Designing your new radio system
By Susan Ronning, P.E.

In a nutshell, the definition of a successfully designed radio system is one that that allows a user to talk to who they need to, where they need to, and when they need to.

The design phase includes three major project stages:

1. Needs analysis
2. Technical assessment
3. Preliminary design

1. Needs analysis
The needs analysis evaluates how and where the system is used today, what features and functions are working or not, and what is desired. It includes the following components: Continue Reading

The who, what, where? phase — getting your new radio system approved.
By Susan Ronning, P.E.

Radio system projects don’t just happen. They can take months, maybe years of planning and preparation. These projects tend to draw controversy, too, as replacement costs are significant and the impacts deep.

In simple terms, the first step in project engineering is to define the problem and develop goals to resolve them. Then, identify the tasks necessary to achieve those goals. Lastly, do the work! Before any tasks can be developed or the work can start, the project must first be approved, and that means addressing the “who?”, “what?” and “where?” questions. Continue Reading

By Susan Ronning, P.E.

Following a project process is one thing; engineering a system is another. Put them together and you’ve got double the complexity — or more! That’s why project engineering a radio system is just as much about people as it is about technology.

It goes without saying that this kind of project is about managing multiple tasks and keeping “interoperability neighbors” (the different groups of people who use the system) up-to-speed with the proposed changes, so that they can manage the impact on their own systems. And, of course, current systems have to be kept “up” and operational, too. Continue Reading

Three critical steps for elected officials to take when choosing a radio system.

The useful life of a two-way radio system is around 10-12 years, so it’s no surprise that elected officials may serve several terms without having the opportunity to make decisions regarding a new system for their community.

When the decision does arrive, being prepared to ask a series of key questions about the proposed system will go a long way to making sure the community’s needs are met and investment protected.

Step 1: Understand the role of the radio system in your community Continue Reading

Thanks to everyone who took part in our recent poll from part one of this blog post series: “So you need to upgrade your system? And now you can’t sleep at night”

It’s no surprise that “choosing the right radio technology” is the major concern for most of you. With a number of technologies to choose from – each with their own benefits and pitfalls – the devil is in the detail, and that’s where the daunting task lies.

First and foremost, you need to ask yourself if you really know what you’re looking for? Continue Reading

For one reason or another, you’ve looked at your system and decided it needs to be upgraded. Perhaps it’s the age of the system, or you have new user requirements, there’s been changes in capacity or coverage requirements, or maybe it’s regulation that’s made you realize that it’s time to investigate an upgrade.

While the planning and procurement process is a challenging one, upgrading your system also presents a number of opportunities.

One of the first questions you should ask is, “What organizational opportunities can this... Continue Reading

Migrating a PMR network can be a major headache for network operators. The list of tasks and considerations is overwhelming. Few organizations have the expertise or resources in-house to undertake a large scale migration.

Network decision makers must determine their priorities and understand the risks, regulatory requirements, and safety concerns around the new network and the migration. Reducing risk to an acceptable level may result in cost overruns or delays in implementation. What would be the impact of a delay on your business? 

Expert advice and support from a trusted PMR provider will significantly increase the likelihood of a successful migration. Continue Reading

Dave Hadler, Tait Senior Customer Support Engineer

What is your current role at Tait?

My job is to look at what our customers have ordered, then shape their build, configuration, installation, and commissioning so that they get exactly what they need.

I get to follow the whole project from the order stage, as it is manufactured, configured, and factory tested with the customer. Then I’m there with them when it is installed and commissioned to make absolutely sure they get what they need.

Over the years, I’ve worked with almost all radio technologies, but I have most... Continue Reading

Change is good, but transforming your analog radio network to a digital platform can be bad if you don’t plan thoroughly and execute carefully.

Digital radio networks offer greater spectral efficiency and superior delivered voice quality.

The key to migration success is to ensure that nothing is forgotten and even the most complex of customized systems can be transformed into a digital communications network that delivers your organizational goals.

Don’t be afraid to call in the experts. A professional integrator or a network solution provider’s expertise, together with... Continue Reading

There are so many digital radio standards available today – with more being developed and coming to market each year – it’s difficult to know which is best for your business.

The ‘big two’ at the moment are DMR Tier 3 Trunked and P25 Phase 2. There are also many other standards, both open (eg: dPMR and TETRA) and proprietary (eg: NXDN). By understanding some of the fundamental differences behind each technology, and aligning these with what you need from your radio system, you can quickly figure out which standard best meets those needs.

Continue Reading