dbSpectra debuted a 700 MHz/800 MHz transmit cavity combiner (shown) and a 700 MHz combiner — based on the company's 800 MHz family of combiners — that uses a larger cavity to handle spacing as close as 150 kHz between transmit channels. This approach reduces the number of antennas that need to be deployed, according to the company.

Avtec announced the development of a P25-based digital fixed station interface that enables end-to-end digital connections between Avtec's Scout dispatch consoles and land mobile radios manufactured by Daniels Electronics and Tait Radio Communications. The interface lets users switch easily between analog and digital voice modes. At the heart of the interface is Avtec's VPGate protocol gateway that supports AES/DES encryption and controls a variety of conventional and trunked radio gateways, as well as SIP phone systems.

Motorola unveiled the ASTRO 25 Express system (shown), a single-site, P25 trunked system that is targeted to serve enterprises such as universities, ports, prisons and small public-safety organizations. Able to support as many as 18 channels, the equipment can be reused if the entity wants to expand to a larger ASTRO 25 network in the future.

In addition, Motorola debuted two enhancements to its MOTOTRBO digital two-way radio platform. IP Site Connect lets users extend coverage capabilities via an IP connection and share voice and data communications. Capacity Plus is a single-site trunking solution that is less expensive, because it does not require a controller to operate, according to the company.

Also, Motorola unveiled two fixed broadband offerings operating on 4.9 GHz spectrum allocated for licensed used by public-safety entities. The Point-to-Point 49600 series is a wireless Ethernet bridge solution that supports data rates up to 150 Mb/s and is designed as an alternative to expensive lease lines needed to backhaul mission-critical LMR transmissions. The Point-to-Multipoint 49400 series of access points and subscriber modules provides a maximum range of 15 miles and maximum data rates of 21 Mb/s — ideal for video-surveillance systems, the company said.

Finally, Motorola unveiled the CP185, which is designed for users in the education, retail, hospitality, service and light manufacturing industries that need a commercial-grade, analog portable two-way radio.

Cellular Specialties introduced a 700/800 MHz signal booster designed to maintain clear, uninterrupted communications for first responders in basements, stairwells and inner offices. An additional filter can be added to the signal booster to notch out interfering cellular signals. The signal booster is contained within a NEMA-4 enclosure that is resistant to dust, heat and water, the latter two of which come into play in firefighting situations. The device also provides oscillation control and automatic gain control.

Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems introduced the 800 MHz MASTR V base station, which features a compact design that allows eight channels to be installed in a single 83-inch cabinet and the capability to do most maintenance remotely. Scheduled to be in volume production during the second half of this year, the 800 MHz MASTR V complies with the P25 Phase 1 standard and provides a migration path to the P25 Phase 2 standard, the company said.

In addition, Tyco Electronics unveiled a new VIDA broadband multilink base station, which includes the added functionality of a WiMAX subscriber to allow the device to function as a high-capacity, low-latency repeater in point-to-multipoint WiMAX networks. Shipping immediately, the 4.9 GHz multilink base station is designed to deliver maximum data throughputs of 19 Mb/s on 5 MHz channels or 38 Mb/s on 10 MHz channels.

Finally, Tyco announced that it has added the TIA-approved P25 dual-rate vocoder to its VIDA communications networks and subscriber radios. By differentiating between speech and background noise more effectively, the dual-rate vocoder software is designed to enhance the quality of voice communications in high-noise environments. The dual-rate vocoder is supported by the M7300, M7200, M5300, P7200, P5400 and P5300 subscriber radios, as well as the Interoperability Gateway, the MaestroIP and VIP dispatch consoles.

Ritron showcased its Loud Mouth VHF/UHF system that lets two-way radio users wirelessly connect to public address systems. The system is designed for use in areas where long distances or obstructions make wired PA systems infeasible.

Pryme Radio Products unveiled the 3012 mobile data terminal for Kenwood's NEXEDGE digital radio system. "It provides the ability to do wide-area AVL and GPS with a single base modem that can backhaul the data over an IP network using secure 128-bit encryption," said the company's Gary Hoff.

Ram Mounting Systems showed the new Tough Tray 2, an in-vehicle mounting system for notebook computers and mini-PCs. The company said it developed the product because smaller mobile computers are becoming popular for use in police vehicles and ambulances, where space is at a premium.

OTTO Communications showed its new Pro Series speaker microphone that features an RJ45 connector that lets users easily disconnect the microphone from one radio and attach it to another. The capability is ideal for entities that use radios from multiple vendors, the company said. Also on display was the Genesis speaker microphone, which features a man-down motion system. For example, if a firefighter stops moving for a predetermined amount of time, the microphone will generate an emergency signal. The length of time is software controllable. The Genesis is expected to be available in the third quarter.

ICOM America unveiled the F9511HT, a P25 trunked mobile radio that offers 110 W of output power to deliver reliable communications over long distances. It also is designed for use in high-density urban areas where signals are absorbed by buildings. "It will power through anything," said ICOM spokesperson Dave Kruzic. The radio also operates in analog and P25 conventional modes.

General Dynamics demonstrated its Preparation, Response, Recovery & Collaboration (PR2C) Toolkit, which is designed to provide emergency-management officials with greater situational awareness. PR2C is a single graphical information system that can integrate data — and video — from numerous available databases.

Tait Radio Communications showed a prototype of its Tier 3 DMR digital trunked base station. The product is targeted to end users in the public-safety and utility and transportation sectors that currently are operating a wide-area analog trunked system and want to migrate to digital to take advantage of better voice quality and longer range, said Paul Middleton, Tait's vice president of marketing for North America.

The Genesis Group announced the GW3-TRBO performance and management tools for Motorola's MOTOTRBO digital two-way radio platform. GW3-TRBO will allow users not only to view the alias of the person talking at the moment but also the previous user — a tool that is helpful when an unfamiliar voice is heard in a talk group and quickly yields to another speaker, said Genesis Group CEO Phil Burks. The company also announced a solution that enables a Motorola XTL radio to operate as an RF-modem that monitors traffic on a P25 system's control channel.

Kenwood USA introduced the TKR-7400P/TKR-8400P VHF-UHF P25 conventional repeater systems that use the TKR-740/840 transceiver and the new KSGCP401 P25 controller. The system provides P25 individual, group and system calls and features a site-management Ethernet port. According to James Jones, a field applications engineer for the company, administrators can leverage the site-management capability remotely. "If your IP network extends beyond the site to your office — say you have a VPN to the tower — you could do it over the VPN," he said. The systems support as many as four conventional P25 channels, and the KSGCP401 features dual-mode operation for full-featured P25 digital communications and analog operation, according to the company.

IPMobileNet debuted MobileCell, a mobile router designed to boost the maximum 64 kb/s data rate delivered by the company's private mobile data system. The router contains two 802.11 radios — one that acts as a client and one that acts as an access point, according to IPMobileNet's Mike Netter. "So it can be used as a repeater for a customer's Wi-Fi mesh system," Netter said. It also has multiple PCMCIA and USB ports to connect a commercial wireless operator data card. "The device will automatically look for the fastest and most available network," Netter said. "It's going to be looking for 802.11 first, because it's fast and free. If it can't find that, it will look for your cell carrier, and if you don't have cell coverage at the edge of your area, it will pick up the wide-area IPMobileNet 64k product."

Daniels Electronics launched its P25 Five + One Channel Trunked Radio System, which provides a compact, low-power standalone system for customers requiring digital P25 communications for a large number of users from a single site. The system can be deployed quickly on a temporary or permanent basis without necessitating complex network or console interfaces. It builds on Daniels' existing MT-4E P25 conventional hardware platform and requires no changes to the RF hardware, the company said.

Bird Technologies debuted a channelized signal booster. It is a narrowband, selective bidirectional amplifier designed to boost coverage in buildings and tunnels. A UHF version will be available in June, with a 700 MHz/ 800 MHz version to follow later in the year. It provides 20 W of output power per channel to provide the maximum signal to the distributed antenna system, reducing the number of BDAs that need to be deployed and decreasing the cost of the antenna system infrastructure, the company said. The system's graphical user interface provides command and control of all the channel modules through any standard Web browser.

Midland Radio introduced the Syn-Tech III P25 trunk-mount mobile radio that provides 110 W (intermittent duty) and 45 W (continuous duty) of output power. The radio offers built-in tone remote control, 999 channels and 255 zones with tactical grouping, digital DTMF for both transmit and receive, and optional DES/AES encryption. Also unveiled was the Base-Tech III 700 MHz/800 MHz P25 base station/repeater that operates in both analog and digital modes. It provides 100 W transmit output power, 500-channel capacity and optional DES/AES encryption.

EF Johnson Technologies announced the StarGate dispatch console, which features a new user interface that is designed to make operators more efficient — a change that is sorely needed in the industry, said David Lukeson, EF Johnson's director of systems. "If you look at the dispatch-console market, it hasn't changed a lot in the last 20 years," Lukeson said. The StarGate console leverages touch-screen technology in its execution interface, Bose speakers and an enhanced vocoder to deliver a high level of sound quality, Lukeson said. This new console is designed to enable customers to "join the digital world, in either P25 conventional or trunked," he said.

Pyramid Communications introduced a dongle that lets two-way radios interface with any Bluetooth device. The first edition will be compatible with Motorola radios, but additional versions compatible with "virtually every radio brand" are expected to be available by the end of the year. The dongle features a six-pin connector that lets users attach various accessories, such as throat microphones, earphones and remote push-to-talk buttons. Special circuitry allows the device to detect when such accessories are connected. For instance, when a throat microphone is attached, the dongle automatically will turn off the Bluetooth device. Other devices being developed include a wireless speaker microphone that leverages Bluetooth and a kit that adds Bluetooth capability to mobile radios.