Knowledge Base

Flash has been active for over 20 years in the market for business-critical mobile communication and has been the market leader for several years. Through the years, we have gained considerable knowledge of the technologies available and customer needs. We are pleased to share our knowledge with you in the area of business-critical mobile communication and market developments.

Downloads

We can provide you with a large number of leaflets, manuals and ATEX certificates. If you don’t find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you.

FAQ

Have a look at our overview of frequently asked questions. If your question is not included, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you.

In addition to two-way radios, we also have tablets and smartphones. Can they function on the same network?

That can be arranged. Depending on your wishes and requirements, we can set up a network in which all devices are connected. We would be pleased to advise you on the various options.

What are the options for Push-to-Talk solutions?

Apart from radios, you may wish to deploy other devices as well for operationally critical communications, such as a smartphone combined with an app that also lets you communicate at the touch of a button. Depending on your choice of app, you can connect to your home network or the nationwide mobile network. We also offer solutions without a network. Flash offers the GroupTalk application for users who do not have their own radio infrastructure, but who have a (temporary) need to communicate in groups. In this case, you can use your own smartphones.

Can you have your own (private) channel on a radio?

Thanks to special programming (private line/PL/low band tone/colour code), conventional radios can be used to ensure that only a select number of users can hear each other. The selection of users can be configured. The system automatically assigns the channels with a trunking network.

What is the range of a radio?

A radio’s range depends on the density of buildings or forestation in the area where the radio will be used. The maximum range of a radio is approx. two kilometres in an open field. Indoors, the range depends on how much steel and glass the building contains. You can expand a radio’s range by installing a network. This can be a conventional repeater network or a dedicated trunking network. We can always conduct a range test and would be pleased to advise you on the options that best suit your organisation.

Can I prevent radios from interfering with other equipment?

Yes, this can be avoided by installing a base station with an external antenna or switching to UHF equipment, if this has not already been done. Our service employees would be pleased to advise you on a suitable solution.

What is the difference between VHF and UHF?

VHF stands for Very High Frequency. This equipment works in the 146-175 Mhz band and is used in various sectors. UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency. This equipment works in the 380-470 Mhz band and is also deployed in a number of sectors. The choice between VHF and UHF depends on the distance you wish to cover and the obstacles/structures on the site or in the building.

What is the turnaround time for a repair?

If you have a service contract with Flash, we aim to have the faulty equipment repaired within five business days, unless the equipment needs to be sent to the manufacturer.

How can I get my faulty equipment to Flash?

You can drop off your equipment, send it by post or request that we come to collect it. In all cases, it is important to note the company’s contact details, your name, telephone number and the problem per item, so we can serve you more quickly.

Can I also report malfunctions online?

Using our online customer portal, you can submit service requests online yourself as well track the status of the report and view work orders. Find out about the possibilities!

How can I better manage my assets?

At certain locations there may be hundreds of radios or pagers. Via our online customer portal, you can monitor the service history of each mobile device, what preventive maintenance is scheduled and in which department the item is used (by whom). Using business intelligence reports, we can provide you with greater insight tailored to your needs and enable you to more effectively manage your assets.

The batteries are depleting too quickly. What can I do about this?

In time, all NiCad and NiMh batteries are affected by the so-called ‘memory effect’ due to frequent recharging. To prevent this effect and optimise the life of the battery, it is best to regularly recondition it. The Li-Ion battery doesn’t have a ‘memory effect’; its life is determined by the number of full recharges. A radio battery’s capacity quickly diminishes after approximately 700 charges. Based on average use, this represents a battery life of 2 to 2.5 years. Every battery has a limited lifespan and it may be that its age is the reason why it is depleting so quickly.

Will Flash make repairs on-site?

Flash also repairs equipment malfunctions on-site, even if you have not concluded a service contract with us. We have two permanent workshops and ten mobile service buses. Flash can also conduct a range test on location which enables us to better advise you in the event of a malfunction or if you wish to purchase new equipment.

Will you come to the site outside office hours?

You can call us to report any issues 24/7 and, depending on the urgency and the agreements/response times set out in the service contract, our engineers will travel to your site outside office hours.

How far in advance do I need to reserve if I want to rent radios?

Flash has a rental fleet of 25,000 (ATEX) radios. Depending on the number and type of radios you need, and the timeframe, we can deliver them immediately. Contact us to discuss your needs and we will already take your reservation into account.

Can I also rent smartphones and tables from Flash?

All available equipment can be purchased or rented. Find out about the options and availability in the short and long terms.

If I purchase radios from Flash, when will they be delivered?

The average delivery time is seven to 10 days, depending on the type of radio. For current information on our delivery times, we advise you to contact our sales support staff.

Glossary

We hope that the glossary below can answer your questions about the meaning of various terms. If a term is not included and you have a question we can answer, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Agentschap Telecom

In the Netherlands, the Agentschap Telecom, or Radiocommunications Agency, is responsible for frequency management, provides broadcast licences and ensures rules and procedures are upheld.

Alarm receiver

An alarm receiver is a portable radio receiver used to summon people using an alert tone and/or a voice message. Alarm receivers are used mainly by fire brigades to alert firefighters via their internal network. See also pager.

ASTRID

ASTRID is Belgium’s national digital mobile communication radio network for rescue services such as the fire department, ambulance services and police. ASTRID can also be used by services such as customs, coastguard and forest rangers.

ATEX

ATEX stands for “ATmosphères EXplosives”. European organisations in potentially explosive environments must meet the ATEX guidelines and use special equipment in areas where there is a potential explosion hazard.

ATIS

ATIS stands for Automatic Transmitter Identification System, a 5-tone code system for automatic identification of radio transmitters on board ships. This enables traffic control systems on bridges, locks and in marinas to see who is contacting them. All inland vessels and pleasure craft are required to use ATIS.

Base station

A base station is a transmitter/receiver for a fixed installation. It is often a mobile two-way radio that is made suitable to serve as a ‘base’ due to the addition of specific accessories. This is often expanded to include a separate control unit.

Control unit

Object with which a fixed transmitter/receiver can be operated. The control unit is used when the distance between the transmitter/receiver is such that the power loss in the antenna cable is too great.

BIPT

The Belgisch Instituut voor Postdiensten en Telecommunicatie, or Belgian Institute of Post and Telecommunications Services, is responsible for managing the radio frequency spectrum, provides broadcast licences and ensures rules and procedures are upheld.

Cell enhancer

A Cell enhancer is an active antenna system to expand and optimise the radio range. This system is used in combination with special antennas. Cell enhancers are available in channelled and broadband types for VHF and UHF bands and are used, for instance, in tunnels, parking garages and for ‘in-house’ coverage of the C2000 and ASTRID network at Special Coverage Locations. See also micro repeater.

C2000

C2000 is the Netherlands’ national digital radio network for mobile communication for rescue services such as the fire department, ambulance services and police.

Conventional

Communication technique whereby the peripherals communicate directly with one another, without the involvement of a switching system. Usually works on a single frequency channel. If there are several frequency channels, the simultaneous switch must be made manually.

Dispatcher

A dispatcher’s role is to manage all communications and participants, which means the operational processes can be more efficiently directed from one central point.

DAS

Distributed Antenna System. With a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), all HF signals can be distributed and the desired (indoor) coverage can be achieved via a single (active or passive) antenna system.

DMO

DMO stands for Direct Mode Operation whereby direct contact is made between peripheral equipment outside a network or system.

Diversity

Diversity is applied to networks that are constructed from various transmitters/receivers. If the same signal is received by more than one receiver, the diversity system will compare the relative values and transmit only the strongest signal. This prevents issues such as echoes due to time lag. An automatic channel selection is often linked to this so that the signal to be sent back is transmitted via the same transmitter/receiver as that through which the strongest reception signal came in.

DMR

DMR stands for Digital Mobile Radio, an open radio standard created by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI). Digital technology whereby a single frequency channel contains two traffic channels through application of time locks (TDMA = Time Division Multiple Access).

DMR Tier I

Radios based on DMR Tier I concern conventional solutions whereby communication between the radios takes place directly, without using repeaters or system technology. The Tier I radios can also be used without using broadcast licences, the so-called PMR446 radios.

DMR Tier II

Radios based on DMR Tier II concern conventional solutions whereby communication between the radios takes place directly using a repeater or system (semi-trunking) to achieve an improved range. A broadcast licence is needed for these radios.

Duplex

Communication method whereby a channel consists of two frequencies: one for transmitting and one for receiving. Unlike the semi-duplex method, transmitting and receiving can be simultaneous, such as in the case of (mobile) telephony.

DMR Tier III

Radios based on DMR Tier III work in a trunking network through a control channel with dynamic allocation via the system.

GPS

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, a worldwide satellite location tracking system.

Interface

This is needed for linking various types of equipment, protocols, signalling methods, etc., when collaboration is required. For example, a telephone interface links a radio communication system with a company switchboard to enable staff to work together more efficiently.

IoT

Internet of Things, a technology whereby all kinds of items/people are connected with the internet and can exchange data as a result. Communication can take place by equipping the items/people with identifiers.

Licence-free

Licence-free radios work on the 446 frequency band that has been released by the government for general use. The range is lower compared to the professional radio series for which licences are required. And there may be interference with other users communicating on the same frequency. Radios requiring a licence are able to prevent this problem.

Licence

Radios that require a licence operate on different frequencies than licence-free radios. The transmit power of licensed radios is higher, enabling greater distances to be bridged. Licences are issued by Agentschap Telecom (the Netherlands) or the Belgisch Instituut voor Postdiensten en Telecommunicatie (Belgium).

LoRa

Long Range technology for Machine-to-Machine and IoT applications. Suited to bridging great distances using minimal power and can be used in areas without electricity.

LTE

Long Term Evolution, a technology for broadband (high-speed) communication for smart devices. LTE is based on the same technology as 4G, the mobile telephone/data network.

Man Down function

This is used in dangerous work environments or areas with a complex layout. The Man Down function automatically transmits an alarm signal to a control room as soon as the radio is kept at a 45-degree angle for longer than a certain time. This function requires that the user carry the radio on his/her person.

Micro repeater

Micro repeater installations are used when radio coverage is essential in buildings, tunnels and underground parking garages, for example. In some cases, the communication system or network in question is inadequate. See also cell enhancer. A micro repeater installation usually consists of an outdoor antenna, the micro repeater and an indoor antenna (system). The outdoor antenna receives the radio signals from the radio communication system, which the micro repeater then strengthens and distributes to the indoor antenna.

Mobile two-way radio

Transmitter/receiver that is mounted and used in vehicles and vessels.

No Move function

This is used in dangerous working environments. If the radio has not moved within a certain time, the No Move function automatically transmits an alarm signal to a control room. This function requires that the user carry the radio on his/her person.

NXDN

Technical protocol on which Kenwood’s NEXEDGE, among others, is based. This digital technology separates one frequency channel into two frequencies (FDMA = Frequency Divided Multiple Access).

Pager

A pager is a device that can be used to send someone a signal or text message. For this purpose, a pager is assigned one or more telephone numbers that can be chosen by the person sending the signal or message. See also alarm receiver.

PMR

Private Mobile Radio or private network. A customised network configuration for one or more user groups within an organisation. Can vary from two to hundreds of participants using conventional or trunking techniques.

PMR446

Radios that can be used without broadcast licences.

POCSAG

POCSAG stands for Post Office Code Standardisation Advisory Group, an asynchronous protocol used to transmit data from pagers.

Private Line (PL)

Private Line is a registered Motorola trade name for tone signalling technics which sends a code (frequency) during transmission that removes a block, enabling the signal sent to be heard by the receiver. Only the transmitters/receivers that are using the same PL code can communicate with each other. Other users cannot be heard. This technique is also referred to as lower band tone, pilot tone, sub-audio tone, tone squelch and CTCSS.

Two-Way Radio

A handy, portable transmitter/receiver; also referred to as a mobile radio, portable radio or walkie-talkie. Designed, at minimum, with an antenna and a rechargeable battery. A radio is used in cases requiring direct group contact.

Push-to-talk

A function that enables a (group) conversation to take place immediately.

Reconditioning

If a battery lasts only approximately 70% of its original charge time, it can be reconditioned. Drain the battery in a controlled fashion and then fully recharge it. Repeat these steps twice. The battery will then have regained optimal capacity, depending on its life span.

Select 5

Registered Motorola trade name for tone signalling technics whereby the users can be selectively contacted on a private network; individually or as a group, by transmitting unique 5-tone codes. Also promotes a less frenetic network.

Repeater

A transmitter/receiver that operates according to the duplex method and is used to expand the communication range among the peripherals. The signals received are automatically retransmitted. The repeater’s transmission frequency is therefore equal to the receiving frequency of the peripherals and the transmission frequency of the peripherals is equal to the receiving frequency of the repeater. By adding a control unit, the repeater can also be used as a fixed mobile radio.

Semi-trunking

Also referred to as pseudo-trunking. Technique whereby the traffic channels are used as a temporary collection channel. It is not a dynamic allocation by the system as is the case of “true” trunking, e.g. TETRA or DMR Tier III.

Semi-duplex

Registered Motorola trade name for tone signalling technics whereby the users can be selectively contacted on a private network; individually or as a group, by transmitting unique 5-tone codes. Also promotes a less frenetic network.

Simplex

Communication method which uses a single frequency channel. Simultaneous transmitting and receiving are not possible.

Trunking

Technique whereby the different frequency channels are dynamically allocated by the system, which results in a higher efficiency of the available traffic capacity.

TETRA

Terrestrial Trunking Radio. Digital trunking technology whereby a single frequency channel contains four traffic channels through the application of time locks (TDMA = Time Division Multiple Access).

UHF

Ultra High Frequency. Portion of the frequency spectrum that Agentschap Telecom and BIPT, which handle frequency management, fix at between 380 and 470 Mhz for professional mobile communication involving various user groups. Thanks to the specific characteristics, these high frequencies are extremely suitable for use at densely built-up locations such as industrial companies and distriparks.

VHF

Very High Frequency. Portion of the frequency spectrum that Agentschap Telecom and BIPT, which handle frequency management, fix at between 146 and 175 Mhz for professional mobile communication involving various user groups. Thanks to the specific characteristics, these high frequencies are suitable for use in areas where communication will take place in the open or where there is little construction such as at events or for construction companies.

Voice logging

Functionality whereby all conversations are stored so that they can be listened to later on.