Ultimate Guide to Two-Way Radio Hire
No matter what kind of an event you are putting on, there are always a lot of things to consider and different elements to organise. One crucial aspect that can’t afford to be overlooked is radio comms and your two-way radio hire, for the event itself.
Whether you are planning a hire two-way radios for a sporting event, a music festival, for your security teams or need to use walkie talkies for your film crew on a movie set, having clear, reliable radio communications system in place is critical to the overall success of the event. These large-scale projects require staff and volunteers to be in touch continuously and without interference to ensure that everything proceeds smoothly.
To help you plan the radio comms for your event, we have created this ‘Ultimate Guide to Two-Way Radio Hire’ to highlight the key areas you need to think about. You can read the full guide or you can skip to the different topics using the drop-down menus below.
Since their origin of being adopted by the shipping industry over one hundred years ago, two-way radios have become a powerful and reliable means of keeping in touch over long distances. In fact, two-way radio hires are increasingly popular in the UK due to a rise in large-scale sporting events and music festivals.
Two-way radio hire from EARS is a recognised and effective way of ensuring that your events have adequate security, organisation, and coordination among staff and volunteers. To ensure your event is kept on schedule and safe, the classic push-to-talk and one-to-many communication capabilities of two-way event radios are a natural and cost-effective choice.
With more than 20 years of experience, EARS has provided communications expertise for sports, music, and corporate events as well as conferences, parties, weddings, and red-carpet awards events. We have many prestigious two-way radio hire clients, including NFL American Football and RFU Rugby matches at Twickenham, the London 2012 Olympics events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and annual events such as the Notting Hill Carnival.
We’re the Two-Way Radio Event Experts
With more than 20 years of experience, EARS has provided communications expertise for sports, music, and corporate events as well as conferences, parties, weddings, and red-carpet awards events. These have included NFL American Football and RFU Rugby matches at Twickenham, the London 2012 Olympics events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and annual events such as the Notting Hill Carnival.
We also provide radio comms for security staff up and down the country.
No matter the size or scale of your event, two-way radio hires from EARS can ensure that your communication is always clear and with optimum coverage.
Before hiring a professional walkie talkie company, know who in your event will require a radio. When you have few people on your event team which are spread out during the event, it is logical for each member of your team to have a two-way radio. For larger events, it can save you money to simply provide each team, and your event management staff, with a radio.
Before making a large-scale radio comms hire, it is useful to have a basic technical understanding of two-way radios and how they work. These devices are called “two-way radios” because they can both transmit and receive a radio signal. Many devices are called “half-duplex” which means that they cannot transmit and receive simultaneously. “Full-duplex”, on the other hand, means that the radio can transmit and receive signals at the same time.
Each two-way radio comes complete with an antenna and loudspeaker/microphone with a button used to “push-to-talk” (PTT). They can interact with other two-way radio devices that are tuned in to the same frequency or “channel”.
To avoid confusion, two-way radios are also called ‘walkie-talkies’ because they are fully mobile, you can communicate whilst you walk, and they fit in your pocket. They are exactly the same type of device.
Even if you put on an event a few times per year, it is usually far more cost-effective to hire out a two-way radio service than to buy the necessary equipment yourself. This is especially the case the more infrequent your larger events are. Buying equipment naturally comes with a greater initial investment. EARS staff can help you to decide what would be the best option for your company based on your equipment needs.
Utilise the Most Up-To-Date Technology
Renting your radio comms ensures that your event is serviced by the most up-to-date two-way radio technology every time. It also means you never have to worry or bare the cost of upgrading or replacing your hardware if it gets damaged or lost.
As part of our radio renting service, we have a dedicated team of ‘walkie-talkie’ technicians who maintain and service all of our equipment before they are rented out to our clients, ensuring the radios you hire from EARS are working at an optimum level. They have years of experience under their belt and their knowledge is second-to-none.
Radio Hire Tailored to Your Event
In terms of the costs of renting, total fees are calculated on a per-user basis. The advantage of this is that you only pay for the equipment you use, for the time you use it. There are no additional costs after the event.
We will advise on any additional equipment you may need based on the size and layout of your event. For example, if you are renting two-way radios for music event then you may require a manned control centre with multiple repeaters (boosters) to ensure you have coverage across every inch of grass. You may also need different types of radio headsets depending on your staff’s requirement and how active they are.
Short Term or Long-Term Two-Way Radio Hire?
With Ears, you can have a short- or long-term radio hire that is tailored to meet the needs of your event. This always includes free customer support, free license management, free frequency planning, and a free site survey. You can also rest assured that you will have a personal Dedicated Project Manager to provide the level of customer care you need.
As part of our radio renting service, we have a dedicated team of ‘walkie-talkie’ technicians who maintain and service all our equipment before they are rented to our clients.
They have years of experience under their belt and their knowledge is second-to-none.
There are several types of ways to licence radios use in the UK –
- Short term hire is normally covered under our business radio Hire Licence
- Fixed site critical use is best covered under a technically assigned licence from Ofcom which starts at £75 PA for a single channel.
- Users that need to be able to use their radios anywhere the country would use the Business radio light licence that allows a no of VHF and UHF channels to be used anywhere in the uk with a unlimited quantity of radios and costs £75 for 5 years.
- Technically assigned licences for repeaters and complex system typically cost from £150 – £480 but can cost more if specific areas of exclusive use is required.
- Spectrum for Programme making and special events is allocated on a ‘As and when basis’ and is exclusive for the duration of the event.
Ears PLC will normally apply for the licence on your behalf and can manage it on an ongoing basis as part of a maintenance contract or a annual licence management fee
Every two-way radio hire with EARS comes complete with the most up-to-date equipment and technology. Included with every two-way radio or walkie talkie hire is the radio equipment itself as well as antennas, batteries (with enough charging units), and belt clips. Beyond the basics, however, it can be useful to know the difference between analogue and digital models and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Analogue Radio Models
Analogue two-way radios have been in use for a long time. Given their track record, they are sure to provide robust service even in the wake of new technology. Analogue radios are essentially the traditional walkie talkie with capabilities for only one-way conversation. Their range is more limited than newer models, however. Another point to consider about analogue radios is their susceptibility to eavesdropping from newer digital varieties of radio. If privacy is paramount for ensuring the success of your event, then consider using an encrypted digital two-way radio unit.
Digital Radio Models
Digital two-way radios offer many advantages over analogue models. New features like noise-cancelling technology can provide clearer communications and remove static. Many are capable of recognising the signal from the noise and focus in on the voice of the user. As an added advantage, digital two-way radios have a greater range than their analogue counterparts. For these advantages, digital radios are quickly becoming the natural choice for many applications, especially in noisy environments and where wide coverage is needed.
Our Team Will Help You To Make The Right Choice
To determine which type is best for your hire needs, speak with us about the pros and cons of each. We will be happy to discuss the options with you.
For your convenience, EARS offers a range of Motorola Hand Portable Two-way Radios but we tend to use the Motorola DP4400, Motorola DP4600, and Motorola DP3441 because they provide optimum reliability and excellent battery life.
Different purposes necessitate more specialised equipment than others. For example, security teams can benefit from having covert earpieces. Event staff at a music concert will certainly appreciate the noise-cancelling effects with variations in headsets. EARS offers a variety of accessories that may suit the needs of your event. These include:
- Single unit chargers
- 6-way chargers
- Spare batteries
- D-Shell / D-Shape earpieces
- Curly cord earpieces
- Covert earpieces
- Noise-cancelling headsets
- Heavy-duty headsets
- Lightweight headsets with boom microphones
- Desktop stations (controlled by a member of your staff)
Consider the needs of your event and when booking your two-way radio or walkie talkie hire make sure to inquire about any of these accessories. Our team will be happy to answer any questions and provide solutions to any specific communications needs you might have.
As in the terms and conditions of all two-way radio hires with EARS, insurance coverage for the equipment and other components will be required against loss or damage. Our rental equipment may already be covered under your contents or event liability Insurance policy, but it is vitally important that you check theses details and get additional Insurance should this be required. This may be an additional charge for this but it gives you peace of mind should any stolen, lost or damaged equipment have to be replaced. Explore your options and choose an adequate level of protection to cover any contingency at your event.
One of the common problems encountered with two-way radio or walkie talkie communication systems is the basic operation of the equipment. Older two-way radios simply had one button to push to talk and were straightforward to use. Contemporary models may have additional features that could require a brief training session for you and your staff or volunteers.
If your team is not used to operating two-way communications, it can also take some time to get used to the etiquette. For example, saying “over” at the end of a statement is not just for the movies! Make sure to choose a model that will fit with your budget, in terms of extra training, as well as your communication needs.
Overcome Poor Transmission
Poor signal transmission and reception can be a common issue if you do not have safeguards in place to avoid it. Top providers of portable radio hires such as EARS can offer private frequencies complete with a radio licence application to mitigate this problem. Digital models of two-way radios can also offer thousands of channels to ensure that all your different teams can communicate among themselves without crosstalk / interference. On larger events it may be beneficial to have a dedicated emergency channel that will be received by everyone at the event to ensure that any problems can be solved quickly and without incident.
Being portable electronic devices, rental walkie talkies naturally have limited battery life. While modern models have ample battery life to support events between eight to twelve hours long, if your event is scheduled to be longer than this range, make sure to order replacement batteries or an alternative solution for the later stages. Batteries will drain more depending on whether your two-way radios are in active use for much of the event or only in standby mode. Some batteries, such as Li-Ion types, last longer than others. Keep these points in mind to maximise battery life.
Consider On-Site Support
One of the best aspects of choosing EARS for your two-way radio hire is the optional on-site support. You need to know that your communications equipment will be running smoothly throughout any major event you put on. If the worst should happen, your event could be jeopardised. With EARS, you can rest assured that our experienced team will have you covered should something unexpected happen. With On Site Service available on request and technical back up of 20 years’ experience we can insure the communications for your event runs smoothly.
There are several things to consider when deciding on a two-way radio hire:
- Consider the needs of your event, including the area of coverage and the number of staff who will require radios.
- Know which frequency range will suit the needs of your event. This can be considered in conversation with the EARS team.
- Know whether hiring or buying a two-way radio system is right for your event needs. For infrequent events, hiring is a much more cost-efficient and convenient solution.
- Inform yourself about Licensing and know which licence you need. (Consulting with EARS for this can make the process seamless and easy. We can arrange use of our Short Term Hire Channels included FREE OF CHARGE as part of your hire package)
- Choose between analogue and digital models for your event. While digital is more common these days, analogue can be a reliable and cost-effective choice for smaller events.
- Consider any additional accessories you might need.
- Ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage.
- Inform yourself about common issues with two-way radios should problems arise.
- Discuss the many delivery / collection services available with one of our Hire Account Managers
Choose EARS For your Two-Way Radio Hire Needs
As the leading suppliers of two-way radio systems in the UK, EARS can provide competent and comprehensive communications service for your next major event. Our team has the knowledge and expertise required to help you fulfil the security, organisation, and coordination needs that every event planner encounter’s in the course of any major event. We are always available to provide support and expertise in setting up and troubleshooting to make sure that your event is a success. With a proven track record in two-way radio solutions, you can rest assured that you are getting the best service available.
Comms Tailored To Your Event
When it comes to setting up a walkie talkie rental system, it is critical that you know which type of equipment best suits both your team and your event needs. If you event is being hosted at a large venue (e.g across multiple fields), you may need upwards of several hundred units, additional signal repeaters and a dozen frequencies or channels to ensure your sub-teams have clear communications with each other.
Our team of account managers and engineers are seasoned professionals, so they are fully aware of potential pitfalls. They will take on board your staffing needs and advise on the best radios and system set-up to suit your event. We’re here to help reduce your stress levels!
Customer We Work With
We’ll Support You Before, During & After Your Event
Regardless of your needs, the EARS team offers a fully dedicated support package that will ensure that the communications at any event you run, runs without a hitch. We are happy to be involved from your planning phase through to the launch of your event, where we offer coverage surveys, radio equipment support, and radio frequency management. You can also choose to have the EARS team either on-call or on-site to assist you with any maintenance, training or device handling issues you encounter before or during your event.
Two-Way Radios Delivered Same Day
As a bonus, EARS plc offers same-day delivery of two-way radio equipment to your venue. This is perfect if you have a last minute comms emergency or if your equipment is malfunctioning or outdated. The set-up of the equipment is carried out by the user. Don’t worry, this is straightforward once you have looked through the convenient set-up guide. The EARS plc support are always available to assist, if you need help throughout the process. This is available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
GET IN TOUCH WITH EARS AND LET US HELP YOU TO PLAN THE RADIO COMMS FOR YOUR EVENT