Buying radios is a straightforward process when you know what to look for. Welcome to part II of what you need to know to buy radios for your business or personal needs:
VHF or UHF?
And what is even that? VHF and UHF stand for Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency, respectively. As their names suggest, they both are different types of frequencies. Different terrains and environments will benefit more from either one or the other. But which one is best for you?
Again, it will depend on the type of environment you will be using the two-way radio equipment. You need to consider the surface area to cover and any sort of physical, solid elements that may cause the radio waves to bounce back (like walls). For different spaces and amounts of interference, different frequencies exist.
UHF frequencies work well indoors since they can penetrate walls or reinforced concrete. For that same reason, UHF radios work better in city environments. These radio frequencies (between 350MHz and 520Mhz) are ideal for industrial and office locations. Thus, if you oversee an office or a large building, you will benefit from asking for UHF radios.
VHF works well outdoors, where distance is the main user's concern. It is good for use outside in rural areas. Thus, for large fields or any environment where distance is great, VHF radios are the choice for you. VHF radio frequency is also better with humidity than UHF, as the signal remains more stable. UHF and VHF only radios cannot communicate with each other.
Analog or digital?
Many see radios as anything but digital, but current technological progress applies to everyone. Safer and more reliable than cellular phones, handheld digital radios or DMR (Digital Mobile Radios) now incorporate the best of digital technology without compromising safety or reliability. Some of these new features include text messaging, preset automatic text responses and Bluetooth connection. Nowadays, we recommend investing in a digital two-way radio even when you are just replacing a few, not all, of your analog radios. This is due to several reasons:
-First, digital radios are also analog capable, meaning you will be able to use your new digital radios with your old analog radios.
-Second, digital radios when used in DIGITAL form increase the coverage almost 20% compared to analog radios and offer longer battery life.
-Third, digital radios offer better audio clarity.
-Fourth, with digital radios you can make group calls, private calls, all calls, and use text messaging and Bluetooth devices when the radio is properly equipped.
-Fifth, digital repeaters allow two groups to share the same frequency without interfering with each other. Basically, you get two repeaters for the price of one.
For the price difference between analog and digital two-way radio equipment, it is a smarter decision to buy digital ready radios instead of analog only ones. You will be getting more features for your bucks.
Display and keypad or no display?
To take advantage of features like Private Call, Caller ID and text messaging that DMR two-way radios offer, we suggest you buy a model with display and limited keypad. You only need a full keypad if you are planning to use free-style text messaging.
Pick a non-display radio only if you just want users to talk. They will be able to receive Private Calls, but they will not know who is calling and will be limited on who to talk to for Private Calls.
Finally, when you buy new radios to match your existing ones, you need to know whether your radios are UHF or VHF and the frequency you are using. You also need to know if your radios are on a proprietary system because in that situation not all radios from other manufactures will be compatible.
As always, for any kind of question, please reach out and we will be happy to help you! You may find us through our contact form, via email at [email protected] or straight through the phone at 1-800-268-4098 x1001 Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm (EST).