What types of 2-way radios are available?(2 way radios range)

Want to stay in touch with your skiing pals dispersed all over a mountain? Need to check in with hiking partners traveling at a different pace? 2-way radios range — rugged, lightweight, compact — are designed for such tasks.

How well do they work? Here are some tips to help you set realistic expectations and decide which model is right for you.

Q: What types of 2 way radios are available?(2 way radios range)

A: You can choose from two configurations:

1. FRS (Family Radio Service) models — lower-power units that operate with a half-watt of power. They can transmit on 7 FRS channels and 7 shared FRS/GMRS channels (channels 1-7) — a total of 14 channels.

2. GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) — higher-power radios that, for models used in outdoor recreation, typically offer 1 or 2 watts of power. GMRS signals can travel on any GMRS or FRS bands — a total of 22 channels.

Most radios now have all 22 FRS and GMRS channels available. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires a five-year license to use GMRS bands. More details about these two types of radios can be found later in this article in the "Channels and Privacy Codes" section.

Q: Range claims ("Up to 25 miles") are often prominently displayed on packaging. How realistic are such claims, and how important are they?

A: High range claims are based on transmissions in optimal conditions. This means having an unobstructed line of sight between you and another radio operator, preferably from a high vantage point in good weather.

Real-world conditions, though, are usually not optimal, and the range of a two-way radio is commonly much less than the maximum possible.

So what is realistic? Regardless of a unit's published optimal range, in roughly 90 percent of situations (including activities in wooded or hilly terrain), a radio's actual range will be about 2 miles or less.

Why? Several factors can inhibit two-way radio performance:

  • Topography (hills, deep canyons, ridgelines, tall formations)
  • Weather (such as thick clouds)
  • Electromagnetic interference (lightning)
  • Obstructions (dense forest, structures)
  • Large metal surfaces (inside a vehicle, range is usually less than 1 mile)

The human body (which is dense and watery) can also block radio waves. You may boost reception of incoming signals if you attach a radio to a section of your pack that remains away from your body instead of clipping it to your belt.

Potential causes of radio interference are as random as nature itself. So yes, your two-way radio results may vary.

While dense forests or multiple ridgelines can be major impediments to radio signals, scattered trees and bushes are mostly transparent or "translucent" to these signals. So even in forested or hilly territory, two-way radios generally do a fair to good job of transmitting short-range signals.

A chief benefit of higher-powered radios (1- or 2-watt models) is their ability to fill in coverage dropouts (behind hills or buildings, for example) that often occur within the line of sight of a radio user. The higher power tends to improve the overall quality of the signal.

Even so, for people who typically use their radios in fairly compact areas — a ski resort is a good example — a lower-power unit could serve your needs quite adequately.

2 way radios range


Sheri Fresonke Harper said...

Great article with useful information, we used them on a project in Australia and they can be really helpful :) Sheri

Inspiron said...

Thanks for leave a comment..!