Help our radio system is failing
Potential customers ask me this now and again when I ask them in 'what way?' invariably the answer is one of these three.
- None of our radios are working.
- The radios are noisy and we hear other people (who are not our staff).
- No one can talk to each other.
This doesn't make sense when you consider that..
- Radios are designed to last years (typically 8 or more years) and are built very robustly.
- Most radios are fully repairable (with a few notable exception).
- Radios do not become obsolete. A radio of today will talk with one from 25 years ago.
So given the reasons above why do radio systems fail?
Well each of the complaints above has a simple explanation and a simple solution.
Lucky Dip Battery failure:
After about 300 to 500 charges-discharge cycles the batteries start to loose capacity and will not last a day. At the start of a shift the first person in work grabs a radio and off they go.... Lucky dip.
They might have the radio with the first dying battery. Mid afternoon it fails. They drop it back in the charger and pick up another radio/ battery if available.... Now the problem has started. Someone else picks up that radio and by mid afternoon the radio is bleeping it sad 'Charge me now' beep. They may not know that plaintive bleep is a dying battery cry. 'My radio is faulty' they think 'I don't have time to report it, I will swap it'.
They won't be alone in this experience. Luck Dip sees to that. Soon word has got around. These radios are not working properly.
Solution: Battery management
Box Shift Failure;
Many companies put their toe in the radio water so-to-speak by buying their first radios from their telecoms /stationary/ electronics component supplier. These radios get delivered fast, sometimes cheap and ready to got out of the box, pre-programmed on the manufacturers settings....So did the radios used at the School/ Factory/ Hotel next door.
As there are only about three popular manufactures and every radio they make leave the factory with identical settings inevitably you will hear other users. Often if you are in an Urban area. Occasionally in a rural location. Either way your radios Will start making noises when they shouldn't, crackly squelchy noises, or clear rude remarks depending who is working next door.
Solution: Get the radios programmed correctly.
When you got those new box-shifted radios they came with a manual which told you how to change the default settings right? You didn't read it ? Don't be shy now, you didn't did you? ....Well I don't read them either. We just want to get that gadget out of the box and up and running. We will read the manual if we get stuck..
Well I expect some months later during a lunch break that new lad in the IT department thought he would see if he could stop his radio picking up the builders yard what would happen if he pressed... well you know the rest, that radio got moved off the default settings, it wouldn't talk to the others any more so he quietly put it back in the charger and picked up another.
Solution: Get radios programmed and locked down so the settings cannot be changed. Manage the radios so faulty ones can be identified.