Personal Radios at Work

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Personal Radios at Work

Postby kem554991 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:27 pm

I have already tried posting a similar topic in the Tavern over at Radio Reference, but I thought I'd get the opinions of those who browse Batboard exclusively.

I work in a relatively remote area of a theme park with a large radio infrastructure (8 repeated channels, 1 simplex) and a mix of Motorola Waris and Kenwood portables. Despite our remote location and forgetful supervisors, we have not been provided with a radio other than an FRS/GMRS bubblepack. The FRS unit would be fine, but our supervisors have decided not to carry both radios (park and FRS). At this point I have ordered a UHF MTS2000 I, which is compatible with the park's UHF simplex system. I have yet to talk to my dept. head, but I would like to use it for work. I would of course be willing to take the in house training course (mostly 10- codes and callsigns) for free, and I could take the unit to be examined by either an in house radio tech or the contractor as long as it means we wouldn't be forgotten about as often. I just wanted to get some insight from people who have used personal radios at work before and any challenges they may have faced.

Thanks in advance,
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby Jim202 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:41 am

kem554991 wrote:I have already tried posting a similar topic in the Tavern over at Radio Reference, but I thought I'd get the opinions of those who browse Batboard exclusively.

I work in a relatively remote area of a theme park with a large radio infrastructure (8 repeated channels, 1 simplex) and a mix of Motorola Waris and Kenwood portables. Despite our remote location and forgetful supervisors, we have not been provided with a radio other than an FRS/GMRS bubblepack. The FRS unit would be fine, but our supervisors have decided not to carry both radios (park and FRS). At this point I have ordered a UHF MTS2000 I, which is compatible with the park's UHF simplex system. I have yet to talk to my dept. head, but I would like to use it for work. I would of course be willing to take the in house training course (mostly 10- codes and callsigns) for free, and I could take the unit to be examined by either an in house radio tech or the contractor as long as it means we wouldn't be forgotten about as often. I just wanted to get some insight from people who have used personal radios at work before and any challenges they may have faced.

Thanks in advance,
kem554991



Use of a personal radio for work can be a double edged sword. I say this because if you do supply a radio, the company might then rely on it for their normal daily use. The question that now comes up is will they pay to maintain it? This is battery replacement, annual trip through the radio shop for a peak and tweak blessing, repairs to it if it gets damaged and so on. What happens if you forget to bring it to work one day? Will the company get upset that you don't have your radio with you? Will the company punish you for not having it with you? Remember this is your radio, not theirs.

You might want to consider this issue of bringing your own radio to work carefully. You should also draw up a contract on the use of the radio and it's maintenance. This would ward off some of the not so kind demands that could show up down the road.

Jim
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby Bill_G » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:42 am

I agree with Jim. Providing your own radio sets a precedent you may not want. If having radios increases your productivity and enhances public safety, the company needs to provide them.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby RadioSouth » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:12 am

Is it actually legal to use a radio on the system that is not owned/leased by the licensee ?
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby Bill_G » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:16 am

RadioSouth wrote:Is it actually legal to use a radio on the system that is not owned/leased by the licensee ?


Yes - with authorization. Volunteer fire fighters do it all the time.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby kem554991 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:29 am

Thanks for the replies! Jim- I will be sure to bring that up when I speak to the dept. head. They would have to provide a radio and train another person to use it eventually, because I do not work every single day. As far as them providing a radio, I seriously doubt that the dept. has the money right now. We are in a hiring freeze and they tend to spend what they have on the most ridiculous things. Ultimately the radio is simply added convenience for myself and my coworkers, not for the benefit of management.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby MTS2000des » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:49 am

I would have talked to my supervisors BEFORE spending money on ANY personal equipment.
Mainly because you don't want to come across as well, dare I say, a whacker- not just that, but some places (and I'm not saying yours) take offense and feel threatened when an employee tries to do things on their own that are not part of "the company" protocol or use equipment, training or knowledge not provided, sanctioned or authorized by "the company".

and then some supervisors have a God complex. It is your job, I ASSume your primary source of income, and while I applaud you for wanting something better and more duty fit than some plastic made in China bubble pack POS, at the end of the day, when you work for someone, they are the ones signing the paychecks and it is their house, their rules. Not saying it is not a good idea, but in some places, you might be viewed as a rogue or troublemaker for wanting to use your own equipment without discussing your concerns through your chain of command.

and then the other reasons that were mentioned by other responders are also valid so I won't rehash them.
The views here are my own and do not represent those of anyone else or the company, the boss, his wife, his dog or distant relatives.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby kem554991 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:13 am

Make no mistake, I have no intention of just waltzing in with a radio set for the company system and using it without permission. That would likely get me fired. Work isn't the only reason I wanted a UHF portable. As soon as the FCC figures out what they're doing about the licensing fee, I intend to get my GMRS license. It won't be entirely useless if I don't use it for work. If it suits the boss, I'll just use it as a replacement for the lost FRS bubblepack once I get my license. That would allow the supervisors to (hopefully) carry the remaining unit. In fact, I would be happy with using one of the company Kenwoods if they would assign us one.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby kem554991 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:51 pm

UPDATE: I spoke with my dept. head today. She had initially been planning to have us start calling "600 Base", the dept.'s base station, on the phone and having the secretary put out a call to the supervisors on the radio. I explained that I thought a radio would be more convenient for all involved, and she agreed. I offered to use my own during my shifts, and she said she thought Guest Services might have one they can give us. Hopefully she'll bring that one out sometime in the next week. She also said that codes were a bit mundane and said she won't make us take the company training class. If we don't see a radio show up in the next week or two I guess I'll go bring it up again and go from there.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby tsunami_australia » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:50 am

When I was working on the Pacific Highway upgrades around here (NSW Australia) I got fed up with the companies radios and used my own as the company only had about 4/12 working radios and the rest had screwed batteries. Since we were working on the highway I got fed up with the radio dying 1/8 of the way through the day and being left on the highway at a remote posting with no communications.

I already had an MT1000 just needed accys (programming lead, battery, speaker mic etc). I obtained this gear off fleabay for a decent price and commenced rocking up to work with my own radio that actually worked. A few of the other blokes asked questions then started considering doing the same themselves since the company was so dodgy. My MT1000 is now a museum pc which is deaf as a post and the battery is dead but it got me out of trouble at the time. Now I run a Baofang dual band thing (I'm not going to get into the legalities bs) and it is a great little thing that goes most places I want it to go.

Just be careful though about licensed frequencies, I was able to assert my authority with the supervisor as I was one of the only trustworthy staff, I had the knowledge and common sense. Some can get really ruffled though if it is a private system.
No I'm not Moto mad, just found they work better than my old Philips PRM80 radios.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby JRUTA » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:37 am

Well, I for one use my Astro Saber for work. I am in public safety on a conventional system. Quote a few of us use our personal radios- with a MDC assignment number and knowledge from the system manager. We do this because we KNOW our radios are reliable, unlike the very poorly maintained, worn out, tired portables that have been in use for ten+ years.

I realize that every system is different, however we do have permission to use our own equiptment and our safety relies on it.

Personally? I think its ideal, I KNOW what condition my radio/battery is in before my shift starts.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby JRUTA » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:39 am

"Quite"
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby escomm » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:53 pm

This issue comes up from time to time with some customers of mine that have larger radio systems. I point out there may be some risk management issues with employees using their own radios. I don't recommend my customers permit their employees to use their personally owned radios except in limited circumstances. If someone gets hurt because the radio didn't work, it's a can of worms their lawyers don't want to open. It's a lot easier to file a claim with the insurance company when company owned property is exclusively involved in a claim.
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Personal Radios At Work

Postby Jim1348 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:47 pm

I sort of have mixed feeling on this topic. I have used personal radios at work. I retired from a sheriff's office over 2 1/2 years ago. Prior to that I was a suburban city cop for a number of years. During that time I became an amateur radio operator. As a result, I have used personally owned scanners, amateur radios, and commercial land mobile radios to supplement my police/sheriff's radios over the years.

For example, I had a Yaesu FT-8800 dual band mobile amateur radio in my take home unmarked squad car for a number of years. It allowed me to talk on hammy repeaters and simplex frequencies AND monitor conventional public safety frequencies. A PD in my county used a 453.xxxx repeater for car to car. I only had VHF from the sheriff's office, so using the FT-8800 to monitor that was VERY helpful.

When we went to a digital, trunked 800 system, I was assigned a Motorola XTS5000 and an XTVA. I had NO dedicated mobile because it was a "covert" car. The XTS5000 is a great radio, BUT I could only monitor about 15 or 16 talkgrouos with it. I used a scanner in my unmarked to discreetly monitor a number of other talkgroups. That was quite helpful for what I did at work.''

Finally, I used to work off duty as a deputy sheriff at various locations around the county. These were ALL approved off duty jobs. Many of the sites that I worked at used radio of some sort. Some were VHF and some were UHF. I had a pair of Motorola transceivers that were Front Panel Programmable. One was VHF And one was UHF. Depending on the account, I might bring one or I might bring BOTH personally owned radios. Working at a ski hill, it was VERY handy to monitor the Management channel AND the National Ski Patrol. It helped me, by increasing situational awareness, and I think it helped the private business by getting better service. I can think of MANY times where I would monitor the Ski Patrol talking on the air about something and I would start moving towards that area and by the time I receive the call on the Management channel, I was already there!

But, I also realize that my situation was somewhat unique. I wouldn't necessarily advocate that others do what I did. I don't want to sound like a "Do as I say, NOT as I do guy", but I also did realize the risk that I was at by using my own equipment. I was careful and tried to be as discreet as possible.

Given the scenario portrayed by Kem554991, I rather doubt that I would have used my own radio(s). If you have a strong enough interest in radio as a hobby, then by all means get your amateur radio license!
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby kem554991 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:27 pm

UPDATE 2: Our "new" company-issued Kenwood showed up in one of the booths today. It's in pretty decent shape, but missing the volume knob. Works great and it's loud as hell in those small booths. My direct superior (assistant supervisor) was pretty excited. He said he agreed that it would make things much more convenient for everyone. At this point I won't be using my MTS2000 for work unless they take away the Kenwood. As far as a license, I will be getting my GMRS license as soon as the FCC reviews the prices.
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Re: Personal Radios at Work

Postby tsunami_australia » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:50 am

JRUTA wrote:Well, I for one use my Astro Saber for work. I am in public safety on a conventional system. Quote a few of us use our personal radios- with a MDC assignment number and knowledge from the system manager.


I've done this with the Rural (volunteer) Fire Service here before. My XTL5000 had a PTT-Off MDC1200 ANI so they could tell when I was on MY mobile heading to the station and then when the ptt-off screech stopped they knew I was in the tanker about to roll. Was not supposed to happen this way but used appropriately and discretely they approved of it as we could get location details, incident details on the way and also they knew we had received the page as the pager system was having issues.

All of my new Moto's (I don't use anything else except for a Simoco in the mrs car) have MDC1200 PTT-OFF ANI for absolute identification.
No I'm not Moto mad, just found they work better than my old Philips PRM80 radios.
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