Lisa MacGillivray

Lisa MacGillivray is Marketing Director at Chicago Communications.

Recent Posts

Must-Have Apps for Digital Two-Way Radios

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Digital two-way radios are, in and of themselves, powerful communications tools, and the right set of applications tailored to meet your specific needs can make them even more indispensable.

As the number of developers continues to grow, the options for applications are seemingly endless and provide everything from alarm management to dispatching to text messaging.

With the diversity of options in mind, here is an overview of must-have applications for digital two-way radios.

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Tags: MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios

Firefighter Equipment Trends in Communications and Beyond

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Firefighter equipment has come a long way since the days when leather helmets and uniforms were the most durable options available, and portable radios for firefighters were either unheard of or few and far between.

Today, technology and data are driving rapid change, from GPS-enabled gear to specialized two-way radios that allow personnel to communicate in the toughest – and loudest – conditions. 

As advancements continue, here are several predictions for firefighter equipment trends in communications and beyond, with a focus on what we’ll see more of.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

Will a Wifi Range Extender Help?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

If slow or spotty WiFi caused by poor connectivity is plaguing your office or building, a WiFi range extender could be just what the doctor ordered.

An extender will do just what you’d expect – extend the range of your WiFi signal. It will improve connection stability and health for computers and other devices throughout a desired coverage area, eliminating dreaded dead zones.

Will a WiFi range extender help in your situation? Take these steps to determine the answer to that question.

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Tags: Technology, Wireless Networking

How to Boost WiFi Signal In Your Building

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Poor connectivity can make it feel as if your entire operation is in slow motion, so much so that figuring out how to boost WiFi signal feels like a one-way ticket to the fast track.

There are a range of effective ways to boost your signal, from quick fixes to hardware upgrades and range extenders.

Depending on your issue, here are some smart options for how to boost the WiFi signal in your building.

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Tags: Technology, Wireless Networking

What Is Push to Talk and Do You Need It?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Push to talk is an important feature of two-way radios and other communications equipment. Also called "press to transmit", it enables the operator to start communications with another individual or with his or her team at the push of a button.

The term has its origin in the early history of two-way radio communication, where the PTT button physically engaged the operating mechanism of the handheld two-way radio transmitter.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Technology, Digital Two-Way Radios, Push to Talk

The Critical Role of the Dispatch Center for First Responders

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

First responders are life savers and providers of help in often dangerous situations. So it's easy to think of them as operating on their own or just with a partner. 

In reality, the dispatch center communicating with a first responder connects them to a whole team of other individuals and systems that are critical to doing their job. When first responders speak to a dispatch center with their mobile or two-way radios, they're bringing a whole public safety team with them.

When police, emergency medical, and fire units communicate with each other, the various channels of communication technology need to be centralized so that a single trained professional can follow protocols and deploy the right resources to handle the specific emergency at hand.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

Must-Have Features in a Firefighter Radio

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The secret to finding the perfect firefighter radio is simple: Shop for features first. Given the budget concerns facing public safety, the inclination is to shop for what you think the department can afford rather than what’s required.

But what will serve you best in the long run is to select your two-way radios by functionality, not price. A high-quality device will carry a larger price tag but will also deliver more of what firefighters need most. More expensive radios also have longer lifespans and require less maintenance, costing less in the long run.

Let’s take a look at some must-have features in a firefighter radio.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

How the Fire Helmet Camera Has Improved Firefighter Working Conditions

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

First responders such as law enforcement and paramedics have always relied on modern communications technology to carry out their day-to-day duties. In recent years, upgrades have been occurring rapidly, with initiatives such as FirstNet creating more of a technology imperative. Departments are finding ways to integrate the technology they need even in the context of budget constraints facing public safety communications.

Firefighters, however, have been somewhat slower to adopt cutting-edge technology, partly as a result of the specific conditions under which firefighter equipment needs to function.

This has been changing, however, and one of the newer pieces of equipment designed for the firefighting job is the fire helmet camera. Fire and rescue helmets are essential safety equipment and the addition of cameras opens new possibilities to fire departments on how to improve the safety and effectiveness of their personnel.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

Do You Need a Distributed Antenna System or a Signal Booster?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

If you’re battling cell phone dead zones or unreliable two-way radio coverage across your building, facility or campus, chances are the solutions you’re weighing include a distributed antenna system or a signal booster.

Both of these in-building connectivity solutions have their pros and cons, and here we’ll take a closer look at the strengths and limitations of both to help you decide whether you need a DAS or a signal booster.

As you’re considering your options, here are some questions to keep in mind. To learn how distributed antenna systems work, check out this video.

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Tags: Wireless Networking, Distributed Antenna System

Motorola Two-way Radios: MOTOTRBO XPR 7550e Enabled, Capable, & Legacy

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, May 15, 2017

It probably seems as if Motorola two-way radios are constantly evolving, and gaining new features and functionality every time you turn around ­– and that’s because they are! (In fact, Motorola has had a key role in the evolution of two-way radio communication since the very beginning.)

Particularly as different models add new options, it can be helpful to look at Motorola radios side-by-side to compare their attributes and features, from push to talk to text messaging.

For now, let’s take a closer look at three models of Motorola two-way radios: the MOTOTRBO XPR 7550e Enabled, the XPR 7550e Capable, and XPR 7550.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios