Communications Connection

Introducing Motorola's Latest Addition - the NEW SL300 Two-Way Radio

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Motorola SL300Motorola Solutions, Inc. has recently announced an addition to their ever growing MOTOTRBO portfolio, the new SL300 portable radio.

This innovative radio measures less than an inch thick and can easily be carried in a pocket or purse.  It's ergonomic design allows one-handed operation, similar to that of a cell phone.  It has a shatterproof Active View display that uses a matrix of LED lights behind the radio housing to communicate radio information and shuts off when not in use to conserve battery life.  It is both analog and digital capable which allows you to get all the benefits of digital, including better voice quality, better range and better battery life—but retain compatibility with your existing radio fleet. With analog and digital capability, you have the freedom to migrate to the latest technology at your own pace.  This is the perfect radio for retail, hospitality and education (just to name a few). 

Contact Us for more information or to see a live demo of this great new radio

Motorola SL300 Spec Sheet

Watch this video to learn more about the Motorola SL300 two way radio

Topics: motorola, MotoTRBO, SL series, two way radio, new product, 2 way radio, hospitality, digital radio

Are your Business Communications Prepared for an Emergency?

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

It's officially hurricane season.  Everywhere you turn you see articles and newscasts discussing how to prepare your home in case of an emergency, what to pack in a disaster kit, what to know about shelters and so on and so forth.  But have you thought about your business?  I'm not talking about taping your windows, I'm talking about your communications.  Your business communications are extremely important to the safety of your employees.  It could be a blackout, a hurricane or another natural disaster or anything that will require your business to use their emergency plans.  Did you include your communications when you were formulating these plans?  Relying on cell phones is not the way to go.  Circuits become overcrowded and calls can't always get through.emergency communications

Okay I got your attention, now what do you need to do to have your communications prepared?  Here are some questions you should ask yourself before an emergency situation arrives.

  1. Do you have a battery backup for your repeater? Your repeater runs on electrical power.  If you have a power failure you will lose your repeater.  Even if you have a battery backup, some repeaters go into a fail-safe mode when a surge is detected.  Do you know how to reset your repeater properly?
  2. How long is your auxiliary power for?  You have a battery backup - great.  Now the question is, how long is it good for?  Make sure you plan what you will do after that time expires.
  3. Are your radio communications on generator power?  If you don't know the answer to this, they probably aren't.  Consider getting a generator to extend your power in the event of an emergency.
  4. Do you have simplex channels programmed in your radios?  A simplex channel communicates directly from radio to radio without using a repeater.  This can also be called a "talk-around" channel.  Your normal communications may require a repeater to function how you need them to.  In the case of a repeater failure, having the simplex channel will allow you to still communicate although there will be limited coverage compared to how your normally communicate using your repeater.  Some communications are better then no communications.
  5. Do you have spare batteries?  This may seem like a silly question but having spare batteries that are fully charged will give you extra time to communicate if you lose power.
  6. Is your infrastructure equipment on the floor?  If at all possible, move your equipment off the floor in case of flooding.
  7. Are you tower and/or antenna structures secure?  Checking the security of your antenna and/or tower structures is something you want to do prior to an emergency.  Through time and weather conditions these structures can weaken.  We recommend having this checked at least once a year.tower resized 600

The above questions are just a few that you should be asking yourself on a regular basis to limit the issues caused to your communications by an emergency.  Being from the New York area, we have all lived through enough of these emergencies to know that communications can make a difference.  If you would like help in evaluating or have questions regarding your communications plan, contact Telecom Communications.  Our staff is trained to know what you need.

Request a Communications Consultation

P.S. While this post focused mainly on business, public safety needs to take precautions as well.  Many of these tips are the same across both however, for more information for public safety read this blog post

Topics: two way radios, two way radio, 2 way radio, emergency preparedness

Motorola's New SL Series: The Making of a Radio

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Motorola Solutions, Inc. has recently announced their newest addition to the MotoTRBO family, the SL Series.  This radio was designed to be the intersection between function and style.  It is designed to get the work done without getting in the way.  Here at Telecom we just received a few of these newest radios and I have to say, I have never seen anything like it.  It is sleek, compact and elegant looking without losing the functionality of a MotoTRBO radio.

I was looking for some information to share with our readers on it and came across the video below.  It will show you how the engineers designed the radio, how customer driven the design was, and you can hear some customer testimonials.  Take a minute to watch the video and let us know what you think. 

To learn more about the Motorola SL radio including some additional videos click here.

If you would like to see the SL series live contact us to set an appointment

Topics: MotoTRBO, SL series, 2 way radio

3 Common Issues and Fixes for Two-Way Radios

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

I was recently talking to Richie Ciabattari, one of Telecom's top notch service technicians, and he was telling me how we get quite a few calls for service for simple fixes/checks that the customer can do themselves.  So, I thought to myself, let's blog!  Without further ado, here is Richie's advice for 3 things you can check before calling for service.

You hit the push-to-talk button on your two-way radio and something just isn't right.  Your transmit and receive had been working just fine up until now.  Hmmm, what do you do now?  Before you call your local radio repair shop there are a few things you can/should check first.

1- Your radio doesn't turn onRadio Repair AP resized 600

Your radio is completely dead and will not power on at all.  If it's a portable two-way radio check and make sure your battery is properly connected and charged.  Try the battery in a radio you know is functioning.  If it works then you will know it's a problem with the radio and you should contact radio repair.  If it doesn't then you know it's a battery issue and most likely the battery needs to be replaced.  Batteries normally have a usage life of 12-18 months, depending on the level of usage etc.  (For more information about proper battery usage check out my previous blog about them.  If it is your mobile two-way radio that won't power up at all, check to see if the fuses are working.  If they are, call your local radio service shop.

2- There is static when you transmit or receive

Your radio is experiencing static, now what do you do?  Well, if it's a mobile you're experienceing the issues with, check the microphone for a bad cord and/or connection.  Also check to see if the antenna is missing or loose and don't forget to check the antenna connector on the radio to make sure it isn't loose.  If it's your portable radio that is staticky, check to see if the antenna is loose and to see if the battery contacts are dirty.  You can use a pencil eraser to  clean the contacts.  If none of those work, call your local radio repair.

3 - There is a beeping coming from your radio

You think you're losing your mind.  You keep hearing this beeping noise and then it hits you.  It's your radio.  Make it stop, make it stop you scream but that doesn't help.  So, if it's your mobile two-way that is sounding like it's on life support, there are four things to check.  Make sure the mic isn't stuck in transmit mode, that the radio isn't powered off, that the channel selector has been programmed and finally that the programming information hasn't been lost.  If you are dealing with a portable two-way that is beeping, check to see if the battery power is low, if there is a stuck button or if the programming information has been lost.  If none of the above tips help clear up your issues then (let's say it together) "contact your local radio repair shop".

 If you want to save money on your service requests, follow the link below and submit your request via our website.  All website service requests will receive 10% off until December 31, 2011! (Make sure to put "blog" in the comments section of your request)

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Topics: service, two way radio, 2 way radio

What is MotoTRBO?

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 @ 14:07 PM

You've heard me talking about digital two-way radios and MotoTRBO and you are probably wondering what exactly they are.  The MotoTRBO two-way radio is Motorola's digital platform radio.  I have touched on digital radios and the future of two-way radios in a previous post (read the blog here). 

Motorola has created a series of 16 videos about their MotoTRBO radios explaining what they are and how they can help different vertical markets/industries and, as I promised in my previous post about MotoTRBO reaching 1 million users  I will be posting them here over the next few weeks so stay tuned, there's more to come.

The first video by John Jaderholm of the Motorola Solutions Systems Team talks about "What is MotoTRBO?" So, without further ado, here we go.

Topics: motorola, MotoTRBO, 2 way radio, digital radio, 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, 

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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

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.

narrowband cta button resized 600

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

Two-Way Radio Selection Guide

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

Selecting the right two-way radio for your business is important.  The features available can help ease your job and streamline your business.  Before you can choose the correct radio to suit your needs, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

1- How many users and channels do you need?motorola two way radios

The number of users that will be operating on the radio system will help determine the number of channels necessary for your organization.  For instance, if you have 5 people in maintenance and 12 in security you may want to have a maintenance channel and a security channel. If two of those users in security need to be able to speak privately then you can add a third channel as well.

2- What frequency band should you operate on?

There are three different frequency bands that are commonly used for communications.  VHF which stands for "Very High Frequency" 136-174 MHz is better suited for outdoor applications without much interference.  These frequencies will communicate a further distance.  UHF ("Ultra High Frequency") 403-512 MHz work better with indoor applications in which there may be some obstructions.  The 800/900 MHz band is generally used for trunking two-way radio system.

3- What features are necessary for your organization?

This can vary from safety features like intrinsically safe to telephone interconnect of even integrated data applications. 

Motorola has designed a spectacular radio selection guide to help you see what is available and what different terms mean.  You can download this guide here.  Also, don't be afraid to ask your local radio rep.  They are able to assist you in the selection of the proper radios for your operation.  They will help you evaluate your needs and decide which frequency band, how many channels and what features are necessary for you to operate at peak performance.

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