The two-way radio has evolved from its origins in 1907. The BKR5000 is one in a long line of radios descended from the original and developed for public safety organizations and agencies’ usage.
This lineup also includes the BKR9000, which has many of the same capabilities with a few upgrades. If you’re wondering what sets these apart from other P25 radios and if they’re the right fit for your organization, keep reading.
Radios these days need to have long-lasting batteries, be durable, and allow you to have conversations with clear and accurate audio. The BKR5000 and BKR9000 have all this and more, with single and multi-band capabilities, great battery life, and enhanced noise cancellation.
Single or Multi-band
If you need to have secure conversations on one band and avoid any interference from other signals, a single-band radio should be your choice. Although this can lead to less coverage area due to the limited frequencies, if you want another option that has many similarities to the 5000, go with the BKR9000 for its multi-band operations.
The last thing you’d want is for your radio to run out of battery when you need it most. But that won’t be a problem with the BKR5000, as it has a 5,000 mAh battery that can last up to 12 hours. This is the standard baseline battery life that an organization or agency should look at when buying P25 radios.
In a dangerous or tense situation, you want your audio to be clear to your team and to be able to hear others on your end. So the BKR5000 has noise-cancellation properties to facilitate good communication between responders. This is achieved by canceling or blocking out lower-frequency sounds.
Design of the BKR5000
These were a few basic reasons why you should consider the BKR5000, but there are more features than that. When out in the field, you’ll need to be sure that the radio’s design is compatible with your work. Specifically, it’ll need to be easily accessible, visible depending on the situation, and durable.
If your hands are larger or you’re going to be wearing gloves often while operating your radio, this portable radio will have you covered. Each knob is large and differentiated by size so you’ll be able to utilize the radio to its full potential even with heavy gear or protection on. The side buttons also have patterns to differentiate between them in the dark.
LCD Display/Backlit buttons
In darker conditions or for firefighters and others who may have a lot of gear and/or armor on, a bright LCD Display and backlit buttons are vital. The BKR5000 has both a top display and a Gorilla Glass front display.
It can also be programmed to display certain information depending on whether it’s on a conventional or trunking channel. Additionally, the line of soft keys beneath the color display are customizable, along with several other programmable buttons.
For usage both discrete and highly visible, BK radios come in all black and yellow with black accents. This means that regardless of the utilization, you’ll be able to communicate across team members and separate groups. And you can do so while staying visible or invisible depending on the situation.
IP68 & Military Rating
For those on long shifts out in the field especially in dusty, rainy, or other adverse conditions, a radio needs to be durable. That’s why the BKR5000 has an IP68 rating, meaning it can handle dirt, sand, and dust.
And it can also survive being submerged under water with a depth of 1 meter or more for around 30 minutes. The 9000 has a similar IP67/IP68 rating. These radios are also tested to satisfy military standards and are certified under the MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F, and G standards.
What Should One Look For in a P25 Radio?
Although all of these features are important and should impact your decision on which radio to purchase, some others need to be included in a P25 radio to make it standard. To comply with the standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association(TIA), land mobile radio (LMR) communication products have to be able to be used with others, no matter the manufacturing company.
Regarding encryption, P25 radios must use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256. This makes interoperability, the ability to utilize radios from different manufacturers together, possible.
The BKR5000 uses not only AES 256 but AES 128 and Digital Encryption Standard (DES)-OFB/CFB/XL encryption protocols as well. This ensures that communications are not only heard clearly but will be safe from possible intercepting third parties.
The BKR9000 also has over-the-air rekeying(OTAR) and reprogramming(OTAP). Both of these help encrypt and reprogram radios quickly and avoid having to return them to a central location to do so.
GPS & Bluetooth
Two of the most useful features of these radios are their GPS and Bluetooth capabilities. Not only are they helpful to communicate with your team and connect your radios to other devices, but be able to locate teammates. Dispatch centers can also utilize GPS information to send more teams to an area if needed.
P25 Conventional & Trunking
Another advantage of the BKR5000 and BKR9000 are their capabilities for both trunked and conventional channels. Conventional channels operate on a system where the channels are selected by the user and the access is immediate. Whereas trunked channels are assigned automatically and the access time is variable.
Conventional systems are usually recommended for smaller groups, and trunked ones are more suited for groups of 300 or more. These radios can also operate on Phases 1 and 2 to fit any situation and communicate with analog radios with their Phase 1 FM mode, as well as be compatible with radios that use Phase 2.
Choose BK Radios for Your Team
The BKR5000 and BKR9000 are two of the best P25 radios available. With a number of quality features and advantages to using these portable radios over others, this is a great choice for public safety officials.
If you’re interested in buying a set of BKR5000s or 9000s for your team or are just interested in more information on P25 radios, browse King Radio’s catalog. We’re a certified seller that stocks BK radios and accessories for both civilian and government use.
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