Roger That: A Beginner's Guide to Radio Lingo

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, July 3, 2017

Have you ever been communicating over two-way digital radio and heard radio lingo that had you scratching your head?

Say you finished saying something important and the person you were speaking to responded "10-4," or "Roger that." Maybe they even replied with a "Sure, what's your 20?" when you talked about meeting up.

These phrases are examples of short-hand radio lingo that's been in place for decades, all designed to create succinct and crystal clear communications for radio users. Unfortunately, things aren't that clear when you aren't familiar with the terminology. 

To help you understand some of the most popular radio lingo used today, we broke it down here. Over. 
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Tags: Two Way Radios, FAQ, History, Digital Two-Way Radios

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

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

How to Decide Which of the Two-Way Radio Frequencies You Need

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When you’re shopping for radios for your business, campus or agency, there are plenty of acronyms, numbers and lingo to keep track of, and that includes two-way radio frequencies: UHF or VHF.

Deciding which frequency you need is one of the first steps you should take when you’re upgrading, replacing or supplementing an existing fleet of two-way radios or choosing a handheld two-way radio for your team to use for the first time.

Let’s take a closer look at how to decide which of the two-way radio frequencies you need.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Digital Two-Way Radios

Choosing the Right Handheld Two-Way Radio

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shopping for a handheld two-way radio is a little like shopping for a car: There are plenty of models to choose from, the number of features increases with price, and going with a dealer you trust can be as important as what you buy.

To help you make the most informed decision for your agency, campus or team, here are some tips for choosing the right handheld two-way radio.

Don’t Get Blinded by Sticker Shock

When you start looking at two-way radios, put aside your price concerns and shop for what you need. Because if you shop solely on price, you’ll end up spending more in the long run on a product that doesn’t adequately address your communications issues. This includes understanding which of the radio frequencies to use as well as specific two-way radio features, such as push to talk, what two-way radio range you need, and whether they're needed for your line of work.

Solid, high-quality, dependable two way radios are more expensive and: they last longer, require less maintenance and have access to the most sophisticated features and functionality. Higher quality solutions are more likely to meet your two-way radio communication needs and provide scalability for growth in the future. 

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Tags: Two Way Radios

Everything You Need to Know About Two-Way Radios

Posted by Tom Treichler

Monday, April 10, 2017

Two-way radios, when deployed correctly, can transform a business, campus, industry or agency. With this one solution, alone or in combination with applications and accessories, you have the opportunity to solve countless communications and safety problems and address issues with collaboration and productivity.

In my 38 years working with radios, I’ve found that the keys to unlocking radios’ potential is to choose carefully, to have strictly followed maintenance and training plans in place, and to supplement with applications and accessories. Users across the spectrum will attest that for frontline workers, the ability to quickly communicate from one to many is just the beginning of what radios can do. 

If you’re shopping for devices for the first time or considering an upgrade to your fleet, here is everything you need to know about two-way radios.

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

Evolution of Two-Way Radio Communication

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


To fully appreciate how far two way radio communication has come, it's fascinating to take a look at where it started. From the initial discovery of “wireless waves” in 1886 to today’s technology that can turn any mobile device or computer into a radio, it’s been a long, winding and increasingly sophisticated road.

And it all starts with German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, who didn’t think his wireless discovery would go anywhere.

Here's a brief history lesson into the evolution of two-way radios.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, History

Forget Cell Phones: 3 Replacements Your Agency Needs to Embrace

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

When we talk about cell phone replacements, we don’t mean replacing the cell phone whose screen just cracked, whose battery mysteriously stopped charging or whose model was recalled because it kept catching fire. We mean cell phone replacements that will allow your agency to stop relying on cell phones for your vital communications once and for all.

For consumers, cell phones are king, and for good reason. They offer the perfect mix of features and functionality to meet people’s personal needs. But consumer-grade cell phones for agencies? Forget it.

Here’s a rundown of 3 replacements your agency needs to embrace.

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

The Biggest Two-Way Radio Problem, And How You Can Fix It

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, November 14, 2016

The biggest two-way radio problem isn’t related to the devices themselves: it’s all about the user, more specifically a lack of proper user training. Too many businesses, campuses and agencies think that simply outfitting their staff with radios will solve their communications issues, and they skip an important preparation step.

While it’s true that two-way radios are an excellent wireless communications solution for a range of circumstances, just getting the devices isn’t enough. Staff – even staff who use the radios infrequently -- need to be trained, with time for regular refresher courses.

By working with your experienced two-way radio dealer, you can come up with training that makes sense for you and your team. Here is our insight into the biggest two-way radio problem, and how you can fix it:

Make sure all relevant staff are trained

If you already have staff who are using radios and you’re looking to expand your deployment, it can be easy to forget that not everyone knows how to use them. Make training a mandatory requirement for staff who are getting a radio.

All new users should get trained not just in how to handle the devices but in best practices for communicating with them, including things like keeping their sentences short. You should also remind them that radios aren’t like cell phones in that their conversations won’t always be private.   

Also don’t’ leave out users who will be given radios during an emergency situation but who don’t use them regularly. When seconds count and communication is key, you don’t want to lose valuable time because an inexperienced user is fumbling with their radio.

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

Where Will Two-Way Radios Be One Year From Now?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Two-way radios have come a long way since their first use in public safety decades ago, and with wireless communications technology evolving more rapidly all the time, it’s exciting to think about where radios will be even one year from now.

Interoperability and convergence continue to drive the biggest trends for two-way radios, and with more industry-specific functionality being offered all the time, you can imagine that even more kinds of users will embrace two-way radios over smartphones or other devices.

Peering into our crystal ball, here are some educated guesses about where two-way radios will be one year from now.

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