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Chicomm Blog

Once you’ve decided to purchase or upgrade your radio fleet, a two-way radio maintenance program may be the last thing on your mind.

After all, you’ve just made a sizable purchase, and “maintenance program” sounds like more money. The fact is, though, that leaving the efficient functioning of your communications equipment to chance will cost more in the long run and could leave you without instant, mission critical communication when you need it most.

We've got another treat for you visual learners out there. Our latest video walks through the benefits of protecting your investment with a two-way radio maintenance program and why it’s worth the extra cash upfront.

Tags: Digital Two-Way Radios, Two Way Radios, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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As wireless communication solutions are constantly evolving, it’s a challenge to keep up with the latest and greatest devices and functionality. While it would be impossible to keep up with every update or product that’s made available, it is worthwhile to conduct an occasional appraisal of your existing systems -- and your current challenges -- to see if a boost, replacement or new investment makes sense. 

To help with your once-over of your equipment, systems and challenges, here are five core wireless communication solutions to keep in mind that you may need to deploy, upgrade or replace. (Bonus: Check out our latest video, below, to find out how Chicago Communications helps companies and agencies meet their comprehensive communications needs.)

Tags: Two Way Radios, Wireless Networking, Chicago Communications, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Maintenance/Installation/Service, Public Safety Communications

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If you need to know how to install a mobile radio for an upcoming installation  – or struggling with an installation in progress – we've made a video you won't want to miss. In our latest video offering, one of Chicago Communications' expert technicians shows how to install a mobile radio, step by step.

This video joins two other recent installments, including a whiteboard video on how two-way radios work and a video on two-way radio repair. One of our main goals with these videos is to demystify products or processes that are vital to keeping everyone at your department, business or campus in constant contact. The more you understand about how your technology works, the easier it is for you to use, maintain and keep it in great shape.

Tags: Technology, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Members of the public rely on emergency assistance in some of the most challenging situations - and officers rely on their emergency vehicle equipment to be able to respond quickly and safely. Whether your department is outfitting or updating an emergency vehicle, some equipment features are essential.

Emergency vehicles are some of the most versatile and hardest-working modes of transportation on the road. They need to be high-tech, high visibility, and able to safely transport officers, prisoners and canines.

As you’re thinking about what emergency communications equipment and capabilities you need, be sure to build in the time and resources for professional installation as the best way to ensure that everything is handled appropriately. After all, your vehicles – and everyone’s safety – depend on it. Products may promise easy installation, but having a trained installer on hand means you can focus on job number one.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most essential features for emergency vehicle equipment.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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When you invest in wireless communication equipment, like digital two-way radios, you are making an investment in how your team Service Estimate communicates, and how well you’ll be able to achieve your goals. Things like campus safety, worker or process downtime, and accomplishing tasks on time are just some of the things you can improve via communication equipment, but what if something goes wrong?

If you are familiar with the term Murphy’s Law, you have heard the idea of “if something can go wrong, it will do wrong,” many times. Unfortunately, this can be the case whenever you are dealing with electronic equipment - things crash, freeze up, face a decaying battery life, etc. If an issue arises, it can really impact your organization or results in a major way.

So, if you are looking into adding new wireless communication equipment to your organization, or if you currently have a fleet of two-way radios in-house, investing in a preventative maintenance plan is key. Preventative maintenance plans are simply an agreement to have your communications provider service your equipment on a regular basis, which ensures that your devices don’t fail when you need them most, and overall, extends the lifetime of each device (thus saving you money in the long run).

Tags: Maintenance/Installation/Service

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For most people, a vehicle is a very important tool in everyday life. It is a sizeable investment to own a vehicle and it requires regular care to ensure it performs as intended. When you purchase a vehicle, you therefore typically make sure there is a warranty or an extended service plan on the vehicle in order to minimize the impact of potential, expensive repairs during the time in which you own the vehicle. In addition, you sometimes find that when purchasing the vehicle that a preventative maintenance plan is included in the price of the vehicle for services such as regular oil changes, filter changes, tire rotations, and belt replacements. Did you ever wonder why these services would be included in the price of a vehicle or in an extended service plan? Well, research has shown that when vehicles have regular preventative maintenance performed on them, they operate more efficiently, generally have fewer large, costly repairs, and experience almost no breakdowns. Since a vehicle for many people is “mission-critical” to their daily lives and or livelihoods, breakdowns cannot be afforded (and you know they ALWAYS happen at the worst possible time), so having some sort of service plan that includes preventative maintenance as part of it is an absolute must. These plans also kind of “force you” to do the preventative maintenance. Reminders are sent out regarding them, and in some cases the warranty or repair coverage is diminished if the proper maintenance is not occurring at the designated points in time.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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ChiComm's Not Who You Thought We Were

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

By the shear presence of the word in our company name, many believe Chicago Communications conducts business only in the Chicago area.  While we are proud to call Chicago our home, and have called it home for over sixty years, many of our business endeavors take us well beyond this great City's limits.  We have customers all across the area and several with locations which extend to the broader reaches of the country.  In these instances, we have been very fortunate to continue our partnership with those customers at their extended locations as well.  This has enabled us to expand our reach to the central and southern portions of Illinois, north into Wisconsin, west toward the Mississippi, although extending as far as Arizona, and east into Indiana, but as far as Ohio. 

Tags: Chicago Communications, Wireless Communication, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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ChiComm has 2 Locations

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Thursday, June 19, 2014

Did you know that Chicago Communications, LLC has two locations? Yes, it’s true! While our corporate office is located in Elmhurst, IL, we also have an office in Chicago at 2100 S. Peoria Street, just a few minutes north of U.S. Cellular Field (home of course to the Chicago White Sox). 

Our Chicago office, or Loop Shop as we like to call it, has been around for years providing a convenient location for our customers in the City, and offering the same capabilities as our Elmhurst office. The office houses a drive-in installation bay, technical support, sales, sales support, and customer service. Together, the team there has a combined 17+ years of service with Chicago Communications and it shows. Their commitment to responding to customer needs or issues is second to none. They pull together, gather support from the Elmhurst office when needed, and get the job done. Whether requesting a quote, having an issue, a question, or an installation request regarding a mobile, portable, or system, our Loop Shop team is ready, willing, and able to respond.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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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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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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