60 seconds with SFL's Tony Lowry
Written by: Land Mobile | Published:
Tony Lowry, workshop manager at SFL Mobile Radio

Tony Lowry, workshop manager at SFL Mobile Radio, discusses his time in the two-way radio industry

What’s the most popular type of radio system you’re asked to design?

We supply the majority of our radios to the building industry, which requires multi-channel capacity plus separate systems for tower crane ‘crash’ communications. Each site is individually tailored to ensure that there is no cross-talk between sites.

What’s the one gadget that you can’t live without?

My communications system analyser. It performs analogue and digital tests on all of our radios. It also auto-tests and auto-aligns the radios if necessary. Much easier and more efficient than doing it the old-fashioned way.

How has the task of running SFL’s workshop changed since you first started?

We have become more process- and quality-driven since being ISO accredited. Statistics captured for work performed have become more accurate– all customer service work is recorded on our software platform.

Describe your most unforgettable site visit.

There was one memorable visit for SFL, climbing up a crane for the first time. It was 60 metres tall and swaying in 70 kilometre per hour gusts of wind. Not very pleasant!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen while working in the radio sector?

Penguins on Bertha’s Beach in the Falkland Islands. I was there with the MoD for two weeks in 1997. We hid at the back of the beach, and watched them surf out of the water and walk right past us to their nests. They were only about 10 feet away. It was funny watching them try to run when they spotted us.

What advice would you give to a young radio engineer who’s starting their first job in the industry?

Work out who the main players are, who you can trust and who you can learn from. If you are unsure about anything don’t be afraid to ask.

Tony worked as a telecommunications technical officer for the Ministry of Defence for 28 years, servicing avionic and ground radio and radar equipment. He joined SFL in October 2015 as a radio engineer and became workshop manager in June 2016.

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