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13 May 2012
Do you want to be in touch with your acquaintances on the beat? Or, do you like to chat with your mountain climbing companion whose mountaineering skills are going downhill? If these are some of your concerns, then a two way radio might just be what you are searching for. What’s important here is for you to be able to obtain the right system that could improve your performance. And, here’s a guide that will help you choose:

How many channels are you looking for and how much power do you need?

An FRS or Family Radio Service model will be perfect if you only need the most fundamental use. The GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) is the best choice if you are looking for higher power. This can transmit on 22 channels and can operate on 1 to 2 watts of power. The Federal Communications Commission requires you to have a 5 year license to make use of GMRS bands. Also, if you desire more channels, then buy a GMRS system.

What is your required range?

The majority of radios can transmit and receive in a range of 2 miles. It is because many things can impact radio performance such as metal surfaces, weather, topography, electromagnetic interference, human bodies and any other kind of obstruction. Keep this in mind before purchasing a radio system and do not be taken in by tall claims made by the manufacturer.

At what height will you be using two-way radios?

Will you use your radio system in a place in an elevated urban jungle, or will you utilize it from a mountain top to communicate with your colleague in the valley below, or will you make use of it on completely flat land?

When radio waves are transmitted from a height, it could travel a much longer distance. If you are intending to use the radio system from an elevated place, or if the transmission tower is located at an elevated place, the radio's range will increase. Elevation can dramatically increase the range and you must take this factor into account while choosing your system.

What is the efficient radiated power of the antenna?

Waves that are 12.5 inches in length can be captured by a radio antenna with high effective radiated power. A system with larger antennas has more effective radiated power and therefore makes more sense than a system with smaller antennas. However, since small antennas look more chic, people want them more than bigger ones. You need to select an antenna based on the application that you need. Try not to go for smaller antennas simply because they look better. You have to remember that a long range cannot be covered by smaller antennas.

Do you wish some level of privacy?

If you are running your two-way radio in a busy place, and expect that there will be interference, then you should opt for a system that features CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System). CDCSS helps you divide channels by using privacy codes.

Annoying chatter is minimized, although not fully cut out, when you communicate with privacy codes. Keep in mind that your communication wouldn’t be made private by the CDCSS.

Other factors to take into account

Size of the radio set, its weight, calling features, channel-scanning capabilities, keypad locks, voice activated or VOX system, weather radio, noise filters, headset considerations, battery type used, and channel compatibility are some of the other factors you may want to consider.

Use the one-way guide above before buying a two-way radio system. We wish that this will assist you in making the proper judgment.