Radios in Times of Emergency

Do you ever notice how in every post-apocalyptic movie, they are using radios? Not only that, but RCMP, first responders, search and rescue and ski patrol all use radios. There is good reason for this. In fact, many amateur radio operators consider themselves key in emergency communications. Learning about how to use, and owning a radio is incredibly important for emergency preparedness.

So why is this?

First, radios don’t require infrastructure. Cell towers can go down in fires or other disasters, removing all communications with cellular. Satellite devices can have delays or become inoperable if the satellites they use are damaged. Radio on the other hand doesn’t rely on this technology.

While radio signals are improved and extended by the use of repeaters or other equipment, radios do not require these to work. If you have two handheld radios, and are within distance of one another, you can communicate.

Second, radios don’t require a number. Thus, if you have a radio and are tuned to an active channel, you can communicate with anyone else on that channel. In BC we have the RR channels, which most radios undoubtedly have programmed into them. Thus, in the case of an emergency, you could likely scan the RR channels and find someone to communicate with for help.

Third, radios are tougher and more practical than cellular phones. They are often designed for combat and extreme work situations. Thus, many radios are waterproof, dust proof and designed for long battery life. Radios also don’t rely on data, upgrades or other communications with manufacturers or developers to function. Software and other features of a cell phone may become obsolete or inoperative in emergency situations. The radio has one function- communication.

Radios have many uses in our current daily lives, from work settings, to charitable events, to sports, to hunting. Owning a radio is just one more way to add to your resources in work, play and in the event of an emergency.

SpotX

The highly anticipated Spot X is here! As with all Spot products, this device is economical, minimalist and amazingly functional. The unit looks similar to a blackberry, with a full keyboard and large screen.

Spot states:

SPOT X provides 2-way satellite messaging so you can stay connected to family, friends and colleagues whenever you’re outside of cellular range, including direct communication with Search & Rescue services in case of a life-threatening emergency. SPOT X even provides you with your own Canada-based personal mobile number so others can message you directly from their cell phone or other SMS devices at any time.

This unit is a step up from the Gen3, which was single direction. Now, you can have two-way communications for a much more affordable price than the competitors.

 

 

Some awesome features include:

  • 10 day battery (on 10 minute tracking)
  • Full keyboard
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Direct line to Search and Rescue
  • Check in texts (like Gen3)
  • Post to social media
  • 2 way messaging
  • Compass
  • Tracking (sends location to loved ones at set interval).

We know the SpotX will be a welcome addition to any outdoor adventurer’s pack! We are very excited to have this cost effective option for our customers.

Get out there this summer

We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth (its on the license plate after all!) If you’re one of the many British Columbians who loves the great outdoors, we are the place for you.

We often think about our gear with respect to tents or hiking boots. However, one of the most important pieces of gear is your communication. Every year, hundreds of people get lost in BC’s back country. Make sure you have the resources you need to get home safely!

There are a few ways you can stay connected while playing in nature. First, you can use ‘walkie talkies’ also known as FRS units. These handy devices help keep you connected with others in your group. Thus, if someone goes wandering off, you can find them and get home safely. These devices are very cost efficient and super easy to use.

Tend to hang out alone during your adventures? Sat devices are the thing for you. These units help you to communicate with those at home while you are out in the woods. These units range in price and features. Spot units are perfect for simple communications. InReach are more complex and allow for two way communication.

Want to learn more? Check out our Adventure Tourism Brochure!

Adventure Tourism

Heavy Duty Dash Cams

Dashcams are becoming more and more popular with the transportation industry. These devices are a solid investment for many reasons.

First, because they provide evidence and information to authorities in the event of a crash. This can be very helpful in reducing your liability and protecting your driving record.

Second, dash cams provide helpful feedback and information for businesses and drivers. The devices we carry at Walco Radio are designed to give you information about the road behind, your cargo loading and unloading. This can be of great value in the event inventory is missing or damaged.

At Walco we carry BlackVue heavy duty dash cameras. The image is HD and designed for the transportation industry. Recreational units do not have the durability needed for commercial purposes.

The unit is a waterproof and infrared rear camera which is connected to the front via 49ft of video cable. It also has built in wifi and GPS via the app. Further, these devices have impact and motion detection.

Have questions? We would love to answer them. We also install dash cams!

 

Install Experts

At Walco, we’ve been doing installs since our inception. It started out as a service for those buying our radios, but pretty soon we started doing installs for all kinds of equipment and into all kinds of equipment!

Semi? Pickup? Thousands under our belt.

Excavators? Yep. Loader? Sure thing.

Tractor? Done that too!

Oh and don’t worry, we know how to work around the whole aluminum truck problem.

We are happy to install any product you buy from us, including radios, boosters and even dash cams. You can also bring in your existing equipment for install!

Call in and book today 250-372-0054.

Electronic Logging Devices

Many of our customers are in the transportation industry, as a result we have been aware of rumblings about Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) for several years. These devices are required in the USA. Thus, there has been long discussion about creating aligning regulations.

The time has finally come. On December 16, 2017, the Government of Canada issued a formal statement to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act.

The reasoning for adopting ELD system is tampering and lack of verification safeguards with the current system of recording HOS. Violations are generally to extend drive time, which is noted as a serious health and safety concern, as fatigue is associated with 15% to 20% of crashes in transportation.

Exemptions:

  • commercial motor vehicles that are being operated under a permit issued pursuant to the Regulations by a provincial or territorial HOS director or under a statutory exemption,
  • commercial motor vehicles that are subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less,
  • commercial motor vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000.

Timing:

The statement discusses the option of a one or two-year phase in. Consultation with the transportation industry suggests a two-year phase in to allow for companies to absorb the costs and train staff.

There is a further note regarding grandfathering of ERD’s. This note states that ERD’s used by existing companies may be excepted for a further 2 years, in addition to the two-year implementation. Thus extending the date to 4 years.

Generally, those in the industry suggest these requirements will become active anywhere in the next two years.

Device Requirements:

The devices have certain specific requirements. The Government has issued proposed standards in a 61 page document.

 

It will be interesting to see how these changes roll out, and the impact on the transportation industry. As Walco, we are eager to understand changes that impact our customers and their businesses. As always, we are eager to assist with questions and installations!

 

Stay Connected this Hunting Season!

Gearing up for hunting season? Stay safe with one of our satellite devices.

We are proud to partner with Globalstar, Spot and inReach for the best in satellite devices!

Just want to send a quick message that everything is clear? The Spot Gen3 is a great start for you. Super affordable and durable, plus you provide peace of mind to your loved ones.

Gone for long trips? Maybe need to sneak in the odd email? inReach has you covered with advanced features like texting and email. Plus, did you know inReach and Garmin have partnered up? So now all inReach devices come with the power of a Garmin GPS. Talk about the best of both worlds!

Come in today to discuss which device is best for you.

Renovations!

It’s a new year at Walco Radio!

Over the holidays we have been busy with renovations! Come check out the fresh new look!

We are also branching out into new product areas. We have already added InReach, HESPV Solar and cellular repair to our products and services.

Wait to see what else we have coming to better serve our customers!

We look forward to serving you in 2017!

In Memory: Steve Inouye

To many of our long standing customers, Steve was a friend. He viewed his clients as his friends, and treated them as such. Steve would spend hours on any problem, and drop anything to make sure a client was taken care of.

Clients still come in and ask for Steve. They remember him from the 25 years he spent behind the counter, eager to assist and happy to have a chat and catch up.

At Walco, Steve was family. To us, he was endlessly dependable and always, always there. No matter what was needed, Steve was always happy to help. He stuck by us through 25 years.

His loss is felt through our whole organization, and it is felt by our clients.

Let us remember Steve- by his smiling face, his stories, his eagerness to help, his loyalty, his limitless patience and support.

He will be dearly missed.

2 Way Sat Devices

Things are changing here at Walco Radio! We have new partners, and a line up of new products to better serve our customers! You spoke and we listened.

InReach Two-Way Satellite Devices

We are now carrying InReach Explorer and SE products! These devices offer two-way satellite communications. It’s like texting, via satellite! The Explorer also doubles as a GPS unit!  Want the full rundown? You can get that in the product brochure! Plus InReach devices pair with your smartphone!

 

Come check out our new products and services today!