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!


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.



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.


cellphone vs radioWe often are asked by friends, family and clients about the status of 2-way radio in a world where everyone seems to be carrying their own personal communications device, a cell phone. Here are some of our thoughts and thoughts of those in this industry concerning this subject.

Most people would admit they could not function without their smart phone, the computer attached to your hip. But in reality, as a communications device, a cell phone is still a device for making a phone call to another person. You dial a number, let it ring, wait for an answer, hope to talk to the person you are calling, possibly leaving a voice message. The process takes at least a minute of your time or more just to connect. And following this routine, you may end up having a conversation for several minutes.

When using a two-way radio you simply press the push-to-talk (PTT) button and instantly speak to your group (or one-to-one depending on your radio system). You can give a brief message or instruction, receive an immediate response and finish your task accordingly. The entire process typically takes a few seconds. It is fast and efficient, saving time and money. In the realm of public safety and businesses such as construction, it can save lives. In addition, radios are highly effective in high noise environments, built rugged for long-term use, offer an intuitive one-touch user interface, and feature a battery designed to do a full day’s work.

Nearly all business models of two-way radios are repairable and have replacement battery packs available. The life expectancy of a two-way radios is up to 10 years, with many exceeding this mark.  Computing the cost of purchasing a typical business 2-way radio (Motorola CP200) over 10 years including replacement batteries every two years and 1-2 repairs, it would calculate to under $10/month to own/operate the radio. Much less than the overall cost of cellular for the same time period.

Cellular devices are generally speaking rather fragile. The majority are too lightweight for work environments. Battery packs are often non-replaceable.  If you talk to those in the cellular industry, you will find the life expectancy of a phone is about two years. At the 2-year mark, the cell carriers are ready to make a deal with you where you can get the next model “free” or inexpensively to keep you as a client. The industry is reliant upon the monthly fees we all pay. We’ll let you do the math on what a maintaining a cell phone will cost you over the course of 10 years.

Radio communication is instantaneous with the simple use of a PTT button. The person needing information  receives it quickly. Requests for assistance are heard by everyone monitoring the frequency. This is essential in many industries and especially in public safety. Radios designed for public safety can also have other features such as an emergency button or a mandown feature where the radio will notify dispatch of an officer who is no longer vertical. In construction when giving instructions to a crane operator PTT radio technology is the quickest form of communication.  Think about restaurant hostesses or retail clerks communicating with others on their team. This type of communication is done more efficiently using a radio versus a cell phone. It would be hard to imagine the public safety or business world without 2-way radios.

Cellphone & CP200 side-by-sideAnd up to now we haven’t mentioned the downside of using a cellular device instead of a radio, things such as surfing the web, playing games, making personal calls, just aren’t a problem when businesses use two-way radios for their onsite communications. So when choosing between using your smart phone and 2-way radios, you can see where the two devices differ both in features and overall long term cost. Both have their place where they can work to the best advantage. It’s up to you as a business person to choose your communications device wisely. ~cl

humorous arrival…

27 Feb, 2014

You never know what might ride along to the radio repair facility with the two way radios. This week we opened up a box to find this rubber chicken (and a handful of other novelties) along with several Motorola MagOne BPR40 two-way radios for repair. And just in case you were wondering why a customer would have a rubber chicken… they are in the novelty business. They use radios aka push-to-talk (PTT) technology to communicate. From time-to-time them and another West Coast client will send us a little surprise in the box. We’ve received plastic spiders, switchblade combs, stickers, magnets, finger puppets, and an ostrich puppet, just to name a few. It definitely adds a little humor to the day and a smile to everyone’s face.

The novelty company’s handy little BPR40 radios have been repaired and are on their way back across the country to California. We kept the chicken.  He has found a temporary home in a drawer at the radio check-in desk. I’m sure we’ll come up with a humorous use for the plucked fellow. According to Wikipedia: A rubber chicken was customarily kept behind Johnny Carson’s desk on NBC’s The Tonight Show as a comedic talisman, as it was believed that “A rubber chicken always gets a laugh.”

It definitely got a laugh here. (Thank you Scott.)


Our customers in the Nursery and Greenhouse business are starting to prepare for Spring. Radios which had been set aside from last season are beginning to arrive at the radio repair center to be tuned up and repaired for the busy season ahead.Spring Motorola Radio Repair

Many in the growing industry use push-to-talk radio technology instead of cellular for on-site communications. A variety of reasons include: two-way radios are dedicated primarily to voice capabilities, which support immediate person-to-person and group communications; and while smart phones provide many features and Apps, it is the simplicity of two-way radio that makes it attractive for situations where simple communication is important. Simply push the button and talk! It’s easy with no learning curve, or games and Apps to get distracted.

Two-way radios are designed to be rugged, and take the punishment of a 40-hour work week. Nearly all models are repairable and have user replaceable batteries. This is why many nursery and greenhouse owners rely on basic push-to-talk technology to save the steps of many workers while providing communication throughout their facilities. One of our growers explained one increased productivity benefit this way, “You don’t have to worry about an employee calling or texting his girlfriend on his radio… unless she is an employee too.”  Guess that can be listed as another side benefit of 2-way.

So this is your reminder to check your radios over before the busy season and get them in for repair if needed. Also, now would be a great time to replace batteries during the Bulk Battery Deal. If you order at during February 2014 use the discount code ITSNEW at check-out to get a nice discount.



crispy Motorola CP100

28 Jan, 2014

Crispy CP100 RepairJust take a look at this CP100 radio that arrived at our repair center. Definitely crispy! No explanation as to how this one became so melted… just a note with the customer’s info in the box. Sometimes this is just how it happens… a radio randomly arrives in a dirt little brown box without a repair form, just a business card tucked inside.

This box arrived at the Radio Repair Center and was opened to discover this melted CP100 radio. The radio check-in person probably thought the radio was a lost cause. But upon examination by one of our electronics technicians, surprisingly the component board was not in too bad of shape following the meltdown of the external housing. Our miracle working technician was able to replace the front and back housing along with a few other key components to get this radio back to factory spec.

Motorola CP100We are often amazed by our techs who seem to defy odds and get seemingly hopeless radios back to good working condition. We have to be honest here, not all crispy radios can be repaired. However, just when you think all is lost… your radio may indeed be repairable. We just wish we could have been on the other end and see the face of the radio owner when they opened their box from the repair center.  ~cl

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