adventurous …

17 Jun, 2013

Motorola Radio RepairOur normal day is a life of adventure, the thing most radios only dream about.  Our company ad says: “Learn the ropes of rock climbing from our expert staff. Soar through the air with one of our professional trapeze artists. Trek through the woods on a mountain bike. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to zoom through the trees on one of our many zip lines. Your next adventure is ready and waiting.”  Me and my buddies are a pretty extreme sport crowd. We’re livin’ the dream! Nothing like zipping through the tree canopy riding on the hip of one of the adventurers. Ah… this is the life!

So here we were on a fine Summer afternoon hangin’ out with the cool crowd at the resort, zippin’ along through the trees, when suddenly my clip became dislodged from my guide’s belt and I began to tumble end over end to the floor of the forest. Luck for me the guide noted approximately where he had dropped me. A group of fellow guides on the ground swiftly began searching for me among the green vegetation. I waited staring up at the blue sky peaking through the tall branches.  Occasionally I would hear them talk into their radio to see if they could hear my speaker respond. My ability to receive transmissions and speak out must have been quieted by the fall. All I could manage was a distorted mumble. So every opportunity I had I would mumble.  Eventually, using their keen tracking skills they located me in my soft cushion of grass.

When it was discovered I was mumbling, they must have thought I had a concussion, and they took me to the office. I sat there on desk in a box with several other radios listing to the phone calls, office chitchat, and a noisy copy machine. I longed for the outdoors. I decided… the office was boring. Or maybe it is just boring to a radio of adventure like myself. I just wasn’t cut out to be an office radio.

Soon I overhear them talking about me and some others needing to go to a radio repair facility. By the next morning we were in a box, riding in a truck on our way to Missouri. One of the other radios had been there before, and said it will take about 3 days in the dark to get there. We might as well get some rest. Well sleeping worked for a while, then I was wide awake. As we passed through cities we could occasionally hear someone talking on their two-way radio through our receivers that were left turned on. The journey seemed longer since it was in the dark.

Then on day three we arrived at the repair facility. The lights were bright when the box was first opened. A friendly girl with a nice voice took me out of the box and put me in a brightly colored bin with the others from the resort. She read the note the guide had written and taped to me. She spoke out loud and said “this one has poor receive”, as she admired my customized exterior.

The guide who uses me most had decorated me with checkered flag duct tape. I figured it was because he and I together are so fast at all the sports. No team can zipline as fast as us, or climb the rock mountain so quickly. We don’t have race cars at the resort, but if we did, we would likely be among the fastest on the track. Some of the others in my group also had some customization. A radio nicknamed Green had a simple piece of green tape around his antenna, and another one had blue and white racing stripes. You could tell we were not the office radios, we are the extreme sport radios.

At the repair center we could feel the looks of the other radios as they admired our sporty look. While some radios had their company name emblazened on them, or a fruit sticker on their front, we were like a flashy sports car ready for the race. Our bin made its way through the repair facility and on to the technicians bench. He took great care in returning us to working order. Soon I will be headed back to Connecticut ready for my life of adventure. I’m dreamin’ now about zippin’ through those trees, climbing the rocks, can’t wait to be home.

~cl

Advertisements

in the dark

6 Mar, 2013

Here I am, all alone in a box, rattling along on my way to the Radio Repair Center. John, my buddy, who uses me everyday is on vacation for a week. And what does he do? He packs me in a box and sends me on my way. I know I’m a little older now. My body has a few nicks and scratches. I am sometimes a little hard of hearing too. John thinks I need a tune-up. This box sure is dark, and it seems I’ve been in here for a few days. First on a truck, then a conveyor belt, then another truck. Lots of jiggling and jostling.Light Bulb

First moment of light comes into the box, and here is a the friendly face of the Radio Check-In person. She examines me and puts me in a bright yellow tub to ride through the repair facility. As I look around, I see lots of yellow tubs with other radios riding like little soldiers standing up in a row. Some look old, some look young. As I wait my turn in line night falls.

When morning comes the technician takes me to his bench. The bench is full of tools, gadgets, and electronic test equipment. He swiftly removes my outer housing and looks at my component board. His computer softly plays music in the background as he replaces several parts on my component board. That soldering iron can be pretty hot, but I’m tough, I can take it.

Pressing my PTT button he whistles and speaks a-u-d-i-o–a-u-d-i-o. His voice is now crystal clear. Just as swiftly as he removed my housing, he puts one back on. One final test and then back in the yellow bin I go.

As I am being carried back to the front of the shop, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the glass of the window. I have a new housing. I look all young and new again.  The time comes and I am back in a box riding home from my adventure. Sure will be good to see John again. Hope he recognizes me in my new clothes!

~cl

Pam’s radio…

16 Mar, 2010

I am a Fairy Princess! I’ll bet that sounds funny coming from a 2-way radio, but I am sure that I am. I know this because of the beautiful Fairy Princess sticker on the front of my housing and that my user, Pam, calls me that every morning when she gingerly removes me from my gang charger to start our work day together.
 
I love going about our work in the plant with Pam, keeping her in contact with the main office guy – Jerry. But one day recently I began to have “hearing issues”, Pam could talk to Jerry and the other workers at the plant, but we could not hear their transmissions back to us. I could tell this made Pam unhappy – it also made doing our job much harder.
 
At the end of that frustrating day Pam takes me to Jerry’s office. “She needs to go into the Repair Center at Delmmar,” Pam said to Jerry. “But, please, make sure I get my Fairy Princess back. It just wouldn’t be the same without her,” Pam sighed softly.
Jerry is a big burly guy, but somehow he understands Pam’s attachment to me. “The staff at Delmmar will take good care of her and she’ll be back at work before you know it.” Jerry says.

After Pam leaves Jerry takes a after warranty repair form from a file in his desk and fills out the information. At the bottom of the form he adds in capital letters: PLEASE, DO NOT REMOVE THE FAIRY PRINCESS STICKER.  He wraps me in bubble plastic, which kinda tickles, and places me in a cardboard box.

Upon arriving at the Repair Center the check-in girl gently opens my box and unwraps my bubble plastic, which again kinda tickles. She smiles at me. “What a pretty Fairy Princess you are!” she says to me as she places me into a bright yellow tub- see, I told you so! After generating a check-in sheet for me she adds to the instructions: Please, do not remove the Fairy Princess sticker and back to the waiting for repair shelf I go.

In a flash the tech takes me to his work bench, gently removes my housing and hooks me up to the power supply on this bench. He quickly finds the problem and with some new parts and a little solder I am as good as new. He slips me back into my housing and tests me one more time. “You’re ready to go home, Princess,” he says to me with a smile as he places me on the ready to invoice shelf.

Again, I get wrapped in the that tickly bubble plastic and placed into a cardboard box for the ride home. I am excited to be going back to work with Pam and I know she will be so glad to see her Fairy Princess back, too!
~JMc

 

Jack’s radio

26 Feb, 2010

If your radio could talk………

My user, Jack takes me off the shelf in the garage and gently plugs the charger into my charge jack. I can feel the juice surging into my power source and I begin to perk-up a bit. As I gain some strength I take a look around the garage, I see familiar items. A tent and sleeping bags lay on the floor, as well as a cooler and a dark green duffle bag. Looks like we’re going HUNTING!

Jack & I love to go hunting – being out in the wild with our buddies, just doesn’t get any better than that. I can’t wait!

As I sit patiently on the shelf I begin to feel that my battery is not taking the charge like it did when we were younger. I really need a fresh battery pack every 18 to 24 months to work my best and keep Jack in contact with our buddies. I sure hope he has a new, fully charged battery to take along on our trip, for I fear this one is “not going to do the job” and Jack will be disappointed in me. I really don’t like it when he shakes me and pounds me into the palm of his hand. I like being crisp and clear for Jack, but I can’t do it with a tired old battery pack. What if Jack doesn’t have a new battery for me – what will I do?

Please, Jack, call the girls at Delmmar Communications and order me a new battery, they will ship it out to us PDQ and we’ll have a wonderful hunting trip. Just doesn’t get any better than that!
~JMc

The last thing I remember, I was flying across the room. Manny, my user, had mumbled some expletives and with no warning tossed me into the air with great force. I could feel the breeze blowing through my grill. I thought to myself, this must be how it feels to be a football. I have no recollection of the impact, nor the ride in the brown delivery truck to the repair center. The next thing I knew, I was awakened at the radio repair center. I found myself sitting upright in a bright yellow tub, in line with numerous other radios awaiting surgery. I had heard about this place, but had never been here. Manny had broken my antenna and dislocated a few components when he tossed me onto the concrete floor of the warehouse.

As I began to get my bearings and look around the room, I saw the walkie to my right was named Fred. He could not speak, but I knew his name from reading what was scrawled on his front housing by someone with a yellow parts marker. He was from an automotive recycling center, and smelled strongly of automotive fluids. His antenna was bent and weather cracked. His battery was removed and laying in the yellow bin. If he’d been a human, he would of had grey hair. He was old. His user must have still had need of him, since he was at the repair center.

I could not see the radio to my left, as he was laying down in the bin. From time to time I could hear his low battery beep, and knew someone had left him turned on for the ride to the repair center. He did not have enough power left to transmit, only the faint and dying beep of the failing battery.

I waited patiently in line and listened to the Tech whistle and say audio-audio into each of the radios which came before me. After a while, it nearly sang me to sleep. Just as I was about to doze, wahoo, he picked up my bin. I was next! He swiftly popped off my battery door, and stripped me of my broken antenna. Faster than I could think, I was hooked up and powered by his equipment. My battery was placed on the analyzer, and I was being ran through rigorous tests. (I’d tell you he put me on a treadmill and did a stress test, but you’d never believe me. Thou it felt like it.) He turned me off and on several times, plugged and unplugged items from my audio jacks, tested my antenna port. Then without any warning, he quickly stripped me of my shell. My housing was gone… I felt so exposed… totally naked. Yikes!

Here I was all exposed for the world to see. Well, I guess for the technician and the other radio soldiers lined up to see. I tend to get a little dramatic here, but you get the picture. His whistle tickled as it spun air through my uncovered speaker. The words audio-audio were now coming through me like a song being sung by the technician. After he discerned the situation, the tech skillfully and painlessly replaced several of my key components. His soldering iron was hot, but I felt no pain on my green component board. He tweeked and aligned my electronics, and I was thinking and feeling better than ever. He pressed my PTT and I was so quick to respond. “Wow” I thought to myself, “It is great to be alive”.

Just a quickly as he had disrobed me, he put a new exterior housing and antenna on me, then reunited me with my battery and I was carried to the “waiting to invoice” shelf. I was fixed. Good as new. I could hear the invoice clerk on the phone talking about me to Manny. From hearing only one side of the conversation, it sounded like Manny was happy I would be coming home. He had missed me and I had missed home too.

Soon I was whisked away to the shipping department, where they carefully placed me in a box full of soft packing peanuts for the ride home. Before I left, I did see old Fred one more time. He was on the shelf where I had waited for them to call Manny. The invoice clerk was explaining to Fred’s master that Fred had been patched up one more time, but didn’t know how many more repairs Fred had in him. Fred was getting to go home too!

Then I was homeward bound, riding in my little cardboard box, nestled in the packing, bouncing up and down in the brown truck, happy to be going home to Manny.

You may have never thought about it but your two-way radio leads an interesting life. It is with you many hours everyday. For some people it is only when you are at work, on the clock for eight hours., for others, it is 24/7. The radio hears everything you say, see everything you do. The radio saves you many steps everyday.

If your radio could talk, what would it have to say? Would it tout how wonderful a person you are, or would it tell of abuse and misuse? Or of interesting things which happen each day? This blog has been started to tell their story. The story from the radio’s perspective. And just in case you were wondering, the names will be changed to protect the innocent. If you think your radio has a story to share, send us an email. We’ll try and include your radio’s story here.

%d bloggers like this: