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Summer 2012
IDAS™ Brewing in Vermont
• IDAS™ Brewing in Vermont
• Icom Radios Receive Warm Reception from Baltimore’s Hospitality Industry
• IDAS™ Gives Co-op the Power
the Communicate
• M34 Marine Handheld — Continuing Its Legacy
• FCC Narrowband Mandate
Fast Approaching
• Do You Know Your Regional
Maybe the dealer customer relationship to be envied is one that has longevity,
a good-working rapport, and lots of free coffee—lip-smacking-good free coffee—gratis
from the customer the dealer services. Todd
Goad, General Manager and part owner of
Burlington Communications in Williston,
Vermont, may make you a bit jealous.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
(NASDAQ: GMCR) is the leading specialty
coffee company that went public back in
1993 and owns the juggernaut single-cup
coffee manufacturer Keurig. GMCR is based
in Waterbury, Vermont, a 30-minute drive
east from Burlington Communications facility
in Williston.
“It’s always fun going down there on
sales or service calls,” said Goad. “They are
always offering free coffee. It’s not unusual to
walk away with a box of K-Cups (single-cup
brewing container) for our Keurig machine at
work. I think all of our employees must have
a Keurig K-Cup machine at home by now.”
GMCR recently retired its well-used
Wideband Analog system for IDAS 6.25
Digital, a lengthy migration Goad describes
as being a wonderful opportunity that started
at the beginning of their dealer customer
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Burlington Communications has serviced
GMCR since it became an Icom dealer in
2005. Back then GMCR used the Icom F4
and the F43TR nearing the end of their lifecycles. “GMCR has been an Icom customer
nearly 10 years,” said Goad. “They liked that
they now had a local dealer.”
Goad is a native of the beautiful Green
Mountain state. “Except for my four years
with the United States Air Force, I have always lived here and have always wanted to
own my own business,” said Goad. “Vermont
business stories always inspire me. GMCR is
one of these.”
Goad’s success with GMCR is long shared
with his business partners and part owners
of Burlington Communications, Eric Field and
David Pray. Both, like Goad, are veterans of
the United States Air Force and grew up in
In November 2007, Goad realized the
opportunity brewing at GMCR and began
cycling F4161 radios into its Waterbury campus, minus the digital boards. The digitally
capable radios operated in 25 kHz wideband
using an old Motorola repeater until it would
be time to upgrade, sometime later, to IDAS
6.25 digital.
“They wanted a system that would carry
them into the foreseeable future but wanted
to maintain simplicity,” said Goad. “Our goal
was to keep it so simple that they would not
need to do anything different from what they
do now.” Goad kept the momentum steady –
and in Vermont time.
Goad’s anticipation to finally go digital
was realized in August 2011. GMCR’s analog F4161 radios were now being loaded
with digital boards. Unfortunately, the 6.25
upgrade was paused when a major storm
slammed the east coast.
Hurricane Irene came with a vengeance in
August 2011, causing disastrous flash floods
in Vermont. GMCR buildings in Waterbury
completely flooded and left without power
Your Radio Solutions Partner
IDAS™ Brewing in Vermont (cont’d)
for two days. Digital migration, nearly completed, would resume after GMCR addressed
its damages.
Through Irene’s wake, Bill Rutkowski,
GMCR Facilities Planning and Scheduling
in charge of the Icom system project, used
the F4161D radios to communicate directly
with employees using 6.25 peer to peer. “It
was nice to have the radios during the flooding,” said Bill. “We realized the importance of
having a more broad-based communications
system in place for emergencies.”
Goad and his partners are excited to begin
the next phase. “It was the plan all along and
now seems to be snowballing,” said Goad.
“What was once a single-site analog repeater
system will soon be an IDAS Multi-Site
Trunked network comprising of three sites
each with 3 to 4 channels.”
Revisions to stories are sometimes necessary: Maybe the dealer customer relationship
to be envied is one that includes IDAS IP
networking (and the free coffee)!
In fall 2011, Goad finally flipped the
Waterbury campus entirely to IDAS 6.25 digital. GMCR’s single-site conventional digital
setup included 2 FR6000 repeaters, 2 control
stations and over 150 F4161D handhelds –
a straightforward system according to Goad.
But Goad’s plan was much bigger than
“The transition to the digital system
was so seamless that GMCR didn’t need
training,” said Goad. (For example, calling
features simply use ID numbers instead of
named aliases.) “We didn’t program anything
too fancy so the radios are very easy to use,”
said GMCR’s Rutkowski.
GMCR was very pleased with the digital
quality according to Goad. “The promise of
improved radio communication has come to
be expected with digital. Digital radio waves
reach just as far as analog but digital captures the voice at the end, a perceived huge
gain to users.”
Page 1: Green Mountain Coffee facility
Above: IDAS setup in Vermont
“The difference between analog and digital is obvious,” said Rutkowski on the clarity
of IDAS digital.
The Waterbury campus covers complex
operations: roasting, production, distribution and maintenance/repair facilities across
multiple buildings. Most employees utilize
peer to peer communication while two teams
use repeaters campus wide. “Eventually we
will use IP to communicate with our other
campuses miles away,” said Rutkowski.
While outfitting for Waterbury, Goad
proposed IP to connect GMCR operations
dispersed at two additional locations, one 20
miles west of Waterbury back in Williston and
near Burlington Communications. GMCR
Your Radio Solutions Partner
Summer 2012
Page 2
Icom Radios Receive Warm Reception from
Baltimore’s Hospitality Industry
When two of Baltimore’s premier hotels
needed solid radio communications, they
looked to Howard Communications and Icom
for a versatile and high-performing system.
From rugged construction to practical features and customizable functionality, Icom’s
IDASTM proved to be the ideal radio solution
for these two popular hospitality clients.
Bruce Pellicot, Owner of Howard
Communications, finds that customers
come to him because their businesses
need to increase productivity and efficiency.
Companies also go to Pellicot for radio communications that are reliable enough to reach
all areas of a facility—whether it’s from the
underground level of a parking structure to
a rooftop deck to the hotel’s main lobby.
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore exterior
The Four Seasons Hotel Balitmore, located in the emerging Harbor East district in
Inner Harbor, is a world-class establishment
that hosts 256 rooms and suites, recreational
facilities, restaurant and café options and
20,000 square feet of function space.
Recognizing that the large, multi-level space
could greatly benefit from a consistent twoway radio system, Pellicot suggested Icom’s
F4101D portables for use in the high-end
Tested from the basement level of the
hotel, the F4101D portables were heard loud
and clear above ground from other locations
in the hotel. Since installation in September
2011, business activity runs smoothly and
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore has had no
reported issues with their Icom radios.
that the hotel move to IDASTM, Icom’s complete digital radio system utilizing 6.25 kHz
efficiency technology.
After an extensive run of demos, Howard
Communications installed an Icom F6121D
base station, an FR6000 repeater and
ten F4101D portable radios in September
2011. The introduction of Icom’s equipment
eliminated any monthly rental fees that previously exhausted the hotel’s budget. With
this robust system in place, the hotel could
efficiently run their small fleet of four shuttle
vans between hotel locations approximately
½-mile apart from each other. Having a reliable communications system allows the hotel
to track its vehicles and drivers, seamlessly
coordinate service for its guests and keep its
employees in constant communication.
Pellicot, with nearly 40 years of commercial two-way radio industry experience,
implemented Icom radios for other businesses, including his own, in the Maryland
area. Though he used and sold other brands
in the past, Pellicot attests, “I have always
been impressed with the audio quality of
Icom’s digital system.”
Additionally, Howard Communications’
praise for Icom’s radios stems from his desire
to inform customers about radio technology
and provide adaptable communication options. Says Pellicot, “We like to educate our
customers about analog and digital radios.
I recommend IDASTM because it’s a customizable solution that moves clients to the
21st century.”
In addition to streamlining business operations and increasing connectivity, companies
come to Pellicot to explore communication
options that don’t require monthly fees or
subscriptions. When another prestigious
hospitality client approached Howard
Communications for a new radio system,
their reasoning was no different.
The Baltimore hotel—whose facilities
cluster around the Baltimore Washington
International Airport—formerly used older
Nextel equipment. Accumulated monthly
fees, combined with the inability to communicate with all partner hotels in the area, convinced the hotel to upgrade their equipment
with a new radio system. Pellicot suggested
Four Seasons Hotel employees
Your Radio Solutions Partner
Summer 2012
Page 3
IDAS™ Gives Co-op the Power
to Communicate
For many business and industrial land
mobile radio (LMR) users, the time is now
for systems to migrate to a narrow channel
bandwidth. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) narrowbanding deadline
is less than six months away and LMR users
are required to migrate existing radio systems
to at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology.
To comply with possible FCC mandates in
the future, many radio users are taking the
extra step of migrating to a 6.25 kHz ultranarrowband solution.
Hoosier Energy tower site in Troy, Indiana
Belonging to Hoosier Energy, a group of
18 cooperatives that generates and buys
electricity as one entity, Southern Indiana
Power maintains 1,500+ miles of power
line in Perry, Spencer, southern Dubois and
eastern Warrick counties. Headquartered
in the scenic hills of Tell City, the electric
distribution cooperative provides electrical
power to over 8,500 homes and businesses
in the state’s southern rural areas. With a
narrowband deadline fast approaching and
aging equipment lacking full coverage, it was
obvious that Southern Indiana Power needed
a solution to jumpstart its communications
The Midwest co-op turned to Charlie
McIntyre of Advanced Radio Communications, an authorized Icom Dealer based
in Huntingburg, Indiana. McIntyre assessed
the cooperative’s two existing sites, one
in Bandon and another in Reo, as well as
20-year-old communications equipment.
“Most of the system was outdated and could
not be upgraded to meet even the minimum narrowband requirements,” concluded
McIntyre. The co-op also lacked stable, farreaching coverage. Field workers struggled
to communicate with one another, especially
during storm seasons. The existing system—
installed on two water tanks—added to list
of issues because it offered no emergency
power back up in times of severe weather.
include better overall coverage, clearer audio
in weak areas, possible implementation of
GPS location technology, text messaging
and more,” adds McIntyre.
Southern Indiana Power moved forward
with Advanced Radio Communications’
proposal and commenced installation in
March 2012. Over the course of two weeks,
the dealer installed 4 F3161D handhelds, 20
F5061D mobiles and 2 F5061D digital base
units with antennas, an FR5000 repeater
and antennas and coaxial cables at the new
tower site in Troy, Indiana. After the first
IDAS™ installment, the radios were thoroughly reviewed for maximum efficiency and
capability before a final deployment. Training
was administered to appropriate staff once
the project completed.
Although the FCC 2013 mandate prompted the search for new radios, the IDAS™
solution reenergized Southern Indiana Power
with 6.25 kHz efficiency, digital clarity and
wide coverage for the entire service area. The
co-op currently streamlines its communication with IDAS™ features such as multiple
channels for weather, mobile-to-mobile and
emergency response access. “The new system is in place and working as predicted,”
says McIntyre. According to Southern
Indiana Power Chief Operating Officer Steve
Seibert, the co-op is “very satisfied” with the
Icom product and the customer service provided by Advanced Radio Communications.
“Charlie and his team did an excellent job
selecting the package that fit our company’s
needs,” adds Seibert.
Advanced Radio Communication showcased Icom F5061D mobiles and F3161DS
portables and supplied computer-generated
propagation studies for each installation site
considered. The demo illustrated the range of
Icom’s digital units, a key selling point for the
cooperative. “The benefits of digital systems
Your Radio Solutions Partner
Summer 2012
Page 4
From Icom America’s Marine Division
Featured Product
M92D Marine Handheld
M34 Marine Handheld — Continuing Its Legacy
According to Armstrong, the M34 (left)
“is a little scratched
but otherwise in
great shape.”
When it was first released, Icom’s M34
marine handheld was the first of its kind.
This trendsetting product was the world’s
first 5W floating VHF marine transceiver
and Icom handhelds such as the M24,
M36 and the new M92D have since
followed suit.
The radio was found
up the rugged
Alaskan coast, west
toward Iliamna Volcano and Cook Inlet
However, the legacy of this celebrated
handheld also continues through end-user
experiences. One particular story, all the way
from the remote city of Homer, Alaska, details
the quality and reliability for which Icom’s
known. M. Armstrong has shared his personal story and images of this amazing radio.
As part of Icom’s new marine family—
which includes the M424 panel mount
handheld promotes a user-friendly interface and maximum safety at sea.
A full dot-matrix display, directional
keypad and soft-key assignments allow intuitive one-touch access to radio
operations and settings. Released in
early May 2012.
• Active noise cancelling
• Built-in GPS
• DSC and MOB for emergencies
• “Float ‘n Flash” with beeping alarm
• AquaQuake™
• IPX7 Submersible
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a volunteer with the Center for
Alaskan Coastal Studies in Homer, Alaska. On
4/29/12 I did a beach walk of Diamond Creek
beach on Kachemak Bay south of Homer as
part of a program to monitor local beaches
for possible Japanese tsunami marine debris.
This beach is very rugged and gets a lot of
flotsam from lower Cook Inlet and the Gulf
of Alaska. Snow on the beach thawed in mid
April, making it possible to monitor the driftwood wrack line of flotsam tossed up during
winter storms.
On my walk I found an Icom IC-M34 VHF
marine transceiver. It was intact, with only
moderate scratching on the screen and case.
I took out the battery, charged it in a universal battery charger, put it back in, and was
pleasantly surprised to find the radio worked
perfectly. I downloaded a manual from your
website and checked out the various features.
Everything works, with no hissing, sputtering,
or other issues.
The radio says “submersible” and “floating.” I don’t know what kind of tests you
submit your radios through to back up this
claim, but I think with the real world test this
unit has gone through, you can safely say the
IC-M34 is, in fact, submersible and floating. It
also can survive a rough Alaska winter or two
on a rocky beach with high surf. This is one
tough radio.
M. Armstrong
Homer, Alaska
The serial number is 0187980. If the
original owner reported it missing, it
would be interesting to know where it
was lost and how long it drifted. Based
on the radio’s condition and its location,
I would guess it was lost at least sometime
last fall. It is also possible this was a new
radio lost in shipping from a container spill, in
which case its travels would be all the more
Your Radio Solutions Partner
Summer 2012
Page 5
FCC Narrowband Mandate is Fast Approaching
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) narrowband mandate is less
than six months away. All public safety and
business radio users must convert existing
25kHz radio systems to a minimum narrowband efficiency technology. Avoid loss
of communication capabilities or expensive
fines with the Icom’s IDAS™ product line.
The IDAS™ digital radio line includes the
following products:
IDAS™ offers seamless
migration unaffected by geography through IP connectivity,
multi-site trunking and mixed
mode operation. Surpass FCC
requirements and increase
6.25kHz digital technology.
• Entry-level F3101D/F4101D Portable
• Mid-range F5121D/F6121D Portable
• Advanced F3161D/F4161D Portable
• F5061D/F6061D Mobile
• FR5000/FR6000 Repeater
Do You Know Your Regional Representative?
Locate your Icom America regional representative online using Icom’s interactive map. Select
from nine geographical locations spanning the United States and find out contact information
for a representative near you. Icom representatives can assist your organization, company or
agency with customizable IDAS™ solutions.
Icom America Inc.
2380 116th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: (425) 454-8155
Fax: (425) 454-1509
Customer Service: (425) 454-7619
Icom America Systems
Phone: (425) 586-6363
Fax: (425) 586-6321
Your Radio Solutions Partner
Summer 2012
Page 6