UHF or VHF: Which is Best for You?

If you’re not already an experienced two-way radio user, the terms “UHF” and “VHF” likely don’t mean much to you. However, in the radio world, these two options can make all the difference when it comes to choosing the right radio for your specific uses. Here are a few facts about UHF and VHF radios – and how to choose between them.

  • “UHF” stands for “Ultra High Frequency”. These types of radios have frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz, and they are the most powerful types of two-way radios. These types of radios can be used indoors just as well as outdoors, and they can penetrate many types of barriers and interferences that other radios cannot. UHF radios can even penetrate steel and concrete!
  • “VHF” stands for “Very High Frequency”. These types of radios have frequencies between 30 MHz to 300 MHz, which means that they are significantly less powerful than UFH radios. Just because they are less powerful doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful, however; if you’re using your radio primarily for outdoor use in fairly open areas, these are still great options. They can’t penetrate structures or other obstructions, but they’re great for hilly or flat landscapes.
  • If you plan on using your radio for business or travel purposes, such as managing a warehouse or keeping in touch with family on a cruise, you should likely choose a UHF radio.
  • If you plan on using your radio for recreational or outdoor use, such as hiking, hunting, or music festivals, the VHF radio is the way to go.
  • If you want to maintain privacy and choose your own custom options when it comes to channel and frequency settings, the UHF radio is the one to choose.
  • If you want to stick to a strict budget and can’t afford to spend much on a radio the VHF is a great option.
  • If you don’t want to get a license to use your radio, you can really go with either option; today, there are styles of both UHF and VHF radios that don’t require a license to operate.

Add comment January 30th, 2017

Best Uses for Two-Way Radios for Schools

For most parents sending their children off to school every morning, their biggest concern is safety. You want your kids to get a good education, of course, but you worry more about keeping them free from harm while at school and on their way to and from each day. Luckily, two-way radios are a great way to not only keep things running efficiently in schools, they’re also a great way to ensure that your children stay safe. Here are a few of the best ways that two-way radios are used in schools.

  • Directing traffic. If your school has a bit of a traffic jam each morning, traffic directors or security guards will often use two-way radios to help control the flow of traffic. They also use them to learn of any issues with school buses, accidents, late-coming students, or other issues.
  • Driving the school bus. Likewise, school bus drivers also have a two-way radio to communicate with the school officials and other administrators. These also enable the drivers to call for help in case of an emergency.
  • Security guards. School security guards always keep a two-way radio clipped to their belts in order to report an issue, suspicious activity, or even violence as soon as they spot it. Because these are more reliable than cell phones in case of an emergency, they’re essential for security guards.
  • Administration. In many schools, even the administrators carry two-way radios so that they can stay on top of any issues occurring in other parts of the school.
  • Janitorial staff. While many of the reasons school staff members use two-way radios revolves around safety, there are other issues that radios can help resolve. For example, teachers and nurses can radio for help from janitors when there’s a messy situation at hand.
  • Food service. The school’s food service staff also uses two-way radios in the same way that the staff at a restaurant would: to keep the cooking and preparations running smoothly.
  • Teachers. In most modern schools, each classroom is equipped with its own designated two-way radio so that the teacher can call for help if trouble breaks out.

Add comment January 26th, 2017

10 Savvy Ways to Allocate your Leftover Communications Budget

If you saved your company a great deal of money by shopping for the best bargains on two-way radios and other communications devices throughout the year, you may have some leftover funds in your communications budget. Before asking yourself what to do with this extra cash, check out these 10 savvy ways to use your leftover communications money before the end of the year.

  1. Earpieces and headsets. If you want to really increase productivity and even add privacy to your employees’ conversations, invest in some earpieces that are compatible with your existing radios. These handy devices make for hands-free communication, and they prevent conversations from being broadcast for all to hear.
  2. New batteries. Invest in a few newer model lithium ion batteries to extend the lifespans of your existing radios.
  3. Maintenance. Just like a car, a two-way radio needs regular maintenance to prevent it from needing replaced. Take your radios to a local radio repair shop and schedule a thorough once-over.
  4. New antenna. If the antenna on your current radio is looking a bit worse for the wear, you may not be getting as much out of it as you used to. This is a fairly simple and affordable fix that can greatly improve your radio’s performance.
  5. A multi-unit charger. If your business or family owns a number of two-way radios, it only makes sense to invest in a multi-unit charger so that you can charge them all at one time.
  6. Radio cases. If your employees are frequently handling their radios on dangerous job sites, invest in cases to cut down on wear and tear.
  7. Digital conversions. Convert your analog radios to digital systems to keep up with the times and keep them in operation for longer.
  8. Spare radios. If you only have enough radios for the number of people using them, you’re in big trouble when one breaks. Always keep a couple extra on hand just in case.
  9. A battery fleet management system. This handy device allows you to monitor the battery life on all of your radios at once, making it easy to check them all without testing each individual radio.
  10. A maintenance contract. Easily budget for any unforeseen maintenance on your radios by purchasing a maintenance contract.

Add comment January 19th, 2017

How Technology is Changing the Way We Use Two Way Radios

Technology is such a huge part of our lives now that we almost don’t even notice all of the ways that we use it; from our vehicles to our interactions with friends, we’re practically never apart from some type of device. With so many constant changes in technology, however, you may start to wonder how the way we use tried-and-true items like two-way radios will start to change. Here are some interesting facts about the way technology is changing the way people use two-way radios.

  • Many modern styles of two-way radios operate much like cell phones (aside from the network and data plan). With modern two-way radios, users can now communicate via both voice and text message, depending on your needs.
  • Today’s two-way radios still allow for communication from person to person between a base unit and dispatcher. This is what keeps them so reliable, especially in case of a catastrophic event.
  • There are applications on the newer models of two-way radios that allow users to control their email, text, location tracking, and even system monitoring.
  • For those who use two-way radios in the workplace, these technological advancements have greatly increased productivity. Instead of just being able to communicate with employees from different departments, you can now manage work tickets and various systems throughout the workplace.
  • While traditional two-way radios operated on a conventional system, newer versions like Motorola radios operate on Conventional, Connect Plus (multi-site digital trunking), Capacity Plus (a single-site digital trunking solution used with the MotoTRBO two-way radio system), Linked Capacity Plus (which allows integrated voice and data without using a separate network controller), or IP Site Connect (which uses the Internet to extend coverage).
  • In general, the largest change we’ve seen in the technological advancement of two-way radios is in their functionality. Instead of only allowing the user to communicate, now they allow the user to track productivity, efficiency, safety, and many other features.

Add comment January 16th, 2017

Are Two-Way Radios Allowed on Airplanes?

While many families bring along two-way radios to communicate with each other on a cruise ship, an airplane comes with its own rules and regulations. It’s certainly not as common to bring a two-way radio on an airplane, but it is illegal? Here’s what you need to know before bringing your radio on your next flight.

  • The short answer: yes, you can pack a two-way radio in your bag on an airplane. Most experts would recommend that you keep any type of unusual electronic device in your carry-on (so that you can talk about it directly with the TSA agent inspecting your bag), but it’s not against the TSA’s guidelines to bring these common communication radios with you on the plane.
  • If you own a more complex radio setup, such as “hacked” two-way radios or HAM radios with gel batteries, messy cords and wires, and other accessories, you may want to leave them behind – or at least scale your operation way, way down. These unusual electronics make TSA agents nervous because they only have a certain amount of time to check each person’s bag, and some of these items look a bit too much like explosive devices for comfort. If you only own a simple two-way radio set, however, you should be safe from questioning.
  • While you are able to pack the radio in your bag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it on the plane. Many people say that when the captain says to turn all electronic devices to “airplane mode,” you should also stow away your two-way radios.
  • If you own any type of radio that requires a license to operate, make sure to bring your license along with you when you go through security. This will make things a lot easier for everyone involved.

Add comment January 12th, 2017

Five Key Questions to Answer Before Purchasing a Two-Way Radio

Before investing in a two-way radio to use for recreational, family, or even work purposes, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your new radio. This means purchasing one that has all of the features you’ll need for your future uses, and none of the features that you won’t need (which may drive the price of the radio up). Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself before purchasing a two-way radio.

  • Where will you use your radio most? Whether you’ll use it at home, at work, on vacation, or even out in the wilderness, this is an important first question. This will help you to narrow down your choices between heavy-duty two-way radios designed for long distances and lightweight, short-distance two-way radios designed for use indoors.
  • Do you need for your radio to be compatible with other radios? If you (or someone you’ll be communicating with) already own other two-way radios, you’ll want to make sure that your new ones are compatible with those existing ones. Not all two-way radios work with one another, so be sure to check the specs before purchasing.
  • What type of activity will you be doing most? Using your two-way radio while on a cruise is a whole lot different than using it while doing manual labor. There are radios designed for either recreational or work uses, so be sure to consider this.
  • How many groups of people will be talking on the radio? This determines how many separate channels you’ll need, because each different radio comes with a different number of channels. If you’ll only be communicating with, say, your family, you’ll likely need a lower number of channels than if you’re communicating with 10 groups of employees.
  • How long will you need to use the radio for at one time? If you’re going on an overnight camping trip where you won’t have access to electricity, you’ll want to invest in a radio with a long-lasting lithium ion battery.

Add comment January 9th, 2017

How Top Industries Are Enhanced with Two-Way Radios

While you may think of two-way radios as common in the worlds of hiking, family vacations, or small business operations, many of the world’s top industries also frequently use these handy, efficiency-boosting devices. Here are just a few of the largest industries that count two-way radios as essential parts of their daily operations.

  • Hospitality. It’s no secret that the hospitality industry benefits greatly from the use of two-way radios, both in the back-of-house and the front-of-house. From hotels and resorts to restaurants, these hospitality operations rely on radios to quickly communicate issues, place orders, and even call for assistance from other staff members.
  • Health and safety. Police officers, EMTs, and firefighters use two-way radios every day to call their headquarters and to dispatch help in the case of a crisis. Oftentimes, especially in the case of large-scale disasters, cell phone signals will become too congested to connect, and that’s why these incredibly important industries rely on two-way radios as their main source of communication.
  • Retail. If you shop at department stores or even at your local mall, you’ve likely noticed store clerks calling for assistance with merchandise in the back rooms of the store. Two-way radios are also used in areas of loss prevention within retail operations, as they make it easy and safe to call for security in case of shoplifting or violence in the store.
  • Manufacturing. On factory floors or assembly lines, two-way radios are used to instantly communicate with managers or maintenance staff in case of interruptions.
  • Mining. Mining is one of the most dangerous professions in the world today, so miners rely on two-way radios to call for help when cell phone signals just won’t do. These devices help to prevent injury or death in case of fire, collapse, explosion, and any number of other dangers.
  • Security. Security guards can easily radio for help on surveillance operations when they notice suspicious activity or theft. These types of radios are discrete and reliable, which is essential in the world of security.

Add comment January 5th, 2017

Use the Tech Wholesale Radio Finder to Determine the Perfect Radio for You

Are you in the market for a new two-way radio, but just not sure which type is best for you? If you’re unsure about how to choose the perfect radio for your unique home or business uses, Tech Wholesale makes things easy with our one-of-a-kind radio finder. On our website, you can take a quick quiz to find out how to choose a radio based on your particular needs. Here are just a few of the things that you’ll need to take in to consideration before choosing the right radio for you.

  • UHF versus VHF Radios. Make your search much easier by first deciding between a UHF or VHF radio. UHF radios (or Ultra High Frequency radios) are the most common, mainly because the waves are shorter and they can get around areas of interference. VHF radios (or Very High Frequency radios) are less common, but they can cover more distance with less power. These only work well if there is a clear line of sight without interference.
  • Choose the proper power setting. Handheld two-way radios use between 0.5-5 watts of power to broadcast a signal, Business radios run between 1 and 5 watts, and current FRS models broadcast at 0.5 watts.
  • Decide between family or business use. Tech Wholesale divides many of our radios into home or business uses, so decide which you’ll need before shopping.
  • Name a budget. If you don’t have a large budget, it may be best to choose a more recreational radio rather than a business radio. You can also shop Tech Wholesale by price in most categories.
  • Decide where you’ll use your radio. Will you use your radio inside or outside? This is an important factor when choosing a radio, because some radios won’t work with interference (such as trees or buildings).  
  • Check out compatibility. If you already own one or more other radios, make sure that your new set is compatible with the radios that you currently use.

Add comment January 2nd, 2017

How to Program Your Kenwood Two-Way Radio

If you recently invested in a Kenwood Two-Way radio for personal or work use, you’ll certainly want to program it before attempting to use it. This Japanese electronics manufacturer produces a very popular line of portable radio equipment, and its wide range of two-way radios is often used in both home and corporate settings. While a Kenwood radio can be programmed to a particular channel or programmed to search for channels, whichever type of programming you choose, it only takes a few minutes to set up. Here’s how to set up your brand new Kenwood two-way radio:

To set a specific channel:

  • Turn the radio off and hold down the menu button. While still holding down the menu button, turn the radio back on and then release the button.
  • Using the arrow keys, select whichever channel number you prefer.
  • Once you land on the correct channel, press the menu button again.
  • Next, use the arrow keys to select your preferred frequency within that channel.
  • If you want to program multiple frequencies within each channel, repeat those same steps for every channel.
  • Press any other button to exit.

To set your radio to scan for channels:

  • Turn the radio off and hold down the menu button. While still holding down the menu button, turn the radio back on and then release the button.
  • Press either one of the arrow buttons repeatedly until “Sc-on” appears on the screen.
  • Press the menu button again, and then press PTT, Mon or Cal to exit.
  • Hold down the up arrow button until “Scan” flashes on the screen. Your radio will automatically scan frequencies within its range and connect to those that it finds compatible.

Add comment December 29th, 2016

Protect Your Neighborhood with GMRS Radios

Whether your neighborhood already has a designated neighborhood watch or you’re looking to start your own, you’ll likely need a radio to communicate with the rest of the watchers in your neighborhood. Many people use GMRS radios for this type of protection, and if you’re looking to invest in a GMRS radio system for your neighborhood watch, here are a few reasons why these are great options.

  • GMRS radios are designed for short-distance two-way communication, so while they aren’t ideal for long-distance activities (like hiking or hunting) or group activities (like tours or workplace use), they are great for communicating with a partner on a neighborhood watch. The range between radios is usually 1 to 2 miles, while mobile units with antennas can work up to 5 miles away.
  • GMRS radios require a license for use in the US, which allows you to communicate on the channels within the Family Radio Service. While the GMRS operator must have a license in order to use the radio, the license allows the owner’s immediate family members to communicate with him or her in case of danger or emergency.
  • GMRS radios are more expensive than your standard walkie talkies or two-way radios, but that’s because they are considered a higher quality than those types of common radios. They won’t drop the connection, and they maintain much more private connections than other radios.
  • If you’re on neighborhood watch and notice suspicious activity, you can easily and privately communicate with a partner by using a GMRS radio. Before approaching the suspect or interfering with the activity, you can call for backup by alerting the other person via the GMRS radio. You can even ask your partner to call the police if you feel that the situation requires even more assistance.

Add comment December 26th, 2016

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