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Chicomm Blog

The Simple, One Step Narrowbanding Plan!

Posted by Jill McNamara on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Simple Plan for Narrowbanding in 2012

      Plain and simple,most businesses don't realize the severity of what's on the way. The amount of companies or agencies that have not attempted to narrowband or even understand what it is are a huge concern of ours. Our daily searches on the FCC’s website lead to thousands of users  who have little knowledge of narrowbanding. With the deadline less than ten months away, our concerns will be not only that people don't narrowband, but that those typical radio users may become an interferer (with regards to their frequency). On top of which leads to hefty monetary fines.

     Think of it this way, a good radio user today operating their same radio system next year may actually interfere with an adjacent carrier unbeknownst to them. One call from the adjacent user and the FCC discovers your channel is the interferer, a fine may be levied in an amount that was greater than what it took to narrowband. The approach of “Well, I didn’t know” will not cut it. This is the Federal Government sending out an employee to investigate something you may have not completed.

Tags: Radio System, Narrowbanding, FCC

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 Tom's Tech Talk (#12): A Trend for Businesses in 2012

     Employers are realizing that the concept of purchasing cell phones for employees is quite an expensive option. Although it provides connectivity to employees over a wide geographic area, it also has lead to personal calls, texting and additional charges that have to be monitored continually. With potential legislation in congress to eliminate cell phone use in cars and especially commercial vehicles, you need options to communicate with your people in the field.

Tags: Radio System, Tech Talk

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Accurate Antenna Systems Mean Maximized Results

Posted by Jill McNamara on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tom's Tech Talk (#11): Antenna Systems

 I can’t tell you how many times we run across systems improperly designed based on their licensing requirements. Each FCC licensee is required to meet both height and power requirements for all of their fixed base station equipment that is indicated on their license.

      Many times people take the approach that to reach their people in the field they need to increase the gain of their antenna’s and the power on their base stations. What they don’t realize is that they may become an interferer with an adjacent co-channel user and  are therefore  subjected to a fine by the FCC for exceeding their licensed effective radiated power. We had one instance where the combined antenna gain and power from their equipment was enough to reach Madison Wisconsin from the Western Suburbs of Chicago.

Tags: Radio System, Tech Talk, Antenna System, FCC

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Netoworking as a Digital Mobile Radio Strategy

Posted by Jill McNamara on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tom's Tech Talk (#10): Digital Mobile Radio System Implementation

      In today’s Digital Mobile Radio systems, networking is playing a key role in implementation of these radio systems. Years past connectivity was through an in house set of wires or over the local telephone companies telephone line. With the evolution of radio, not only has product changed, but the way we need to get the information between sites has changed.

      In the early years, radio equipment was controlled by Direct Current (DC) traveling down the telephone lines between dispatch and the radio at a tower. The voice and DC current would travel the line to the equipment. The equipment in turn would interpret the DC current as one of the following:

 1)      Transmit on F1

 2)      Transmit on F2

 3)      Monitor the Channel

Tags: Radio System, Tech Talk, Digital Two-Way Radios

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Tom's Tech Talk (#6): Two Way Radios, Magic or Money?


     For most radio users they know two things, I push the transmit button and talk and I release the transmit button and listen. Other than that it is magic as to how my radio system works.

     Through the years, we have come across radio systems that have one designated person from their corporation or department who had intimate details as to how the system worked, all the way to having a large radio system with multiple sites and no one having a clue as to how the system was configured.  The reason I bring this up is money. Not knowing what or how your radio system is designed and operated can lead to added cost through research or consultants to spending hours unsure where a problem lies and unsuccessfully trying to resolve it.

Tags: Two Way Radios, Radio System, Tech Talk

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