Radio waves are used to communicate and exchange messages over long distances. What enables this? Well, surely, the radio waves themselves. But on a more technical front, two-way radios enable devices to both transmit as well as receive messages wirelessly over long distances. The Arcshell AR-5 two-way radio is a good entry device.
The uses are infinite. Business use it for communication, rural areas see a great deal of VHF frequency two-way radios for personal communication, and people on adventure with no reliability on cellular network choose to bring two-way radios with them (and we will also explain how do you find a two-way radio frequency in this article, which will help you get a range on your two-way radio to set up communication on your radio systems for remote areas).
Two-way radio technology has been a pioneering technology. It pushed the horizon for wireless radio exchange. The two-way radio technology is similar to many other broadcasting technologies that utilize radio waves.
Let’s learn more about these frequencies at use in two-way radios. Alternatively, read more about how two-way radio communication works.
What frequencies do two-way radio services use?
Two-way radio services use many different frequencies. They operate on different frequencies for different purposes. Sometimes, you need a cross-building network. There, UHF frequencies are the standard. And for transmitting to and receiving from long-distance sources, the ideal is the VHF frequency.
We will discuss VHF and UHF in the next section. Let’s look at another frequency that’s common: 900 MHz onsite.
This is the frequency when you need very efficient cross-building coverage. This frequency easily permeates buildings and is very suitable for hotels, institutes, and manufacturing plants, among others. This frequency can only be configured using the Motorola DTR650. This is a license-free technology and the devices are pretty easy to configure.
The main differences between UHF and VHF bands
Let’s see the major differences between UHF and VHF.
- VHF is the 136-174 MHz frequency range vs. UHF, which is a 403-470 MHz frequency range.
- VHF is good for outdoor applications. UHF is ideal for indoor applications.
- If there are negligible obstructions and vast distances to cover, VHF excels at transmission and reception. On the contrary, if there are many obstructions, UHF is better. A good example will be the region: rural regions will work better with VHF two-way radio systems and urban areas, cities, etc. will benefit immensely from UHF two-way radios.
- Rural area conveniences like a fire department, long haul trucking, manufacturing plant field operations, agricultural requirements, etc. use VHF. On the other hand, many companies and businesses in cities use UHF from hotels to factories and industrial plants.
- UHF is more widely used because it’s the default frequency when the requirement specifies both indoors and outdoors. This is what most businesses use.
How to find a two-way radio frequency?
This is a question I get asked many times repeatedly. First-time users will face difficulty when they try to get a range on their two-way radio (check the longest range radios here). It’s a good thing you’ve first tried to find how to find a two-way radio frequency: otherwise, you’d be in deep trouble in remote regions with no cellular network coverage.
- Height: The earth curves. So, if you’re very far apart, the radio signal from your device will directly hit the earth and won’t be able to go past the bulge. The safe distance where the earth can be considered “flat” is 4-6 miles. This increases the importance of height. The higher you are, the more you avoid the curvature. For every meter you rise in height, you can cover about 2.2 miles. So, if you’re 5 meters high, you can cover 5×2.2=11 miles.
- How do you find a two-way radio UHF range: You need a UHF button on the device. You should be making the range adjustments before you reach the destination. Turn the button around and look out for the frequency level. When the pointer reaches higher than the balanced state, you’re reaching there.
- How do you find a two-way radio VHF range: Do the same as before and get the pointer in the range of 136-174 MHz. As the frequency falls, the VHF will rise.
External equipment is really important
To smoothly work on the two-way radio frequencies, you need a host of other considerations. Primary among those is the antenna.
For UHF frequencies, you need antennas that are powerful and high-quality. Direction and height don’t matter here. Just invest in as much quality as you can. It’s also a common practice to use repeaters to extend the signal in case you need to cover more regions or if certain regions (for example, certain sections within the building of operation) are experiencing feeble reception.
For VHF transmissions and receptions, you need to use a vertical antenna with more power gain. Also, the higher it is, the more region it can usually cover. Boosting its power further is also easier with more components, just make sure you don’t cross the legal radio transmission power limits in your region.
Read more of our best two-way radios reviews next.