Improving Two Way Radio Range


The most obvious (and most frequent) question: “How far will I be able to reach with this radio?”. Honestly, there is no simple, straight-forward answer. The factors affecting the range of a two-way radio are: the radio’s antenna and power, and the terrain. Some insight on how each of these factors impacts your ability to transmit and receive over distance is below.


You know the higher you go, the greater the range. Having a tall antenna means having maximum range. Motorola two-way radios have removable antennas, so upgrading your antenna is a low-cost (around $20) easy way to improve range performance.

Mobile radio antennas are mounted on the outside of a vehicle, preferably on the roof, so the antenna as high as possible, providing maximum range.


Operating at maximum power will also help to improve range. Using fully charged batteries allows transmitting and receiving at the highest power level possible

The average li-ion battery contains 1.2V of power, and the average alkaline battery pack produces 1.5V. That makes battery packs worth looking into. Motorola IMPRES II batteries too. Having the right battery may mean the difference in getting the message out or not.


Terrain has more affect than any other factor. Using a high perch, over flat terrain a two-way radio can transmit and receive up to 30 miles. On the ground with no obstacles to interfering, the curvature of the earth limits communications to about 6.5 miles. Adding obstructions such as trees, hills, valleys, and buildings may decrease a radio’s range to under a half mile.

Know your terrain before you buy. If you are needing radios for use in a fairly open area, then VHF model radios are best. The longer radio waves of a VHF radio give a greater range over open spaces. UHF is the best choice for use around structures and in dense areas.

IF THERE IS A NEED TO IMPROVE SYSTEM-WIDE RANGE: consider Motorola Two-Way Radio Repeaters or Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA).

A radio repeater is a combination of a radio receiver and a radio transmitter that receives a weak or low-level signal and retransmits it at a higher level or higher power. The result: two-way radio signals can cover longer distances without degradation. Repeaters are usually located on a mountain top, tall building, or radio tower. This allows communication between two or more bases, mobile or portable stations that are unable to communicate directly with each other due to distance or obstructions between them.

The repeater is synonymous with the base station, which performs both functions in most emergency dispatching systems.

The repeater receives on one radio frequency (the “input” frequency), demodulates the signal, and simultaneously re-transmits the information on its “output” frequency. All stations using the repeater transmit on the repeater’s input frequency and receive on its output frequency. The Motorola repeater product line-up provides a variety of choices, allowing you to tailor your solution to fit your needs and budget.

BDA’s are ideal for increasing range within buildings and down into basements. Concrete and metal strongly affect radio signals and limit range. Adding a BDA can amplify a radio’s transmit and receive strength and help get through those barriers.

<b>Connect with your account manager to learn more.</b.

Whelen Engineering – Vertex Lights

When it comes to making sure you stay visible – daytime or night time – working in the rain, plowing … you get the idea … Whelen products can’t be beat.

Whelen’s Vertex Series are available in single color or split color and they offer three different optical light output models to direct light anywhere it’s needed. These small Super-LED® lightheads install easily with a 1″ hole and utilize an in-line lamp driver. The lamp and in-line lamp driver are fully encapsulated for moisture and vibration resistance, and each light mounts vertically or horizontally via two screws. There’s more, to include a five year warranty. Check out the website (2-Way Communications Service) for more information, or call Jim at (603) 431-6288 xtn 1755.







Cell Number Security


Digital privacy goes hand-in-hand with digital security … and there’s an increasingly-used piece of information which you control which the bad guys are after … it’s your cell phone number. More and more they are being used by the bad guys as a way to personal information that’s kept by nearly all corporations, financial institutions, and, yes, social media networks.

Your cell phone number is a gateway to your identity. It provides an entrance to all the data contained on your phone, and can connect your other information to you – your email address, physical address—everything. In a company’s database, your phone number becomes another piece of personally identifying data. But unlike our Social Security numbers, the number is not regulated, and no companies are mandated to keep it private.

Mobile phone numbers them become a target for attackers. Most of us have gotten wise to phishing and email breaches. Now there is SMiShing (pronounced “smishing”) … the act of sending a text message containing questionable links to harmful websites. Once the bad guys get your credentials, they can log into your banking site as you. Then, we all know what can be done: Monies transferred. Checks written. Stocks sold.

Even seemingly innocuous requests like the one from a sales clerk can lead to trouble. The fact that they now have it means it could be hacked. Customer phone numbers have been stolen from Anthem, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Walgreens, and Yahoo.  

What you can do: 

  1. Use common sense: If you’re asked for your phone number, ask why.
  2. Get a virtual phone number: Google Voice gives you a free phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. It works on smartphones and computers, and syncs across your devices so you can use the app while on the go or at home. Check out
  3. Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication on all your devices:
  4. Sign up for the “do not call” lists, which are helpful for run-of-the-mill solicitations.
  5. Choose which private data you are willing to share: Maybe an email address, zip code or just your name as a way to identify you. It’s worth asking about with the person asking for data.

School District Case Study


Glen Ellyn, Illinois, School District 41 relies on MOTOTRBO digital radios to keep communications available during emergencies and increase efficiency for day-to-day operations.
Learn what caused this school system to turn to Motorola for a district-wide communications upgrade, the solution installed, and the results with this case study from Motorola.


Snow Plow Amber

New Hampshire Statue RSA 266:78-h authorizes the use of amber colored warning lights … the statue doesn’t require them … but does authorize them for privately owned vehicles used for snow removal on or adjacent to ways.

So even if you don’t have to … for the sake of improved safety and the possibility of reduced liability and lower insurance, why not use them? And what amber should you use?

The majority of our customers keep it pretty simple. Whelen ION lights in the grill, and Whelen Vertex lights in the head lights and tail lights.

Whelen IONs are all compact, versatile and designed to be utilized in a multitude of applications with numerous mounting options. Model options include: the Universal ion_capriceLight; the T-Series (with Linear Super-LED technology and a sleek low profile design); the V Series Super-LED (which have been reengineered with linear optics); and the Wide Angle Series.


The Vertex Super-LED lights are either directional or omni-directional to place light vertex-tahoe-taillightanywhere it’s needed.  These lights provide 25 Scan-Lock patterns, are synchronizable to other Whelen synch products, are fully encapsulated for moisture and vibration resistance, and carry a five-year warranty.



How can Fleet help you get ready for what’s next for your organization? Give Fleet a call at 603-431-6288 x 1755 (that’s Jim), or send an email to


Watch the WeVision ION video.

Watch the WeVision Vertex video.

The Network Division is Hiring


Lyle has an opening in the Network Division for a PC & Server Technician/Consultant. It’s a great opportunity for personal and professional growth … and some fun besides (have you ever heard about the company’s annual holiday party?). I asked Lyle what he was looking for in a candidate. Here is his response:

2-Way Communications Service, Inc’s Network Division is looking for a full time PC & Server Technician/Consultant for the Southern NH and ME area. Professional attitude, appearance, and the desire to learn required. Think of a “techy” Errol Flynn with the learning capacity of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

A variety of tasks like running cable, scripting server management, configuring active directory, cleaning virus infested pc’s, upgrading server OS’s, designing wireless LAN’s, documenting network configurations, installing and configuring IP-based surveillance systems,  etc. will keep the person in this position learning and moving every day. Our technicians regularly rescue office managers in distress, defend the downtrodden, and in general save the day.  Current Microsoft Certifications desired.

You will join a small team working hard to support dozens of companies and government agencies with dozens of servers and hundreds of pc’s. Roughly half of your time will be spent in the office providing remote support over the phone and using remote management software. The other half will be spent at customer locations fixing, uploading, installing, and other similar tasks. Given the fact that much of our client base is law enforcement you will be subject to a criminal background check and squinty-eyed scrutiny every time you enter an office.  

Applicants must meet all of the requirements below plus 3 others which are secret but may be waived if we hit the golden buzzer during an interview:

  • Have excellent written and verbal skills. 
  • Have a good sense of humor. 
  • Have experience with current Windows Server operating systems. 
  • Be self-motivated with a strong desire for professional growth. 
  • Be on time; I mean really, how hard is it to leave a few minutes early in case there’s traffic? 
  • Have an appreciation of eclectic musical tastes (It’s my office. Enough said.) 
  • Understand Ethernet networking and basic routing. 
  • Be available for occasional night and weekend work.

If you are interested in applying for this position send your cover letter and resume to Thank you!


Subscriber Preventative Maintenance Program


2-Way’s Subscriber Preventative Maintenance Program (SPMP) provides annual preventative maintenance as well as ongoing asset management and tracking for an organization’s mobile and portable radios. 

The development of a regular, reoccurring maintenance program means the customer enjoys proper radio performance; is assured of operational compliance; and realizes increased service life. The preventative maintenance optimizes performance and improves ROI. The subscriber database allows for rapid subscriber identification, reassignment, and individual unit reprogramming as required throughout the year. 

The SPMP program is made up of three principal parts, Subscriber Tracking, Annual Preventative Maintenance and Ongoing Support.

Subscriber Tracking provides a detailed database of all subscriber assets, which includes in part:

  • Equipment Make
  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • P25 digital ID
  • Codeplug File Name
  • Last Serviced Date

The annual preventative maintenance provides a comprehensive assessment of the subscriber condition, performance and compliance.  Results of the PM checks are recorded for each subscriber and will be provided to the customer upon completion. PM checks include but are not limited to:

  • Transceiver compliance check
  • Operational check of buttons/switches
  • Clean control surfaces and accessory contacts
  • Antenna sweep and physical check/cleaning

The data collected by this program, provides a convenient means of ongoing support at no cost to the participating agency.  Ongoing support includes services such as:

  • Individual PM checks
  • Minor programming changes
  • Unlimited frequency updates

For additional information about the Subscriber Preventative Maintenance Program, give 2-Way Communications a call at (603) 431-6288.

John spent a day at Portsmouth Fire Department not too long ago, processing all the department’s mobiles and portables through the SPMP. While he was onsite, he took a couple of minutes to go more in depth about the program. Take a look!

Lenovo ThinkPads and MIL-SPEC Testing


I get to see a bit of the outdoors as a normal part of my work day. I take all of my gear with me simply because you never know what you might need. That includes my Lenovo ThinkPad, usually slipped into a sleeve in my daypack along with camera and sound gear, food, drink, and the rest. When the Network guys gave me the lightweight, dainty-looking device I carry, I thought I’d be asking for something more rugged in short order. That hasn’t happened, and I think it’s all because of the military specifications the ThinkPads meet.


MIL-SPEC is a set of standards designed to test durability, ruggedness and reliability. These tests cover extreme environmental variables including temperature, pressure, dust, humidity and vibration. Although ThinkPads have always been known for their robustness, they were not specifically designed to only meet the MIL-SPEC 810G standard. Meeting the 810G standard is only part of ThinkPad’s durability, robustness and reliability. Selected ThinkPad models, including all X & T series, have successfully passed the following tests:

HUMIDITY: 91-98%
Subjected to 91-98% humidity at 20°C to 60°C (68 – 140° F)

Frozen at -20°C (-4°F)for over 72 hours

+30°C to +60°C (86°F to 140°F) over 7 x 24 hour cycles

Subjected to 140 mesh silica dust for 6 hour cycles

Undergoes multiple tests while switched on and off

High acceleration and repeated shock pulses over 18 times

Tests operation at 15,000 feet while running

Performs in temperatures oscillating between -20°C and +60°C (-4°F and +140°F)over 3 cycles of 2 hour duration


Take a look at what Lenovo has to say about the durability of their products.

If you’d like to learn more about Lenovo business products, call the Network Division at 2-Way Communications Services (800-441-6288 x 1746) or send an email to . They’ll be glad to help you find a workable, sustainable solution that’s right for your business.

MOTOTRBO IP Site Connect




Motorola’s IP Site Connect digital solution uses the Internet to extend the coverage of your MOTOTRBO communication system.  No matter where you’re located, you can communicate easily among locations across the city, state or country.

You can create wide area coverage and automatically roam from one coverage area to another without having to change channels on your subscriber. Or you can enhance coverage at a single site like a high-rise building that contains physical barriers. IP Site Connect enables you to extend the voice and data communication capability of your workforce beyond the levels two-way radio has achieved before. This means dramatically improved customer service and increased productivity.

Features of IP Site Connect:

Wide Area Coverage – Up to 15 sites can be connected using a standard IP network. Sites can be widely separated – in different states or even different countries. Your entire workforce stays connected.

Cost-Effective Deployment -There is no requirement to purchase additional infrastructure such as a system controller, as communications are coordinated by the site repeaters. And you only need access to a single radio channel at each site.

Full Voice and Data Support – Every site supports voice and data, and can be equipped with applications from our extensive developer community.

Easy to Maintain, Upgrade and Expand – With the included RDAC tool (Repeater Diagnostics And Control), you can access all sites remotely for maintenance, upgrade and configuration. Adding a new site is easy: just equip the new repeater on the IP network.

Migration is a Breeze – IP Site Connect is an easy upgrade from a conventional single-site radio system, and as your business grows, it’s easy to further upgrade from IP Site Connect to a MOTOTRBO trunked solution such as Linked Capacity Plus or Connect Plus. Your investment is safe.

Related Products

XPR 4000 Series Mobile Two-Way Radio

XPR 5000 Series Mobile Two-Way Radio

XPR 8400 Repeater

MTR3000 Base Station/Repeater

SL 7000 Series Portable Two-Way Radio

XPR Two-Way Radio

XPR 8380 Repeater

SLR 5000 Series Repeater

The MotoTRBO IP Site Connect Brochure is available on our website.

If you’re interested in learning more about Motorola’s IP Site Connect system, the Sales Team at 2-Way Communications will be happy to provide additional and discuss with you how IP Site Connect might meet your needs. Give them a call at (603) 421-6288 or send an email to