Radios

  1. IP (Ingress Protection Code) Explained

    Kenwood Radios

    IP (Ingress Protection Code) Explained

    When it comes to shopping for electronic devices there is no shortage of information being thrown at you from all directions. One that you hear of often is the ingress protection rating or IP rating for short. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down IP ratings and provide some additional information about them so next time you’re buying electronics you know that it is more than just letters and numbers.

    Ingress Protection


     

    Let’s start with the basics. Ingress, by definition, is the action or fact of going in or entering. The ingress protection rating classifies the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. Essentially, when you hear that a piece of electronic equipment is water-resistant or waterproof the IP rating provides the actual value to which the device is protected.

    The Breakdown


     

    So now that we know what exactly the IP rating is, let’s talk a little bit about how it works. For our example, we are going to use the Kenwood NX-P500 2-Watt Dual-Mode Two-Way Radio which boasts an impressive IP 54, IP 55, and IP 67 rating. IP ratings are given to a wide variety of electronic devices – like your cell phone, flashlights, power tools, and two-way radios. IP ratings are especially important when it comes to electronic devices that may be used in high voltage situations. In fact, there are often standards that electrical instruments must meet in order to be used for certain types of work.

    IP Value


     

    In its most simple form, IP values function as you would expect. The higher the value the more protected the internal components of the device are. We’ve established that the IP stands for ingress protection, but what about the number value? The first digit rates the device for ingress by foreign objects and dust. This number is going to tell you what kinds of solids could potentially enter the enclosure. This digit is rated on a scale from 0 to 6 with 0 meaning no protection from any solid object and 6 meaning complete protection from the smallest solids like microscopic dust particles.

    The second digit defines the electrical instrument's resistance to ingress by liquids. This digit is rated on a scale from 0 to 8 with 0 meaning no resistance to liquids whatsoever and 8 meaning the enclosure has complete protection. For both digits, the values between define various tests and procedures done to evaluate the protection level of the device.

    IP Clarifications


     

    One criticism of the ingress protection code is that a device could potentially pass a high level of testing while failing lower level tests because of differences in testing procedures. So, let’s take another look at the NX-P500 and break down the 3 different ratings of this device (IP 54, 55, and 67). Let’s start with IP 67. That is about as much protection as you can get. An IP rating of 67 means that the device is completely sealed off from solids like dust (represented by the 6). It also means that the device can withstand total immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes (represented by the 7).

    So, if the radio meets IP 67, why does it also list IP 54 and 55? Well, those two ratings differ from 67 because of the testing process. They use high and low-pressure water jets to test its protection. This simulates real-world applications like falling in moving water and other unforeseen circumstances that weren’t used when testing for the IP 67 rating. It’s always a good idea when looking at devices that you look for multiple levels of rating to ensure that you are getting the device that is most capable to stand up to the job at hand.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Ingress Protection Code Explained: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    We're also proud to announce Gear Up with Gear Experts® - A podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction. Gear Up with Gear Experts® is available via your podcast listening platform of choice and in each episode, the hosts (Alex Giddings & John Medina) bring in a gear expert or industry leader to talk about gear, gear safety, tips, and tricks. To find out more about the show and sign up for alerts, head on over to gearexperts.com.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  2. Benefits of Using Two-Way Radios

    In the digital age where being connected to the world through cell phones is not only common but an integrated part of everyone’s life, most people don’t have two-way radios at top of mind. However, when it comes to industrial applications and working on the job site, radios can provide benefits that even modern cell phones can’t. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the benefits of using radios.

    One-to-Many and One-to-One


     

    Most people are aware of at least one part of this benefit: one-to-many. Being able to talk to an entire crew or facility with the touch of a single button is pretty nifty. It doesn’t require taking a device out of your pocket, unlocking it, and setting up a conference call as a cell phone would. Radio accessories make it easy to initiate conversation with a mic attached to your shoulder and you don’t have to do anything else to talk to everyone at once.

    Many-to-one is something that isn’t as well-known but solves a problem that some people have with radios. While most of the time when using radios, you will want to talk to everyone at once, sometimes there are situations that warrant one-to-one conversation. Radios can provide that, too. Modern radios, like the Kenwood PKT-23 ProTalk Pocket Sized Portable Radio, have the ability to take a conversation private between two parties.

    Signal Doesn’t Matter


     

    When working on a job site, having a cell phone signal isn’t always possible. A cell phone without a signal is just a personal computer without access to the internet. Radios, on the other hand, don’t need a connection apart from being within range of the person you are talking to. That means that no matter where the job takes you, a radio will keep your crew connected at all times.

    Weak cell phone signal may mean that the device works, but it doesn’t mean it works well. Trying to talk to your crew on a cell phone that is experiencing poor signal quality can be a real downer, add unnecessary stress to the job, and make situations more dangerous. When it comes to radios, as long as you are within range, the clarity of the radio will be perfect every time. And with new digital solutions like the Kenwood NX-240V16P ProTalk Digital 5 Watt VHF Portable Radio, your clarity will be better than ever.

    Durability & Cost


     

    New cell phones, smartphones, in particular, aren't exactly known for their durability. With big glass screens and thin plastic or aluminum bodies, a 3-foot drop can spell doom for a modern cell phone. How about a 10-foot drop?  Forget about it – that phone is toast. While there are cases, tetherable cell phone holders, and a range of other equipment to hold and protect your phone, it’s much easier to just not have to worry. Radios are built tough and with equipment that is IP54, IP55, and IP67 compliant like the NX-P500 2 Watt Radio from Kenwood, you can rest assured that your radio can handle the toughest job sites.

    Cost is possibly one of the biggest benefits. While a good quality radio isn’t exactly “cheap”, it is cheaper than most smartphones. That, coupled with the fact that no monthly payment is required and the durability factor means that your overall cost of purchasing and using a radio is significantly lower than purchasing and replacing cell phones.

    What Radio is the right Radio?


     

    So, you’ve decided you want all of the benefits provided by radios, but now you need to find the right radio for your situation. We’ve got a series of blog posts that can help you make the right choice when it comes to radios. Find out if you need a digital or analog radio in this blog post and in this blog post we talk all about radio accessories.

    If you’ve got more questions about radios or accessories, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of Kenwood equipment

    Click here to see our full selection of radios

    Radios: The Playlist


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    We're also proud to announce Gear Up with Gear Experts® - A podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction. Gear Up with Gear Experts® is available via your podcast listening platform of choice and in each episode, the hosts (Alex Giddings & John Medina) bring in a gear expert or industry leader to talk about gear, gear safety, tips, and tricks. To find out more about the show and sign up for alerts, head on over to gearexperts.com.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  3. Cold Stress 101

    It seems like just yesterday we were focusing on heat and how to work in it. But, with winter in full swing, it’s time to talk about the cold. This week our Gear Experts® are going to discuss cold stress and how you can combat it while on the job site.

    Cold Stress


     

    Cold stress isn’t something that people typically talk about. While heat stress is mentioned often and everyone at least knows a little bit about it cold stress doesn’t get nearly as much coverage. But its effects can be just as damaging to your body. So, what is cold stress? Cold stress occurs when your body can no longer maintain its normal temperature. When your skin temperature drops low enough it can begin to lower your internal body temperature.

    To maintain your vital organs, the body reroutes blood away from your external extremities in an effort to keep your core temperature up. This blood flow change can cause serious complications or even death. When gauging whether or not cold stress is a threat keep these 3 things in mind:

    Dampness & Windchill

    → Pre-existing health conditions and poor physical conditioning

    → Improper attire

    Cold Stress Injuries & Illness


     

    Cold stress, like heat stress, can cause serious illness. Common injuries and illnesses of cold stress include:

    → Hypothermia: A dangerously low body temperature that can result in gangrene or death.

    → Frostbite: The freezing of body tissue (usually skin) that results when the body redirects blood flow away from the outer extremities.

    → Trench Foot: A foot condition caused by overexposure to cold water or mud. Causes the surface tissue of the foot to die and turn black.

    Staying Warm


     

    While the threat of cold stress is serious, the solution to prevent it is simple: dress properly. Dressing for cold weather is the most important and effective precaution you can take to reduce the chances of cold stress. Here are some of our favorite options when it comes to protecting yourself from the cold:

    Ergodyne 6466 N-Ferno Thermal Jacket


     

    The Ergodyne 6466 N-Ferno Thermal Jacket is your first line of defense against winter weather. Let’s break down what makes this jacket so effective. On the outside, it features a 500D Nylon body with 1600D Nylon reinforced zones in the upper arm and shoulder section to protect from wear and tear. It also features a waterproof coating to prevent liquid from making contact with your skin (remember that dampness can lead to cold stress). The inside is made of 3M Thinsulate insulation which provides top-notch warmth with a quilted layer for comfort.

    This jacket isn’t short of storage either. Whether you are carrying hand warmers or something like a two way radio this jacket can handle it. It features two exterior pockets on the front and back and it has an interior device pocket. The YK zippers and spandex cuffs on the arms help seal out the cold and keep you nice and warm.

    Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket


     

    The Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket comes in a variety of colors and styles. It is also available in a “kit” version that includes a battery and charger. This jacket combines toughness and technology to redefine layering on the job site. The key feature of this jacket is the carbon fiber heating element that creates and distributes heat across the chest and back. The jacket is powered by an M12 Red Lithium Battery that provides 8 hours of runtime. It also features a one-touch LED controller that allows you to choose from 3 heat settings per zone. The three zones are chest, back, and front hand pocket (the chest and back zone can be adjusted independently from the front hand pocket zone).

    Now, let’s talk about toughness. This jacket is made out of 900D ripstop polyester with nine riveted reinforced pockets (including battery pocket). It features integrated knit cuffs, an exterior storm flap, and a drop tail extended back for maximum comfort and coverage. And, most importantly, it’s washer and dryer safe so you can get it dirty and throw it in the laundry without having to worry about a thing.

    Cold stress is no joke, but it’s pretty simple to prevent. If you need help finding the perfect winter solution for you and/or your crew or you just have questions about cold stress – click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see the Ergodyne 6466 N-Ferno Thermal Jacket

    Click here to see the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket

    Click here to see our full selection of winter gear

    Click here to see our full selection of Ergodyne gear

    Click here to see our full selection of Milwaukee gear

    Cold Stress 101: The Video


     

     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  4. The Perfect Tower Climbing Radio

    Communication on any job site is key. That’s where radios come in. They are compact and make communicating over large distances (especially when you’re up 150 feet on a tower) much easier and more efficient. But not all radios are created equal. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down the perfect tower climbing radio.

    TK-3400U16PS


     

    The Kenwood TK-3400U16PS is the perfect tower climbing radio. The reason is actually pretty simple – the shorter antenna. Our Gear Experts® teamed up with the folks at Kenwood to custom design this radio specifically for the telecom market, although it’s perfect for any at-height work.

    *The TK-3400U16PS is the 16-channel upgraded version of the TK-3400U4P.

    Making Life At-Height Easier


     

    We found that the longer the antenna was on the radio the more likely it was to get in your way while you were climbing up and down the tower or working at height. Because of that, we decided to make a radio that had a much shorter antenna.

    Don’t worry! Just because the antenna is smaller doesn’t mean you will lose any reception. This antenna works just as well as any of the radios in Kenwood’s lineup.

    Completing Your Setup


     

    So, now you’ve got the perfect radio – but we’ve got a few more tips to make it the perfect setup. We recommend having a holster like the T-Reign ProHolster Retractable Harness Holster or the Kenwood KLH-187 Nylon Carrying Case. A holster will allow you to clip your radio to your harness so you don’t have to try and dig it out of your bolt bag in order to use it. The last piece of equipment we recommend is the Kenwood KMC-21 Speaker Mic. The speaker mic allows you to communicate with just one hand and not have to worry about taking your radio out of the holster or removing the holster from your harness.

    To find out more about some of our favorite two way radio accessories check out this blog post.

    Rebates!


     

    Kenwood frequently runs rebates. Be sure to check our Kenwood page for a full selection of Kenwood radios and any current promotions going on.

    Have more questions about our radio selection? Click here to talk to one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see our full selection of Kenwood radios and accessories

    Kenwood: The Videos


     

    Over the years we have done quite a few Kenwood videos covering everything from accessories and comparisons to how to lock your radio.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on!

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  5. The ALL NEW Kenwood NX-P500

    With the range of hazards that go hand-in-hand with at-height work, communication is an important part of any job. Having the ability to easily and effectively communicate with your crew helps promote safety and reduce accidents. This week our Gear Experts® are proud to announce a brand new dual band radio from Kenwood.

    The Kenwood NX-P500


     

    Kenwood is known for making durable, long-lasting, reliable radios and the NX-P500 doesn’t disappoint. This latest addition to the ProTalk series boasts a wide range of new features that make it one of Kenwood’s most powerful, compact radios yet. Don’t let the small, compact design, fool you, though. This radio packs some punch and is ideal for office settings, job sites, and even up on a tower.

    Features


     

    Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about what this radio can really do. It features dual mode NXDN Digital and FM Analog compatibility which means that no matter what radios your crew are running, this one will work with it. It is a powerful radio with 2-Watt UHF output power making it just as powerful as our popular Kenwood 3400U16P only much smaller in size. The output power settings on this radio make it particularly good for inside environments because it is capable of transmitting through up to 20 stories.

    The NX-P500 also features an IP54, 55, & 67 rated housing which means it is sealed for waterproofing. That means it can be submerged down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, so you don’t need to worry about it when your working in the elements.

    Even More Features


     

    We weren’t joking when we said this two-way radio was jam packed with cool stuff. It features hands free VOX (voice-operated-exchange) Operation with a 750-mW speaker output which provides loud and clear signal reception. And, the Lithium-ion battery provides over 15 hours of continuous usage. With all this awesome and powerful tech, the radio still only weighs a mere 5.6 ounces.

    Accessories


     

    Kenwood two-way radios have always had an added advantage apart from their quality. That advantage is the wide line of accessories. Out-of-the box this radio comes with a single unit charger but, it can use the Kenwood KSC-506K 6 unit charger. It is also compatible with a wide variety of Kenwood headsets, earphones, and microphones. Not to mention that with the help of the included belt clip holster, this radio can easily be attached to a toolbelt or job uniform.

    Got questions about the newest radio from Kenwood? Click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to see the Kenwood NX-P500 2-Watt Dual Mode Two-Way Radio

    Click here to see our full selection of Kenwood products

    Click here to see our full selection of two-way radios

    Kenwood NX-P500 The Video:


     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  6. Two Way Radio Accessories

    Two Way radios are great. For many in the at-height industry they are must-haves because they give you the ability to speak to your team over long distances with relative ease. Sometimes, though, having to pull a radio out of your pocket or a pouch can be difficult or downright dangerous. That’s why GME Supply offers a full line up of two way radio accessories to help you stay safe and provide added convenience while on the job. This week our Gear Experts® have put together a guide for some of the most useful Kenwood two way radio accessories.

    Kenwood KMC-45 Compact Speaker Mic


     

    The Kenwood KMC-45 Compact Speaker Mic plugs into your ProTalk radio and makes it easy to communicate while your radio is in your pocket or on your belt. The low profile compact design stays out of the way and easily clips to a harness, strap, or other gear. There is also a swivel on the back to offer versatile placement. One thing to make sure to do is use the included clip to clip in the connection to your radio. This ensures that you don’t accidentally pull the plug and disconnect the mic from the radio and miss an important message.

    Kenwood KHS-31C


     

    The Kenwood KHS-31C is a c-ring ear hanger that features an in-line push to talk mic for clear communication. The lightweight design is comfortable and balanced. This makes wearing the mic all day much easier. The job site isn’t always the quietest place, and hearing what people have to say isn’t always easy. That’s where this mic truly shines. Since the mic rests right on your ear it is perfect for situations where there is a lot of noise or where communications are sensitive. The ear piece can also swivel which provides additional comfort and customization.

    Accessories


     

    We carry a full line of Kenwood accessories. There are a range of different mics, charging stations (charging racks), rapid chargers, carrying cases, and replacement batteries.

    If you’re not sure what kind of accessory you need while on the job our Gear Experts® are here to help!

    Click here to check out our full line of Kenwood products.

    Click here to check out our full line of two way radios

    Click here to check out our full line of two way radio accessories

    Click here to check out our blog post on the differences between Digital and Analog radios.

    Two Way Radio Accessories: Video


     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has coming up in 2018. It will be exciting – we promise!

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1134"]Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on! Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on![/caption]

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  7. Digital vs. Analog: Kenwood Two Way Radios

    The digital age has arrived and almost everything is digital. Your two way radios are no different.  So, should you go digital? Is there any real difference between digital and analog? In this week’s blog post our Gear Experts® are going to compare the difference between digital and analog radios.

    The difference.


     

    What’s the difference?

    Clarity: The biggest, and perhaps the most important, difference is clarity. The digital radios are much clearer than their analog counterparts. What makes the digital radios so much clearer? It is because they feature built-in error correction. This correction removes random chatter, extra background noise, and static interference. It also helps clean up distorted voices.

    Coverage: Digital radios have a 20 percent increase in coverage over analog radios.

    Battery Power: Digital radios consume less energy. This means that your battery lasts longer.

    Privacy: Digital radios provide added privacy. This is due to the way that digital signals are transmitted and received.

    Is there Compatibility?


     

    Yes! There is no reason to get rid of all of your analog radios. Our selection of digital Kenwood radios have two compatible zones. This allows the digital radios to pick up the analog channel. The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to upgrade all of your radios at once. As they need to be replaced you can get digital radios. Then, once you’ve replaced all of your old analog radios you can just switch over to the digital frequency.

    Warranties


     

    Worried about going to a digital radio? Well, worry no more. The digital radios from Kenwood come with a 3 year warranty. That’s longer than most standard radio warranties and longer than the 2 year warranty on the analog Kenwood radios.

    Need help finding the perfect radio, or have questions about our two way radio selection? Click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    Click here to view our full selection of Kenwood Radios & Accessories.

    Click here to view our full selection of Two Way Radios.

    Digital vs. Analog Two Way Radio Comparison Video


     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has coming up in 2018. It will be exciting – we promise!

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

    We're Also On Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

7 Item(s)