Port Vale FC safety officials now benefit from the increased coverage and clarity of Kenwood DMR.
The English Football League Two (Sky Bet EFL League Two) team Port Vale future-proofs its radio communications with Kenwood DMR.
Port Vale FC is a founding member of the Football League Second Division, it is the eleventh oldest football club in England and one of only a handfull that isn’t named after its town or city; The club took its name from Port Vale House, the building in which it was founded in 1876.
The club can also boast to be the only team managed by the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews, a man widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game with a playing career that included nearly 23 years in the England National Team.
During 2018, the club’s Head of Safety and Security Phil Mayer, frustrated with the lack of coverage and audio quality from the existing analogue radio system made the decision to look at alternatives that would future-proof their communication capability.
In addition to his role at Port Vale, Phil is also Co-Chairman & Co-Owner of IFS, the Institute of Football Safety and was keen that the new system would be 100% reliable and simple to operate by safety officers and stewards; above all he wanted a radio system that could cut out the ambient noise of match days so that voice communications were clearly audible in all situations.
Phil called on the services of OS Comms, a company with over 35 years’ experience in radio communications
Paul Cooper is OS Comms resident expert in radio systems for stadia and regularly represents the company at Football Safety Officers Association meetings. When he was briefed by Phil at the club’s grounds, it was clear to him that the club would need a digital solution rather than an update to the existing analogue system with more up to date equipment. While new analogue equipment would overcome some of the issues, it couldn’t match the operating range offered by digital to the extent of the coverage area, nor could it offer the clarity of audio Phil needed.
A simple and cost-effective DMR solution
Paul considered a number of digital options before recommending a DMR solution. He comments: “Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best and with no requirement for infrastructure, data, DMR was the obvious and cost-effective choice. It also offers the client a wide variety of equipment options from different manufacturers”.
The decision to use Kenwood TK-D340 DMR devices was made by Phil on the basis that the system could be user group configured for the 70 members of the public safety, security and medical teams, the hand-portable radios were reassuringly familiar in operation to the existing analogue radios, the radios offered automatic mixed mode and the exceptional audio quality employing Kenwood’s sophisticated noise reduction algorithms.
Phil concludes: “The new Kenwood DMR system represents a quantum leap in the performance of our stadium-wide communications and we’re comfortable that we now have a system that has the capability to flex around our needs today and into the future”.
Client: Port Vale Football Club
Location: Hamil Road, Stoke-on-Trent
System: KENWOOD DMR
Channel Access: 12.5 kHz two-slot TDMA
Air Interface Protocol: DMR
Hand-Portable Radios: TK-D340