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Chicomm Blog

Are Portable Radio Systems Right For You?

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Thursday, February 20, 2014
Hey All! Tommy Two Way here.

We all know that two way radios are essential for communication on the go, across a long distance, or in places where cell phone coverage might be obsolete. But what happens when you need radio communication in a temporary place, where your normal equipment can’t be set up?

Have no fear, that’s what a portable radio system is for! A few of my clients here at Chicago Communications have already taken advantage of the many benefits of having an entire radio system at the palm of their hands, wherever they go. Now, this isn’t a system to replace your current radio communications, nor is it for a new one. Think of it as an extension to your current radio system. These portable systems are designed to enhance your already seamless radio communication, adding a portable system to take off site for a job or special event with clients.

Tags: Chicago Communications, MOTOTRBO, FREQ Squad

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Two Way Radio or IP Wireless Telephone?

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Monday, February 17, 2014

So you own a manufacturing company and your IT Manager recommendeds you get the latest in IP Wireless Telephone Technology. It allows you to leave your desk and be able to take a call virtually anywhere in your facility! Fantastic! Sign me up.

WHOA!!!! Let’s think about this…

1) Why do you need your people to get up and get away from their desk? I could see some of them requiring the need to be on the plant floor, but a whole lot of wireless handsets means a whole lot of batteries. In the future, these will need to be changed. By the way, how long do those telephone batteries last? With two way radios, you tell me how long you need them to last.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Tech Talk, Technology

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Not sure if you want to put down the thousands of dollars for a nosebleed ticket or bear the unseasonably cold weather this Sunday? For most of us, we’ll spend our Super Bowl in front of the television with plenty of food, drinks, and friends to forget the nostalgia of being on the East Coast in person. Don’t forget the copious amounts of awesome commercials.

But for those braving the cold or taking out a second mortgage to finance such a ticket, there are some new and some traditional safety measures this year to keep you safe. All the way from pregame to leaving the stadium, public safety officers are in line to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible. Check out these wireless safety measures that will pop up at the 2014 Super Bowl.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Safety Solutions

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5 Quick Tips on Securely Using Wi-Fi

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It’s hard to remember a time where there wasn’t free Wi-Fi available virtually in every public place. Some see this as a blessing – access to the internet and all things wireless at the push of a button. But some see it as a curse – just one more channel of access to hack into your personal files, obtaining everything from bank account numbers to social security numbers.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Technology, IT Solutions

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You’ve got your two way radios…now what?

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Friday, January 24, 2014

We all know that two way radios are highly beneficial in keeping everyone connected when it comes to communication. They’re reliable, and much more cost efficient than cell phones.

But do you know how to optimize your radios for even more benefits, features, and connectivity? Simply having a two way radio is a start to great communication, but there are a few ways to get the most of your radio.

Apps, for example. I know your mind shoots to the Angry Birds game on your smart phone you probably have in your pocket or purse.  Even for two way radios…there’s an app for that.

With a little more importance than that of Angry Birds, applications that are added to your two way radio enhance the capabilities and performance of said two way radio . MOTOTRBO radios have applications to augment fleet management, dispatch consoles, work order management, system management, alarm management, personal tracking, email/text gateway, and interoperability. Whew! So many ways to use a two way radio for more than just communicating.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Two Way Radio Accessories, MOTOTRBO

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I’ve written on this subject before, but we had a recent incident in which the radio system did not work when they went to back it up. When we build these radio systems, unless not budgeted for, we put in some type of backup system to allow for the continued radio operation in case of a failure. Granted, the backup system may be as simple as a mobile radio with a power supply, but it is something to communicate to the end users that there is a problem with the system. Not only is the backup radio essential but some type of plan or Standard Operating Procedure should be written and followed. During a crisis or emergency, the last thing you need to be thinking about is “What do I do now!”. Instead, having a documented plan in a place is key to a good emergency plan.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Tech Talk, Back-Up Plan

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Well 2013 is finally over. For some of you it was a good year, for the radio business it was a slow year. Coming off of the FCC’s Narrowbanding Mandate and all the radios sold in 2012 made us really look at our business and determine to focus on Service! Many of the police and fire departments are in limbo this year as Grants and Funding have not been as plentiful in the past years. In addition, with the FCC putting a freeze on the 470Mhz band, many police departments are sitting on their hands waiting for a direction from the FCC; that means slow radio sales.

The good news for some of you is that you are keeping your radios an extra year or two (maybe three). Your budgets are being spent on maintaining your existing equipment, whether a service contract for a 24 hour response or just routine maintenance. It is prolonging the inevitable. Technology is changing, but service teams, like Chicago Communications, are equipped with the latest in technology to meet whatever challenge is thrown towards us. From basic analog radio systems to the most advanced P25 Public Safety systems we can monitor and respond to service outages in any required timeframe you need. We can consult on your equipment with our contracts department to see whether it makes sense to put your equipment on a contract or actively seek replacement because of age or parts issues.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Wireless Communication, Radio System, Tech Talk, Safety Solutions, FCC, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Turkeys & Two-Way Radios

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and in just a few short days the year will also come to an end. But Chicago Communication’s rental department acted as a catalyst for the city of Elmhurst into the holiday season this past November with the 30th Annual Dan Gibbons ‘Turkey Trot’.

Held on Thanksgiving morning, runners of all ages joined at the starting line to raise money to help feed local families who were in need of a meal, not only on thanksgiving but every day; something that we may take for granted on a regular basis.

However, in order to have such a successful long running fundraising event, communication amongst staff and volunteers must be a top priority. Not only does in ensure that all of those involved in the execution of the Turkey Trot are where they are supposed to be, but also keeps runners safe.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Two Way Radio Accessories, Rental Equipment

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We're Making a List, Better Check It Twice!

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It’s crazy to think that in about 2 weeks we will be kissing 2013 goodbye and welcoming in 2014 with open arms. One great thing about the end of the year is all of the sales and specials … even for your two way communication needs!

With so many different deals in place, it’s hard to keep track what will be ending when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st.

Here’s a checklist from Chicago Communications to make sure you get the most out of your communication purchases through 2013!

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Radio System, MOTOTRBO, Vertex, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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"So you are the IT Manager and you were just put in charge of the radio communications..."

Sound familiar?

I recently glanced through an article in the new (November 2013) Public Safety Communications Magazine from APCO. The title of the article “Communications Manager or IT Manager?” made me think of our own business. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a radio technician or IT technician…electronics is electronics, right? I wish I could say it was that easy.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Radio System, Tech Talk, Technology, IT Solutions

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