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Mon, May 14th - 6:07AM

How To Choose A Two-Way Radio System
Do you wish to be in touch with your acquaintances on the beat? Or, do you want to chat with your mountain climbing companion whose mountaineering skills are going downhill? Well, two way radios can help. What’s important here is for you to be able to purchase the right system that could improve your performance. And, here’s a guide that will help you choose:

How much power do you need and how many channels do you need?

If you need a two-way radio system for basic use, then go with FRS (Family Radio Service) models, which operate on 0.5 watt of power and transmit on 14 channels. The GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) is the ideal choice if you are looking for higher power. This can transmit on 22 channels and can operate on 1 to 2 watts of power. The Federal Communications Commission requires you to have a 5 year license to use GMRS bands. Also, if you desire more channels, then buy a GMRS system.

What is your required range?

Most radios can transmit and receive in a range of 2 miles. It is because a lot of things can impact radio performance such as metal surfaces, weather, topography, electromagnetic interference, human bodies and any other kind of obstruction. Keep this in mind before buying a radio system and do not be taken in by tall claims made by the manufacturer.

At what height will you be using two-way radios?

Will you use your radio system in a place in an elevated urban jungle, or will you use it to communicate to a colleague located in the valley below while you are at the mountain top, or will you use it on entirely flat land?

You must know that radio waves travel a much longer distance when they are transmitted from a height. If the transmission tower is located in an elevated area or if you would be using the radio system from an elevated portion, then its range will surely improve. Elevation can dramatically increase the range and you must take this factor into account while choosing your system.

What is the effective radiated power of the antenna?

Waves that are 12.5 inches in length can be captured by a radio antenna with high effective radiated power. A system with bigger antennas has more effective radiated power and therefore makes more sense than a system with smaller antennas. However, since small antennas look more chic, people want them more than bigger ones. You must choose the antenna based on your application - do not go for smaller antennas just because they look great, and remember, smaller antennas cannot cover a long range.

Do you want some level of privacy?

If you are operating your two-way radio in a busy place, and expect that there will be interference, then you should opt for a system that features CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System). CDCSS helps you divide channels by using privacy codes.

Annoying chatter is minimized, although not fully cut out, when you communicate with privacy codes. Do note that the CDCSS will not make your communication private.

Other factors to take into account

Size of the radio set, its weight, calling features, channel-scanning capabilities, keypad locks, voice activated or VOX system, weather radio, noise filters, headset considerations, battery type used, and channel compatibility are some of the other factors you may want to consider.

Before you buy a two-way radio system, make use of the one-way guide provided above. We hope it will help you make the right decision.
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