By John Miller, PCI #1005
Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department
We police cyclists are always looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate well in the face of everyday interferences, like rain, wind, background noise, constant pedaling motion, and movement. To aggravate our situation, our agency recently switched over to digital audio, which has created additional challenges. Our existing equipment, which operated well with the analog radios, suddenly began digitizing minor wind noise to a constant loud squelch. As a result, we needed to find new microphone equipment for our radios.
Fortuitously, IMPACT Radio Accessories, via IPMBA, offered us an opportunity to “test drive” some of their radio connector adaptor equipment. We jumped at the chance. IMPACT has been supplying radio products for public safety, military, security, retail and hospitality personnel since 1999, so their staff knows their stuff. Just as importantly, all IMPACT components are backed with a three-year “no hassle” warranty.
Although IMPACT offers a wide variety of equipment for all radios in use in the field, we were partial to those accessories that improved the quality of our transmissions and our ability to hear broadcasts, were reliable, and were flexible enough to make both our police cyclists and dispatchers happy.
The product we tested was the P3W-AT1, which is described on their website as “designed for ultimate stealth use and for users who simply can’t afford to sacrifice reliability and performance.” The P3W features a micro MEMS surface mount Knowles™ mic inside an incredibly small mic, dual clips for multiple securing options, and anchored Kevlar™ reinforced cabling.
During the test, our officers were pleased that there was no wind noise being digitized by their microphones. Better yet, they were very impressed with their ability to communicate in extremely loud conditions, such as bars packed with patrons and blaring music.
At the conclusion of the testing period, I emailed our bike unit members, advising them that I had to assemble the equipment for its return to IMPACT Radio Accessories. One of our police cyclists advised me, in no uncertain terms, that I was not welcome to have his equipment back. He said that he liked the flexibility of the equipment, as he could wear the wire set with either his standard patrol uniform or his police cyclist uniform with universal effectiveness. Further, he advised that the quality of both the microphone and the earpiece were impressive.
Our experience with the P3W-AT1 has been very positive. Well-designed equipment, good reputation, and a solid warranty make a recipe for success.
For more information about the P3W-AT1 and other products, visit www.impactcomms.com or call 866-532-9005.
Detective John Miller has been with the Scottsdale Police Department since 1994 and assigned to the Scottsdale Police Bike Unit since April 2000. He also served six years as a Counterintelligence Special Agent with the U.S. Army. He has been an IPMBA member since 1996, and an instructor since April 2007. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of IPMBA News.