How To Find Two-Way Radio Frequencies: A Survival Guide
Whether you're planning to go on trips or adventures with your friends or family, a two-way radio can be your ultimate best friend and savior. Not only it's great for outdoors, but it's also an indispensable component for communication in various industries. In this article, we will tackle the basics of how to find two-way radio frequency. Let me walk you through the process.
The Basic Principles
Two-way radios or walkie-talkies, as we call them, generally operate on particular frequencies. Each frequency band has its advantages for some specific applications. For instance, if you are required to work in buildings, go for higher frequency selection because they will have better penetration. But, take note that it will have a decreased range also.
Radio waves originating from a two-way radio are parallel. The range of a two-way radio frequency is defined as the uninterrupted line interval between two points on the Earth's surface. In most cases, you will find the field to be 4 to 6 miles. Finding the range of the radio device is simple as it only entails a simple formula.
The basic principle is that the higher the radio is placed, the longer the range will be. Note that the distance is in kilometers, and the height is in meters. You can considerably increase the radio's range by placing it higher.
Before we move on finding an appropriate frequency, it is necessary to note a few critical points regarding two-way radios. Other than mobile phones, these are regarded to be the most reliable modes of communication. These two properties differ from conventional forms of wireless communication.
One of the best features of a two-way radio is that you can communicate instantly. All you must do is press the PTT button to relay any message you want. This is because of the fast-wireless technology that has made this device such a hit.
Two-way radios also allow you to talk to multiple individuals at once without repeating your message. One fun fact about this radio device is, you will be able to communicate with a thousand people with just a single device and set up multiple frequencies to speak to people from different groups.
What are the Different Types of Frequencies?
Generally, there are three types of frequencies you can use for your two-way radio. The frequency bands are VHF, UHF, 900Mhz. They differ from each other and vary per area. The range of the frequency also differs according to the band. Let discuss a little bit about the various types of frequency bands so you will know how to pick the right one.
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF)
As the name suggests, this type of frequency is quite high. But in contrast, the wavelength is quite short. As a result, it can transmit much higher energy. This is usually the rule of thumb with waves. There's a compromise between the frequency and the wavelength.
This is a default frequency for indoors and outdoors, and usually, hotels and educational institutions use this. Maximum radio also uses these frequency bands as they are very versatile.
The frequency values for UHF range from 400 to 512 MHz, while the wavelength can range from 1 to 5 feet. The frequency is most efficient for close-range communication.
Very High Frequency Or VHF
Although VHF's frequency is still high, it is relatively lower than UHF. As a result, it has a higher wavelength than UHF. This frequency band is best suited for short-distance communication. This frequency provides maximum range and is mainly used for agriculture, field operations, and other rural purposes.
The frequency values range from 130 to 174 MHz, while the wavelength can reach 10 meters.
These frequency bands are mainly used in hotels, retail, and light manufacturing industries. This means that if you are working in an office or any building, and you need to communicate with each other, then the 900 MHz on-site frequency band is suited for this purpose. This is perfect for companies that require great coverage inside a building.
Finding the Right Frequency and Wavelength
You can adjust the frequency to either a VHF or a UHF depending on your range requirements. They both have advantages and disadvantages. Very High-Frequency bands are perfect for broadcasting messages through a long distance. Moreover, weather interferences and obstacles do not necessarily affect it to a large extent.
In contrast, Ultra High Frequency (UHF) is much better suited for situations where there are multiple devices in close range. UHF has a larger bandwidth, which consequently ensures minimal interference.
Two-way radio devices make use both waves to remove all limitations. UHF offers more effective communication, while VHF is perfect for long-range communication. However, you control the dominance of one wave over the other.
Adjusting Ultra High Frequency
When adjusting UHF, you must make sure that you do it before you leave the house or any location other than where you are headed. This process is quite simple. You must turn the UHF control button until the frequency pointer reaches over the balanced pointer position.
The frequency can be set immediately from the UHF pointer. Likewise, you will notice that the VHF reading is lower than the balanced state.
Adjusting Very High Frequency
The process is quite like the one for UHF. You need to adjust the VHF frequency for long-range communication. You must turn the VHF button on and set the frequency wherever between 130 and 174 MHz. The wavelength automatically adjusts when you are changing the frequency. Also, the UHF gets automatically balanced.
Two-way radios are greatly helpful for instant communication, especially in areas where cellular network is lost. When you want to go for an adventure and cut yourself from civilization for a while, it is essential to bring a two-way radio with you for safety purposes.
Unlike regular networks, a two-way radio device comes with a much longer range; thus, you will hardly find yourself out of range. Beginners may find a hard time finding the best frequency for their two-way radios. This is where this article comes in.
We hope that you have learned a decent amount of information about how to find two-way radio frequency. So, the next time you use a two-way radio device, you already know the drill on how to use it correctly.
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