Handheld radios, such as the Motorola CP200, will generally transmit radio-to-radio, line-of-sight up to 2 miles. Once you start putting obstacles 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 the Motorola CM200, will generally transmit radio-to-radio up to 8-10 miles depending upon the obstacles and the terrain.
Base stations will generally transmit approx. 8-12 miles.
What can you do to improve range? Contrary to popular belief wattage does not determine distance. Antenna height and placement determines distance. Hold your portable radio perpendicular to the ground, not slanted like you would hold a phone. This problem alone could decrease your range by up to 2/3s. Don’t shout CB-style, shouting reduces talk-range on industrial-type radios. If you have a radio user who stays in a fixed location, think about adding a small base station into your system. Have your radios serviced every two years to maintain peak performance. When using a mobile radio or base station: Be certain with your antenna that it is installed correctly. You can improve the range of your mobile radio by using an antenna which is cut to the appropriate length for your primary transmit frequency. Proper positioning of the antenna on the vehicle is key to good range.
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