Data Radio Complete Contract With Merchant Taylors
Tuesday 15th November 2016
Merchant Taylors, an historic boys’ school founded in 1620, came to Data Radio when they needed a two-way radio system to link their entire facility together. This school spans multiple sites spread across three square miles. The school needed to be able to keep in contact with service staff, support staff, and caretakers spread across this entire area. Data Radio was able to devise a system that met their needs, which Merchant Taylors considered to be very effective.
Before they came to Data Radio, Merchant Taylors used license-free PMR446 radios. These radios are inexpensive and do not require a license. Unfortunately, their range is limited to a few hundred meters/a few kilometers, depending on the local surroundings. This meant that the school staff could only communicate across a single site. They could not, for example, reach someone working at the senior school from the juniors’. Therefore, they came to Data Radio to extend the reach of their radio communications.
It was clear from the start of the project that Merchant Taylors would need to upgrade to licensed radios, which offer a much longer range than unlicensed radios. Before doing anything else, Data Radio undertook a site survey to establish if the school needed a base station as well. As it turned out, the school needed a repeater in addition to the licensed radios to allow them to maintain contact across multiple widely dispersed buildings.
As an aside, a repeater is a radio which receives a weak radio signal and rebroadcasts it using a higher power. Repeaters are fixed in one location, and so they can use better antennas and higher power than a portable two-way radio. Most repeaters are also installed in a high place like a tower, which lets them receive signals from a wider area than someone could at ground level. Therefore, installing a repeater enables radio communication over a much wider area than is possible using portable two way radios alone.
Data Radio determined that an appropriately sited repeater along with licensed high power radios would allow radio communications across all of the school’s sites. Following the site survey, Data Radio specified an Icom repeater along with IC-F2000D, Entel HT782, and Entel HX482 two way radios for the communication system. The site chosen for the repeater was an iconic clock tower, necessitating a sensitive installation. Data Radio installed the two required antennas and the wall mounted base station inside the tower.
Merchant Taylors was satisfied once the two-way radio system was installed and operational. The system’s range far exceeded the original specifications. The school is now able to keep in touch with staff working across all of their locations, which they were not able to do previously. Data Radio was able to meet all of their requirements for a long range two way radio system.
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