• Hytera clears up communication issues at The Pingle Academy

    Education | Case Study

The Pingle Academy in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, is a large secondary school catering for 1,300 students, including 150 sixth formers. The Academy employs approximately 140 staff across the various departments of whom 90 are teachers and teaching assistants. Backing up the Academy’s main teaching activity is a range support departments including administration, ICT and communication systems.

The Challenge

The Pingle Academy did have an existing two-way radio system in place, but it was proving unfit for purpose. One problem was the sheer size of the site, which meant the radios could not always communicate across the whole campus without suffering from interference, or even loss of connection in areas where the signal was not strong enough to maintain a transmission.

In addition, the radios were not providing reliable enough communications inside the school buildings leading to delays and inefficiencies, as staff could not always be got hold when required.

To overcome these issues, Zycomm Communications, based in Ripley, Derbyshire, was brought in to provide a reliable and robust two-way radio system. The brief boiled down to providing clear, reliable communications across the whole site at all times with minimal interference.

The Solution

Zycomm sent representatives to The Pingle Academy with five different devices to give staff a good idea of the kinds of terminals on offer. Zycomm also held discussions with the school to identify what its particular communication needs were. Once that was done, Zycomm undertook a full site survey based on the capabilities of two of the five devices.

Once the survey and assessment period results were complete, Zycomm and The Pingle Academy were able to narrow the choice of radio down to the final one and an agreement was concluded at a reasonable cost.

The radio chosen was the Hytera PD365U Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) hand portable. The PD365U is a small, compact two-way radio weighing just 160g, making it easy for teaching, administrative and support staff to carry around without being too heavy or obtrusive.

The radios are IP54 rated against dust and water intrusion, while the short integrated antenna provides excellent coverage. The radios come with Hytera’s latest audio processing technology and in-built speaker to provide clear communications and a robust audio quality.

The radio features a three-line monochrome display window and a partial keypad with four programmable buttons. 64 character long texts can be pre-programmed in via the customer programming software.

The battery provides up to 12 hours operating time and is easy to charge either via the micro USB port or via an optional wireless charging kit and battery case. The radio just slots into the wireless charger holder and charges up without the need for any cables.

Finally, the Hytera PD365U comes with a pre-programmed emergency mode allowing users to raise an alarm, which will be sent with top priority to a base station or to other radios, as well as identifying the ID of the person issuing the alarm.

The Results

Zycomm reports that staff at the school are very happy with the Hytera PD365U handset and how it performs. The performance issues they faced with the previous radio system are now a thing of the past.

The school says that staff are now able to accomplish tasks in a more efficient manner, while the much improved clarity, coverage and availability of the radio system has genuinely improved the overall running of the school.

It should also be noted that having access to better communications is enabling Pingle Academy to better fulfil its duty of care to keep the students safe and secure at all times, whilst helping to provide them with a great learning experience.

“The clarity afforded by having a dedicated frequency is exceptional. A big thank to Zycomm for being really helpful, listening to our requirements and making helpful suggestions,”

says Ray Humphrey, network manager at The Pingle Academy.