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Two Way Radio Use in Farming

Farmers have a lot to deal with when trying to run a diverse, profitable and safe organisation normally covering a very large area of land to care for livestock and/or maintain crops. Other issues they face that can adversely affect their business includes theft of machinery & livestock, vandalism and even fly tipping!

Improving health & safety and efficiency in the business is a good way to deal with these issues. An effective solution is to use a two way radio system. There are a number of radio systems available that include analogue and digital, but a system comprising of a standard 5 Watt licenced hand-held radio and 25 Watt mobile radio (either analogue or digital) is often adequate. You may need to consider other features such as dust protection, waterproof rating, extended battery life etc.

If the farm is particularly large and needs more coverage, you could attach masts/antennas and hide a repeater away in a farm building. It’s best to focus on optimum height for any coverage you may want to gain.

Some farmers are moving away from two way radio to use mobile phones. They often find that cellular coverage is patchy and come back. There is no ‘All Call’ facility on phones so should there be an emergency, you cannot call everyone at the same time.

The farming sector are choosing both analogue and digital radios. Farmers need something that works and normally choose the simplest option with priority being on simple two way communication.

Lee Emerick No Comments

Advice for looking after your Fleet of Walkie-Talkies

After purchasing a fleet of Walkie-Talkies, you may want to make sure your team actually looks after them! Here we have a list of what you can do to look after your investment.

How To Store Walkie-Talkies
Walkie-Talkies should be stored in a cool, clean and dry place with limited exposure to the weather and direct sunlight. When in storage, it’s best to remove the radio battery as most radios have a soft on/off switch which will drain the battery even when it’s switched off.

Charging Walkie-Talkies
Make sure all battery contacts are clean, on both the charger and the terminals on the battery. If any of the contacts are dirty or contaminated, then the battery may not be detected when placed on charge, or will not charge correctly. Always charge your batteries in a compatible charger for your battery model, otherwise you may damage your Walkie-Talkie or battery.

If a battery is running flat too quickly, then it’s time to change it for a new one.

If you are putting a Li-Ion battery in storage, it should be half charged to 50% of its capacity. Every half year it should be discharged and recharged to keep it in good condition.

Make sure you never overcharge any of your batteries. This can damage the battery cells and will certainly shorten the battery life span. On the flip side, do not leave your batteries fully discharged for too long otherwise this can also reduce lifespan.

Day to Day Walkie-Talkies Use
Walkie-Talkies can be damaged by repetitive mistreatment such as being dropped, driven over, chewing of the aerials, swinging the radio by the antenna, placing face down in iron filings, submerging in water, inquisitive user dismantling the radio. Although some of this may sound unusual, it does happen in our experience. Using a case such as a heavy duty leather case or canvas case will help protect the radio and its components, reducing the need for repairs and replacement.

You should ensure that aerials on your radios have intact insulation otherwise you could potentially get a RF burn when transmitting.

Cleaning Walkie-Talkies
Always ensure the radios are turned off. Do not use industrial cleaners as they can damage the radio plastics. Its best practice to use a damp microfiber cloth to remove excess dirt.

Following this guide allow you to get the best return out of your Walkie-Talkie investment.