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Chicomm Blog

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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The Importance of Housekeeping and the Happy Radio

As brought up in one of our Tech Talks, preventative maintenance is crucial in keeping your two way radios optimized to their full potential.

  • Most important is keeping the units clean and free of physical defects.

When I say clean I really mean CLEAN. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth over a portable can prevent dust and dirt from collecting inside internal microphones and speakers. Keeping these free of debris can ensure you won't have TX (transmit) or RX (receive) issues. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a portable come in and the complaint was "POOR TRANSMIT AUDIO" and we've come to find out the microphone was compacted with dirt, grime or debris blocking it. The same goes for mobile radios. Internal speakers jammed with debris causing "POOR RECEIVE AUDIO."

Tags: Two Way Radios, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Meet John Syron, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara on Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

John Syron started working at Chicago Comm in March of 2011, so he may be considered a rookie around here. But he could certainly fool you into thinking he’s been doing tech work for much longer. If the Chicago Comm technician's were a baseball team, he’d probably get rookie of the year with his track record so far.

     John graduated high school in 2008, and immediately enrolled in DeVry’s networking and communication management program (going on to earn his bachelor’s in just 2 ½ years). His ambition and eagerness to get started in the industry led him to a career fair before concluding his time there. Ever heard the saying: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity? John's luck must have paid off at the fair because he received 4 job offers! Ultimately though, John chose Chicago Communications and the company was thrilled to bring him on board.

Tags: MOTOTRBO, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Two-Way Teamwork with the City Of Berwyn

     Curtis Nekovar is the 9-1-1 System Administrator for the City of Berwyn, which means his responsibilities involve all of the equipment in the 9-1-1 center. He's been in the industry for almost 30 years and has worked at several agencies where Chicago Comm has been involved in one way or another. A couple years ago Berwyn completed a system upgrade project with Chicago Comm that remodeled the entire 9-1-1 center. The furniture was replaced, the radio system upgraded, the phones re-installed, and the dispatch center itself was relocated.  Most recently ChiComm assisted Curtis and the City of Berwyn in a "National Night Out" event that reminded us Public Safety Telecommunicators are a critical piece of the puzzle. The following is a letter he wrote to our maintenance director following that event's success.

Tags: Public Safety Communications, Customer Service, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Avoid Storm Season Damages & Repairs

Posted by Jill McNamara on Friday, May 4, 2012

Tom's Tech Talk #15: Proper Measures Save Money in Service Repairs

     Storm season: A radio shops favorite time of year. (Just Kidding!) Actually it has gotten progressively better. Years ago before Motorola’s Site Installation and Grounding Practices (R56 Standard), it was common place to have most of your yearly calls in the spring and summer due to storms. After countless builds using the R56 Grounding methods, we actually have minimized and eliminated costly repairs or insurance claims.

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

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Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

Curt graduated high school in 1978, back when gas was $0.63 a gallon and “Grease” & “Saturday Night Fever” were most popular on the big screen. That same year, Illinois Bell Company introduced the first ever Cellular Mobile Phone System; something that Curt probably didn’t realize he’d be tied to in the future. So at this time, he stuck to his trade as a mechanic. Curt had been a mechanic since age 13 because his dad owned 5 gas stations and he was always exposed to the automotive field.

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

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Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

It’s not often I sit down with a technician who’s been around long enough to experience significant political events, numerous civil rights movements, several wars, plus the development and infancy of several revolutionizing technologies. Realizing I have a small space here to summarize our discussion, I will do my best to highlight the most relevant of Bill’s path to ChiComm.

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

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Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jerry Beres

     Jerry is going on 28 years as a Chicago Communications technician. "Not many people can say they've worked for the same company 28 years, it just doesn't happen very often anymore,” he says. “I’m a loyal person and if you take care of me, I'll take care of you." According to Jerry, there have been enough challenges, variety and growth to keep things interesting and enjoyable all these years. Let’s take a closer look into those years to see if he’s right.

Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Pointers from the Principals: Why Invest In A Maintenance Contract?  

     With budgets already strained, an investment for the upgrade of a communication system to newer technology could be out of reach at this time. Organizations are focusing their attention on ways to reduce costs, to keep within their budgets. However, in doing so, they often lose sight of the importance a flat-rate maintenance program plays in keeping a legacy communication system at peak performance.      

A high level of performance is still expected from these legacy communication systems because of the role it plays in how quickly an organization can respond to a given situation. Cutting corners in an attempt to cut cost and not recognizing the importance of regularly maintained equipment could lead to coverage, functionality or reliability issues that could have been prevented. Similar to a car, if properly installed and regularly maintained your system will perform reliably for years.

Tags: Pointers from the Principals, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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Josh Lary

Our management team often receives letters from customers with feedback about their experiences with ChiComm’s staff. Recently one was received regarding an experience with one of our technicians, Josh Lary:

"He really was thorough and honestly my impression was that this guy really cared. He was persistent and didn’t stop until he had exhausted all possible contributing aspects of our coverage issues over there. You and I have been dealing with people and different personalities for many years, but Josh really gave me the impression that he and I had a partnership with this radio problem (might sound a little strange, but I’m sure you’ve occasionally come across an individual who seems to “get it”) and at the end of the day when he left…the radio signal had been improved greatly."

Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

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