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Chicomm Blog

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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Meet John Marquardt, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Kendra Newlon on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Meet John Marquardt, a low key kind of guy with a big impact here at Chicago Communications. A man with many talents and very few words, John’s stomping ground is a work bench and toolbox at our Chicago Loop location. He is one of our valued technicians who has put in 29 years of hard work and dedication into fixing two way radios and other communication system accessories.

Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Spotlight on the Technicians: The Experience Behind ChiComm

     Ernie’s career has taken him around the world a time or two before finally landing him at Chicago Communications. He may have only joined ChiComm's service team two and a half years ago, but combined with his other previous work he has 30 years of expertise in the communications & technology field.

     Ernie's training started when he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1983, right after he graduated from high school. Beyond several weeks of Basic Training he also attended many different technical training programs while in the military that were specific for the assignments he worked on (electronic development, air traffic controls, and ground launch cruise missiles are some examples of subjects he studied). Ernie's official role was as a ground radio maintenance technician in the Air Force and he served this position for 10 years. This is where most of his 'globetrotting' comes in. As part of different military assignments he spent years living in foreign countries like Korea and Turkey, while spending other extended periods of time in Japan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Spain, England and several states across the United States. Most of his work in the Air Force involved tactical mobile communications which translates to being “the radio guy” in simple terms--and that's how he was known to the others he served with. As a technician in ground radio maintenance he worked on: satellite communications, LMR (two way land mobile radio communications similar to the equipment used at ChiComm), long range and high frequency communications and the encryption that makes all of those communications secure. 

Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Safety Solutions, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Meet Chris Young, Technician At ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spotlight on the Technicians; Experience Behind ChiComm

     Chris has been interested in electronics ever since he was a toddler. After he learned how to say mom and dad, the next word he learned to say was 'electricity'. At age 11 he was already heavily into CB (citizen’s band) radios and by the time he was in high school he got into building car stereos and installing equipment into cars. So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that as an adult Chris was able to successfully build a 100% battery run electric vehicle, in his free time!   This project took 3 years for Chris and his dad to complete from start to finish, all within his garage. The truck (pictured below) has a 50 mile range depending on driving speed and conditions, takes 4-5 hours to gain complete charge and can reach a top speed of 75mph. Like other vehicles of its kind, it can be charged anywhere with an electrical outlet. The truck is used for short trips and errands around town and the 2,000 mile mark was recently crossed without having yet run into any major problems.

Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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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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Reflecting On 2012 & The History of Radio

Posted by Jill McNamara on Friday, December 28, 2012

As always, we are grateful for each and every one of our customers and employees. We are thankful for all of the opportunities we received this year to partner on many significant projects. We encountered some big challenges but all the people at ChiComm stepped up in a short time frame and addressed these challenges head on. It's thanks to our employees that we are able to continually accommodate our customer's needs and meet their expectations.

Tags: Motorola Solutions, Technology, History, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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How Technology Has Impacted 9-1-1 Dispatch Centers     

     Over the last thirty years, I have actually counted over 200 radio dispatch consoles that Chicago Communications has installed. A dispatch console is actually an interface for a dispatcher to talk to various radio systems. Similar to a 9-1-1 telephone system, the radio dispatch console acts as an audio switch to connect various people to various radios or telephones.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Tech Talk, Safety Solutions, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Simple Installations Gone Wrong

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

 The Importance of a Proper Installation 

What happens when you attempt to install high tech equipment on your own or by inexperienced technicians? Installations can go wrong and end up costing more than you bargained for. There are 2 common scenarios I've seen happen more than once that are worth sharing.

Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Meet Rich Watts, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 The Experience Behind ChiComm

      I recently asked Rich what  he thought was ChiComm’s greatest strength. He answered, “It has to be the combination of younger and older generations benefiting from each other. A lot of the old guys have RF and component expertise while the new guys are experienced with networking and computers, so we all learn from each other. The younger guys come in very eager to learn from us and when the team gets to hear the old way of doing something vs. hearing a newer different perspective, everyone’s helping each other find the best solution.” Rich hits his 29 years of working with Chicago Comm this November. By this measure that qualifies him as one of the “older guys” around the shop. He started back when cellular had just launched commercially.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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