April 24, 2017BridgeCom Systems, IncPhone: (816)532-8451 E-Mail: tim@BridgeComSystems.comContact: Tim KingPress Release: NEW BCM-144 & BCM-440 Mobile Radios Now Shipping________________________________________________________________________BridgeCom Systems, Inc is pleased to announce the availability of BCM-144 and BCM-440 Mobile Radio for the amateur radio market. The join...
Reviewed by Rick Palm, K1CE
QST Contributing Editor
Using BridgeCom Systems’ new 222 MHz (1.25 meter band) mobile radio was a walk down memory lane for me. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was part of a small, quirky but devoted group who ragchewed on two 220 MHz repeaters in northern Connecticut and western Massachusetts. One machine was on Talcott Mountain overlooking Hartford, and was run by the son of a major city developer. The other was owned/ controlled by my longtime friend, Paul Koplow, WA1VEI, on Mt Lincoln in the Berkshires. Our radios back then were quirky, too: mine was a Midland (crystalcontrolled, no PLL) that looked like a battered, old CB radio from a trucker’s cab — the kind you might find today in a pawn shop. Later I had a Yaesu Memorizer for the band, which was a great radio. We rolled our eyes and suffered one user who used the autopatch to talk with his wife on his commute home every evening with over-the-top kissing and cooing sounds. Off-air and even on-the-air counseling sailed over his head.
Nowadays, the 222 – 225 MHz band is still a great spot for repeaters and their disciples. I had a lot of fun getting back on this band thanks to the BridgeCom BCM-220. Continuing with the nostalgic theme here, the company, which is based in Smithville, Missouri, evokes the feel and quality of those old radios in their new products, especially this one. The BCM-220 is built like a tank, with commercial-grade construction, and a high-quality, heavy-duty mic that eschews the numerous functions/ buttons that populate some mics. The BCM-220’s mic has a simple DTMF keypad and only three function buttons below it: the first to switch between memory and VFO modes, and the second and third buttons for frequency or channel up and down. That’s it — and I love it! It’s heavy and feels good in my mic hand. Indeed, all of the radio’s functionality seems to be focused on the essentials, and that’s a plus in my book.
Radio technology – traditionally understood as the wireless broadcasting of audio signals like music and speech – has had a fresh lease of life in recent years.
In simple terms, radio technology leverages the electromagnetic radiations (EMR), which can be oscillate at desired frequency and allow trans-reception of data when attuned to the correct value. EMR waves travel at the speed of light, through any media (or even vacuum!), and may be used for either near-field or far-field communication based on the frequency specifications. In short, radio waves are just low-frequency versions of what we call “light”. Range of these EMR wave frequencies comprise a particular ‘channel’, which is precisely what the radio stations adhere to.
Commercially, the need for transmitting information over geographical distances has skyrocketed in recent years, as has the demand for radio to meet those needs. From radar, sonar, GPS navigation systems, wireless networking, and cellular data plans at industrial scale to Bluetooth technology and near-field communication (NFC) for your hand-held devices, radio is omnipresent.