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Frequently Asked Radio  Questions


    What is the RANGE of a 2-way radio?

    VHF vs. UHF, what do I need?

    NiCd & NiMH Battery Life & Charging?

    Battery Recycling?

    What is the life expectancy of a handheld radio?

    How can I save my WET RADIO?

    What about Servicing/ Retuning/ Refurbishing?



Handheld radios generally will talk "radio-to-radio", "line-of-sight" up to 2 miles. Once you start putting obstacles in between the radios you will shorten your range. Even the body fluid of the person wearing the radio on their hip will absorb some of the range. Higher wattage radios will have a slight increase in range and a significant increase in clarity of transmission on the outer fringes of your range.

Mobile radios, such as those mounted in vehicles, will generally talk "radio-to-radio" 8-10 miles depending upon the obstacles and the terrain.

Base stations will generally talk approx. 8-12 miles. Contrary to popular belief wattage does not determine distance. Antenna height and placement determines distance.

Increasing Range:
1) Hold your radio perpendicular to the ground, not slanted like you would hold a phone. This problem alone could decrease your range by up to 75%.
2) Height and placement of your antenna determines range. Simply placing your radio somewhere higher will solve many range issues, along with facing the direction you are talking.
3) Don't shout CB-style, shouting reduces talk-range on industrial-type radios.
4) Check your batteries. Old or defective batteries can cause intermittent or no transmit. Your radio will appear to receive fine, but transmit is limited. (See battery life category below.)
5) Have your radios serviced every two years to maintain peak performance. It is not uncommon for radios to lose some frequency alignment and wattage as they age.


VHF vs. UHF or even 900 MHz

In many onsite business settings you can use either VHF, UHF or 900 MHz with success.

VHF: Especially good for people who work somewhat line-of-sight or outdoors. VHF gets around rocks, dirt, hills and trees well and can also be used in many indoor situations.

UHF: While VHF and UHF will both operate line-of-sight up to 2 miles, UHF (450mAH range) gets in and around metal better and even has a better metal punching capability. It also works well in and around concrete structures.

900 MHz: Digital radios with up to 20% better range than VHF or UHF. They offer more clarity of transmission and better battery life.

If you are satisfied with what you have there is no reason to change. On the other hand, if you are having communications problems you may want to change frequency bands.


Battery Life & Charging

Li-Ion batteries have an average lifespan of 12-18 months, offer a longer business day than their counterparts, and are not as subject to memory problems. Rechargeable NiCd batteries have an average lifespan of 18 to 24 months. NiMH batteries have a life span of 12-18 months and are less prone to memory development.

Both NiMH and Li-Ion batteries use fast-rate chargers (60-120 minute chargers). These generally come standard with radios equipped with either NiMH or Li-Ion batteries.

NiCd on the other hand is better suited to the use of a trickle charger (8-12 hrs.) If you can't run your NiCd batteries down completely before charging, do so at least once a month, followed by trickle charging. This will extend the life of your NiCd battery.

On drop-in charger models check your charging trays and the contacts on your radio for dirt and debris. Use a pencil eraser to clean these contacts periodically.
When using wall-plug style chargers, wipe off the plug before inserting it into your radio. Many radios come to our service center with debris in the charge jack, which can cause problems. Use the dust cap on your adio to protect this jack area when not in use.  Also be aware that chargers and wall transformers do wear out, much like a light bulb. Replace as needed.

How you care for your batteries dictates how long they will last. To extend the life of your batteries, try to run them all the way down before fully recharging them.

Do not remove the plastic coating from your batteries. This ruins your battery pack and also voids the warranty.



NiCd, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries must be recycled or disposed of properly and cannot be dumped in landfills or incinerators. The EPA classifies used batteries as hazardous waste. Look for your local recycling program or call Delmmar at 800-872-2627 and we will help you with disposal information.

Motorola has established a take-back recycling program to responsibly dispose of used Motorola radio equipment. Contact us for more details.
BATTERIES: Most Lowes and Home Depot stores have a battery recycling drop off near the front of the store.

Be responsible, recycle!


Radio Lifetime

You can expect most business handheld radios to last 5 to 10 years. For a basic business radio the cost works out to be between 17¢ and 37¢ a day. You can extend the life of your radio by keeping it free from moisture and dust. To keep it in peak operating condition you should have it retuned by a qualified technician every two-three years.


Wet Radio

Employees are sometimes reluctant to let you know they have dunked a radio. Let them know upfront, before the situation occurs, that time is of the essence when it comes to a wet radio.

Exposure to water can destroy your radio. If your radio gets submerged you need to get the water out of it ASAP, otherwise the circuit board will be ruined. Don't hesitate, corrosion takes over very quickly! Consider anything you do is a "last ditch effort" to save your radio. Remove the battery pack from the wet radio. If the battery pack is wet, get rid of it. Dry the radio thoroughly using a fan or blow dryer. Then get the unit into a service facility as soon as possible. Let them know it has been dunked.

Consider keeping an EVAP Rescue Pouch in your office. It is an inexpensive way to possibly save your wet radio or phone.



As with any electronic device, from the moment you turn on your new radio it begins to age. As it ages the radio comes out of alignment. A qualified technician is able to check your radio for weak or worn out components and align the frequency for a lot less than the price of a new unit. It is best to send the radios to the service shop for retuning every two years or as problems arise.

If you need more information please call us at 800-872-2627.


Delmmar Communications Corp
Contact Debbie, Angelina or Connie for more information

Hrs: 8:30-4 CST, M-F

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