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New Souper Bowl Traditions

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

The Super Bowl is a lot like Thanksgiving…

- a lot of people crowded into a room with too much food.

Only now, we are crowded around a coffee table in front of the TV instead of the dining room.   There is  the occasional outburst of joy or anger directly related to just how long everyone has been in each other’s company.  And when it is over, someone will have to take out the mountains of trash.

We spend on average $120 on food for Super Bowl Sunday – about the same as a Thanksgiving dinner.  Usually someone has a traditional recipe that they prepare for the event whether it is Aunt Martha’s green bean casserole at your Thanksgiving table or Bubba’s “burn the buds off your tongue” scorchin’ chili for Super Bowl Sunday. logo New Souper Bowl Traditions

Maybe the best new trend that we have seen with the Super Bowl is turning  it into a an opportunity to give. An elementary school in our area is hosting the Souper Bowl, where they hold a canned food drive for a local food pantry. What a great way to turn a media, marketing frenzy into something actually worthwhile. If you are having a large crowd to your house to celebrate the final football game of the season, why not ask for canned food or monetary donations for your local charity. Better yet, turn it into a competition between the teams playing in the game that year. Two boxes, one for each team and let the winning team take the collection to their favorite charity. No matter who is playing in the game, this is a trend that should become a tradition.

Just like Thanksgiving day, at the end of the festivities,  we’ll all go home overfed. Why not turn this into an opportunity to bless those less fortunate in your community?

Have you heard of any other unique ways to help fill the food pantries in your neighborhood?

Size Does Matter

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

Downsizing your Two-Way Radios

When it comes to your hand held radio design, size definitely matters.

But, not only size, the actual design and structure of the radio can be the most important factor in your decision on what to buy. Recent trends in two-way radios show that significant strides have been made in reducing the the size of the devices. As we become more and more accustomed to the ever-decreasing size of our cell phones and laptops, it is only natural that we would desire the same with our hand-held radios. Whether it’s for safety reasons or just convenience, smaller tends to be a more desirable attribute. Less bulk means less weight and if you are carrying the radio for hours on end that can be a big bonus.

Less is More

On the whole, consumers are constantly looking to improve their situation either through performance or convenience. And, where two-way radio design is concerned, the smaller trend is a big seller. Advancements are being made in all areas of technology, including the materials used to build the actual hand set.

Also, smaller components are being created to supply the functionality and features of the radio. We can expect to see a more sleek radio emerging.

There are over 10 million radio terminals produced a year and an increasing demand for the any time – any where communication you only get from a two-way radio.

Looks like the only thing decreasing here is the size.

5 Keys to Better Radio Communications

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

Unlock the door to better radio purchases

There are a lot of criteria that can be used when evaluating and choosing two-way radios for your organization. And, I am sure that they are all relevant.

But, when we talk with our customers and prospective customers, we have noticed five key areas that cause people to look for alternatives. Given that, we believe that the market is defining the priority list when considering how you will communicate with others.

We have listed the key areas below and have also provided a standard to use when measuring just how well the devices you are looking at fare.

Two-way Radio Reliability

It seems simple enough, but we hear this more than any other issue. Quality matters. Dependability matters. The radios need to function for staff to be at full operational effectiveness and for security to be at its highest.

Measurement: Has your radio endured the stringent FCC testing for:

1. low/high pressure

2. low/high temperature

3. temperature shock

4. solar radiation

5. rain

6. fog

7. humidity

8. dust vibration

9. shock

You should expect to see a MIL SPEC 810 C, D, E and F rating for all around durability and reliability.

Handheld Radio Size & Weight

Large, heavy radios are cumbersome and impede productivity. They are also more likely to be damaged through drop.

Staff members simply don’t want to carry them. They have enough responsibility without having to tote around a handheld radio with a brick’ s worth of weight and size. It is called “handheld” after all.

When evaluating the “brick” factor, consider these areas:

1. Housing. The radio units should be housed in micro-casing that is made of high-quality, lightweight polycarbonate. This is the same stuff that football helmets are made of.

2. Dimensions. For a typical 4″ X 2″ X 1.3″ radio, you should expect a weight around 8.5 oz.

Battery Life

Car manufacturers make a ton of money off of after-market sales. You just have to imagine that by today’s technology, they could make components that would last forever. But, that would kill the service business.

It’s the same thing with batteries in portable radios.

The battery must cover your entire work cycle. To bring it closer to home, how many of you see your cell phones run out of life only to leave you running for the wall or car charger?

When public safety is the concern, this issue is greatly magnified.

The standard battery for the majority of radios will last for about an 8 hour day.

To maximize battery life, they must be made out of Lithium Ion. Your expectation is 20 hours of use between charges.

Emergencies don’t work 9-5.

Privacy

In the day of decreasing privacy, it is comforting to know that radio technology actually can be secure.  It is mandatory that nearby entities communicating on the same frequency as you be blocked from “cross-talk”.

We can’t have colorfully speaking construction workers’ radios traffic blaring over a first grade teacher’s radio during class.

Privacy is increased when your radios have:

1. Both CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) & DCS (Digital-Coded Squelch)

2. Inversion Scrambling to prevent others from eaves dropping your communications.

Power Output

Range is a good thing. We want to cover as broad an area as possible, especially with fewer staff resources carrying more radios.

The higher your effective radiated power of a unity, the more area that your unit will cover. This is a big cost saver.

To maximize coverage area, see if your units boast the most power permissible per the FCC; 4 watts for UHF (ultra high frequency) and 5 watts VHF (Very High Frequency)

As you evaluate different radios, consider these keys. It will save you time and money, and you will not voice nearly the amount of headaches and complaints from your staff.

And, we will have a big leg up on the auto industry.

Analog vs. Digital: Is the grass greener on the other side?

Posted on Jan 19, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

golfcourse1 Analog vs. Digital: Is the grass greener on the other side?

Use of mobile radios on golf courses and at resort facilities has been a necessity for years now. The functionality and versatility of two way radios has become irreplaceable for the challenges faced in the industry. So that being settled, what is all the hype about digital?

What’s the buzz all about?

Literally, digital is about the buzz. Digital on a two-way radio is the equivalent to HD on your television. The advent of digital programming is monumental. Even the sound in HD is better. The same is true for radios.

However, HD in radio communications is not pervasive – yet. And, this can create buying confusion. “Do I buy a new radio now or wait? Do I get an analog radio or do I spend the extra bucks and get one of those dual radios?”

Our position is that you consider the fact that some of the radio technologies available today are akin to buying an HD television many years ago. A standard 40″ HD TV once cost more than $8,000, and you needed a converter box.

Given the extra expense of digital radios it becomes even more important to focus on the priorities surrounding your particular circumstances. Identify what is most important and prioritize your budget around that.

You will be completely digital one day.

The question is when.

Ice Storm 2012?

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

An unseasonably mild winter so far may have left you thinking that old man winter is passing us by this year, but research in weather trends tell us otherwise.

icestorm 300x221 Ice Storm 2012?

According to both official and unofficial forecasters, we should expect to see the extreme conditions we have experienced in the last five years to continue. Even the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting one of the harshest winters on record.  With road closures, power outages and disrupted communications all apart of the scene in an extreme weather event, planning and preparation are the key to getting through the season with minimal down time.

Planning for the Expected

This is the easy part, thinking through your daily dependencies, power is probably the most significant. Have you ever lost the power to your home and still tried to turn the lights on in every room you enter? Not having your Kourig machine make your favorite flavor of coffee in the morning pales in comparison to losing power if you work in an industry that makes you responsible for the safety and well being of others. Even if you have a generator that will kick in to give you light fairly quickly, communication with others is the reassurance that is needed in those first minutes. Murphy would suggest that your telecom system will certainly go down. What is your fallback? Your two way radio or megaphone will become your lifeline to those outside of ear shot. Even still, you need to think about battery backups for extended periods of power outage.

Preparing for the Inevitable

Something that you plan on working may not work. That is why it is so important to do a walk through periodically, when things are working. You test your smoke alarms every three to six months. Why not take that time to test your back up batteries for radios and megaphones at the same time? Anything that your have singled out as critical in a power outage should be tested regularly on an ongoing basis.

If you are concerned about your communications being ready, give us a call today at 800-344-8140.

 

One Year to Go on Narrowbanding

Posted on Jan 4, 2012 in Czarisms | 0 comments

Time is ticking…out

two way radios and narrobanding One Year to Go on NarrowbandingIn just over a year, public safety and business industrial mobile radios that operate in the 150-512 Mhz bands are going to see their sunset of the 25 kHz technology.

If you use these radios, they have to go. The FCC threatens “admonishment” (don’t we call that shame?), fines or the loss of your license.

Contact or call us to help you. (more…)

3 Considerations when choosing Two-Way Communications

Posted on Dec 27, 2011 in Czarisms | 0 comments

When Lives Depend On It!

This is the thing no one talks about  until after the fact. There is case upon documented case of technology failure or just under performing that results in lost lives. At the end of it all, when technology works, all is well, but some times it just doesn’t. The communications device utilized can be the determining factor between life and death. (more…)

Public Safety Czar Launches its New Website

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 in Czarisms | 0 comments

We are delighted to go live with our new website. This will make buying two-way radios, audio accessories and more a whole lot easier.

Please let us know about your experience with the new site and provide any thoughts on how we can improve your shopping experience.

Thank you!

Steve Markland
President, PSC

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