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September 7, 20204 min read

Custom Radios to Suit Your Needs


Off-the-shelf communications solutions don’t always meet the challenges critical industries face. At Tait, we understand that each organization has its own specific communications requirements, which is why we work closely with our customers to come to the best possible solutions.

Tait can customize radios to meet customer-specific requirements – no matter the size of the order. We often hear our willingness to integrate and customize our products makes us stand out from other vendors, and we’re proud to provide this service to our customers.

In our previous stories about custom solutions, we focused on transportable solutions and custom software. In this blog, we’ll discuss how Tait can customize radios to work the way you want, with no compromise to your business.

Custom radios, the way you want

For decades, the trusty radio has been an essential piece of equipment for workers in a range of industries. Over the years, many organizations establish a certain way of operating that ‘works’, and instead of changing their tried and tested ways to accommodate a new, completely different radio system, they prefer radios that work the way they’re used to.

There are many reasons why such a customized solution benefits organizations, such as easier transitions to new systems or technologies, improved worker safety by maintaining familiar processes (which is quite often a health and safety requirement), making radios easier to use, and simplifying change management processes, to name but a few.

To enable devices to continue to work the way you’re used to, Tait can customize the firmware of existing and new radios to precisely fulfil your requirements. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at how custom firmware can help solve unique communications problems.

Examples of radio customizations

Custom firmware for in-building location services
Most location services solutions rely on satellite navigation systems such as GPS and GLONASS to provide geolocation information. However, for organizations that work in environments outside of satellite coverage, it can be difficult to keep track of where people and assets are located.

Miners in tunnelIn dangerous environments such as mines, it’s vital to know the location of your workers to keep them safe. To provide location services to a mining company that had no means to track its workers in the tunnels of the mine, Tait developed a custom solution that combined custom firmware in Tait radios with Bluetooth® tags in the tunnel walls.

The custom firmware allows radios to pick up the unique IDs of the Bluetooth® tags and transmit that information over the radio network back to the control room. The exact location of the radios can then be determined based on the location information provided by the Bluetooth® tags.

Custom RF boards and firmware for integration with partner products
Sometimes, customers require modified software and hardware to be incorporated into third-party systems. For these sort of requests, Tait can create custom firmware or RF boards for integration with partner products.

An example of a custom radio solution that needed both physical aspects and firmware to be altered was the work done for a company providing first-responder agencies with in-vehicle repeaters. Our engineers modified Tait TM9400 RF boards so they could be assembled into the third-party in-vehicle repeaters.

These repeaters allow users with a portable radio to use the mobile radio in their vehicle as an access point to the radio network. In remote locations, where radio networks only have mobile coverage but users need to work outside their vehicles, having access to reliable critical comms can mean the difference between life and death.

Custom Bluetooth® integration with biometrics devices
For workers in dangerous environments, physiological monitoring can help to prevent occupational loss of life. It can give incident commanders and control room staff real-time insight into the well-being of staff when they are involved in incidents.


To enable the biometric monitoring of frontline staff, Tait developed custom firmware to integrate portable radios and biometric devices via a Bluetooth® connection. This integration allows the radio to receive the physiological data recorded by the biometrics device and transmit it over the radio network to the control room.

By providing instant access to vital information such as exceptions in heart and breathing rates, stress levels, low activity, heat stroke or falls, this custom integration increases health and safety procedures, accountability, tactical decision making and situational awareness.

These are just some examples of the customization Tait can offer. Some other examples include:

  • Customized single control heads that can select either LMR or satellite connectivity
  • Different backlighting to suit different work environments, for example low light for use with night vision goggles
  • Fast polling to provide more accurate Location Services
  • Integrations of Tait equipment with third party devices and networks

Peace of Mind

We sometimes hear customers are hesitant about customization and would prefer to be on the main firmware line, because that gives them access to regular updates and the latest features. Others simply don’t like change, and never want their firmware updated.

To those customers, Tait can offer assurance – we continue to support old hardware, and Tait clients with custom firmware can receive ongoing updates via service contracts. Because we know it can be difficult to move to another vendor after relying on the same hardware for a long time, Tait will work with you to come to the best possible solution.

Tait Factory

What are your Challenges?

Our engineers are always up for a challenge. Do you need a custom communications solution to meet your unique requirements?

Get in touch to find out how Tait can help.


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