Monday, 8 June 2015

2-Way Radio Range: How Far Can Two-Way Radios Communicate? Part 2

Two-Way Radio Power

Another important factor in the distance a two-way radio will communicate is its power output. This power output is measured in “watts.” You’ve likely heard an FM radio station say they are broadcasting at 50,000 or 100,000 watts. Well, a handheld business-type two-way radio usually broadcasts at 1-5 watts. A vehicle mobile radio may broadcast anywhere from 5 to 100 watts. The more watts a radio has, the farther it can transmit.

Why is this? When water moves through a pipe it loses pressure along the way. When electricity flows along a wire it loses current. When an object is rolling, it will eventually stop rolling due to friction. Radio waves operate by the same laws of physics as everything else so there will be signal loss along the way. B

Saturday, 6 June 2015

2-Way Radio Range: How Far Can Two-Way Radios Communicate? Part 1

One of the most common questions people ask when they are in the market for a two-way radio or wireless intercom is how far do they communicate?  Unfortunately asking this question is along the lines of asking, "How far is up?". There are lots of variables involved and no easy, definitive answer. A brief lesson on radio signal transmission is required to understand the whole range issue.

But as in all general rules, there are exceptions to the rules. Even though these frequencies travel via "line-of-sight" paths, radio signals can travel through many non-metallic objects and be picked up through walls or other obstructions. Even though we can't see between antennas of a transmitter and receiver, this is still considered line-of-sight to the radios. Also, radio waves can be reflect