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Chicomm Blog

Halloween Safety for Your Ghosts and Goblins

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Thursday, October 30, 2014

10 Tips from the FREQ SQUAD for a Safe Halloween

  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

  2. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.

  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

  4. Always make sure children are accompanied by an adult.

  5. Stick to trick-or-treating in well-lit homes in familiar neighborhoods.

Tags: FREQ Squad

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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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Summertime Means...Radios Everywhere?

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer in Chicago! Festivals, Beaches, Parades, Markets and ………Two Way Radio?

 Yes, Two Way Radio. It’s everywhere, just think about it.

 You’re at the beach, the Life Guard talks with another Life Guard down the beach, does he yell? No, it’s a two way radio used to speed up response times.

 You’re at your favorite parade. Thousands of people, float after float, bands marching-- how do they keep it moving? How are they keeping the path secure? Two Way Radio!

 How about the ball game? Security staff keeps the crowds in check with two way radios.

Tags: Two Way Radio Accessories, Rental Equipment, FREQ Squad

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Another Lesson from Tommy Two Way: Campus radio systems present a wide range of challenges for radio communications

    Building radio systems for educational institutions usually presents itself as: the bigger the campus, the more complex the system. In elementary and middle school, facilities are typically smaller buildings with smaller campuses. As the kids get aggregated into high school the size and complexity of the building changes, not to mention the drastic differences experienced in the environment, too. Each city or district can be different, but it’s common for simplex radio to radio communications to suffice in elementary and middle schools.  Coverage is limited to the distance of the portables talking with each other. As we get into the High School level, coverage issues are typically encountered that require solutions to ensure communications.

 High Schools, like many educational institutions, are built with brick and mortar. Along with that you’ll see the hallways lined with metal lockers. What a great environment for radio, right? Wrong. The materials used in schools, including some of the energy efficient glass, create some of the most challenging environments known to radio. 


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A Tour of TRBO Apps by Tommy Two-Way

Posted by Jill McNamara on Monday, March 18, 2013
Take Tommy's Tour of MOTOTRBO Features, Beyond the Basics 

So you bought your new Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) system from Chicago Communications. As promised, we provided coverage in and around your areas of operation. The system allows communications between personnel and management staff, offering you the communications you require to keep your production lines running, your hotel staff moving and your security operations handling building safety. Now What???

 As everyone knows, your new radio system communicates voice between users, but did you know that it also communicates data between devices? Whether Machine-to-Machine for Manufacturing or smartphone to mobile radio, the DMR MOTOTRBO product lines allow so much more.


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6 Components of Antenna Power You Must Consider

Posted by Jill McNamara on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Update from the FREQ Squad's Ann Tenna

    Have you ever thought about the antenna on the end of your radio or the ones on top of a tower or building? Probably not much. But there's a lot more to an antenna than what meets the eye. It’s not just a stick that gets installed there; it is actually a tuned circuit which becomes part of the radio (or the system) itself. This antenna circuit resonates on a specific frequency band. Antennas work to amplify coverage, making them a Very-Important-Part (VIP) of the radio system working well. And since I happen to be an expert in this area, I've put together a list of things to help you become an expert too. 

Tags: Two Way Radios, Antenna System, FREQ Squad

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ChiComm Introduces Customer Care Expert, Millie Watt

    You may remember when we introduced ChiComm’s FREQ (pronounced "Freek") Squad. Their purpose is to give you helpful hints and tell you about the latest happenings for all things in wireless communications, from the latest model of a portable radio to assisting in customer care. Each FREQ Squad member has their own specialization, and so far we’ve heard from Barry Broadband about wireless broadband, Ann Tenna about in-building coverage and Tommy Two Way about digital radio. But possibly the most important part of all these topics is the service and care behind each of those topics. That’s where our new customer advocate, Mille Watt, comes in. Millie is full of bright ideas! She takes special care of customers, so count on her for generating intelligent guidance wherever protection and preventive maintenance topics are present. She’s your go-to expert for any concerns you may have related to warranty, contracts, and protection programs.

Tags: Chicago Communications, FREQ Squad, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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"Can You Hear Me Now?"--Dead Spots Are Still A Problem Indoors

      There’s no doubt about it: the future of communicating will rely on wireless technology. Smartphones have become a necessity and their users expect the ability to stream video, e-mail, text and download everywhere they go. In fact, according to a recent Ball State Institute for Mobile Media Research study, 99.8% of all college students use some kind of mobile device or cell phone on campus, making colleges one of the most wireless communities in the United States. And while commercial carriers boast the ‘most coverage’ and the ‘largest networks’—their claims often aren’t providing reliable coverage inside buildings. For large buildings, venues and campuses, distributed antenna systems are the widely used platform in improving wireless coverage.     

Tags: Wireless Communication, FREQ Squad, Bi-Directional Amplifiers

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 Digital Radio Will Make Your Job Easier, Trust Me!

     There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not looking for a communication puzzle to solve. I’ve got decades of technical expertise and I’ve got no problem telling you like it is. And for many, many years I would have told you to stick with analog radio, all the way. It’s always been the simple choice for reliable communication. But there’s a new technology in town, and it’s paving a path that’s here to stay.

     Whenever new products and technologies make an entrance in the market, I’m sure to do extensive investigating.  With technology moving as fast as it does these days, I’m not about to hop on a fad that’s about to be replaced next month. But the thing about digital radio is, that even though it seems like the smart phone equivalent of a radio (which it is) it’s got a reputation for solving communication problems that speaks for itself. Sure there are several new flashy  features, such as texting or it’s capablity to hold dozens of newly developed applications like both GPS tracking and work ticket entry/update, which is enough to grab my attention. But the important consensus I’ve come to with digital radio, is that it solves just about all the common issues you hear from radio users. 

Tags: Two Way Radios, Wireless Communication, FREQ Squad

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Wireless Broadband in Simple Terms

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For Those Seeking Clarification On the World-Wide Web of Wireless Broadband Confusion

     Broad-band is also a broad term. Typically used to identify large amounts of data transferred from one location to another, this can also be accomplished wired or wireless-ly. For most of us we know broadband in the form of the cable TV modem that comes to your home. The more bandwidth the faster your download and upload speeds for surfing the web. For business, it usually means a T1 or some other type of data circuit between two locations acting as a pipe to transfer information.

     Years past, a simple phone line was sufficient to provide a voice connection to talk with someone at another location. From the inception of the Internet, we have taken that simple analog voice line and attempted to cram 1000’s of squarewave bits through it. The problem lies in the configuration of the wave form. Back in the early internet days, slow speeds could be easily achieved as simple modems could send data at speeds of up to 56Kbps (kilobits per second). That 56Kbps line equated to 56,000 bits per second. Today we are sending 1,000,000,000 bits per second.

Tags: Wireless Communication, FREQ Squad

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