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Introspective View of Two Way Radio Use in Farming

Farmers have a lot on their plate trying to run a profitable, diverse, safe operation normally covering a very large land area to bring in livestock or tend to crops. They also face other issues that can affect their business including theft of high value machinery, rustling of livestock, vandalism and fly tipping.

A good way to deal with these issues is to improve efficiency and health and safety in the business. The solution is to have an effective two way radio system. There are various radio systems that are available including analogue and digital, but we find that a system incorporating a standard 5 Watt licenced handportable and 25 Watt mobile of either variety normally does the job. Other features may be required such as dust/waterproof protection, long battery life and rugged build which of course Icom UK can supply.

If the coverage area is large, a farm will have buildings in place to attach masts/antennas or to hide a repeater away to give optimum height for any coverage they may want to gain.

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK said, ‘We do see some farmers moving away from two way radio to go to mobile phones. They then tend realise that the coverage isn’t as good as what they need it and come back. You don’t have the facility for an ‘All Call’ on phones so if there is an emergency, you cannot call everyone at the same time which is vitally important.’

He added, ‘Icom UK are finding that the farming sector is choosing both analogue and digital radios for their businesses. Essentially, farmers need something that works and may normally choose the simplest option available with priority being on simple two way communication and no frills. Now the difference in price between analogue and digital isn’t that great and you see some customers opting for the extra features that digital offer such as noise cancelling.’

Radio technology isn’t just voice. Icom's new ‘data transceiver’, called the IC-F5122DD offers more than just being able to talk to each other. Farms may have reservoirs which are used to irrigate crops. They will be monitoring these facilities with a system which will report back water level low for instance. They might want to monitor this and other machinery remotely. The radio data modem allows telemetry and low-speed supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The solution doesn’t tie into two way radio but shows another solution that the radio industry can supply farmers.

Radio systems have developed over the years and there is a lot more choice in technology and Icom have kept up with this demand. To check out our latest range of two way commercial products, visit our website www.icomuk.co.uk. Alternatively, give our team a call on 01227 741741.

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