AntennaBadYour antenna may be shortening your range. Here are some reasons:

  1. Your 2-way radio antenna is weather check, missing the top cap, some outside sheathing or has a crinkle or big bend in it. Exposing the coiled wires within to outside elements can oxide or corrode the metal, causing them to be inefficient and reduce range. If you can bend the antenna and see the metal coils or it is crooked in appearance like someone shut it in your car door, you need a new antenna.
  2. You are not using the correct antenna. Somewhere along the line you decide to use another antenna on your radio. It seemed to fit, so you weren’t worried, despite being shorter, taller, VHF vs. UHF, etc. See #4 below.
  3. You’ve used the antenna as a handle. This can strip the threads, or pull the antenna connection loose from the component board. When this happens you will need to get your radio into the repair center, or in some instances there is a chance the radio would be deemed non-repairable due to non-reversible damage to the component board.
  4. Any of the above three problems can also lead to a radio problem called reflected power. Instead of doing its job of getting all the power away from the radio and returning none to the transmitter, the bad antenna reflects the power back down into the radio and beats up the transmitter. This can quickly lead to a radio needing repair.

The inexpensive fix is simple, buy a new radio antenna. Most antennas range between $9.10 and $20. Delaying taking care of the problem can lead to the need for both a new antenna and a radio repair ($85 and up).

A good rule of thumb to remember is HEIGHT and PLACEMENT determines range. Holding your radio upright, perpendicular to the ground, will give you the best range. Tilting your radio to the side or using a stubby antenna will reduce your range by up to 2/3s. Educate your radio users on how to hold their radio for best range, you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

No time like the present to check your antenna. If it seems bad or weather checked replace it.

~cl

radio ran overIt happens more often than you might think… an employee comes in to tell the boss “someone ran over my radio”. The radio repair center sees them in all shapes and sizes (Motorola, Kenwood, Vertex and others). Some are repairable, while others are not.

What to do if your radio gets ran over:
1) Turn off the radio. Look for physical signs of damage.
2) Be especially watchful of any battery which has been squeezed or crushed. (See the previous blog post about this.) If the battery is obviously damaged get rid of it in hazardous waste. If you are uncertain, send it in with the radio.

The good news is many business grade radios survive being driven over by a loader or truck. All is not necessarily lost. If your radio is damaged get it in to the radio repair center right away. Let us know it has been squeezed or crushed. We will do what we can to get it repaired and back to you right away.

~cl

batterybulgedtrScary even when it’s not Halloween! This bulging DTR series battery is from a radio that came into Delmmar’s 2-way radio repair center for repair. The customer has chosen to have their DTR650 radio repaired (flat rate $85) and purchase a new battery to replace this bulging one. Bulgy has been disposed of in hazardous waste.

In the news recently there has been a lot of talk about electronics devices catching fire on planes. An educated guess would be the battery in the device was damaged or poor workmanship. It could have been physical or liquid damage, overcharging, poor manufacturing, or the effects of the change in air pressure in the cabin. While we have not heard of any incidents involving 2-way radios (which have restrictions when taken on a plane), users should always use wisdom whether in the air or on the ground.

There are dozens of youtube videos showing these types of batteries in flames once they are abused, overcharged, wet or mistreated.  Short story: If your battery bulges, or shows any sign of puncture/damage DO NOT use it. Motorola has a good explanation concerning the differences between Li-Ion and Li-polymer batteries. You can read it here.

For your two-way radio choose a good name brand battery from a reputable radio dealer. Choose good quality Li-Ion or NiMH batteries instead of Li-Polymer.

~cl

WalkieMonkey_smlThe radio arrived with a note saying “Walkie Monkey may have caused the problem… no one else will admit to it.” As an added surprise Walkie Monkey arrived with the #BPR40 radio and he’s not talking.

Customers ask us often what they should include with their radios when sending them to the radio repair center. Short answer is we need the radio and any other accessories you think might be associated with the problem. If you include the battery we can check the date code and run it on the reconditioner/analyzer to see how well it is performing. If you think the antenna or charger may be part of the problem include them too. Oh the other hand, if you feel certain the issue is with the radio alone, just send the radio itself. It is that simple.

Occasionally we receive fun surprises like Walkie Monkey, which brightens our day. The BPR40 radio from sunny California is now in line for repair, and Walkie Monkey continues to have this smirky grin and is maintaining his silence. We think we will keep him here for further interrogation.

#motorolaradiorepair #monkeyproblems #BPR40radio #radiorepaircenter

-cl

radio soup

1 Oct, 2015

BPR40 radioSomewhat like the book series Chicken Soup for the Soul, our days at the radio repair facility can consist of true stories about ordinary people’s lives and they way they use and sometime abuse their 2-way radios. Today the subject of soup came up because of an interestingly packaged Motorola BPR40 radio, which came in for repair packaged in an AT&T cellphone box and an open, but clean, soup package. The radio suffers from low receive (Rx) audio, and the user says it can faintly be heard. Currently the radio is in line awaiting the electronics technician’s careful assessment. Barring any unforeseen circumstance this BPR40 radio should be repaired and headed back to the tofu with spinach soup eating customer in just a few days.
~cl

Motorola PR860 and XTS1500 waiting to go home to “Sweet Home Alabama”

Did you know Delmmar’s radio repair center does repair on Motorola 2-Way Radios and Kenwood 2-way Radios? Yes, it is true. We keep a large supply of common failure parts on hand, and have skilled electronics technicians on staff to repair your existing radios. Did you also know radio repair is typically less than one-third the price of buy a new radio? We are always happy to help you with either option, repairing your existing units or purchasing replacements.

This week we happened to have a few radios on hold awaiting parts, two from Alabama and one Kenwood Protalk from Illinois. Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the parts should arrive in a timely fashion and the radio repaired the same day the parts arrive. Soon our little travelers (radios) will hop on the UPS truck and be heading .

2-way mobile radio repairSome days when boxes arrive from all over the country with radios for repair there will be one like this example. A slightly crushed, broken open package. The investigation begins! Questions arise: What’s inside? Is it damaged? Do we think anything is missing? Who does it belong to? Where’s the camera? The fact the radios inside were coming for repair anyway helps alleviate some of the problem. If it is broken, the technicians in the repair facility have a good chance of fixing it. (They are good that way!)

This package happen to have two mobile (vehicle install style) radios inside. Thankfully, it didn’t appear anything was missing or severely damaged. The customer’s paperwork was intact. The radios were checked in, repaired, and shipped back to the customer with in a few days. Yet this box can serve as a good example for those shipping radios in. Here are some points to ponder and suggestions:

  • Mobile radios and other heavy devices can be double boxed (a box within a box) or wrapped well with bubble wrap, to prevent them from banging together or shooting out the side of the box during rough shipping.
  • Use plenty of packing materials to make the box more rigid. Whether you use packing peanuts or bubble wrap, make the package tight. The contents have more of a chance of arriving at their destination intact. (You never know when an elephant might be sitting atop your box during shipping.)
  • Save money! Most carriers now charge by dimensional weight (height x width x length, divided by 1.66 = UPS dimensional wt.) instead of actual weight. To keep shipping costs down, use the smallest box possible, while still maintaining 1″ of packing around your cargo.
  • Remove extra labels when reusing shipping boxes to prevent the box from boomeranging back to you. The box in the example had both a label addressed to the Delmmar Radio Repair Center and a label from when someone else sent the box to our customer.
  • Expedite your repairs by enclosing a copy of the Radio Repair Form and/or a packing slip letting us know who is sending them and pertinent information needed to get the radios repaired and on their way home.

It’s our job, everyday, waiting and watching for those boxes of all shapes and sizes to come in the door. Send us your radios, we will fix them and get them back to you as quick as possible. Thanks!

~cl

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