his work in helping people was intoxicating.  I am proud to say that Telecom is now the communications sponsor of the Terry Farrell Firefighter's Fund.

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was established in 2002 as a 501c3 exempt organization to assist the firefighters across the nation with professional, educational and personal needs.  They assist fire departments with the purchase of needed equipment, assist firefighters and their families during times of medical emergencies, provide scholarships for children of firefighters and give needed support to returning combat troops and their families in the form of medical grants.  The fund also receives donations of surplus fire service equipment from departments on Long Island to supply to rural departments that do not have the tax base to support the purchase of new equipment.  Along with all of this, the Terry Fund also sets up and sponsors blood and bone marrow collections and provides cardiac defibrillators to educational institutions showing need.  All of this can be done because of volunteers and sponsors.

The fund which has grown exponentially and now has 9 chapters nationwide has no paid staff and operates on a limited budget of 1-3%.  They try hard to never refuse any request for aid.  So, I encourage you to reach out and lend a hand to this wonderful organization.  We did.

For more information check out their website


Topics: sponsorship, fire depatments, giving back

July 13, 2011 F.C.C. Public Notice on Narrowbanding

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 @ 15:07 PM

On July 13, 2011 the F.C.C issued a public notice providing a reminder of the Narrowbanding mandate for VHF/UHF and covering guidelines for submitting waiver requests.  This notice reinforces their committment to the January 1, 2013 deadline.  To read the notice, click here

 If you would like more information on how to handle the narrowbanding requirements for your organization contact Telecom by clicking on the image below.

Narrowband Information

Topics: two way radios, FCC, narrowband

Motorola MotoTRBO reaches 1 million strong

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 @ 15:07 PM

Motorola has announced that they have reached 1,000,000 (1 million!) MotoTRBO subscribers.  That shows the versatility and popularity of these two-way radios.  Between the digital capability, text messaging and various apps available there is a fit for virtually everyone. 

Stay tuned because over the course of the next few weeks we will be posting some videos Motorola has created to show how MotoTRBO radios work and how they can be used in different industries such as retail and transportation just to name a few.

Have you tried the Motorola MotoTRBO radios yet?  What are your thoughts on them?  How have you implemented them into your organization?  Let us know in the comments below.

Topics: motorola, MotoTRBO, two way radios, video

3 Tips For Proper Two-Way Radio Battery Usage

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 @ 10:06 AM

Many of the questions we get asked on a regular basis involve batteries for two-way radios.  What battery is better for my radio?  How do I know when to replace my battery?  What is the proper way to charge a battery?  Today we are going to dissect different battery terminology and questions for you.  In a previous blog post we covered the proper way to charge and care for your battery so we won't cover that today but check the link to read all about it.

1 - How do I know when my battery needs to be replaced?

On average, two-way radio batteries will have a life of 18-24 months.  This will vary based upon usage, charging habits etc.  On Motorola batteries, there is a date code that will tell you when the battery was manufactured.  The first digit represents the last digit of the year of manufacture and the next two digits represent the week number of that year.  For example, 952 would mean that the battery was manufactured the last week of December in 2009.

Another way to tell that you two-way radio battery needs to be replaced is when you turn your radio on and you hear a series of short beeps or you hear short beeps when you try to transmit.  A third way to tell that your battery needs to be replaced is when it no longer holds a charge.  For example, your fully charged battery that previously lasted 6-8 hours is now only lasting 1-2 hours (these numbers are just for example purposes).

2 - What is the difference between the three main battery types available for two-way radios?

NiCd, NiMH and Li-Ion are the three main types of batteries available for two-way radios that are regularly used.  According to Motorola, "Nickel cadium (NiCd) batteries are the most cost-effective option because they provide a longer cycle life.  They're ideal for radio users who work in extreme conditions of cold and heat (-30C to +50C).  However, NiCd batteries can experience "memory effect" and may not return to full capacity if they're recharged before being fully discharged.  Motorola goes on to say "Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries, compared to NiCd batteries of similar size, usually operate 40-50% longer between charges.  However, they do not operate as efficiently in extreme temperatures.  Also, NiMH batteries are more environmentally friendly because they contain fewer toxic chemicals.  Lastly, Motorola describes Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries as "offering the best of both worlds by providing a higher energy-to-weight ration than NiMH batteries and they offer a major advantage by not experiencing "memory effect".

So, bottom line, when choosing the type of batteries to purchase your first step is to evaluate yoMotorola batteriesur company's needs.  Feel free to ask any of our expert engineers or certified sales reps for assistance in choosing.

3 - How do I dispose of my batteries when they are no longer useful?

These types of batteries should not be disposed of in your regular garbage.  There are many places that will recycle them for you.  Telecom is a battery recycling center so send them to us in our Long Island office (234 Newtown Rd. Plainview, NY  11803) or stop by and drop them off and we will happily recycle them for you.

Your two-way radios will only work as good as your batteries so make sure to choose the appropriate type as well as charging and storing them correctly.  If you would like to learn more about how Motorola batteries compare to others download the Motorola Proven Tough white paper

Topics: 2 way radio, batteries, wireless definition

Property Management: MotoTRBO Digital Radios and Increased Efficiency

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:06 PM
GPS MOTOTRBO Maintenance Stadium Text[1] low res resized 600

The advent of digital radios has opened the world of property management to new ways to increase operational efficiency and decrease operational costs which leads to greater profitability.  You may be wondering how a two-way radio can do all that.  Isn't it just voice communications?  The answer is a resounding NO.  While digital radios do have voice communications, there are a whole myriad of other features available.

Digital radios, such as Motorola's MotoTRBO, can increase the efficiency of your work teams.  Think of it like this.  You have an engineering staff of three people.  Your MotoTRBO radios have been set up to work with an automated work order application.  Bob is in the basement inventorying supplies, Doug is out to lunch and Joe Super is in apartment 3B working with Mr. Tenant on a plumbing issue.  He realizes he needs a washer that he doesn't have on him to complete the job.  Rather than Joe Super having to leave the apartment, go to the basement, dig out the washer and head back to the apartment, all the while trying not to run into another tenant who may have an issue, he can send a text message down to Bob in the basement.  Bob can run the part up to 3B and Joe Super never needs to stop working on the issue.  While this is going on, Mrs. Smith in 12C is having a problem with her broken air conditioning unit.  The work order can automatically be sent to Joe Super which would allow him to get the message while still working in 3B.  This creates a better response time to 12C as he doesn't have to wait to finish the current job, complete the paperwork and head back to the office all before ever even knowing of the call.  This system also allows Joe Super to respond and update the status of the job with the click of a button.

Following the same scenario, management would also have the ability to track the service calls that come in, whether it is billable etc. This will decrease wasted time by employees and can help with tenant complaints of response time.  Remember Mrs. Smith in 12C?  Well when she calls to complain that it took 3 hours for someone to respond, the application on the MotoTRBO radio can show that a technician received the work order and responded within 30 minutes.

This is just one example of how Motorola MotoTRBO radios can assist property management companies.  They can also decrease operating costs.  Since there are no monthly charges or per call fees like your current cell phones or PDA's this can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.  Also, these radios are equipped with integrated voice and data capabilities which allow users to talk, text and manage work orders all from a single unit.  And their batteries operate 40% longer between charges that the typical analog radio.

Happy tenants = happy owners.  These digital radios will help you work towards that utopia.  Have you tried these radios?  How have they helped your building?

For more information on property management and MotoTRBO, 

Click me

Topics: MotoTRBO, property management, 2 way radio

Interoperability and Narrowbanding for First Responders

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 @ 12:06 PM

Fire Interoperability SceneThis is a guest post by Sean Sweeney.  Sean is the Public Safety Communications Specialist for Telecom Communications and will be writing periodically about issues pertaining to the Public Safety market, in particular the Fire Market.

Hello, my name is Sean Sweeney and I just started with Telecom Communications, Inc.  Previously, I have worked for the City of New York working on Citywide Interoperability projects and coordinated with many agencies.  I have also worked on local projects in my home fire department in Central Islip, Long Island. 

A lot of first responders I talk to think that communications in the city are very different than out here on Long Island.  They think that systems and processes are too complex to be used in Nassau and Suffolk.  To an extent they are right.  But what is communications and how does it impact the field of public safety?

Communication is the process of transferring information from the source to the recipient.  That never changes.  But it's how we communicate with each other that define our roles in emergency response.  It is likely you have heard the terms interoperability and narrowbanding thrown around.  Some first responders fear these concepts simply because they don't understand them.

Interoperability is just a fancy way of saying "I can talk to you, and you can talk to me."  You don't realize it, but think about it.  You already have interoperability in your agency.  You have a radio; your dispatcher has a radio.  You can communicate.  We all know this is crucial in our daily lives as we respond to fires and EMS calls.  But we need to take this concept to the next level.

That next level is stepping back and evaluating your response area.  Do you have coverage in every inch of your district?  If so, you are in a great position.  Now take another step back.  Look at the separation between EMS and Fire.  Many areas on Long Island run separate agencies.  Those departments that surround you and give you mutual aid: can you communicate with them?  Can they communicate with you?  This is where first responders should start thinking about interoperability.

The explosion of UHF or "high-band" repeater systems in the area has given rise to a sense of isolationism.  Departments moved off of crowded, shared low band frequencies and put up their own systems.  This was not a bad move but, how do you talk between these bands?  I will use the EMS/Fire example.  EMS around me uses VHF, but many of the fire departments are on UHF.  This is turn causes a communications gap.  Technology has given us the tools as first responders to bridge that gap.  New multi-band radios (such as the APX7500) allow the first responder to operate on either band with the turn of a knob.  A Fire Chief can help direct incoming EMS units at a heavy rescue call.  EMT's can notify the fire dispatcher of their status.

Interoperability plays a big role in larger incidents as well.  The Federal government has established national interoperability channels for all public safety entities.  No additional license is needed, and is available on VHF, UHF, 7/8/900 MHz and more on the way.  It is the true path enhancing our abilities as emergency personnel.

Now for narrowbanding.  This is actually a result of the UHF explosion.  There are only so many frequencies in the public safety pool.  The F.C.C. saw this and acted.  Previously, frequencies were spaced at 25 kHz.  Many departments are still operating with this spacing.  As of January 1, 2011, no new licenses or requests for renewals will be accepted by the F.C.C. if you are still operating in wideband mode.  Pretty soon (January 1, 2013) it will be illegal to operate equipment not capable of narrowband, or 12.5 kHz operation.  Motorola has actually stopped making the older wideband only radios.  Here are some important issues from the F.C.C. on Narrowbanding:

  • F.C.C. establishes January 1, 2013 deadline for migration to 12.5 kHz technology

  • The order affects systems on VHF and UHF (high-band) channels between 150 and 512 MHz

  • Applications for wideband operations (25 KHz) will NOT be accepted after January 1, 2011

  • Application modification of operations that expand the authorized contour of an existing station using 25 KHz channels will NOT be accepted after January 1, 2011 (Also applies to "new" systems submitted for licensing)

If you are not sure if your equipment is compliant, give us a call at Telecom.  We can evaluate your communications needs and assist you in this transition.  Do not wait until the last minute, or you will find yourself without the ability to communicate.Narrowband assistance






Topics: fire depatments, 2 way radio, narrowband, interoperability

What I Didn't Know Before Joining Telecom Communications

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 09:05 AM

This is a guest blog by one of our newest team members Jim Vogel.  He talks about his background and what he's learned about wireless technologies in a few short weeks.

I am one of the new Telecom Communications, Inc. Account Managers and I have just completed my third week on board.

As way of introduction, I'll give you a quick synopsis of my background.  For the last fifteen years I have developed data and voice solutions for a group of Fortune 100 businesses as a Global Account Manager for a major US Telecommunications provider and for a software developer that provided Speech Recognition and Unified Messaging software solutions to Enterprise businesses.  I plan to occasionally post to this blog as a guest.

I am in the unique position that many of you are also probably in, trying to understand technology that Telecom Communications provides and figure out what benefits it has so I can provide my clients with the best value and the best solutions available.  Many of you are probably in a similiar position, since this is not your core business.  Technology is something you need to keep your business competitive and maybe give you that edge over the competition.  Technology is usually not your focus, it's a necessary evil to run your business.

Let me share what I have  discovered at this point.  Many of the people reading this know Telecom Communications as a top-notch Symbol Motorola Bar Code ScannerMotorola Authorized Repair Facility and Reseller of Two-Way Radios.  That's only half the story.  Telecom Communications also has a wealth of unique solutions including Bar Coding and RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology.  Bar Codes and RFID has a place in many businesses not just in supermarkets.  Telecom Communications has been a close partner of Motorola for decades.  Motorola, which acquired Symbol Technologies a few years ago, is a leader in the field.  They are best in breed.  You definitely want them on your team.

You can use this technology to benefit your business in many ways you might not realize.  I certainly didn't and I have worked with technology and IT executives for years.  It can be used for asset tracking and control.  Businesses that have expensive products which are mobile can benefit from bar coding or RFID.  Your business can have requirements to manage and track assets ranging from steel I-beams for buildings or perfume or lobsters, from furniture to paint, from trucks to computers to blood.  Telecom Communications has the complete technology solution that can help you.  Help you do what?  For starters, help you by providing a complete technology solution to help you track information including:who has your product, help you increase your efficiency by reducing inventory shrinkage, or help you manage your inventory to reduce losses through spoilage.

Is RFID or bar coding something that might give your business that edge over the competition that you need?  If you think it might help, or you're not sure and you want more information, call me.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Please drop Amy a note if you have a question or an idea for a future post.

Topics: motorola, symbol, bar code scanner, rfid

Telecom Announces Sponsorship of the 2011 NYS FD Drill Team Season

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Tue, May 10, 2011 @ 14:05 PM

Press Release:

(Plainview, NY) May 10, 2011 -

Telsponsor NYS FD drill teams resized 600ecom Communications, Inc. is proud to announce our sponsorship of the New York State Fire Department Drill Teams as the 2011 Primary Series Sponsor and Exclusive Communications Sponsor.  2011 will be the biggest New York State Racing Season ever with firefighters from departments across Long Island and New York State competing in challenges designed to test their skills in the pillars of firefighting such as climbing ladders and positioning hoselines.  

“We’re happy to announce our partnership with Telecom Communications, Inc. in making the 2011 FD Drill Team season the biggest ever.  Telecom Communications, Inc. continues to show their commitment to the firefighters of Long Island and across New York, with the number one reputation in the state for professional radios and installations, we can think of no better company to call the Exclusive Communications Sponsor of the NYS FD Drill Teams, and our 2011 Primary Season Sponsor!” – Paul Susskind, President Suffolk VFP+DTCA  

Telecom Communications, Inc., a leading Motorola dealer of two way radio sales and service, with offices located in Plainview, NY and New York City has been serving the wireless communications industry since 1959.  Generations of firefighters have relied on Telecom Communications, Inc. and Motorola radios when lives are at risk; radios that deliver interoperability on demand; superior audio, and simple, intuitive operation.  Telecom Communications delivers communication solutions that allow fire departments to focus on their mission, making technology second nature.

“We are excited about our partnership with the 2011 NYS FD Drill Teams.  Volunteer firefighters are an integral part of the community, devoting their time and selves to protecting others.  Firefighters and Motorola go hand in hand so this sponsorship was a natural fit.” – John W. Bos – President, Telecom Communications, Inc.


Topics: motorola, two way radio, press release, fire depatments, drill teams

Two-way Radio Repeaters: What are they?

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 @ 09:02 AM

motorola xpr8300 resized 600Coverage issues are not just limited to cell phones.  There are many reasons why some companies two-way radios will be able to talk a lot farther than the ones at your company.  To put it simply, they are most likely operating on a higher power.  "Well that's not fair" you are probably thinking.  What makes them so special that they can operate on a higher power.  Well you can too, that's where a repeater would come in.

Portable radios normally operate somewhere between .5 and 5 watts.  It's hard to say for sure what distance this would cover because of interference issues such as buildings, mountains, etc. but a rough estimate is for every watt of power you would get approximately one mile of coverage in a flat, open area.  What a radio repeater would do is take that weak or low signal and retransmit ("repeat") it at a higher level which would then enable the radio signal to cover a greater area.  The repeater would be installed in a location that would maximize its effectiveness.

There are many different types of repeaters available.  There are low level repeaters, high level repeaters, vehicle repeaters, cross band repeaters and one of the newer types which are digital repeaters.  Motorola MotoTRBO (XPR8300, XPR8400) repeaters supports two simultaneous voice or data paths when used in digital TDMA mode.  This provides for twice the calling capacity, as compared to analog radios, for the price of one license.  It also provides clearer communications, in digital mode, throughout the coverage area as compare to analog radios and it is 100% continuous duty.

Sometimes radio systems will require the use of a repeater to increases the range and capabilities of your portable or mobile radios.  If you think you may need to use a repeater with your system, contact your two-way radio professional for a consultation and system testing.

free consultation radio coverage cta

Do you have a repeater at your organization?  How has it increased your communications range?  Comment below, we would love to hear about it

Topics: two way radio, digital radio, repeater

5 FAQ's about FCC Narrowbanding Mandate

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Tue, Feb 8, 2011 @ 11:02 AM

With the FCC's mandate of 12.5 kHz by January 1, 2013, there have been many questions.  I wanted to take a minute to address 5 of the most common.

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1 - What is Narrowbanding?

In an effort to promotoe more efficient use of spectrum, the FCC mandated all VHF and UHF Public Safety and Industrial/Business licensees using 25 kHz land mobile radio (LMR) systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz efficiency technology by January 1, 2013.

FCC Narrowband Mandate FAQ

2- What will happen if I fail to comply with the FCC Naroowbanding Mandate?  Can I continue to operate at 25 kHz efficiency on a secondary status after January 1, 2013?

No.  The FCC will prohibit licensees from operating 25 kHz efficiency equipment on a secondary basis.  Non-compliance will be considered a violation subject to FCC Enforcement Bureau action, which may include admonishment, monetary fines and loss of license.

3- Does Narrowbanding require me to change frequencies or obtain new channels?

No.  Narrowbanding does not require moving to another frequency band or different channels.  Licensees stay on the same channel center(s), but reduce the bandwidth of the channel(s) currently used, from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz and change the emission designator on the license.  Alternatively, licensees stay on the same 25 kHz channel but implement a 12.5 kHz equivalent technology on that channel.

4- If I currently have a license for a 25 kHz channel, will I automatically be entitled to license two 12.5 kHz channels?

No. Your 12.5 kHz channel will remain on the same 26 kHz channel center.  Your current 25 kHz channel will not be split into two 12.5 kHz channels.  You will need to justify and apply for any additional 12.5 kHz channels to the FCC through a certified frequency coordinator.

5- Will migration to 12.5 kHz change my system coverage?

Maybe.  Condust tests during the conversion to ensure your system continyes to provide similiar coverage.

FCC Narrowband Assistance

For a more complete listing of FCC Narrowbanding FAQ's visit 

Topics: motorola, two way radios, 2 way radio, narrowband