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Chicomm Blog

We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication, hospitality, and public safety world!

1) Public Safety Grants: The Assistance to Firefighters Grant deadline is TODAY! Be sure to check out the FEMA website if you haven’t already. If you’ve ran out of time for this grant, don’t worry. There’s a few more with deadlines that are soon approaching. Be sure to check out these Federal Grant Opportunities to see if you qualify!

Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Next Generation Public Safety, Grant Funding, Safety Solutions, FCC

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The advancement of technology comes with major overhauls in terms of how we communicate and learn, what keeps us safe, and how things are made. One of the biggest technological advances within the past decade is something we all probably see on a daily basis on our commute: Public Safety vehicles.

We’ve transitioned from a single light on the hood of the car, to the multiple individual lights, to a light bar, and now LED lighting. Some of these advances you might not have ever encountered, such as communication equipment and computer technology equipped within the vehicle.

These technology changes not only required police officers to learn to operate new equipment, but have also posed a challenge for the installers of said equipment.

Mike Falls, installation coordinator here at Chicago Communications, has noted the difference in how equipment has to be installed in today’s public safety vehicles, as opposed to those from nearly a decade ago. What’s the biggest change? How the vehicle is put together, thus is changing how installers have to take it apart to install radio equipment, computer systems, and light fixtures in the car.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Safety Solutions, Video Surveillance

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We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication and public safety world!

1) Google Glass & Public Safety- Google Glass is a wearable technology (like a pair of glasses) with a head mounted display that would relay information to the officer’s line of sight, replicating a computer monitor. This would reduce the time an officer spends on having to radio in information, while waiting to obtain an answer. NYPD seems to be the first one to test this new technology, and you can read about it on PublicCEO.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Next Generation Public Safety, Safety Solutions, GPS

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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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