the paging information resource
home button job search button consulting button newsletters button products button main section button glossary button send e-mail button
FRIDAY - MAY 9, 2003 - ISSUE NO. 65

Dear Friends and Industry Colleagues,

There is lots of very interesting news this week:

  • WebLink and Ambient Devices: a really cool deal
  • Space Data gets narrowband PCS licenses
  • Using cellphones on planes really is dangerous
  • Tough times for Motorola in China
  • Palm focuses on wireless (again)
  • Motorola invents a great new IM product
  • Two-way radio business opportunity
  • My new photo of the USS Enterprise
  • A short report on the USS Enterprise
  • Wireless data products & services
This is my weekly newsletter about Wireless Data and Radio Paging. You are receiving this message because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on “send” and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list with my apologies.
Sometimes it is hard to decide what to include and what to leave out, so I just put in the all things that I like and that are interesting to me. I hope that you like them as well. If you do, please let a friend or coworker know about the newsletter. I will be glad to sign them up. There is no charge and there are no membership restrictions. I give my comments on the news and always "tell it like I see it" but at the same time, I try not to be unkind or to hurt anyone's feelings. Reader's comments are always appreciated.

WebLink Wireless Supplies Network for Ambient Devices

New Personal Technology Devices Silently Communicate Needed Information

DALLAS-May 5, 2003—WebLink Wireless I, L.P., ("WebLink") a leading paging and messaging carrier, announces that Ambient Devices will use WebLink's nationwide wireless data network to provide wireless connectivity to an entirely new kind of "glanceable" wireless products.

The first of these products, The Ambient Orb, will be available nationwide on May 15. The Orb is a frosted glass sphere that changes colors to indicate; 1) whether the stock market is up (green) or down (red); 2) changes in the weather; 3) traffic congestion; or 4) reflect changes in corporate data. The Orb is the first commercial product in the Ambient product family, a set of wireless products that use light, meters, and motion to communicate information at a glance.

"WebLink is excited to work with Ambient Devices to bring such a cutting edge product to market," said N. Ross Buckenham, CEO of WebLink Wireless. "WebLink's reliable network is already used to keep a million people across the nation connected. The Orb is further proof of how wireless technology can be applied in new ways to impact everyday life."

WebLink is the sole wireless company to operate devices with the Ambient Data Services Framework™. WebLink, which operates a nationwide messaging network with an extensive coverage area that has great in-building penetration, is able to reach Ambient customers from New York to LA. By combining Ambient's patent-pending technology with WebLink's cost-effective network, Ambient-powered products will be the first wireless products that do not require a service fee to operate.

"Ambient chose to team with WebLink because they are the most forward thinking of any messaging carrier and are committed to using wireless technology in new and innovative ways," said David Rose, President of Ambient Devices. "At Ambient, we believe all information should be as easy to access as time is with a clock. We call this ambient information, and WebLink is providing the infrastructure to deliver it to a whole new category of products."

Ambient's customers will be able to have glanceable displays dedicated to receive information concerning the Dow Jones Industrial Index, weather forecasts, or homeland security. Customers can upgrade to receive customized data such as corporate metrics (sales performance, website tracking, etc), personal stock profile, local weather, or other customized information. The Ambient Stock Orb will be sold at nationwide specialty retailers including Brookstone in time for Father's Day. Named in NY Times Magazine's "Ideas of the Year" for 2002, it will retail for approximately $150.

Ambient Devices provides hardware, infrastructure and services that support glanceable wireless devices. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass, Ambient's vision is to embed information representation in everyday objects, making the physical environment an interface to digital information. The Ambient Data Services Server assists in cost effectively managing wireless machine-to-machine communication, providing product companies with a unified platform for building dedicated information display products. In May 2002, the company began shipping the Ambient Orb, the first in the next generation of objects that deliver ambient information. Ambient is working with leading content and consumer electronics companies to embed wireless into their products. For more information on Ambient, visit

Source: WebLink Wireless press release

My comments: Good luck to the good folks at Ambient Devices. The Ambient Orb is a great idea. It definitely falls into the category of: "Why didn't I think of that?" This new product is going to be a winner! The recent entry of Microsoft into this market segment, with their new SPOT initiative, clearly validates the concept of ambient information using glanceable wireless products.

For more information about the Ambient Orb, check out the following web sites:

ambient orb Ambient left arrow
brookstone logo Brookstone left arrow
thinkgeek logo ThinkGeek left arrow

Space Data Granted Licenses for Half of Narrowband PCS Spectrum

Company To Deploy Telemetry Services This Year

Phoenix, AZ; April 30, 2003—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted licenses for half of the Narrowband Personal Communications Systems (PCS) spectrum to Space Data Corporation. The new licenses allow Space Data to provide nationwide coverage in the 900 MHz band. Space Data was the successful bidder in the FCC Auction 41 for these 204 licenses in 2001 and completed full payment of its bid amount this month.

Space Data is the first FCC licensee to partner with Native American tribal governments to earn bidding credits in a FCC auction. The partnership commits the company to provide wireless service to various tribal lands throughout the country.

"We've been able to hit each of our important milestones right on target," said Gerald Knoblach, chairman and CEO of Space Data. "Our investors recognized that our SkySite™ technology is an efficient, yet inexpensive way to provide communications services to remote areas. Seventy percent of the continental US landmass is beyond the reach of modern wireless towers. The business case for providing remote communications to these areas is unassailable and we are eager to begin deployment as quickly as possible."

Space Data previously received approval from the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration for its balloon-based SkySite™ technology. Although unique to the telecom industry, millions of successful flights prove they are one of the most dependable and sustainable of all modern systems. For more than 60 years, weather balloons have been the foundation of global meteorology as they beam down critical atmospheric data to weather stations around the globe. All of the United States and most of the world's landmass is in line-of-sight of weather balloons at 100,000 feet above the earth. Space Data is the first to adapt this field-proven concept to commercial telecommunications. It attaches communications electronics to industrial grade balloons to create SkySite™ platforms. The patent-pending SkySite™ network delivers dependable, strong, clear, two-way signals over hundreds of miles—ideal for reaching the most remote areas. At 100,000 feet, a single SkySite™ platform can provide service to an area the size of Oklahoma.

Space Data will conduct beta testing this summer in conjunction with the oil and gas industry to provide telemetry service to wells, pipelines and storage facilities in the Southwest, followed by commercial deployment later in the year. The Space Data technology arrives at a critical time for wireless telemetry. Cellular based carriers have announced that they are discontinuing Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) service, some as early as 2004. Space Data will be able to fill this void and actually extend services well beyond the reach of CDPD towers at comparable prices.

For additional information on Space Data Corporation, please visit

Contact: Tim Ayers, 202-857-9734;

My comments: Congratulations and good luck to my friends at Space Data!

'Phone threat' to air safety

There is new evidence passengers using mobile phones endanger aircraft, according to a Civil Aviation Authority report obtained by BBC News Online.

In tests, compasses froze or overshot, navigation bearings were inaccurate and there was interference on radio channels. Research supports pilots who have complained about mobiles interfering with aircraft systems and distractions in cockpits, the report says. It urges airlines to impose safety measures including:

  • Ensuring flight crews turn off mobiles on the flight deck
  • Check-in staff asking passengers to confirm mobiles in hold luggage are off
  • Reminder notices in airport departure lounges and boarding gates

Since 1996, pilots have reported 35 mobile phone-related safety incidents, including false warnings in the cockpit, distractions causing aircraft to stray accidentally onto runways or fly at the wrong altitude, interrupted radio communications and multiple safety systems malfunctions.

Last September, factory worker Faiz Chopdat from Blackburn was jailed for four months after being convicted of recklessly endangering an aircraft. He repeatedly refused to turn off his mobile phone on an Air 2000 flight from Egypt to Manchester. And in October, Russian businessman Sergey Lebedev was fined £2,500 after forcing a British Airways jet to abort a landing at Manchester Airport. Cabin crew spent so long arguing with him about whether he would turn off his mobile they were unable to prepare the plane.

Source: BBC News Online

My comments: I always wondered if using wireless devices aboard an aircraft in flight was dangerous. Evidently it really is.

Motorola: Bad Day In Beijing, Bad Night For Chairman In Chicago

May 6, 2003

Motorola's China headquarters in Beijing has been closed for more than a week because of an employee who came down with Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, forcing more than 1,000 people to telecommute.

The company also says that today it reopened an R&D facility on the west side of Beijing—the 18-story HQ is on the east side of the city—enabling the 600 workers there to return.

Motorola says the headquarters building has been disinfected and should reopen next Monday. The 27 employees who worked with the infected employee reportedly have tested free of SARs.

The problems in China, which is the company's No. 2 market worldwide, come as Chairman Christopher Galvin is taking heat from shareholders over getting a multimillion-dollar compensation package at a time the company has slashed payrolls and seen its stock price wallow.

Wire service reports from Motorola's annual shareholders meeting Monday night in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont indicated a variety of individual shareholders criticized Galvin's $2.8 million earnings for 2002.

'I would not make that much money in 10 lifetimes and yet you're taking bonuses on the broken bodies of thousands and thousands of unemployed people,' individual shareholder Jim Cook told the meeting, according to The Associated Press.

The chairman responded that his compensation was based on the company's improved performance last year plus improvements in its balance sheet. He also claimed to share the pain of stockholders over Motorola's nearly 50 percent plunge in market value since the beginning of 2002, given that he is one of its top 25 shareholders.

Motorola is targeting a global workforce of about 90,000, meaning it will have whacked about 60,000 people from its August 2000 job rolls to reach the goal

Source: Wireless Week

Palm Focuses On Wireless

May 7, 2003

Wireless connectivity and security will be the focus of the coming version of the Palm operating system, according to a PalmSource executive.

PalmSource CEO Dave Nagel said in a speech at the company's developers conference in San Mateo, Calif., that the version 6.0 of the operating system is being built from the ground up for wireless. Nagel said PalmSource has worked with the wireless carriers to make sure that the new OS is compatible with their networks.

The OS is expected to be complete by the end of the year, with devices using it hitting the market in the first half of 2004.

Source: Wireless Week

My comments: I had one of the first PalmPilots™ with a built-in pager while I worked at WebLink Wireless. (Unfortunately, someone sole it from my office.) I remember that I thought this combination of the PalmPilot™ with a pager was really a cool device. But the way I heard the story was, that there wasn't a lot of interest in the project at Palm. If fact, by the time Motorola got the little pager module ready, Palm had cancelled that model of the PalmPilot™ and had come out with a new model that was incompatible with the pager module—so the project flopped. From the above news, it looks like they have now decided that wireless is a good thing.

New Motorola IMfree Delivers Portable Instant Messaging Solution to Millions of AOL Instant Messenger Fans

No More Family Fights for the PC With Unique Handheld Device Offering Instant Messaging Access Inside and Around the Home

ATLANTA, May 7, 2003—Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT), a global leader in wireless communications, today introduced the new Motorola IMfree™—a revolutionary product designed to provide freedom and convenience to instant messaging (IM) users almost anywhere throughout the house. About the size of a CD case, the IMfree handheld device is equipped with a large display and full QWERTY keyboard for IM addicts, providing a private IM experience away from the restraints of a stationary computer. Currently compatible with AOL® Instant Messenger™ and AIM Buddy Lists®, the new, easy-to-use Motorola IMfree system has all that chatting lovers need to take their IM experience almost anywhere in the home.

The availability of the new Motorola IMfree marks what could be the end of family disputes over PC usage—which according to recent studies, effects more than half of single PC family homes. After simply attaching the IMfree base station to an Internet-connected computer and launching the software, users are ready to roam throughout the house with the Motorola IMfree handheld unit. The Motorola IMfree system offers families the ability to connect multiple units to one PC and IMfree base station, so now both sister "Jill" and brother "Jack" can chat away simultaneously with ease, while Mom or Dad are using the PC. Since the IMfree software runs virtually unnoticed in the background of the PC, family members have the ability to search the Web, write a report or finish a business presentation without constant interruptions from others vying to chat on the PC with friends via IM.

"Anyone who knows or has a tween or teen of their own has seen firsthand the passion this audience has with IMing,” said Larry O’Shaughnessy, director of marketing, Motorola Consumer Products Division. “This passion will only increase with the new Motorola IMfree—giving kids a more convenient and private way to IM with their friends away from the PC. Millions of kids can now ‘LOL’ with their ‘BFF’ in the bedroom, on the stairs or even the bathroom.”

On-The-Go IM
Operating on 900 MHz ISM band technology, the same technology as most cordless telephones, the IMfree system works within 150 feet of the IMfree base station which connects to the family Internet-connected PC. Combined with the hip and lightweight IMfree handset with rechargeable battery, family members can roam almost anywhere in the house for up to four hours, enjoying a truly wireless IM experience. Each IMfree base station can accommodate up to seven IMfree handheld units at one time, so even large families can join in on the fun.

Designed to leverage the AIM experience, the Motorola IMfree system supports AIM Buddy Lists, allowing users to hold IM conversations with up to six of their buddies at a time. In addition, users can also add feelings to their IM chats with 12 of AIM’s most popular emotions, so while users are on the go with IMfree they won’t miss any of the fun that they might find at the PC.

Source: Motorola Press Release


relm logo

Land Mobile and Aircraft Radio Communications products

bk radio logoBENDIX/KING Radios
  • Airborne FM Transceivers
  • Base Stations & Repeaters
  • APCO Project 25 base stations
  • Conventional FM portable radios
  • Digital Portable Radios
  • Synthesized FM Mobile Radios
uniden prc logoUniden Private Radio Communications
  • Mobiles
  • Portables
  • Base Stations
  • Repeaters
  • ESAS Trunking Switch (compatible with LTR & ESAS)
  • Exclusive supplier/manufacturer, under license, for Uniden trunking products for North and South America
relm wireless logoCommercial and Industrial Radio
  • Mobiles
  • Portables
  • Base Stations
  • Repeaters
  • Personal Tracking Systems

Users of RELM and BK Radio products will also be able to take advantage of a unique product called EarthLoc that offers positioning and tracking capabilities. EarthLoc is a compact global positioning-based system for monitoring the location of individual radio users and assets. The design of the system allows for instant "plug and play" operation in RELM and BK Radio products.  For emergency situations, field units are equipped with a one-touch button for instant notification to the dispatcher. Emergency notification is presented with a flashing red display and an audio alarm indicating which unit sent the signal and the location from which the signal was generated.

For over 55 years, RELM has manufactured and marketed two-way FM business-band radios as well as high-specification public safety mobile and portable radios, repeaters and accessories, base station components and subsystems. Products are manufactured and distributed worldwide under RELM Communications, Uniden PRC and BK Radio brand names. The company maintains its headquarters in West Melbourne, Florida.

Distribution agreements for Dealers and Stocking Distributors are available in selected countries in the following areas:

  • Latin America
  • The Caribbean
  • Europe

If you have the ability to sell and service two-way radio equipment and would like to represent Uniden PRC, BK Radio, and RELM Wireless, please let me know as soon as possible. This is a unique opportunity. Requests for other countries will also be considered.


Sometimes I include things in this newsletter that have nothing to do with paging and wireless data. Following is a photo that I took on Wednesday May 7 of the USS Enterprise that I want to share with you. I drove out on the Chesapeake Bay bridge to the first island where there is a restaurant and a fishing pier. I took this photo* in the afternoon as the ship was retuning from sea trials and was going through the Thimble Shoal channel. It was really exciting with several little boats running interference for this giant ship, and several helicopters buzzing around overhead. When someone on the ship spoke into the PA system, it really added to the drama, and I felt like the Scarecrow visiting the Wizard of Oz. The whole ship seemed to be speaking in a BIG voice.

uss enterprise

The Enterprise was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It was commissioned in 1961 while I was in the Navy and stationed here in Virginia.

The Bainbridge, the world's first nuclear-powered-guided-missile frigate joined the Enterprise and the nuclear-powered cruiser, Long Beach in July of 1964 on an historic round-the-world cruise. Task Force One—as it was called—sailed south from the Mediterranean Sea around Africa, across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and around the Cape Horn, and then north to Charleston, South Carolina. This globe-encircling trip demonstrated the mobility, endurance, and independence of the nuclear fleet—for the first time.

I remember it well. I was a land-based radioman (RM2) at the time, and we were in constant radio communications with the Task Force as it circled the globe. Back then we used an HF radio transmitter running 600 KW (along with several others on various frequencies) and space/frequency diversity receivers using huge 3-wire rhombic antennas. All the equipment, in those days, used vacuum tubes.

enterprise crest

This is a big ship! It is 1,123 feet long and 257 feet wide. The ship's crew consists of 3,300 men and women with an additional 1,500 people in the air wing. It is like a floating city. It has been in the Norfolk Navy shipyard here, which is near where I live, for 16 months undergoing an overhaul which cost $250 million. The overhaul has taken five months longer and cost $58 million more than expected, but Navy officials said the added time and money were necessary to get the 41-year-old ship ready for its next deployment. It wasn't ready in time for the war in Iraq, but then neither was I. (They don't need morse code operators anymore.)

The ship is powered by eight nuclear reactors and can reach speeds of over 30 knots (35 mph). That's really fast for a "city" to move. The "Big E" completed a five-year-long $1.8 billion complex refueling and modernization in 1995. It is expected to remain in service until 2015.

* CAMERA: NIKON E990 V1.1, METERING: MATRIX, MODE: P, SHUTTER: 1/241 sec., APERTURE: F8.1, EXP +/-: 0.0, FOCAL LENGTH: f15.9 mm (X1.0), DATE: 2003.05.07 15:23, FILE: 1.1 MB JPG, QUALITY: FULL FINE


vytel logo


ptx-150 image


Specifications and FeaturesUser's Manual

To request pricing and delivery information for the PTX-150, please click here. left arrow

animated wireless logo Wireless Data

I am a manufacturer representative (MR) for Vytek Wireless Products. (Formerly Sonik.) Please look at their web site to see what they have to offer to the Paging and Wireless Messaging industry.

To download the product brochure for the PL-900 Paging Data Receiver, please click here. left arrow left arrow CLICK FOR MORE INFO

To let me know if you would like to receive a price quotation on any Vytek Wireless product, click on the link above.

aapc logojoin aapc

AAPC’s Mission Statement Defines Purpose

  • Identifying issues of common concern to its members
  • Providing an effective forum for the discussion and progression of issues relating to the industry
  • Monitoring and addressing regulatory and legal matters as a unified organization
  • Providing research into and development of our industry and its current and prospective markets
  • Providing education and resources to address the challenges and trends affecting our operating environments
  • Encouraging and maintaining high standards of ethics and services
  • Championing the industry and representing paging carriers with a positive voice

Our industry must move forward together or perish individually. If you want to get involved, please click here. Come and join us!

Legacy Technology Solutions LLC

Telephone (voice):  972-436-8044
Fax:  972-436-8944
Toll free (voice):  877-436-8044

Paging infrastructure repair with warranty. Please ask for Virgil Jarrard, President, and tell him Brad sent you. They are located in the Dallas suburbs, and they occasionally have some good deals on reconditioned paging equipment as well. Check with them for current product availability. You can send Virgil an e-mail by clicking here. left arrowCLICK

outr net logo


outrnet custom apps

If you see someone in the field (like salespeople, technicians, and delivery people) using paper forms, their company could probably save a pile of money, and get much better timeliness, accuracy and efficiency, by using converting to Outr.Net's Wireless Forms. Custom applications for as little as $995, delivered in just a few days.

Outr.Net has a web page on Wireless Forms for Timeports at:

There is a newsletter that discusses Wireless Forms:

Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea. This is really a great way to increase your effectiveness.

Recommended Paging Equipment Broker

Pat Merkel Telephone: 770-638-1006
I have known Pat for many years. We worked together at BBL Industries in Atlanta about 20 years ago. She is a friend—you can trust her. If you are hunting for some paging infrastructure equipment, or for pagers, Pat can help you. Please tell her Brad sent you.


The PTX-150 VHF Direct Digital Paging Transmitter is designed to meet the paging industry’s latest standards for high-speed FLEX™ and simulcast operation. It operates with a wide range of standard network interfaces, and is ideal for both new systems as well as upgrading of existing paging networks.

This Direct Digital Paging Transmitter is designed to generate all modern paging formats including POCSAG, FLEX™ and ERMES. Standard output power is 100 watts continuous (adjustable 25-100 Watts). Optional amplifiers are available with 250 and 500 Watts output. Up to sixteen channels can be preset for multichannel operation over the 138-174 MHz frequency range.

The PTX-150 is ultra-efficient in operation and incorporates a built-in universal 115/230 VAC power supply (auto select) 50/60 Hz. It is supplied in a compact 4 RU high rack mounted case and includes internal front to back cooling optimized to maintain low PA junction temperatures. The unit is rated for 100% continuous duty at up to 60° C ambient temperature.

NEW Ask me about the availability of 450 and 900 MHz paging transmitters—they are coming—soon!

VYTEK's PL-900 Paging Data Receiver

paging data receiver

Wireless Data—breathing new life into the paging industry. The Daviscomms TMR (Telemetry Messaging Receiver) is a one-way FLEX™ telemetry device and is being manufactured by Daviscomms in Singapore. It is being stocked and distributed in the Americas by Vytek Wireless Products as the PageLink™ PDR (Paging Data Receiver). The PL-900 provides a solution for customers looking for a CreataLink™ one-way receiver replacement. THIS IS A HOT PRODUCT! Use it with an LED sign for wireless "electronic notification" like Amber Alerts. Call me for more ideas.

Do you have a product or service that you would like to promote in this newsletter?

If you have any wireless equipment that you would like to buy or sell, please let me know. I don't charge individuals for listing something for sale. If a sale is made through this newsletter, I ask the seller to send me a 10% commission, much the same as the voluntary payments that are requested on the Internet for shareware. There is no cost to the buyer.

There is a small charge for companies wanting to put their products in the newsletter and on my web site. There is no obligation for payment of a commission for this kind of basic advertising. I would be very pleased, however, to get involved in the sales process as a manufacturer representative—for quality wireless products and reputable companies. left arrow CLICK FOR MORE INFO

Wireless Messaging Software

InfoRad® Wireless Office (Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP) is designed for the professional who needs full-featured wireless messaging capabilities. Features include enhanced user interface,  message log with search function, scheduled paging,  group and individual message addresses, TAPI Smart™, multiple protocol SMS communication compatibility. AlphaCare™ support services available. With a 32-bit architecture, InfoRad Wireless Office is designed for compatibility with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. For more information on InfoRad Wireless Messaging software, and a free demo, please click on the logo.

InfoRad logo left arrow CLICK HERE

Wireless Automation

Check out the following four categories of two-way wireless data communications. We have the ability to customize solutions to meet your (or your customer's) needs.

Simple Data Communications Level 1 A basic ReFLEX transceiver, sending and receiving serial RS-232 ASCII data.
Telemetry (Alarm and Control)Level 2 An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, monitoring alarms from a remote site, and sending commands to the remote site.
Asset or Fleet TrackingLevel 3 An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, with the addition of a GPS module for the reporting of accurate locations to enable tracking.
Full Field-Force Automation Level 4 An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, with the addition of a GPS module and a handheld computer terminal for full automation of field service activities all the way from the customer's location back to the service company's back office.
AMTEL Wireless can generally turn a specification into a prototype in two to four weeks. If you have an interesting application in mind, please give me a call so we can talk about it. (Tel. )

Comments and contributions to this newsletter are always welcome. Have a great weekend and please keep in touch!

brad photo

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye

animated logo
Web:Consulting and Job search page left arrow CLICK HERE
FLEX, ReFLEX, FLEXsuite, and InFLEXion, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.
CreataLink is a trademark of SmartSynch Communications Corp.
The product and trademark were formerly owned by Motorola Inc.
Si desea escribirme en español, puede hacerlo con toda confianza.
Home Page | Directory | Consulting | Newsletters
Products | Reference | Glossary | Send e-mail