more tips on better range

2-Way Radio CustomerHere at the radio repair center we get many questions about radio range (talk distance). Typically a handheld business radio will do 2 miles line-of-sight or as far as the radio can see. Several factors interfere with range, including but not limited to: curvature of the Earth, obstacles, height and placement of antenna, position of the radio, and using the correct antenna for the radio.
Range tips:

  • 1) Holding the radio upright with the antenna straight up gives you the best range. Tilting to the side, as if talking on the phone, will reduce the range by up to 2/3s. This will cause transmissions to drop out, or be very staticky. Just remember: Perpendicular to the ground is best!
  • 2) The body fluid of the person wearing the radio can absorb part of the range.  If you’re a little bit round in the middle, your radio will not work as well as your pencil-thin co-worker. You can compensate by wearing the radio higher your body. Maybe in a shirt pocket or with a chest pouch. Height and placement of antenna determines range.
  • 3) Use a good quality fully charged battery. It takes more energy to transmit than to receive. Using a good battery will do wonders to clear up static, making your transmissions clear.
  • 4) Use the appropriate antenna for your radio. While stubby (short) antennas may be available for your radio model, keep in mind these will significantly reduce range. If you are working in a close proximity, they may work wonderfully. However, if you are expecting to transmit a long distance, go back to the original standard length antenna.
  • 5) Check your antenna for damage. If you can bend the antenna and see the coils or if the top cap is gone, it is time to replace the antenna. This may do wonders for your range.
  • 6) Get your radio tuned up. Electronic components inside your radio age over time and the radio will not function as well as it did new. Getting your radio tuned and realigned will bring it back to factory spec, or as close as one can get with an older radio.

If you have questions about increasing range, give us a call here at Delmmar Communications, 800-872-2627. We are always happy to help.

radio range

Radio Repair CenterHere at the radio repair center we occasionally get questions about the range of a 2-way radio. Below are some simple answers to basic two-way radio range questions:

Portable radios generally will talk 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 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. (referencing a simple base station where you use a mobile radio, power supply and outside antenna, aka a control station.)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 30-50%.
  • 2) Don’t shout CB-style, shouting reduces talk-range on industrial-type radios.
  • 3) Be certain you are using a good, fully-charged battery.
  • 4) Check your antenna. Any exposed copper coil or weather checks which expose the coil when bending are a sign your antenna needs replaced. Also, keep in mind, use of a stubby antenna will reduce your range. The best antenna for a radio is generally the standard antenna it came with.
  • 5) And the technicians in the shop will tell you… have your radios serviced every two-three years to maintain peak performance.

Looking for even more range?

You might be in the market for a repeater, or have need to connect with a local repeater or trunking system which is already in place. But first, try bringing your radios to optimum range by following the above tips.

If you have more questions about increasing range give us a call here at Delmmar Communications, 800-872-2627. We are always happy to help.