Smye-Rumsby Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a 'Repeater'?
This is another word for a ‘Signal Booster’. Repeaters are common-place on sites that require larger coverage areas or that experience poor communications due to the types of building materials used in construction. They comprise of a signal booster installed at a central location with a very efficient external antenna. The purpose of the equipment is to create a central point that all communications pass through, to ensure ‘blanket’ site coverage is achieved. In some cases multiple repeaters may be required for larger sites.
Many people are working alone in situations where they’re often at risk from work related verbal abuse, violence, accidents, illness or injury. It’s vital you’re able to monitor the safety of these vulnerable employees, via their two-way radios. According to the Office of National Statistics there are four million lone workers in the UK, and about 160 lone workers get attacked every day! The ‘lone worker’ feature requires the radio user to press their PTT button (on the side of the radio) at pre-determined intervals. If the worker does not check in at the expected time – an emergency procedure is set in motion. Once the worker hasn’t reported back, they’re initially reminded by an audio warning on their radio. If they still do not acknowledge they’re OK (within a set time), an emergency alarm will alert their colleagues or controller. This could be in various forms such as a pre-recorded voice message, text or an audible tone.

The lone worker feature is perfect for all potential volatile and dangerous situations such as Street Wardens & Security staff. Protect your employees today and call us to discuss how lone worker can provide piece of mind for you and your staff.
PANIC BUTTON - When is it used?
Personal threats and attacks on workers almost certainly affect attendance levels, morale and productivity. Therefore it’s crucial to create a safer work environment so you can protect your workers and your business through next-generation digital two-way radio technology. If during their duties an employee feels vulnerable, threatened or under attack; they can immediately press their Panic Button. Easily identifiable on their two-way radio – this allows them to quickly call for help. The Panic Button automatically dispatches a text message or tone to the person or team responsible for their security.

Text message alarms can be picked up by monitoring stations, security guard radios, mobile phones, pagers and even email accounts.

You can configure dispatched alarms to display specific details relating to the button’s identity. For instance, your text messages could include the name of the person in distress, location, floor, room number (and if required, door entry code). Panic Button alarms are capable of operating reliably in multi-story buildings and large external sites.
What is 'MAN DOWN?'
Monitoring the safety of individuals that work in hazardous conditions is of prime concern to a responsible business. However, you can have peace of mind while they carry out their critical duties, when you know they’re supported by an intuitive two-way radio system. The man down feature automatically dispatches emergency alarms when lone workers are injured or fall unconscious. Your radios can initiate an alarm sequence when they sense an abnormal vertical tilt, or lack of motion for a pre-defined time. Initially, they check for false alarms by sounding a distinctive tone for a short period. Should a lone worker not respond to this audio warning by pressing the ‘OK’ button, correcting the angle, or tapping the radio – the man down alarm will trigger.

Man down alarms can be programmed to alert individuals, groups or the controller. They could be in the form of a text, audible tone or pre-recorded voice message announcing their name and location. After sending alarms, radios assist the ‘search team’ to pin-point a distressed worker by emitting a loud audio beacon until they’re rescued.
You can expect a faster response when you link your buildings fire alarm to your two-way radio system- making your working environment vastly safer and efficient. Whenever a fire alarm activates – the system software matches the alarm requirements to the fire personnel on duty in that particular zone. The system automatically alerts the fire group on their radios by dispatching a text message. If the selected team do not acknowledge the call-out; the system notifies back-up personnel in order of – escalating the alarm until it’s managed. Another advantage is your staff no longer need to waste precious time returning to the control panel to assess the scale of the emergency.

There’s also less dependency on control room operators to monitor fire alarms, so they can focus on other high-priority activities.By integrating your two-way radios to your buildings fire alarm – you can be sure the right people will respond at the right time, when you need them most.
You can really enhance the safety of your employees when your two-way radios can also operate as a phone. Why? Because in an emergency they have the ability to dial 999, or call standard emergency channels – at the touch of a button. When their radios have the option to function as a phone, employees in distress can call for help where there’s little or no mobile phone coverage. They can access normal security channels without delay, even if they’re located in an underground car park or remote campus. You can also broadcast emergency messages to the radio group from your own private phone network. Plus managers and supervisors have the ability to keep in touch with them from any phone – anywhere, anytime. In addition, you can make big savings when your two-way radios can turn into a phone. Because you avoid the recurring costs of mobile phones – you get better coverage, at a fraction of the cost.
Group calling allows employees to broadcast an emergency situation to all two-way radios. It also means members of diverse workgroups have the ability to communicate in private with each other. System-wide calls automatically override individual and group calls, ensuring urgent messages reach every radio user at the same time.The one-to-many feature allows members of workgroups to call up the others at a single touch. Even late entry users are able to join a voice transmission already in progress.

Next-generation technology enables workgroups to share business-critical information without other radio users listening in. Your radio system automatically manages multiple group calls – giving priority to certain individuals or groups. This saves your business precious time by improving team management.
One of the most popular features of two-way radio systems is the ability to talk privately with a specific user. Whenever your employees need to make a one-to-one call, they simply punch in the multi-digit ID number of the person they need to contact before calling. Alternatively, they could select from the radio’s contact list. Once the recipient receives the call, their radio will ring or vibrate displaying the caller’s ID information. They can answer with confidence knowing that no other radios on the system will hear the conversation. Just like phones, your two-way radios are able to log calls. Users can scroll through a recent-calls list, which reveals the source and target of the last transmissions (plus time and date information).
How can GPS Help?
Your business can easily improve safety, and increase operational efficiency, by tracking people, assets and vehicles using your two-way radios. When your employees are on the road, especially working in hazardous or dangerous locations, everyone involved feels more relaxed and secure when you can pin-point their position, using GPS-enabled radios. With a GPS modem and receiver integrated into your radios, members of your team or the police can instantly come to the rescue of a worker who’s injured or in danger. (The GPS feature is often used in association with the Man Down facility.) You can configure your radios to transmit the geographical co-ordinates of employees at preset intervals, on-demand, and in emergencies. Software applications provide dispatchers with a real-time display of fleet movements on a customised, high-resolution, colour-coded map. Dispatchers can also send directions to drivers’ radios, without distracting them on the road, by text messaging.
What is 'VOICE RECORDING' and when is it used?
It is now possible to record all voice traffic on the radio. In some situations where there is inherent danger, or where efficiencies need to be made recording all traffic is the best option. We now have the technology to record and play back radio traffic at the touch of a button.
What is the difference between a RADIO and a MOBILE PHONE?
The way that the radios work is very simple. You take two (or more) radios, set them to the same channel and then you can communicate with each other by pressing the transmit (or Push To Talk – PTT) button when you want to speak, and releasing it when you want to listen. There’s no fees or line rental to pay. THE RADIOS ARE NOT LIKE MOBILE PHONES BECAUSE: They do not depend on any outside network to operate. When you press transmit, you send a signal that is picked up directly by other radios on the same channel within range. With mobile phones the signal is transmitted indirectly, via a network of mobile phone masts and the landline telephone network. You have to pay to make calls. You cannot talk and listen at the same time. You have to remember to press the Push-To-Talk button to transmit, and let go of it when you want to listen to the person talking to you.
Can a VHF radio communicate with a UHF radio?
No. VHF radios operate in the VHF 150-174 MHz range and UHF radios operate in the UHF 430-470 MHz range. Since radios need to operate on the same frequency in order to talk to each other, it is not possible to match their frequencies.
Should I use VHF or UHF Two way radio?
VHF Radios are used mainly in outdoor applications which have few obstructions and can be used in the line of sight (Boats on water, Oil fields or Motorcyclists for example) and under these circumstances the radio frequencies will travel further. UHF Radios are used when working in and around buildings or are faced with other obstructions as the frequencies penetrate walls, steel structures and the "other" obstructions better.
How long will my two way radio batteries last?
Depending on: work cycle, battery chemistry, and charging cycles one should expect 1 to 2 yrs. Like a cellular phone, Talk time also varies but you can expect up to 8 hrs per day.
If I have a problem, what is the first trouble shooting step for my two-way radio?
The battery. If the battery charge is low, radio features are not dependable. Make sure the battery is fully charged and holding its cells before proceeding to other steps.
Do Stubby antennas work the same as the Standard Antenna?
Stubby antennas are used to help increase radio frequency waves through walls and other structures typically indoors (i.e. Dental Offices, Night Clubs, Medical offices etc) but you should expect ~25% less distance in overall radio wave transmission. If your communications requirement is for use indoors this should not be a concern.
Can I leave my two way-radio turned on in the charger?
Best not to do so and best to turn off the radio in the charger as the battery will eventually discharge due to the radio using more out than the charger is putting in.
How many channels might we need?
Channels are used to segregate work teams within a job site. Each work group can have their own channel to minimise disruptions in other departments. For example, when the Security Department speaks on channel one the front office will not hear radio traffic if they are on channel two. Most organisations have a common channel so that all users can hear the radio traffic in case of emergencies.
What is the range of UHF radios?
Approximate range for UHF 2 way radios in urban conditions: 1 watt = 1 miles, 200,000 sq. ft., 15 floors 2 watt = 2 miles, 250,000 sq. ft., 20 floors 3 watt = 3 miles, 300,000 sq. ft., 25 floors 4 watt = 4 miles, 350,000 sq. ft., 30 floors 5 watt = 5 miles, 400,000 sq. ft., 35 floors
Can I change the frequencies on my 2 way radios?
Most commercial grade two- way radios are programmable from a PC computer or through onboard programming. You can not change from VHF to UHF but you can change frequencies within the frequency band of the radio.
What is the life expectancy of a 2 way radio?
Commercial grade two-way radios are built to meet or exceed Military Specifications and Intrusion Protection standards. If these radios are taken care and operated inside these specifications and standards their life expectancy is indefinite. We often see two-radios that are 7, 8 or even 10 years in service. However, please note that seldom do radio batteries last beyond 3 or 4 years.