Two- way radio Advantages for Uk Farmers in 2017
Farmers are increasingly choosing to use two-way radio instead of mobile phones for a number of reasons:
1) Higher reliability than mobile phones in sparse rural areas due to poor phone coverage.
2) More rugged design of two-way radio handsets. Models from Hytera & Tait for example can survive being dropped on the hard ground, or even into water.
A handheld radio that we would recommend for farmers is the Hytera PD705, which is IP67 rated. This means that it can withstand being dropped in water, so is perfect for outside work activities.
3) Time saving because you just press transmit & talk, rather than having to dial a number & wait for connection. Great for emergency situations, & a safety feature.
4) Cheap to run, as you have no call charges to pay, and your employees can’t make private calls, costing you money & lost time. For handheld only use, a 5 year Ofcom licence can be obtained, for only £75.
The licence allows use of a number of shared frequencies, and is not area dependent. This means that you can use the handheld radios throughout the UK, without being restricted to a particular set geographic area.
5) ‘Lone Worker’ features from manufacturers such as Vertex-Standard allow safety monitoring of workers, which helps farming safety.
6) Range can be extended worldwide through the use of repeaters, and other modern IP technology, so distance now no object for modern two-way radio.
How to Incorporate Modern Digital Radios With Older Analogue Farming Radio Systems in 2017
Many farmers already have existing radio systems that have been in place for many years.
Unless the system is less than five years old, then it is likely to be what is known as ‘Analogue’.
Even if the system is newer than five years, it could still be analogue, rather than Digital, as the price of analogue until recently was quite a bit less than Digital.
These days, in 2017, the price difference between the older Analogue radios, and the newer Digital radios has narrowed, and we would recommend Digital.
The reasons for us recommending farmers start to migrate their existing Analogue radios to Digital include:-
- Better coverage at the fringes of transmission range.
- The voice quality stays great at the fringes of coverage, and does not suffer interference.
- Battery life of handheld radios is better, compared to analogue handheld radios.
- Digital radios are harder to eavesdrop on.
You can keep your existing Analogue system, and gradually replace the radios with the more modern digital system, using what are known as ‘Migration Radios’.
These radios, such as the Hytera PD415 handhelds, are capable of operating in both Digital & Analogue modes.
Therefore you can could for example communicate in digital mode between two PD415 radios, whilst also being able to communicate with your older analogue radios as well (in Analogue).
These ‘Migration Radios’ , such as the Hytera PD415 offer farmers the choice to avoid a large initial expense of a new Digital System. Instead, farmers can gradually replace their existing Analogue radio system over time.
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