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  • Icom instant rebate plus Trade-in offer on IP501H and IP501M radios!

    Icom $40 Rebate Plus Trade-In Offer!
    Icom is currently offering a two-tiered promotion at Buy Two Way Radios that can save you some serious cash. Get a $40 instant rebate when you buy an IP501H or IP501M Mobile LTE radio, plus trade-in your old non-Icom branded radio, and get up to $260 more!

    There's no limit to the number of radios you can buy for the rebate and trade-in offer. Buy one, or one hundred, or as many as you need. As long as they qualify, the offer applies. This is a great deal from Icom exclusively for our customers, but only for a limited time!

    No promo code is needed to take advantage of the instant rebate. Simply add an Icom IP501H handheld or IP501M mobile LTE two way radio to your cart, you get a $40 instant rebate per radio at checkout!

    To take participate in the trade-in offer, call our Sales Department at Buy Two Way Radios at 1-800-584-1445 from 9 AM to 6 PM weekdays to verify your trade-in(s). The trade-in discount will be applied to your order once the trade-ins are verified, shipped to us and received by our Sales Department.

    Icom Instant Rebate Plus Trade-in Offer

    IP501H $457.50 $40 $260 $300 $157.50
    IP501M $562.50 $40 $60 $100 $462.50

    Only working, FCC typed-accepted, non-Icom radios apply for the trade-in discount. Trade-ins must be verified by our Sales department at Buy Two Way Radios before sending them in to qualify. Trade-in offer is valid during the promotion period only. IP501H and IP501M radios require activation of a two year service plan to receive the trade-in allowance. Any non-working, non FCC approved radios will not qualify. Note: This offer valid in the US only and only for commercial or business end users.

  • The Icom IP501H LTE radio video

    We've talked quite a bit about the Icom IP501H Sim Card / LTE Two Way Radio on our blog and our Two Way Radio Show podcast, so we thought it was time to show it. There's a lot to like about this radio, but what makes it really unique and exciting is the notion that Icom may have finally solved the two way radio range problem. Really!

    Want to know more? Watch the video and take a look at this radio that could become a game changer for businesses that need long range from a two way radio. The Icom IP501H is available now from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • The Icom IP501H LTE Two Way Radio

    Icom IP501H Sim Card / LTE Two Way RadioToo often we hear from customers who desperately need radios that can communicate over a large distance, but they have no simple or viable options. Usually, our solution involves repeaters. While Installing one or more repeaters will often get the job done, they can also be expensive, time consuming, and may not be practical in some cases. Now, there is good news. Icom has a solution.

    It's called The IP501H.

    The Icom IP501H is a small and very lightweight radio that looks almost identical to Icom's original IP radio, the IP100H. However, they are not the same radio. This is a completely different animal. While the IP100H used a LAN to interconnect with other radios, the IP501H takes it to another level. This radio attempts to solve the two way radio range problem. And it does.

    The Icom IP501H isn't your typical walkie talkie. It is an LTE radio. This small yet powerful IP based radio uses LTE networks, the same ones used by cell phones, to deliver coast to coast coverage. The IP501H uses a sim card, so anywhere you have a 4G or 3G LTE network, which is essentially nationwide in the United States, you can communicate with these radios.

    Icom IP501H Right Side ViewRange is an important difference, but what really sets the IP501H apart from other two way radios is the way it handles two way communications. A typical two way radio is a half-duplex device, which means it only allows one person to talk at a time. One operator presses the PTT button to transmit, then releases it to receive, and the other operator presses the PTT button on the next radio to transmit, and so on. The IP501H is capable of full duplex operation, which means that a user can transmit and receive simultaneously, just like a cell phone. Imagine a radio that provides instant, full duplex communication using an LTE network for telephone-type calls and conversations without the need for repeaters or a wired network. That's the Icom IP501H.

    Anywhere your cell phone works, the IP501H should work as well. With this in mind, there is so much potential for where it could be used. This product is perfect for companies with a fleet of vehicles, such as an HVAC company with service or repair technicians. Any company that's currently buying cell phones for employees might find that the IP501H does everything that they need and saves them money at the same time. It's also a simple solution for businesses with multiple locations that need an easy way to stay in contact.

    The nationwide coverage is clearly the biggest reason to buy this radio, but it's not the only one. When it comes to features, the IP501H is loaded with them. Like you would expect, it has clear digital audio, and as already mentioned, like a cell phone, it supports full duplex conversations. Yet, there is more. It features a 500 memory address book with room for individual, group, talkgroup and telephone lists. It has a vibrate alert, message recording, lone worker function, man down function, and is GPS capable.

    Icom IP501H Vehicle ChargerA vehicle charger is available for the IP501H that enables Bluetooth® support, allowing hands free communications via a headset. The included lithium-ion battery provides over 17 hours of operation on a single charge. This makes it a great choice for use in service trucks, and is ideal for long shifts out in the field.

    The IP501H is also quite durable. This is kind of a heavy duty radio for its small size. It is also IP67 dust and waterproof. Best of all, you don't need to purchase an FCC license to operate the IP501H. It's license free!

    But what about the price? is It a good value for the cost?

    The IP501H radio itself starts at $540 per unit, which is less than the cost of a lot of cell phones. There is also a monthly fee for use of the Icom's service network, called LTE Connect. The monthly fee is $28 a month per radio, but there are some contract and month-to-month packages you can work out for the radio and the service.

    The radios will be configured by us before they ship and will work right out of the box, with no other devices or controllers to install. It's simple and it works! If you'd like to learn more, or would like to receive a quote for IP501H radios, please contact us at 1-800-584-1445 and we'll be happy to help.

  • Summer Rebates on Icom Airband Radios!

    $50 Rebate on Icom A25C and A25N Airband Radios!
    Up in the air about buying a radio for your aircraft? These summer rebates on Icom Airband radios may help you decide what you need!

    Buy an Icom A14 Airband radio and you qualify for a $20 rebate! Buy an Icom A25N or A25C Airband radio and you qualify for a $50 rebate! This is a great deal from Icom and is available for a limited time!

    This offer is fulfilled by Icom directly, so the rebate will be mailed to you after Icom receives your mail-in redemption. To redeem your rebate, go to Icom's rebate page, download the Mail-in Rebate Form, fill out the form and mail it to Icom with the items requested on the form.

    These models have different promotion periods and rebate amounts. They also require separate rebate forms. The requirements for each promotion is below:

    NOTE: Rebates must be postmarked no later than 45 days from date of product purchase. All claims require a proof of purchase from an Authorized Icom dealer and the original UPC code from the box. Use 1 rebate form per radio. Allow 8-10 weeks from submission of rebate request for delivery. Offer valid in US and Canada only and is void where prohibited by law. All rebates will be paid by check ins US dollars.

  • XLT Communications Launches Affordable RC6 Series Multi-Chargers

    We've been selling business radios for quite a while now. One thing that we hear pretty often from customers is that they like the idea of the 6-unit multi-charger. After all, most businesses have a central location for charging radios and adding dozens of individual chargers quickly turns into a disorganized heap of plastic and wires. The problem is, some radio manufacturers have multi-chargers that tend to break the bank (I'm looking at you, Icom and Vertex Standard).

    Fairly regularly, we'll have a customer with Icom or Vertex Standard radios ask about a multi-charger, only to change their mind when they hear the $300-$400 price. Motorola and Kenwood, on the other hand, have much better options with their on-site business radio series, providing chargers that generally retail in the $150-$200 range.


    Well, there are now some lower priced options available! XLT Communications has released five new chargers as their RC6 Series. These chargers work with popular low cost Icom and Vertex Standard radios. They are rapid chargers, fully charging a dead battery in around two hours. They also are capable of charging a battery separate from a radio, and can be wall mounted.

    Kenwood has taken a different route with their multi-chargers, so they are a different situation. Their multi-chargers are reasonably priced, but they are more of an organizer for the individual chargers than an all encompassing multi-charger. The KMB-28, for example, is a tray with a power cord. You snap in your individual KSC-35S chargers (that were included with the radios) and create a multi-charger. Power cords are built into the KMB-28, so it does provide the organization most businesses need. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution, however, the XLT RC6-K45L does provide it and even at a slightly lower price.

    The following are the models available, their prices, and compatible radios.

    RC6-I232 ($169.00) - Works with Icom radios using the BP-232H battery, including the Icom F4011, F3011, F24, and F14.

    RC6-I265 ($169.00) - Works with Icom radios using the BP-265 battery, including the Icom F4001, F3001, F4210D, F3210D, T70A, and V80.

    RC6-I279 ($169.00) - Works with Icom radios using the BP-279 or BP-280 batteries, including the Icom F1000, F2000, F1000D, and F2000D.

    RC6-K45L ($149.00) - Works with Kenwood radios that use the KNB-45L battery, including the Kenwood NX-240, NX-340, TK-2400, TK-2402, TK-3400, TK-3402, TK-2300, TK-2302, TK-3300, and TK-3302.

    RC6-VSUNI ($169.00) - Works with the Vertex Standard UNI battery system, including radios that use any of the following battery models: FNB-V127LI-UNI, FNB-V128LI-UNI, FNB-V129LI-UNI, FNB-V129LIIS-UNI, FNB-V130LI-UNI, FNB-V133LI-UNI, FNB-V134LI-UNI, FNB-V134LIIS-UNI. Works with the following Vertex Standard radios series: EVX-260, EVX-530, VX-260, VX-450, VX-820, VX-920.

  • Icom F1000D and F2000D IDAS Digital Radios

    IC-F2000D.jpgDigital radios are becoming more commonplace in the business radio arena. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is price. As these radios become more economical to purchase, the move to digital becomes more practical. To move things along, Icom recently released a digital version of its F1000/F2000 series. Called the F1000D/F2000D Series, they start well below the price point of the other digital radios in the company's product line.

    Icom touts their new F1000D/F2000D series as slim, compact and lightweight, and they are. Although slightly thicker and wider and, depending on the battery pack, about 20g heavier than the F1000/F2000, they still weigh in considerably lighter than many other radios.

    Like the analog models, the F1000D/F2000D has a large 36mm, 800mW speaker. It also has the built-in motion sensor with Man Down and Lone Worker emergency functions. The two series of radios also share other features, such as the channel announcement function and IP67 water and dust protection.

    The real difference between the F1000/F2000 and F1000D/F2000D is, of course, digital functionality. The "D" series supports IDAS™ digital conventional and Type-D single-site trunking. The digital and analog modes can be programmed per channel. According to Icom, IDAS™ mode utilizes 4-level FSK modulation and the NXDN™ common air interface for true 6.25kHz spectrum efficiency. Programmable IDAS features include:

    • PTT ID (TX)
    • Individual/group calls
    • Radio check (RX)
    • Stun/Kill/Revive (RX)
    • Remote monitor (RX)
    • Emergency (TX)
    • Call alert (RX)
    • Digital voice scrambler (15-bit)
    • Status Call (Power ON/OFF status and GPS request)
    • Voting scan for multi-site conventional operation

    At the time of this article only the base models are available. The F1000D is the 136-174MHz VHF version and the F2000D operates on 400-470MHz UHF.


    The F1000D/F2000D will accept almost all of the same accessories as the standard F1000/F2000 series radios, including earpieces, headsets, speaker microphones, antennas, the belt clip, power supply cable, multi-charger, and even the battery packs. The F1000D/F2000D will take the BP-278 and BP-279 as well as its own BP-280 battery pack.

    One of the advantages of digital radios over their analog counterparts is their considerably lower rate of power consumption, and the F1000D/F2000D is no exception. the chart below instantly puts it all into perspective. Note: Data is based on 5:5:90 operation (TX:RX:Standy) with the power save function on.

    Battery Pack F1000/F2000 Series F1000D/F2000D Series
    BP-278 10 hours 9 hours
    BP-279 14 hours 12 hours
    BP-280 -- 18 hours

    As for what comes in the package, the Icom IC-F1000D / IC-F2000D has the basic essentials, including a Li-ion battery pack, belt clip and a removable antenna. It also comes with a two year warranty from Icom. The F1000D/F2000D are available from Buy Two Way Radios.

  • The Icom IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 Series business radios

    IC-F2000.jpgIt's no big secret that the Icom F4011 has been a top selling business radio the last couple of years. Users seem to love the 4011 and its VHF counterpart, the F3011. Well, apparently Icom stepped up its game with the IC-F1000 (VHF) and the IC-F2000 (UHF) radios. As with the 4011, The F2000 could be another best selling Icom business radio, perhaps, at least in part, because it's priced very close to the 4011 and adds another level to its feature set.

    This radio is rated IP67 waterproof and dust tight, which means it can be submersed in up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. In other words, it's completely waterproof. this is an improved rating over its predecessors. The F3011 and F4011 were rated IP54, so the increased IP67 rating on the F2000 is definitely a step up.

    The F2000 is a smaller, thinner radio. It is also lightweight. The F2000 is definitely slimmer and lighter in weight than some of the other portable handheld Icom radios. In comparison to the F4011, which weighs in with battery at about 10.6 oz., the F2000 weighs only 8.47oz. with its battery.This is due in large part to the battery itself.

    The battery is probably the only negative for this radio, but not by much. The F4011 has a BP-232N 2000mAh battery that's rated for about 16 hours of operation. In contrast, the F1000/F2000 uses the BP-279 1485 mAh battery pack, a smaller battery but still rated at about 14 hours of operation. So in order to lose a lot of size and a lot of weight, you're giving up two hours of operation, but fourteen hours is still plenty of operating time for many businesses.

    Another item that factors into the overall weight of the radio is the built-in speaker. As a general rule, a more powerful speaker typically adds a little more weight to the radio. The F2000 has a large 36mm, 800mw speaker, compared to a 500mw speaker on the 4011. It's a lighter radio with a louder speaker. Now that's an interesting twist.

    A louder radio is probably always better, anyway. After all, you do have a volume control. If you don't want to use maximum volume you don't have to, but the option to go with an extremely loud radio is usually a good thing, because there may be a time or place when you may actually need the added volume.

    IC-F2000-2.jpgThe F2000 looks slim and feels light, but is it really that durable? It's an interesting question, because for many radio operators it's often difficult to equate the idea of small size and light weight with durability at the same time. When one thinks of durability and ruggedness, it is easy to assume the radio has to be heavy, feel solid and have the general consistency of a brick. The term heavy duty tends to create an image of something that is large and heavy. Perhaps it's psychological, but it is a common conception, or to be more accurate, a misconception, because it isn't necessarily true.

    Take the the older radios from the late 90's and early 2000's that were bricks (please, take them). They were heavy as can be, but as the years passed and technologies changed and advanced, new materials were developed and new components were invented that are smaller, lighter in weight, yet just as robust as the materials and components found in older radios. So, it's no stretch at all to think a newer radio such as the F2000 could be just as rugged and durable, and even more so, then an older, larger and heavier Icom, Kenwood or Motorola radio. In fact, it makes sense.

    So the chassis quality of the Icom F1000/F2000 is pretty good, overall. What about some of the other specs on this radio? What kind of features are we looking at here?

    For starters, there are several versions of this radio. The IC-F1000/S/T operates on 136-174 VHF frequencies at up to 5 watts. The IC-F2000/S/T is the UHF version, with 400-470MHz frequencies at up to 4 watts output power. The IC-F1000 and IC-F2000 models have 16 channels. The F1000S/T and F2000S/T models feature 128 channels.

    The F1000 and F2000 are the base models. These are most similar to the F3011 and F4011, respectively. The F1000S and F2000S have a display and a simple keypad consisting of four programmable function keys on the front of the radio. F1000T and F2000T include the display, four programmable function keys and full DTMF numeric keypad.

    IC-F2000-3.jpgThe F1000/F2000 features built-in 2-Tone and 5-Tone, CTCSS and DCS signaling for group communications and selective calling. It has voice channel announcement, so you don't have to look down at the radio when you're switching channels. You can hear what channel you're on. You don't have to take your eyes off of whatever you're doing.

    In addition, the F1000/F2000 radio has quiet stand-by and a built-in inversion voice scrambler. It's MDC 1200 compatible, providing for programmable features such as PTT ID, RX radio check and Stun/Revive. It also has a surveillance function, escalating alarm, and eight DTMF memories.

    New to the F1000/F2000 is the built-in motion sensor. This is a very interesting feature with a lot of potential uses. With the built-in motion sensor, the F1000/F2000 series can detect its position, state of motion and non-motion, and can send an emergency signal. For example, the motion function detects if the transceiver is moving or shaking during a chase.

    This radio has an integrated a Man Down or emergency button on top. The lone worker and Man Down functions are programmable. When the button is pressed during an emergency situation, it basically puts the radio in VOX mode so the radio can communicate to the other radios within range. The F4011 and F3011 series did not have that option.

    Icom claims the F1000/F2000 is easy to hear in noisy areas. The combined Man Down feature, the emergency button and ability to hear the radio above louder noises could make this radio a good choice for use in warehouses or construction areas where potential hazardous situations could arise. This may also be useful in schools, particularly these days when there are heightened concerns about school security. Considering the fact that schools are kind of noisy places anyway, such emergency features may be needed on a two way radio.

    When you're talking about 2 watt radios and less, most of the time they are not fully programmable. You're kind of stuck with the 50 to 100 frequencies that are already pre-programmed into them. This Icom is a fully programmable radio. If you have a business operation that needs a smaller, lighter radio but may need to expand in the future and go through a repeater, in many cases you would have to throw all those lower powered radios away and move to something else. But going with something like the F1000 or F2000, if you ever need a repeater, if you ever need to expand your system, this radio will support it. You can just program you radios instead of getting rid of them.

    So it's not just a small, light radio, it's packed with some features, as well. But what about accessories?

    The Icom F1000 and F2000 uses the same, standard two-pin Icom S6 connector, so if you have the F4011 or F3011 radios and want to add or upgrade to the F1000 or F2000 models, all of the audio accessories for your old radios will work with your new ones. Since the F1000/f2000 is also waterproof, there's a waterproof speaker mic available for it.

    There is one thing to keep in mind with the accessories. When you're using an accessory with this radio, the F1000/F2000 may not be waterproof if your using a non-waterproof accessory. You're going to need a specific waterproof type connector to keep that seal over the connector port watertight. Most accessories, particularly aftermarket accessories built for non-waterproof radios, are probably not going to create a water tight seal when used with this model.

    If you don't use an accessory with the F1000 or F2000, you must keep that port cover on the side. You need to have the cover on the side to make it waterproof. It requires two screws to hold it on and it has some sort of grommet on the inside of that side plate cover to keep the water out. A lot of folks don't want to have to put that thing on. If you don't do it, water will get into the radio if it gets very wet or submerged. If you are going to be using the radio without an accessory, it is highly recommended to have the port cover on there just to ensure that you have the full waterproof capabilities.

    The F1000/F2000 series starts at $179, compared to $169 for the 4011, and for an extra $10 you get a lot more functionality. You also get waterproofing. When it comes to the price, the Icom F1000 and F2000 radios are a great value for the waterproof capability alone.

    There is a lot to like about the Icom F1000 and F2000 radios. It's smaller, thinner, lighter, yet durable and fully waterproof. It's a 4 watt UHF/5 watt VHF radio that's fully programmable, can work with repeaters, compatible with a lot of radio systems using MDC1200, and will fit into many different environments and business types, including manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, restaurants, retail stores, casinos and hospitality.

    With such flexibility, the F1000/F2000 Series radio has a lot to offer any business or industry. Icom seems to have stepped up their game and taken their radios to another level.

  • Is the Icom IP100H Radio Worth the Price?

    If you are shopping for a small and low powered radio such as the Motorola CLS or CLP series or the Kenwood TK-3230 or PKT-23, you may stumble upon the Icom IP100H and think it's perfect for your application - perfect, that is, until you notice the advertised price. After all, a retail price for $500 MSRP is nothing to sneeze at, even if the radio is rated IPX7 sn- er, waterproof.

    Sure, compared to the Motorola and Kenwood radios of its size and wattage, the little IP100H sure seems to be higher priced, but is it? How much does it really cost? When adding it all up in a real world comparison, you may be surprised.

    For starters, let's compare the price of each radio mentioned. The Motorola CLS1110, CLS1410 and CLP1010 all sell for under $200 each. The CLP1040 is under $225 and the most expensive in the series, the CLP1060 with Bluetooth, prices out at about a hundred dollars more, averaging out across the market at $330-$350. The Kenwood TK-3230 comes in below $170 and the ultra-compact PKT-23 is under $150. Of course, at first glance these are all far less than the $500 manufacturer suggested retail price of the Icom IP100H. However, there are three very important factors to consider that change the cost equation, and all of them are potential equalizers.

    First, the current advertised price of the IP100H is the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price or MSRP, not the actual sale price. Icom requires dealers to advertise only the MSRP of their digital IP radio products. Contact us for our actual sale price of the IP100H radio and IP1000C controller.

    Second, the radios in this comparison may all look and act the same, but we're really not comparing apples to apples. The Motorola and Kenwood models are all analog radios. The Icom IP100H is a digital transceiver. Digital radios operate quite differently than analog devices, and therefore offer enhanced features that most analog radios, particularly those on the low-end, don't have. The IP100H offers private, secure communications, digital quality audio, full duplex operation, and text messaging. Some of these features are only found on digital two way radios, and such radios typically cost hundreds, sometimes thousands more than the analog models.

    Also, the Motorola and Kenwood analog radios in this comparison have a limited range. The IP100H is an IP radio that connects to an existing computer network, which allows it virtually unlimited range within your business operations! Range is limited only by the extent of your network, and can be extended as your network grows. For a more in-depth explanation of its range, capabilities and features, read Radios over WiFi! Introducing Icom's IP100H IP Radios.

    Third, business radios operating on business frequencies require these frequencies to be licensed. The cost of licensing depends on the number of frequencies assigned, but at the minimum, the cost of a license for one itinerate business frequency is currently about $400. For a business radio with four active channels on four separate frequencies, that gets pricey quick.

    However, the Icom IP100H has one more advantage over the analog Motorola and Kenwood radios. It is license free. Repeat, no FCC license is required to operate the IP100H radio. You can set them up and use them right out of the box without a license to transmit. That alone is worth the initial cost of investment.

    The IP100H radio does require the IP1000C controller to operate, so the total investment is not limited to the radios alone. However that cost can be offset by the costs normally incurred from licensing frequencies for the analog radios in this comparison, and if you need to purchase a repeater to extend the range of those Motorolas or Kenwoods, choosing the Icom IP radio system may actually put you ahead of the game.

    In spite of its initial advertised price, could the IP100H Advanced IP Radio System actually be a more cost effective solution for your business or operation than the standard small and low priced analog business radios? A case can certainly be made for it. There is one way to find out. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 and tell us what you need. We'll compare them all to find the best solution for you.

  • Radios over WiFi! Introducing Icom's IP100H IP Radios

    IP100H.jpgIcom recently launched a new two way radio that's a little different from most radios currently on the market today. It's the IP100H IP Advanced Two Way Radio, and it is not what you would typically expect from a two way radio. Sure, it looks like a radio, it acts like a radio, but it's not just a radio, it's more.

    Imagine a handheld walkie talkie that's small, lightweight and super durable, with one-to-one communication, privacy and encryption, full duplex capability, and - gasp - virtually unlimited range! Best of all, no license is required!

    Well, that daydream is now reality, thanks to Icom, and thanks in even larger part to IP and WiFi technologies that are now a part of our everyday lives. As stated earlier, the IP100H isn't your typical two way radio, it's a wireless LAN radio. It transmits and receives radio signals over a WLAN, or Wireless Local Access Network. In simpler terms, instead of communicating with another radio directly, it communicates to other radios through your existing wireless computer network.

    The IP100H is really more of a network device than a radio. Normally a two way radio system uses frequencies to transmit your voice over the air. This radio connects to WiFi just like a cell phone would. It connects to your router using Internet Protocol (IP), it picks up your voice and sends it through the router over your computer network to other radios connected to the system, accomplishing the same thing as a standard two way radio but in vastly different way. Essentially it is really a digital data device.

    It's based on technology known as Radio over IP, or RoIP. This is basically the same concept as the internet based telephone system known as Voice over IP, or VoIP. There two primary differences between the two systems. a VoIP phone looks and acts like a regular telephone and is usually wired to your router, like a standard Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) telephone is wired to a jack in a wall. A RoIP system uses a radio that looks and acts like a regular two way radio and connects to the router wirelessly. It's the same concept, just a different application.

    What does all this mean? Everything. Since it operates over a wireless network, the IP100H gives you a world of possibilities that regular two way radio systems simply can't deliver without a costly investment in expensive, complicated equipment and a technician who really knows what he or she is doing to set up and maintain it all.

    The possibilities
    Let's take the most exciting one first, the possibility of range. Handheld two way radios are line-of-sight devices with limited power and range. You can do everything you can to increase the performance of a handheld, but no matter how clear your line-of-sight, how good your battery, how tuned your antenna, no matter what you do with it, you will still have limited range.

    The IP100H IP radio system from Icom will work as far as your computer network will go. If you connect two buildings through a virtual Private Network (VPN) or some type of commercial network backbone, you can have radio communications in both buildings without the need of a repeater or other special radio technology to make it happen. This isn't limited to connections between nearby buildings. If your computer network spans across cities, across the entire country, or across the entire globe, as long as you have all of the right equipment in place and as long as your local networks in your two offices can communicate with each other, then your IP100H radios can be configured to communicate with each other wherever you can connect an IP device!

    You don't need to buy a license to operate the IP100H radio system. Since it uses your WiFi network, you don't need to go to the FCC to get a repeater license or a simplex license for business radio frequencies. You literally just plug and play. As soon as you get your radios, legally speaking they're good to go. Also, because you can connect all of your offices together just by using VPNs or any existing internet IP technology, there are no repeaters necessary for this system. The bottom line on this one, it's license free, all the way around.

    IP100H-2.jpgThe IP100H is a digital radio, so you get clear sound from anywhere within range. Analog radios are very limited with respect to audio quality, simply because the quality of reception isn't consistent. With analog radios, the further you are from one radio to another, the more background noise you hear and the worse the audible reception gets. With digital radios, it doesn't matter how far apart they are, as long as they are within range, the sound is going to be crystal clear. No white noise, no static. As a digital radio, the audio quality of the IP100H is quite impressive.

    This radio features true one-to-one communications, but it also has encryption for extra security, a feature with possibilities of its own. It uses the same encryption methods that are used over IP networks. Unlike an analog radio transmission, this type of transmission is not something that can be picked up over a regular scanner. The encryption makes it a great product for environments where you don't want to risk one of your employees transmitting sensitive information over the air, such as in a medical office or facility. One-to-one communication is nice, and the the built-in encryption is even better.

    The Icom IP radio offers all of the key features of a high-end digital radio, without the hefty high-end digital price. You can have one-to-one communications, a phone book of all your contacts, groups, completely digital communications, privacy and encryption, text messaging, and more.

    It also provides full duplex operation. Standard analog business radios generally operate as half-duplex devices; they communicate one way at a time. The IP100H is capable of full duplex operation, which means both parties can talk and listen on the radios simultaneously, just like on a telephone. This a huge advantage over the traditional two way radio. You don't have to wait for the other party to finish before you can transmit. You will need a headset to activate this feature on the IP100H, but you can do it. Plus, you don't need a special headset. This works with most existing headsets equipped with a Push-To-Talk (PTT) button. You will need to hold the PTT button down for full-duplex operation, but as long as you hold it, you'll have full duplex communication.

    The radio itself is quite small and lightweight, somewhat on par with a Kenwood TK-3230, PKT-23 or a Motorola CLS Series radio, such as the CLS1110 or CLS1410. It features an internal antenna and a very lightweight lithium battery that's good for around 12-17 hours of use. A small, stubby external antenna is included with the IP100H that can be attached to extend the range even further if needed, without adding much to the overall size and weight of the radio itself.

    It's compact, it's lightweight, but it's also quite durable. This radio is built to MIL-STD-810-C, D, E, and F, and is also IPX7 waterproof, able to withstand submersion in up to one meter of water for up to thirty minutes. Not that it would happen much in a high rise hotel or office building, but if it did, this radio is ready. No doubt about it, the IP100H is built to last for serious business use.

    IP100H-5.pngSetting it up
    The IP100H is essentially an IP network device, so setting up and configuring the radio system can be easily handled by almost anyone in IT. Many businesses with multiple offices spread across different locations will likely have an IT tech on staff or will have someone on call to handle the computer network or resolve network problems. That person should be capable of setting up the Icom system quite easily. You don't need a dedicated communications or radio expert to do that for you. These are typical network devices using Internet Protocol (IP) and, once connected to your computer network, can be configured through any web browser.

    Of course, this isn't just about connecting a radio to a network, this is a complete radio system, so there are a few other pieces involved. The system consists of two basic components: the IP100H radio and the IP1000C controller. A third component, the IP100FS remote communicator, is a software application that allows someone without a radio to communicate with radio users through a PC. Instead of using the radio directly, a user could turn a PC into a radio that talks through the system. It's an option, and a very cool one at that, but it's not required.

    The IP1000C controller
    The IP1000C controller is both the heart and brain of the Icom IP radio system. It can be compared to the router on a computer network, which is essentially what it is. This hardware device connects directly to your network and all of the communications between the IP radios are routed through it. When someone talks into an IP100H radio, that transmission is picked up by the wireless router or an access point on the network and goes to the controller, which then routes it out to the IP addresses of all the other IP100H radios that are connected to the network. The configuration for all of the radios is stored on the controller and you connect to this controller through a web browser to configure all of your radios.

    There are two versions of the IP1000C controller. One version, the IP1000C-20, supports up to 20 radios, another version, the IP1000C-100, supports up to 100 radios. The entire system is scalable. Need more radios? Add more controllers. It can grow right along with your business.

    Cost advantages and ROI
    What about the costs of an IP radio system? How do they compare to the costs of traditional two way radios? What is the Return On Investment, or is there one at all?

    Like everything else, there are costs to setting up an IP based radio system, and there are some cost advantages as well. Some of the advantages are immediately obvious, so we'll cover those first.

    For starters, you don't need any expensive service monitors and there are no residual costs like there are with cell phones and other types of services. RoIP even trumps VoIP in that respect, since a lot of Voice over IP systems are provided by third party companies that install them and maintain the VoIP service for a residual or monthly fee.

    Not only does the IP radio system eliminate the monthly fee, it's also easy to grow and expand, limited only by your wi-fi coverage and your business needs. Each radio only uses 150kbps to transmit, so bandwidth consumption across the network is very low. Plus, you don't need a radio guy to add additional radios to your fleet. If you decide that you need to add a new radio, whomever handles your computer network is more than likely quite capable of adding one to this system without even breaking a virtual sweat. It's designed for that.

    In addition, the Icom IP100H is completely license free. That's right, no license is required to operate these radios, which is an instant savings and a load off your mind right there.

    Of course, there is an initial cost. The advertised MSRP is $500 for each IP100H radio, and the controller is advertised at $1665.00 MSRP. We're selling it for considerably less, however we can't give the exact prices. Icom will not allow dealers to advertise the actual price of Icom digital products such as the IP radio system, therefore we have to price them at the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Contact us for the actual price and you will be happy you did.

    The IP100H may not be cheap at full MSRP, but compared to other digital radios, it's still not bad. Remember, the IP100H is a digital quality radio with digital performance and features, so when you consider its rank and feature set against other, stand alone digital radios with comparable qualities, one can't really compare it to the price of a typical analog radio at all.

    Consider the other costs of a stand-alone system as well, whether digital or analog. Most applications that extending the range to even attempt Most applications comparable to the abilities of the IP100H system that require repeaters, which cost thousands of dollars on their own. A repeater also needs to be installed, running the cable, installing the antennas, getting everything set up and tested, it all has to be done before that repeater can get on the air. Most likely the work will be outsourced to third parties, and they're going to charge you a lot for that. Oh, and don't forget the FCC license. Your repeater will need one for each business frequency used.

    All of that is eliminated with the IP radio system. As mentioned earlier, it uses your existing computer network, and because it is an IP based system, it can be installed by any IT person who already manages or maintains it. This is right in their niche, and it's an easy system to set up.

    Considering all of the costs, you're likely to come out way ahead with the IP100H system. Over time you're going to save money, but considering the initial purchase, installation costs and license fees associated with a traditional analog or digital repeater based radio system, chances are you will experience an almost immediate cost savings and Return on Investment with the Icom IP radios.

    Integration with existing radios
    This all sounds great if you are setting up your first fleet of radios for your operation or organization, but what if you already have radios? Is the IP100H compatible with them or will you have to ditch all of your radios and start over?

    This is a different type of radio system, so compatibility will be an issue. If you already have analog or digital radios, they aren't going to talk with the IP100H right out of the box. However, there is a solution. It's the Icom VE-PG3. While it looks very similar to the IP 1000C controller, it's performs a radically different function. The VE-PG3 enables any device on your network to talk to any other device. If you already have an existing fleet of analog or digital radios, The VE-PG3 allows them to connect with the IP radio network and communicate with the IP100H radios.

    But it gets even better. We're not just talking about radios. We're talking about any communications device. With the VE-PG3, you can interconnect between IP based (VoIP) phones, analog telephones and cell phones. A telephone can dial into your radio system, a radio user can initiate phone calls, digital and analog radios can communicate with each other, and site-to-multisite communications can be enabled. It's not an inexpensive add-on, to be sure, but it's a very powerful one, and if you need that interoperability, it can be of immeasurable value to your entire communications network.

    Consider the many advantages of an IP based Radio such as the Icom IP100H. Range is only limited to the WiFi coverage and can easily be expanded to grow as you need. It offers true digital sound, it's small, lightweight and super durable. It offers one to one communication, private and encrypted communications and full duplex operation. It's easy to set up by almost anyone familiar with typical networking devices and offers central configuration through a web browser. The cost is comparable to a low-end digital radio system, lower than many analog and digital repeater systems and it can be integrated with existing systems using the Icom VE-PG3. Best of all, no license is required.

    Imagine the possibilities.

    To experience a real world demonstration of the IP100H Advanced IP Radio System in action, watch this short video produced by Icom at Buy Two Way Radios or on our YouTube channel. Once you see it in actual operation, you'll have a better idea of what its all about and how it can work for your business or organization.

    For an in-depth discussion, about this radio, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Podcast episode TWRS-82 - The Icom IP100H Advanced Radio System.

  • Icom Resolves F1000/F2000 Battery Issue

    Recently we reported an issue with the Icom BP279 battery pack used in the new F1000 and F2000 series business radios. Icom took this issue very seriously, and so did we, halting sales of the radios and the battery pack until the issue was resolved.

    We now have good news! We are happy to report that Icom resolved the issue with the BP279 battery pack and the new, improved version is now shipping. We received the new battery packs today and resumed sales of the F1000/F2000 series and the battery on our site for immediate delivery from our warehouse.

    Icom requests all customers who have the old BP279 battery pack to stop using it and return it immediately for replacement by Icom free of charge. If you purchased the radios from Buy Two Way Radios, you don't need to do anything. We will take the initiative and automatically ship the new replacement battery to you with a return shipping label to return the old one.

    As we mentioned in our previous announcement, we will ship them to your original shipping address provided to us when you placed your order. If you need your replacement batteries shipped to another address, please contact us. You can reach us by e-mail, phone, or through our online chat.

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