What is Ham Radio & How Does it Work

My basic review of a new article it starts up well, looks quite cool, is simple to run and really power resourceful, the communication devices router is a fine item. I’m pleased I bought it, read further below.

Ham radio (so called because its operators were originally derided as being ‘hammy’ in the 19th century, when the technology first emerged) is a term that applies to any form of amateur radio broadcasting.

There are designated radio frequency spectra available solely for public use. Uses range from recreation to communication and the non-commercial exchange of ideas. ‘Hams’ take advantage of these frequencies in order to transmit any number of things

Strictly speaking, there should not be any money involved in amateur radio (hence the term ‘amateur’). Although the majority of Ham radio practitioners are actually extremely knowledgeable about radio technology (don’t let the ‘ham’ part fool you), they are not considered professionals because they do not profit from their endeavours. Conversely, commercial broadcasting involves (a lot of) money: royalties are paid, producers and performers are paid and the whole thing is ultimately a commercial exercise.

Hams use a large amount of frequency bands from all across the radio spectrum, but the majority of frequencies are to be found just above the AM band.

A lot of hams, however, use VHF FM, operating hand-held transceivers that send on one frequency and receive on another. Local radio clubs set up FM Repeaters (which borrow space from other broadcast devices such as towers and, in doing so, amplify the radio signal’s strength hundreds of times over), so that hams can communicate with each other wirelessly over a distance of hundreds of miles.

As an example of what hams get up to, here’s an excerpt from Gary Brown, of ‘How Stuff Works.com’

“Although a ham site does broadcast in all directions, hams generally do not use their radios in a broadcast kind of way as a disk jockey would at a radio station. In normal AM or FM radio, one disk jockey transmits and thousands of people listen. Hams, on the other hand, conduct two-way conversations, often with another ham or with a group of hams in an informal roundtable. The roundtable of hams may be in the same town, county, state, country or continent or may consist of a mix of countries, depending on the frequency and the time of the day. Hams also participate in networks, often called nets, at predetermined times and frequencies to exchange third-party messages. In the case of disasters, hams exchange health and welfare information with other hams”.

To become a ham, I recommend that you join a club. You’ll need an amateur radio license, of course, but this won’t break the bank, I’m sure.

I hope that helps, Melissa.

MOTOTRBO Helps Sears DDC Keep Deliveries Moving

I don’t know if you came here as you read it on social media, twitter, facebook, google +, stumble upon or anywhere else. thankyou for visiting and I trust you take pleasure in reading this as much as I did.

walkie talkie voxAs part of its continuing goal to provide next day delivery on large home and garden items, Sears opened its Jacksonville, Florida direct distribution center in May of 2008. With seven day shipping, consistent, reliable communications was critical in order to coordinate the large volume of products that went through receiving and shipping on a daily basis. MOTOTRBO digital web sites are used to enable the entire warehouse to talk radio to radio without a repeater; the crisp audio enables conversation even in the noisy environment; and the long lasting batteries last through multiple shifts for increased productivity.

Sears Holding Center opens 812,000 sq. ft. facility

In May 2008, Sears Holding Corp. opened its newest direct distribution center (DDC) in Jacksonville, Florida. The new 812,000-square-foot warehouse is the distribution point for home appliances, tractors, televisions and other large items to local warehouses for more than 112 Sears and Kmart stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“This facility will allow Sears to expand our appliance distribution capabilities and moves us closer to our goal of becoming more effective and efficient,” said Jim Mixon, senior vice president of supply chain and operations for Sears Holdings, in an interview with the Jacksonville Business Journal.

The new facility, located on 130 acres in the NorthPoint Industrial Park, consolidated two smaller warehouses that Sears Holdings operated in Jacksonville. With a new facility and a larger, busier warehouse to manage, Sears DDC Facilities Manager, Mike Harbert, began looking for a communications system that would be better suited to the environment.

Looking for long battery life and better audio

Harbert found that the company’s existing radios did not provide the audio quality required in the noisy warehouse environment, or the battery life needed to last through an entire shift.

“The problem with the batteries was that we ran three shifts and we shared the radios from shift to shift,” Harbert says. “The guys knew that when
they came in, the battery would be dead in a couple of hours, so they switched out the battery at the beginning of their shift even though it had another couple of hours on it.”

Because the batteries were not completely discharged before recharging, memory effect shortened the life of the batteries even further, and eventually even the fresh batteries wouldn’t last an entire shift.

While the existing communications the Sears DDC staff had been using were sufficient in the older smaller warehouses, they were limited. Once the operations moved to the much larger warehouse, they quickly realized better communications, clearer audio, and longer lasting batteries would be required.

Harbert worked with Hasty’s Communications, a Motorola authorized dealer, to recommend a solution.

MOTOTRBO digital radios deliver the right package

Mathews recommended MOTOTRBO radios based on Sears DDC’s existing environment and loaned
Harbert some radios to try them out for himself. The digital radios’ enhanced audio, featuring background noise suppression, was especially was especially attractive to Harbert to deliver clear audio, even when standing next to the noise generated by the large diesel trucks.

“The radios worked well and the audio was so crystal clear that even though the background was noisy, it was like the person you were talking to was standing right next to you,” Harbert says.

Harbert also liked the fact that, in spite of the warehouse’s large size and structure, he would not need to purchase repeaters.

“We talk radio to radio and I haven’t found a place in the warehouse or throughout the 45 to 50 acre area where we can’t talk to each other,” he says. “I’ve actually been down the street about a half mile or so and was able to call back to the building with no problem.”

Long-lasting batteries keep communications going during Hurricane Fay

As Hurricane Fay slowly made its way through Florida toward Jacksonville in mid August, Harbert and his team began preparing the facility and grounds for a direct hit. Once again, the MOTOTRBO radios provided clear communications and,
equally important, long-lasting batteries that kept communications available.

“We lost power early on and switched to our large UPS systems in the data room to keep our crucial data equipment running,” recalls Harbert. “The nice thing about the radios was that after our cell phone batteries began dying, we were still able to keep communicating with the MOTOTRBOs due to their long-lasting batteries.”

Between the rapid IMPRES™ battery charger and the control process Harbert instituted that maintains both battery inventory and user accountability, the batteries have lasted even longer than expected. According to Harbert, he can now easily keep the radios operating through long shifts with half the spare inventory required by the old radios.

With longer talk time, clearer audio delivery, and the ruggedness that meets military standards for durability and reliability, MOTOTRBO radios offer a private, cost-effective solution that can be tailored to meet unique coverage and feature needs.

Why aren’t we smarter already Evolutionary limits on cognition

While many of our visitors will be interested by some of my own articles, here is one i found rummaging around stumbleupon.com that is far better written than I could ever dream to accomplish. Maybe one day I’ll get to this level, you never know.

2 way radio online(Medical Xpress) — We put a lot of energy into improving our memory, intelligence, and attention. There are even drugs that make us sharper, such as Ritalin and caffeine. But maybe smarter isn’t really all that better. A new paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, warns that there are limits on how smart humans can get, and any increases in thinking ability are likely to come with problems.
The authors looked to evolution to understand about why humans are only as smart as we are and not any smarter. “A lot of people are interested in drugs that can enhance cognition in various ways,” says Thomas Hills of the University of Warwick, who cowrote the article with Ralph Hertwig of the University of Basel. “But it seems natural to ask, why aren’t we smarter already?”
Tradeoffs are common in evolution. It might be nice to be eight feet tall, but most hearts couldn’t handle getting blood up that high. So most humans top out under six feet. Just as there are evolutionary tradeoffs for physical traits, Hills says, there are tradeoffs for intelligence. A baby’s brain size is thought to be limited by, among other things, the size of the mother’s pelvis; bigger brains could mean more deaths in childbirth, and the pelvis can’t change substantially without changing the way we stand and walk.
Drugs like Ritalin and amphetamines help people pay better attention. But they often only help people with lower baseline abilities; people who don’t have trouble paying attention in the first place can actually perform worse when they take attention-enhancing drugs. That suggests there is some kind of upper limit to how much people can or should pay attention. “This makes sense if you think about a focused task like driving,” Hills says, “where you have to pay attention, but to the right things—which may be changing all the time. If your attention is focused on a shiny billboard or changing the channel on the The radio, you’re going to have problems.”
It may seem like a good thing to have a better memory, but people with excessively vivid memories have a difficult life. “Memory is a double-edged sword,” Hills says. In post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, a person can’t stop remembering some awful episode. “If something bad happens, you want to be able to forget it, to move on.”
Even increasing general intelligence can cause problems. Hills and Hertwig cite a study of Ashkenazi Jews, who have an average IQ much higher than the general European population. This is apparently because of evolutionary selection for intelligence in the last 2,000 years. But, at the same time, Ashkenazi Jews have been plagued by inherited diseases like Tay-Sachs disease that affect the nervous system. It may be that the increase in brain power has caused an increase in disease.
Given all of these tradeoffs that emerge when you make people better at thinking, Hills says, it’s unlikely that there will ever be a supermind. “If you have a specific task that requires more memory or more speed or more accuracy or whatever, then you could potentially take an enhancer that increases your capacity for that task,” he says. “But it would be wrong to think that this is going to improve your abilities all across the board.”

The Winning Formula Walkie Talkies in Motorsports

Thankyou for reading my site, here’s an article i actually enjoyed reading. With their agreement i’m able to repost it. I compose plenty of my own content, but sporadically post other articles i find remarkable, thanks for reading.

When we talk about motorsports, we’re actually referring to multiple types of event. We could be referring to Rallying, Formula 1, Kart Racing, Boat Racing, or even Hovercraft Racing. Essentially, if it involves a motorized vehicle in some way, it’s a motorsport. Yes, that includes snowmobiles.

These races, wherever they may be held and whatever they may involve, are usually large-scale events. Events such as these require a significant amount of planning and organization to pull off. There are smaller races, of course, but even these rely on the dedication and attention to detail of a committed few.

Concerns such as health and safety (including that of the drivers, technical personnel and spectators) or communication between drivers and pit crew (where applicable) are all of vital importance. In addition, other concerns such as the creation of a safe viewing area for spectators or a steady stream of information finding its way into the announcer’s box, are all highly important to the overall presentation of the event itself.

When televised, things become even more challenging. Broadcasters need access to relevant information, often updated on a second-by-second basis. Cameramen need to be directed to anything of interest to the home viewer and the production needs to be a part of the race without getting in the way.

A racetrack is typically a large portion of road, water or terrain. Keeping this area clear and safe for racing presents many challenges, in order to meet these challenges, communication needs to be instant, dependable and clear. walkie talkies, despite being around in some form or another since the late 1930’s, are still the best way to achieve this.

Strong and solidly built, these radios are perfect for the diverse mixture of environments that motorsports can be held in (remember the snowmobile). These devices aren’t delicate like mobile phones or tablet PCs, they are sturdy, durable and tough.

When it comes to motorsports, two-way radios are an essential tool. The truth is that it would be very difficult for anybody to hold any kind of race without them. From the F1 drivers contacting the pit crews, to the on-hand paramedics ready to rush into action at any second, to the race organizers keeping things safe and secure, two-way radios are a vital part of modern motorsports.

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of instant communications when you’re dealing with the level of speed that these sports can reach. Clear signals, easily broadcast over long distances, are the lifeblood of any racing event.

A Walkie Talkie’s Inner Workings

What’s your favourite feature of this 2 way radio intercom? In my opinion, I much like the design job – It is cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

All 2 Way Radio features the same basic components. Those include a speaker, microphone, battery, antenna, some circuitry and, of course, the iconic PTT button. These parts work in tandem to create useful radio signals.

Let’s say you’re whitewater rafting with a group of friends on a remote river, in an area where there’s zero cell phone coverage. You depress the PTT button on your radio to chat with group members. As you speak, the walkie-talkie converts your voice into radio signals. Those signals are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, so they travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles, or 299,338 kilometers, per second) to all the other radios that are within range and on the same channel.

If you’re not up to speed on radio technology basics, be sure to read How Radio Works. But in short, radios transmit and receive signals on any of millions of possible frequencies, which are denoted by units of Hertz (cycles per second). Those units are most often kilohertz (KHz) and megahertz (MHz). Modern, digital walkie-talkies may work on dozens of possible channels (or frequency bands), so in order to communicate with your buddies, you’ll need to make sure you’re all using the same channel before hitting the river.

All walkie-talkies are built to work on specific radio frequencies. In the United States, the primary frequencies designated for general public use are called Family Radio Service(FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service(GMRS). FRS or GMRS radios operate at frequencies in the 460-MHz range. The government also sets aside frequencies for corporate use, called Business Band, which includes frequencies between 450 and 470 MHz.

Frequencies are in finite supply, especially at the public level, so the airways are often jammed with too many signals at once, which can result in interference. As you’ll soon read, many walkie-talkies come with features designed to filter out unwanted signals from other people. Still, radio signals often bounce around weirdly due to weather or other electromagnetic anomalies, which is why sometimes they pick up other signals inadvertently, such as in the West Virginia case of the baby monitor that spewed foul language from truckers talking on their CB radios .

Policymakers need to ask hard questions about emergency two Way Radio equipment

Some of the pro writers on the internet are at such a high level that i wonder if any of them have ever written a book? so now and then i like to highlight these superb content pieces and here’s one i thought was remarkable the other day.

Since the 9/11 attack, the nation has spent billions to upgrade radio systems so that police, firefighters and other first responders can communicate seamlessly in emergencies.

The ambitious taxpayer-funded undertaking has afforded rich business opportunities, particularly for Illinois-based Motorola Solutions.

As McClatchy reporters detailed last week, Motorola Solutions has solidified its position as the leading provider of emergency communications gear by using shrewd business practices, hiring top law enforcement insiders, and spending heavily on campaigns, lobbying and charities favored by its customers.

Motorola sells a vital service. No tools are more important in a disaster than reliable communication devices.
But the investigation led by McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Greg Gordon, part of which ran in The Bee last Sunday, raises basic questions: Is Motorola’s equipment so much better than 2 Way Radios offered by competitors that cities and counties are justified in granting it no-bid contracts worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars?

Motorola sells communications equipment used in New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Sacramento region, and many points in between. But how has Motorola come to control 80 percent of the market?

In Sacramento County and in other locales, Motorola effectively shut out competitors by embedding proprietary features so its equipment cannot interact with radios made by other companies.

Sacramento County officials told The Bee’s editorial board that they are pleased with Motorola products, that the equipment is cost-effective, and that Motorola was the one company that could meet specifications for the radios.

Sacramento County pays $3,500 to $4,000 each for Motorola radios. Other locales have paid as much as $7,500. Competing products performing to similar specifications can cost thousands of dollars less.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors authorized the contract with Motorola. But given the importance of emergency communications, and the issues raised by the McClatchy series, the board owes it to taxpayers to take a second look at the exclusive arrangement.

Motorola Solutions offers a case study in how big business gets bigger. It surrounds itself with rainmakers, many of whom are former top law enforcement officials.

Its board has included former CIA and National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden and, until recently, William Bratton, the former chief of the Los Angeles and Boston police departments, who has returned to New York City for a second stint as police commissioner.

After radios failed in the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005, then-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour set out to vastly improve the communications system. Motorola won Mississippi’s business with bid prices so low that competitors were dumbfounded, McClatchy reported.

Barbour, a former chair of the Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association, left office in 2012 and returned to his Washington, D.C., lobby firm, BGR Group. Among the new clients: Motorola Solutions, which has paid BGR Group $200,000 since 2012, reports compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show. Motorola said in a statement that it is proud to have Barbour on its team.

The company spends $2 million to $3 million a year on lobbying in Washington, and more in state capitals. The nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics has identified 310 lobbyists registered to represent Motorola in the states.

Motorola is a significant campaign donor to federal and state politicians, and law enforcement and firefighter foundations, spreading goodwill to its customer base by, for example, pledging $15 million to the National Law Enforcement Museum, due to open in Washington in 2016.

It works out well for Motorola Solutions. Thanks to government contracts and taxpayer money, Motorola Solutions’ net income grew to $1.1 billion last year, from $747 million in 2011. Its stock price hovers at $65 a share, after falling to below $15 a share in 2009.

Building two-way radio networks is lucrative. But it’s not rocket science. Federal, state and local policymakers need to ask hard questions, starting with why contracting officials award sole-source contracts that benefit the industry Goliath and freeze out the competition.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/06/6296990/editorial-policymakers-need-to.html#storylink=cpy

Delivering solutions, not just equipment, crucial for modern-day two Way Radio dealers

So i discovered this short article on the web and i heard that just posting it as the whole article isn’t the right thing, I got permission from the original author and read up the way to curate articles, so this is it…….i thought this was interesting as it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working inside the industry.

two way radio ip gatewaySelling boxes simply isn’t enough for radio dealers to thrive in today’s ever-changing communications environment.

That’s the message from Patrick Hobby, owner of QDS Communications, the 13-employee Motorola Solutions dealer and service shop based in Colorado that invented the SchoolSAFE solution that recently was deployed in an Ohio school district to enable direct communications between school personnel using a MOTOTRBO network and first responder on a P25 network.

“I think it’s possible for an organization to have a customer connection that deals in commoditized radio products. In selling two-way radio products, for example, people already know what they want, and they’re just looking for the features, the right channels, whether it’s a repeater or this or that,” Hobby said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “But my advice to the industry is to reach down deeper into the solutions business—the integration of solutions into the marketplace, with training being the lead application.”

Such an approach requires a channel partner to recognize what customers are seeking from their communications, understand what challenges they face and then work to deliver solutions that address key difficulties, Hobby said. Often, the ability to accomplish this begins at a personal level, not a technological one, he said.

“People make all of the difference in the world—basically, that one relationship that’s spawned from the dealer organization that turns into a value-added relationship, based on the spoken word and what you’re really delivering,” Hobby said.

“What I would encourage to dealers is that they need to dig deeper into their understanding of how their customers make their money and become value added to that process, instead of being just a commodity dealer that does not know why they use the Walkie Talkies, for example.”

Indeed, the notion of SchoolSAFE was developed in the aftermath of the tragic 1999 shootings at Columbine High School, where a lack of interoperable communications between public-safety agencies was cited as a problem, according to Hobby.

“We knew about the communications issues from the Columbine report and being local here and knowing people that dealt with that tragedy firsthand,” Hobby said. “So it was spawned from our understanding of communications, as it related to the Columbine tragedy.”

Ultimately, QDS Communications developed a patented solution of software and hardware that provides a direct link between the MOTOTRBO systems often used in schools and the P25 systems used by many public-safety agencies. The link is activated by a 911 dispatcher, if it is determined that school personnel and first responders would benefit from direct communications.

More than 200 SchoolSAFE systems have been deployed, with most of them being located in Colorado, Hobby said. QDS Communications tried to install the solution at locations outside of the state but quickly realized “how brutally expensive and time consuming it was to try to reach out and work effectively in other states,” he said.

Recently, Motorola Solutions decided to help QDS Communications deploy SchoolSAFE in each of the 10 schools in the Chardon Local Schools district in a pilot program. It’s a relationship that would not have been considered had QDS Communications simply decided to sell equipment, Hobby said.

“We’re not a dealer; we’re well beyond a dealer,” Hobby said. “[When QDS Communications was founded] back in 2004, one of our five contracts … is called a dealer contract. One of them is called a service contract. One of them is called a manufacturer’s representative contract. Another one is called an agency contract. And the dealer piece is the least valuable of the whole bunch, because that’s your commodity.

“SchoolSAFE is not a commodity.”