Walkie Talkies for Lone Workers

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Every employer has a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all its employees in the workplace and equally that persons not in their employment are “not exposed to risks to their health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable” – with the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act introduced in 2007, the implications for enterprises in the public and private sectors of not taking lone worker protection seriously have escalated.

Two-way radios are already widely in use in lone worker applications across chemical and manufacturing plants, utilities, mining, security and transport industries where personnel often cover large, remote areas or operate in hazardous environments.

However, with the increase in flexible working times, care in the community services, home deliveries and reductions in workforces operating from fixed locations, more people than ever are now operating as lone workers, often in situations where they may be exposed to potential accidents and inappropriate or violent behaviour.

While the reliability and quality of any Kenwood site would prove to be an asset in most lone worker scenarios, the NEXEDGE® range of digital two-way hand portable walkie talkies and mobile in-vehicle two-way radio units offer much more than the ability to transmit voice and data instantly and efficiently.

All models feature Emergency Key and Emergency Call features as standard, while some advanced models additionally offer Lone Worker and an Emergency Advanced Motion Detection Function, which make them ideal for incorporating within a robust health and safety and lone worker policy.

NEXEDGE® Digital Two-way Radios with Lone Worker features include both hand-portable walkie talkies and mobile in-vehicle units.

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TK-2302 3302 Compact VHF UHF FM Portable Radio

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For clear, reliable communications indoors or out, rain or shine, there’s no beating Kenwood’s compact TK-2302/3302 transceiver. Based on a proven design, but refined and updated with enhanced features, it has the power and performance to satisfy even the toughest job requirements, due in part to the MIL-STD 810 & IP54/55 weather-proofing. A model of ergonomic excellence on the outside, inside it’s packed with such features as priority scan, built-in VOX and a voice scrambler. No wonder the smart new TK-2302/3302 is attracting such attention.

COMPACT DESIGN

The rounded ergonomic contours of the TK-2302/3302 naturally provide a superbly comfortable hold, while the non-slip elastomer channel knob with improved torque characteristics and enlarged PTT button ensure a positive tactile response during operation.

TOUGH & WATERPROOF

Built tough to take rough treatment in its stride, the TK-2302/3302 has passed the demanding IP54/55 dust and water intrusion tests, both with and without the KMC-45 optional speaker microphone. It also meets or exceeds 11 stringent MIL-STD 810 C/D/E/F environmental standards, including “driven rain”. So whatever the weather, the TK-2302/3302 is ever ready for action.

ENHANCED AUDIO QUALITY

Clear audio means confident communications, but power output is not the only factor that determines how easy it is to use a radio in varying noisy environments. As an experienced audio specialist, Kenwood can draw on decades of expertise at every step: component selection, construction, optimization, evaluation and analysis. The resulting audio performance, specially engineered for transceivers, is undeniably clearer and crisper. Just listen to the difference.

QT/DQT SIGNALLING

The radio’s encoder/decoder function uses QT/DQT to segregate talk groups so you only hear calls from your own group. 5-TONE SIGNALLING (Encode only) The 5-tone encoder function can send 5-tone ID to another radio with 5-tone decode.

PROGRAMMABLE FUNCTION KEYS

The two PF Keys can be programmed for any of the many functions available on the TK-2302/3302, permitting a customized fit for your requirements.

VOICE ANNUNCIATION

The rotary and key controls on the radio can provide voice confirmation of radio status or operating mode, which is convenient when you are not able to look at the TK-2302/3302 – for example, if it’s in your pocket. English is the default language, but you can switch to French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Russian or Chinese.

INDEPENDENT SETTINGS PER CHANNEL

(VOX, COMPANDER, SCRAMBLER)

Radio channels can be programmed* independently for VOX, scrambler and compander functions. This means you can switch a function on or off simply by changing channels (on the same frequency).

16 CHANNELS

The TK-2302/3302 provides ample capacity for operating with multiple channels or 2 Way Radio systems.

BUILT-IN VOICE-INVERSION SCRAMBLER

The voice-inversion scrambler provides basic protection against casual eavesdropping.

VOX READY

Enjoy the convenience of hands-free operation using any optional headset. Offering a 10-level sensitivity adjustment, the internal VOX (voice-operated transmission) function automatically activates PTT when you start talking. This is great for specialized tasks or events that require hands-free, constant or repetitive communications.

The Crazy Days of 2 way radio

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During the great citizen’s band or CB radio craze of the late 1970s, it seemed like everyone had to have a CB radio and talk like a truck drive while driving down the highway.

CB radio is an unlicensed local radio service for individuals and small businesses. CB radios are quite inexpensive and can be very handy.

As you might expect, filmmakers and entertainers use a fair amount of artistic license in their portrayal of CB activities. If you start off your CB career with unrealistic expectations, you’re bound to be disappointed so let’s begin with the basics. CB radio was created in the 1950s by the FCC in and effort to encourage citizen’s to use the new radio technology.

The CB service provides individuals and small businesses with a low-cost way to stay in touch and coordinate their day-to-day activities up to a 5 or 10 mile range. If this sounds like what you need, CB might be just what you’re looking for.

Many two-way radio services require you to purchase a license from the FCC. The CB radio service isn’t one of them. The FCC does have some rules that you should follow though. You can find the rules tucked into the operating manual of your radio. You can also download them on the Internet.

The rules are easy to read and are organized as a list of common questions. They include technical rules about radios and antennas as well as what you can and can’t do on the air.

What you can’t do is fairly straightforward and laid out clearly in CB rule 13. You can’t advertise materials for sale or a political campaign, cuss, play music, or rebroadcast radio or TV programming. You’re also forbidden to intentionally interfere with other stations and make false transmissions particularly distress calls.

Each CB Icom 2 way radio can operate on any of 40 channels centered on frequencies from 26.965 to 27.405 MHz. This frequency range is near the upper limit of the traditional shortwave or HF band tucked in between the Amateur Radio 10-meter band and a band used by business radios.

You can operate in regular AM mode or select either upper or lower sideband a variation of AM discussed later in this chapter. That gives you 120 different choices about where to operate.

By far, the most popular use of CB radio today is in vehicles. Using CB for business-to-business communications is less common than it was in the halcyon days of CB radio but farms, towing companies, local delivery services, taxis, and other mobile users still find CB radios very useful.

Professional drivers use CB radio for everything from keeping an eye on speed traps to checking in at the delivery dock and making idle conversation with anyone in range. Right behind the professionals are private citizens who use CB radio when they drive for many of the same reasons.

Commissioners OK emergency radio contracts

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A new Lawrence County Emergency Operations Center comes with an upgrade of the county’s emergency Walkie talkie communications system.

Tuesday, the Lawrence County commissioners approved a contract with Motorola for $5,705,384 for the upgrading of the county’s radio system used by police, fire, ambulance and 911 dispatchers. The cost includes hardware at the communications tower sites, dispatcher console equipment and field units and associated hardware.

Brian Melcer, the county’s public safety director, gave a presentation to the commissioners last week about the proposed enhancements. Motorola’s was the lowest of four proposals the county received.

The commissioners also approved a microwave system purchase agreement at a cost of $798,940 with Microwave Network/Communications International for a system that will connect all the communications tower sites in the county. That company was the lowest of five bidders.

The purpose of both agreements is to provide better and more up-to-date 2 way Radio communications in the county and interconnections with surrounding counties, especially in areas that currently have lapses in communication, Melcer told the commissioners.

The upgrading of communications goes hand-in-hand with the county’s construction of a new building in Hickory Township for its 911/public safety center, expected to cost around $5 million.

In January, the commissioners named Eckles Architecture and Engineering as the primary designers for the building. The commissioners have said they are planning to finance the project through a bond issue.

Melcer told the commissioners Tuesday he anticipates a groundbreaking later this year, with completion of the building in fall 2015.

In October, the county had extended a contract with Mission Critical Partners of Wexford and State College as consultants to continue with the project phases.

They commended Melcer and the consultants for their work in ironing out all the details for the proposed communications project.

Utility supplies License-free portable Two way radio

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Utility tools: Ritron Inc. introduces the PT-150M, a professional-grade license-free portable Walkie Talkie. Operating in the VHF MURS frequency band, the PT-150M allows business-only users to operate license free at 2 watts, anywhere within the US. This saves customers the hassle and expense of licensing typical associated with “FCC Part 90 business band” radio frequencies, and provides out-of-the-box functionality and simplicity for utilities, retail locations, manufacturing environments, schools, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and more.

There are 5 MURS frequencies including two made popular by Ritron’s JOBCOM brand radio line and now are in wide spread use across the country – the “blue dot” (154.570) and “green dot” (154.600) frequencies.

The PT-150M features 8 channel capacity which allows maximum use of all 5 MURS frequencies plus reuse of 3 frequencies for additional work groups, etc. A 2 Watt transmitter, is adequate for up to 2 mile range, line-of-sight, no obstructions or 250,000 sq. ft. indoors range. A 1000mW speaker provides easy-to-hear clarity and volume for even noisy environments. A slim, lightweight design is ergonomic and easy-to-carry and use.

The 7 Character alphanumeric display provides easy-to-read icons showing battery status, channel scan On/Off, Keypad Lock On/Off, and more. Nine programmable function buttons allows access to backlit for keypad, accessing additional features in the radio , for example – scan On/Off, backlit for keypad, keypad lock/unlock, channel scroll up/down, send a Call Tone, and more. They allow access to advanced features and allow configuration of the radio. Rugged MIL STD 810F rating, IP65 resistance rating against dust and water and clamp-on audio accessory connector ensures long, trouble-free service.

Each PT radio comes complete with antenna, Lithium-Ion battery, spring-action belt clip, drop-in charging stand and AC adapter. Optional accessories include: a 6-unit gang charger, remote speaker microphone, lightweight ear set and nylon carry holster.

Basic radio parameters (e.g. tone signaling by channel) are field-configurable using buttons on the PT-150M radio – no tools are required. Free PC programming software (available from the Ritron web site) along with optional purchase of custom programming cable from Ritron, allows users full programming of all radio parameters, i.e. shuffling the 5 MURS frequencies to amongst the 8 possible channels and “tagging” channels on the radio (within 7 characters alphanumeric combo max) such as OPERAT or SECURTY.

The PT-150M is compatible with other VHF radios operating on MURS frequencies and will provide a range of 1 mile + line-of-sight range, no obstructions. Indoor range is approximately 250,000 sq. ft. Actual range is dependent on building structure and obstructions.