Evolving communications at Down House

Company News

Earlier this month, Hytera spoke to staff at Down House, the family home of scientist Charles Darwin. The team migrated to Hytera DMR radios this summer, helping to transform communications at this busy visitor attraction. We asked Briony Atkins, Site Manager at Down House a few questions about the team’s daily challenges, migrating to digital and the biggest benefits of the new system.

Down House

What are your main communications challenges at Down House?

Some of the original foundations of the building go back to the 16th century so there are some thick walls throughout the building. There is an attic, basements and there are 33 acres of land across the estate. There’s a large area to cover and we need a clear radio signal.

What were the main factors that convinced you to try something new?

We had been using our old analogue radios since 2009. They were quite large models, and bulky to carry on your person for the whole day. The coverage wasn’t very good so if someone was in the house and someone was in the grounds, it was really difficult to actually transmit to them. They were also running out of battery very quickly which isn’t great when you’re working far away from other people.

Migrating to DMR with the PD505

In summer 2016, the Hytera PD505 was demoed to Down House staff by approved Hytera dealers, Smye-Rumsby. The team tested the handsets in their daily operations before making the decision to migrate.

The DMR radios offer a variety of advanced features, including lithium-ion battery technology, giving a superior talk time per charge, as well as noise cancellation technology.

How have the new handsets performed?

They’re just really nice and clear. The area we were struggling with before was the overflow carpark – you’re lone working in a vehicle area and the previous radios kept dropping out of signal. This summer we have not experienced any problems at all. They’re also nice and compact so a lot easier to carry around.

What has been the biggest benefit of the new system?

I’m just able to monitor and communicate with my team so much more effectively, and the battery life is excellent so I have no worries that someone’s battery will run out halfway through the day. It gives me that sense of security that I can contact anyone I need to at any time, wherever they are on the 33 acres that we have here”.

Ready to Migrate to DMR? If you’re interested in migrating to DMR, view our DMR product range or contact us to speak to one of our advisers, who can help you find the ideal radios for your business.