Communications Connection

11 Savvy Ways To Spend Your Left-Over Communications Budget Money

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

With the end of the calendar year quickly approaching, many of you are looking at your two-way radio budget and realizing you will have money left to spend.  You want to spend it so you don't lose it, but you also want to be smart about what you purchase.  Here are 11 ideas on ways to spend that left-over budget money.

1. Preventative Maintenance - Check it before you wreck it.  Call your local radio repair shop and set up a preventative maintenance check.  If you have a backbone system, a technician can come in and complete a tune up to make sure all of your equipment is running efficiently and is not in need of being replaced.  You can also have your portables checked.  Are they tuned and aligned properly?  Are they programmed correctly?  How are your batteries, antennas and belt clips?

2. New Batteries - How old are your batteries?  The average battery life is 12-18 months, depending on usage.  Old and under performing batteries can effect the operation of your radio.  Another good idea is to have spare batteries for your radios, especially if they are being used on long and/or multiple shifts.

3. Spare Radios - In addition to having spare batteries, it is also a wise decision to have spare radios on hand.  These can be programmed and ready to go in case one needs repair or an employee misplaces their radio.  This would help to prevent communication down-time and helps to keep you efficiency to the level you are used to.

4. Multi-Unit Chargers - Do you have six plugs running into a power strip charging your radios?  Have you thought about multi-unit chargers?  These would allow you to charge up to six batteries at one times, from one device.  This will help you keep your spare batteries charged as well as create a centralized charging location.

2661016046_6eb98c67d9_z.jpg5. Antennas - The antenna on your two-way radio can take a beating.  Have you looked at them lately?  If you can see the damage it should be replaced (bent, cracked, split etc.)

6. Earpieces - Earpieces are a great way to keep your two-way radios from being intrusive to your environment.  They allow your people to have conversations without everyone else hearing them.  If you don't have any, you may want to consider some.  With the different varieties available, such as Bluetooth or "secret service style" surveillance kits, you will have your choice of what will work best for your organization.  If you already have them, make sure to check your ear buds and acoustic tubes.  These can get grotty over time and are easy to replace.

7. Cases - Your employees are carrying their radios around with them all day.  They get banged, bumped and scratched.  Investing in cases will help to keep down the physical wear and tear on the units.

8. Battery Fleet Management - Motorola Solutions has an IMPRES Battery Fleet Management system.  This works with IMPRES batteries and allows you to monitor battery usage and make an informed decision when it comes to replacing your batteries.

9. Digital Conversions - There are many benefits of converting from analog to digital.  We have covered this in previous blog posts (/bid/106819/6-Things-About-Digital-Two-Way-Radios-Your-Boss-Wants-To-Know and/bid/38413/Digital-Two-Way-Radios-The-Future-of-Professional-Radios  so why not start now?  You can do a slow conversion of your fleet or do it all at once, whatever works best for your organization.

10. Maintenance Contracts - No one lies getting repair bills they did not anticipate.  Consider purchasing a maintenance contract to help prevent this.  Having a contract will allow you to budget for your repairs and increase your peace of mind.

11. Radio Repair Bank - Having a radio repair bank is an alternative to a maintenance contract.  This works on a debit basis where you pre-pay for repairs allowing you to utilize budget money now, and as your radios need repairs or preventative maintenance checks, the amount gets deducted from that bank.


These are just a few ways to use that left-over budget money.  Your local sales rep can help you decided what works best for your company.  Don't let that budget money go to waste, contact them today.

Request a Communications Consultation


 *Photo Courtesy of Jason Rogers

Topics: motorola, service, two way radio, charging, batteries, preventative maintenance

6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Two-Way Radio Fleet

Posted by Amy Cavaliere on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 @ 13:04 PM

springSpring is a time of renewal, a time for cleaning out the old and a time for fresh starts.  This is true for so many aspect of life.  We clean our closets of old clothes, we clean the dust bunnies from under our couches, and we clean the dead wood from our gardens but did you think to clean out your dead batteries?  How about your broken earpieces?  Spring is not just for cleaning our homes but also a great time to "clean" our communications.

When was the last time you took a look through your entire radio fleet?  By taking just a few minutes now you can prepare yourself and as Confucius said "success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure."  Below are our top "6 Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Radios."

  1. Battery Check - The average life on your two-way radio batteries is 12-18 months.  An old battery can effect the performance of your radio.  Motorola Solutions, Inc. has a quick way to check the age of your battery.  Their batteries come with a date code that tells you when the battery was manufactured.  This is a handy guide to estimating the age of it. 
  2. Inventory Check - Throughout the year your radios are moved to different departments, taken out of service and/or new radios are purchased.  Now is a great time to do a quick inventory check.  Are all of your radios accounted for?  Are they programmed to your current matrix?  Are the IDs correct?  By organizing now you will be able to prepare for the future.  Knowing exactly what you have can help to prevent surprise purchases and allow you to budget for future needed equipment.
  3. Accessory Check - Are all of your earpieces accounted for?  Have you hired new employees but neglected to replace the earbuds for them?  Are any of your belt clips broken?  Do you have the correct antennas on your radios?  Are your chargers functioning properly?  Are there a whole slew of single unit chargers floating around the office?  Perhaps it's time to invest in some 6 unit multi-unit chargers to centralize your charging locations.  It's the little things that make life and work easier.
  4. Broken Radios - Are you like many others and have a box of broken radios sitting on the floor in your office that you haven't gotten around to sending in for repair? Now is the time to do it.  Qualified repair technicians can have those radios repaired and back into your fleet in a timely manner.  Do you have some radios that have come back unrepairable, perhaps due to water or physical damage, and you are unsure of what to do with them?  Until May 1, 2015 Motorola Solutions, Inc. is offering a trade in promotion.  Turn what you thought was garbage into credit towards a new radio purchase.  Have you inquired about a maintenance contract?  This is an easy way to budget repairs for the future.
  5. Backbone Preventative Maintenance - Do you have a repeater installed at your location?  When was the last time you had a preventative maintenance service call on it?  Being proactive now helps to avoid emergencies later.  A qualified technician can check out your equipment to ensure everything is running properly and efficiently.
  6.  FCC License - Are the channels you are operating on licensed to your company?  Is your license up to date?  Have your radios been narrowbanded to fulfill the FCC requirements from January 1, 2013?

By asking yourself these questions and performing these tasks you will be well on your way to organizing your two-way radio fleet.  For more information, contact us.  Our trained and certified staff can help you optimize your two-way radio communications. 

Topics: two way radios, batteries, emergency preparedness, preventative maintenance