Two Way radios provide an amazingly resilient and flexible communications tool for many businesses and organizations, but range issues can limit their utility.
Two way radio range can be affected by a number of variables, including indoor or outdoor use, terrain, and even weather. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what the effective range of a two way radio is, as various circumstances can cause it to range from two miles to 40 miles or more.
For users trying to boost the range of their two way communications gear, these tips can help:
- Improve the antenna – Larger antennas can boost the range of a two way radio. Radios inside cars can be connected to external antennas that will improve their range and prevent interference from limiting range. Purchasing radios with large antennas is also helpful to improve range, as is positioning your radio where it can get the best signal. To boost range, get to an elevated area and use the radio there.
- Use a repeater – Signal repeaters can help extend range. A repeater receives and re-transmits the signal from your radio with increased power. Repeaters are frequently used by first responder agencies to improve coverage of their two way communications gear. To get the maximum benefit, signal repeaters need to be installed in a tall building or tower.
- Make sure your batteries are good – Low battery strength can impact the strength of your radio signal. Walkie talkie batteries deplete slower than cell phone batteries because of lower power demands, they do lose strength over time. Regularly inspect your two way radio batteries to ensure they are fresh. A battery tester can help you easily gauge the power level of your walkie talkie batteries.