Impres XE Remote MicSo you are probably used to seeing your local law enforcement officers wear a remote speaker mic on their shoulder. It’s identifiable, something that seems to be part of their uniform. But did you know many other industries use these devices too? Just to name a few: manufacturing, amusement, sporting and entertainment venues all take advantage of the convenience of the remote microphone. Remote mics (aka lapel or shoulder mics) can be used anywhere two-way radios are used. They move the convenience of your radio on your lapel.

You can find a remote mic for most types of commercial two-way radios. Mics vary in features with some including submersible, windporting, display screens, antennas, emergency buttons, audio jacks for earpieces, coiled or straight cords. For basic business two-way radios a remote mic may simply have a speaker, microphone, coiled cord, lapel clip, and a push to talk button.  Everything you need to have the convenience of your radio near your head, where you an both talk and listen.

Ever seem like you are constantly taking your radio off your hip to talk? Maybe a remote mic is right for you!

~cl

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Public Safety Mic

We have a great deal this month for our public safety radio users. Select remote speaker mics (RSMs) are on sale. Top of the line NNTN8203 remote mic for the APX P25 radios is available in black, green or yellow. Many of our fire department customers like the high visibility green mic. The XE RSM features a strobe light that activates when the emergency button is pressed, casting light up to 10 feet in thick smoke. The RSM is rated IP68 submersible and has a unique water-draining speaker design. Here’s what Motorola says about it:

The XE RSM is the first accessory from Motorola with dual microphones that helps suppress interfering background noise. It suppresses noise so effectively, you can be heard in some of the loudest environments–over pumper trucks, crowd noise and wailing sirens. A large speaker delivers audio that is 50% louder and clearer than our existing XTS RSMs. As shown, the high-visibility, bright green XE RSM features an asymmetrical shape to help you find the controls without looking, even while wearing bulky gloves. It has a large push-to-talk button and an extra-large emergency button that are both easy to locate, but shielded so they’’re not set off accidentally when running, crawling or climbing. Easily accessible programmable buttons and a volume switch that ramps up and down make the microphone intuitive to use even in the most demanding conditions. A large d-ring and sturdy clamping clip ensure your mic stays attached to fire personnel’s turnout gear.

RMN5038 Remote MicAlso available, the Motorola RMN5038 RSM with emergency button for the XTS series of handheld radios is on sale.

Here’s what Motorola has to say about this mic: This microphone offers high/low volume control and has a 3.5mm audio jack on the microphone head. Emergency activation from the RSM is delayed until programmed Mandown Pre-alert and Post-alert delays elapse. Depending on radio model, factory defaults or previous programming could set the delay times for as long as 8 to 120 seconds.

Our radio repair center offers after-warranty repair on Motorola and other brands of radios including the XTS series radios.

AutumnRoadCharging radio batteries can become a problem when away from the office. We’ve seen clients improvise all kinds of devices to charge their radios when away from their home/office. Being this close to Halloween, we can tell you, several of these jury-rigged devices were downright scary! Today, we received good news from Motorola, they will be offering a new Travel Charger for the CP200d and PR400 family of radios.Travel Charger

While some models have had a travel charger available, the CP200 family of radios did not. The new PMLN7089 Travel Charger includes a single unit charging tray, mounting bracket, and cord w/cig. lighter adapter. We expect it will look very similar to this existing Travel Charger for the Mototrbo XPR family of radios.

While we still suggest users only put their radio on the charger overnight (think of it as putting your radio to bed), there are still times where a charger in a vehicle would be very handy. This little device will take care of that need.

Happy Autumn!
~cl

wet radio rescue…

12 May, 2014

Wet Electronic Device We’ve found a new innovative product available to assist in saving a wet 2-way radio or cell phone. It’s the EVAP Rescue Pouch. The manufacturer states it is ” 700% more effective at removing moisture than rice. EVAP contains a unique drying agent that safely removes the moisture from sensitive electronics preventing damage while restoring use — fast!” The kit consists of a specialized ziplock pouch with moisture indicator, 2 large packets of drying agent, and easy instructions. The price of $15.25 each is less than we expected, considering most smartphone related items start at $29.99.EVAP Rescue Pouch

We received our first one in to look at and we were impressed. It comes sealed to keep moisture prior to use away from the special drying agent. The instructions are simple and concise. The bag is big enough for most modern 2-way radios or a cell phone. (Size:  5.196″W x 6.299″H) In the event your device is too large for the bag supplied you could still use the kit by putting your item in the pouch and then sealing it in a large ziplock bag. The handy moisture indicate on the bag will tell you when it is done in 6-24 hours.

Here at the radio repair facility we see radios coming in for repair daily which have liquid damage. The keep to repairability is getting the device dry and getting it shipped to us as soon as possible. With this new EVAP Rescue Pouch you could even ship it to us pouch and all. It could be drying out on the way here. Such a neat idea we wish we’d came up with it ourselves!

We spoke tips for wet radios in this previous blog post.

~cl

 

special requests…

16 Apr, 2014

Custom BPR40Recently we had a request from a great customer in Washington. Angela had seen a red BPR40 radio we had customized for her food warehouse employer. She asked if we could do one in another color for her. The answer was “Yes”.  Our radio service center is able to take a basic black new radio and transform it to another color. What you see pictured here is Angela’s new radio. We think the BPR40 looks pretty spiffy in Blue!

Some businesses choose to do this for radios which have a specific purpose or use. It makes the radio quickly recognizable, and alleviates workers from misplacing radios intended for a special purpose. One of our clients has red radios for emergencies in their forklift battery changing area. It is quickly spotted if a radio is taken from the area. Some land surveyors have brightly colored radios to help them find the radios if dropped while surveying.  Customized colors are only available for some radio models. Call or email us if you want more information about costs and lead times.

Antenna ID Bands shown in colors available.

Antenna ID Bands shown in colors available.

Another helpful item to differentiate radio work groups are Antenna ID Bands which are available 10-packs. This is an inexpensive, quick and easy way to identify where a radio belongs. These bands are available in a variety of colors and can be easily placed on your existing radio antenna.

~cl

Glue damaged radio arriving at the repair facility.

Glue damaged radio arriving at the repair facility.

Sometimes a well meaning radio user will use a superglue like adhesive to glue items to their radio, or even attempt to fix an internal component. As nice as we can, we’d like to say… please do not do this. Why? you might ask… When a radio comes in for repair the electronics technician repairing the radio utilizes the radio’s accessory jack to connect his test equipment. If glue has been used to attach the remote mic or other audio device to the accessory jack then the two must be broken apart. This generally causes damage to both devices. This can be an unnecessary expense to the customer. As you can see in the picture both the radio housing and the accessory’s plug were damaged getting the two apart.

On the CP200 style radio a simple solution is to use an audio accessory retainer. This is a device that screws onto the side of the radio to hold the plug in place. On HT750 and other HT Pro Series radios this screw on device is built into the accessories. On many other radio models which do not have this feature the accessory’s plug should fit tightly enough in the jack to keep the plug in place. (If not your radio likely needs a new jack.)

Internally you should never use glue or solvents on the component board of the radio. Superglue-like adhesives are an explosive/fire danger to a technician with a soldering iron. When touched with a hot iron components can actually be blown off the board causing a danger to the eyes, face and hands of the repair technician. Our techs are trained to watch for these types of substances, however, with the substance being clear it is sometimes hard to detect. So please keep this in mind the next time you or a well-intentioned employee thinks to glue something to a radio. Just say no! It will save you an unnecessary expense during your radio repair.

~cl

 

CP200d_frontThe newest radio to come along is the Motorola CP200d. It is part of the widely touted MOTOTRBO digital/analog line of radios. Trbo radios are a great transitional radio into the digital world. You can add them into your fleet as an analog radio to match your existing radios, and then one day when you are ready they can be upgraded or reprogrammed to be digital. Or even be digital or analog on a per channel basis. Much like the existing CP200 radio, the “d” model is available in either VHF or UHF and has 16 channels.

The CP200d is available from Motorola Channel Partners (a fancy way of saying authorized dealers) in two versions:
1. Analog only model, upgradeable later to digital (upgrade MSRP $83).
2. Digital/Analog model. Straight out of the box the radio has both features.

The advantages of digital are much like you would have experience when changing to a digital cellphone a few years ago, 40% longer battery life, clearer transmissions, and a small to moderate increase in range. Good news is the radio uses the same batteries and chargers as the standard CP200. Some audio accessories will be backwards compatible such as the PMMN4013 remote speaker mic. Many other audio accessories are available for the digital models. Watch for the digital symbol to be on the accessory to insure good functionality with the digital radio.

The analog model is priced pretty much the same as the standard longstanding CP200 radio. The digital version of the CP200d is $50 higher. Also new on the scene are the CM200d, CM300d, and XPR2500d mobiles.

At this time the standard CP200 you have known for several years is still available, and we continue to repair this model in our Radio Repair Center for a flat rate repair of $85.

Have a great 2014!
cl

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