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Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • TWRS-02 - An Introduction to Business Radios

    In this episode we cover some of the basics of two way radio communications for business use. We discuss the difference between consumer and business radios, introduce you to the different types and brands of business two way radios available on the market today, review the the Icom IC-F4011 and take some questions from folks in the Two Way Radio Forums.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:16

    Topic Discussion 1:31
    An introduction to the different types of two way radios for businesses and the differences between consumer and business radios. For more information about business two way radios, read the article Do You Need A Business Two Way Radio? in the Two Way Radio blog.

    Commercial Break 17:56
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 18:55
    Today we will review a handheld business radio, the Icom IC-F4011.

    Questions and Answers 24:19
    Questions from folks in the forums at TwoWayRadioForum.com.

    Wrap up and Close 32:11
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show(at)buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2011 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • TWRS-01 - An Introduction to Consumer Radios

    In our first episode we cover some of the basics of two way radio communications. We discuss terminology, introduce you to the different types of two way radios, review the Midland GXT 1000-VP4 and take some questions from folks in the Two Way Radio Forums.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:22

    Topic Discussion 1:36
    An introduction to the different types of two way radios for consumers and the similarities and differences between them. For more information about the basics of two way radios, subscribe to our Two Way Radio blog.

    Commercial Break 22:34
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 23:33
    Today we will review a popular consumer radio, the Midland GXT1000-VP4.

    Questions and Answers 36:45
    Questions from folks in the forums at TwoWayRadioForum.com.

    Wrap up and Close 48:24
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show(at)buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2011 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • The IP and JIS Specification for Water/Dust Resistance

    Two way radios see use in many types of environments. We've sold radios to responders to the flooding caused by hurricane Katrina, soldiers to use in the deserts of Iraq, and most everyone in between. As you can imagine, we frequently get questions about how well certain radios hold up to exposure to water and dust.

    There are different levels of waterproofing and dust proofing. For example, a radio that is resistant to a light rain will not necessarily hold up when submerged in a pool of water. When shopping for a product, it is important to know how resistant the product is to water and/or dust, and fortunately for us there are standards in place for measuring such things. There are two specifications for which we commonly see radios rated: JIS and IP.

    Japan Industrial Standards (JIS)

    The JIS scale measures water resistance with levels ranging from 0-8.

    • JIS-0 - No special protection
    • JIS-1 - Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect (Drip resistant 1)
    • JIS-2 - Dripping water at an angle up to 15 degrees from vertical shall have no harmful effect (Drip resistant 2)
    • JIS-3 - Falling rain at an angle up to 60 degrees from vertical shall have no harmful effect (Rain resistant)
    • JIS-4 - Splashing water from any direction shall have no harmful effect (Splash resistant)
    • JIS-5 - Direct jetting water from any direction shall have no harmful effect (Jet resistant)
    • JIS-6 - Direct jetting water from any direction shall not enter the enclosure (Water tight)
    • JIS-7 - Water shall not enter the enclosure when it is immersed in water under defined conditions (Immersion resistant)
    • JIS-8 - The equipment is usable for continuous submersion in water under specified pressure (Submersible)

    IP Code (International Protection Rating)

    The IP code is commonly used by business radios, and it contains a rating for resistance to both liquids and solids. With radios, solids typically refer to dust and other fine particles, but the IP code is designed to include larger objects. An IP rating has two digits, "IP54" for example. The first digit (5 in the previous example) refers to resistance to solids. The second digit (4 in the previous example) refers to resistance to liquids.

    Solids Resistance Levels (First Digit)
    The following is the numeric resistance level, and the types of solids that are resisted at that level.

    • 0 - No protection against contact and ingress of objects
    • 1 - Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part (>50 mm)
    • 2 - Fingers or similar objects (>12.5 mm)
    • 3 - Tools, thick wires, etc. (>2.5 mm)
    • 4 - Most wires, screws, etc. (>1 mm)
    • 5 - Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact
    • 6 - No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact

    Liquids Resistance Levels (Second Digit)
    These are similar to the JIS standard (above).

    • 0 - Not protected
    • 1 - Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
    • 2 - Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15 degrees from its normal position.
    • 3 - Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
    • 4 - Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
    • 5 - Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
    • 6 - Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
    • 7 - Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
    • 8 - The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.
  • Midland GXT5000 Two Way Radio Product Announcement

    GXT5000.jpgWe have just received some information from Midland regarding their new products for 2011, and I'm excited to share it with everyone. Later this year, Midland is going to introduce the GXT5000 two way radio. The GXT5000 will be a professional quality two way radio designed to communicate with standard consumer radios using FRS and GMRS frequencies.

    With the GXT5000, Midland is answering the call of many who frequently use GMRS radios and need a product that is more durable than what you can typically find for $50 a two-pack. This radio meets military specifications, has an aluminum cast frame, is waterproof, shock and dust proof to IP67 standards, includes a long life lithium-ion battery, and features an impressive 5 year warranty! Midland also includes a zippered storage case, which helps keep the radio safe and adds to the professional look.

    This radio is sure to be an instant hit with some GMRS enthusiasts as well as those who use radios for "tough" applications where the radio may be subject to some abuse. Really, anyone who plans to use their radio on a frequent basis, instead of just for the occasional camping trip or such, should at least consider this radio.

    GXT5000-Pack.jpgAccording to the FCC report, the Midland GXT5000 has 4 watts of power. Because of the fixed antenna (a requirement for radios supporting the FRS frequencies), I do not expect the range of this radio to be quite as good as a similarly powered business grade radio, but I would expect that it will equal or surpass the range of current consumer models. Of course, we will have to wait until we get our hands on one of these to confirm this.

    Along with the professional quality comes a professional price tag. The suggested retail price of the GXT5000 is $149 per radio. This is a significantly higher price than any other FRS/GMRS radio that we sell, as you would expect with such a quality upgrade. The GXT5000 is expected to be available in June, 2011.

  • Motorola TalkAbout MS350R Radio Product Announcement

    MS350R.jpgOur sales representative for the Motorola Talkabout series stopped by the office earlier this week and brought with him news of an exciting new radio that they will be adding to their lineup later this year - the MS350R!

    The Motorola MS350R will be a truly waterproof radio - meeting IP-67/JIS-7 specifications. This radio will tolerate being fully submersed in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes! Of course, having a waterproof radio doesn't mean a lot if it is lying at the bottom of a lake, so Motorola's engineers have taken special care to ensure that the radio will also float!

    Adding the waterproof feature meant that Motorola had to change the appearance of the radio somewhat. The MS350R will be slightly larger than other radios in their line and will not be compatible with their standard charging base (although it will use the same battery pack as current higher-end models). They have also eliminated the standard power/volume knob at the top of the radio in favor of buttons on the front. A loop for attaching a lanyard has been added to the top where the power/volume knob traditionally resides.

    The MS350R is expected to become available in 2011 between the second and third quarters. The suggested retail price for this model is $99 and will include two radios, two NiMH battery packs, and a two pocket drop in charger. Other features of the radio will be very similar to the current Motorola MR355R (repeater channels will be included).
    Update: The Motorola MS350R is now in stock and ready to ship on your order!

    MR350RVP.jpgOther Lineup Changes For 2011

    The addition of the MS350R is the only "major" change to Motorola's Talkabout lineup in 2011. There are, however, two small changes that I will point out.

    A new value pack, the Motorola MR350RVP, will be introduced at some point. This value pack will contain two Motorola MR350R radios, but instead of the standard black faceplate, the radios will be equipped with a "wood grain" faceplate. The value pack will also include two earbuds and a car charger. Suggested retail price is $99.

    At some point during the year, the Motorola EM1000R radio will be discontinued. The replacement model is the Motorola MJ270R, which is already available.

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