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08 Oct 2012
Are you planning to buy a two way radio system? Well, there are a lot of things that you ought to know so that you can make the correct buying decision. For starters, these radios, which are also known as land mobile radios or walkie talkies, are available in three different styles - handheld, mobile and base station (or desktop).

Handheld radios can be held in the hand and carried around while on the go. These radios weigh between 9 and 16 oz and are between four and eight inches tall, without counting their antenna height. Usage of handheld radios is regulated by rules prescribed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Handheld radios cannot have more than 5 watts of power.

Customers of handheld radios must take into account that FRS (Family Radios Service) radios transmit at 0.5 watts while commercial-grade handheld radios transmit between 2-5 watts. Numerous manufacturers print the wattage in mW (milliWatts) and this confuses the buyers. Buyers need to know that 1 watt equals 1,000 milliWatts and that 500 mW is actually half-a-watt. So, if you desire a powerful radio system, stay away from the 500mW radios.

Manufacturers also assert that their handheld two-way radio systems can transmit up to 30 miles in FRS or GMRS. Buyers must ask the dealer to illustrate the radio’s power and verify the manufacturer’s claim before they buy a system.

This was about handheld two way radio systems. Mobile and base station two-way radio systems are the other types of radios available. These radio systems are very robust and can even be powered by 100 watts transmission power. Both mobile and base station radio systems are similar except for their usage.

A mobile radio system is attached to a vehicle and it uses the battery of the vehicle for its power. Such systems have a separate antenna that is attached on the vehicle’s roof or external mirror, or some other convenient place. It is this similar mobile radio system that turns into a base station radio when it is positioned on a table or a counter inside a building.

Base station radios are plugged into the premise’s electricity current, which becomes its power supply. These types of radios utilize an exterior antenna that is located on the roof of the area. These various types of radios are used in a variety of industries ranging from schools to ski resorts to municipal corporations to electric utility companies to malls, and more.

Handhelds, base station radios and mobile radios are compatible with each other and you can communicate with a base station or mobile radio using a hand held, and vice versa - so long you are on a similar channel. Every two-way radio system makes communication easier and the workplace safer, and ultimately goes on to boost productivity.