Archive for October, 2015

Benefits of using a Two Way Radio Base Station

Take a few minutes to learn how using a two-way radio base station can make workers more efficient, boost your radio system’s range and greatly benefit your business communications. Having a stationed radio is more convenient for employees who work at their desks, in a fixed shop location or as part of a dispatch team, allowing them to connect with other workers elsewhere in the building or out in the field. A radio base station, used with an external antenna, can extend the range of your internal two-way radio system and give you a stronger signal, eliminating any interference from other radio users that are nearby on another channel. By using a two-way radio repeater, which receives radio signals and retransmits those signals, you can extend your radio system’s range even further.

Radio Base Stations for Added Durability and Security
For industrial areas where heavy equipment is being used or other locations that pose potential risks for hand-held units, two-way radio base stations are especially ideal. They are built to be more rugged than portable radios, and they’re a smarter option for employees that work in a fixed location, since they cannot be lost and are less likely to be accidentally damaged. Workers who would find two-way radio base stations more convenient might include warehouse clerks, office receptionists and hotel front desk clerks. There are radio base stations that can be easily integrated with your company’s existing stationary or portable radio system. Both VHF and UHF base stations are available. VHF stations are specially designed for outdoor use over wider open distances, while UHF walkie-talkie base stations are best for warehouses, office buildings and other indoor applications.

Two Way Radio Base Stations for Dispatch
Companies that need to relay information from different locations back to a central command greatly benefit from using a two-way radio base station. The base station is stationary in a fixed location, while other users operate hand-held portable radios or mobile radios out in the field. For companies that dispatch workers, this type of setup is ideal. An external antenna can be used with a base station to boost the signal strength and range. Organizations of this kind include taxicab services spread out over a large metropolitan area, hospitals and ambulance drivers, utility workers, construction workers on remote job sites, electricians making service calls, tow truck companies, maintenance workers, catering companies and restaurants with delivery service.

In addition to dispatch companies, base stations for two-way radios can be used in large high-rise buildings and big industrial complexes to boost a weak signal so that all portions of the desired coverage area can be reached without any dead spots. They can also be used in areas where there is unusually high two-way radio usage and signal enhancement is required for clear communications. Using a two-way radio base station gives you a higher wattage output to transmit over a greater distance with a cleaner, more reliable signal.

A two-way radio base station can take the power of your existing company communications and boost it significantly, or it can be the starting point of a robust internal radio communications system, effectively linking all employees in your organization, wherever they are. At TechWholesale, we’re not only looking out for our customers, but want to look out for the environment as well.

1 comment October 29th, 2015

Responsible Recycling of Two Way Radio Batteries

Be a responsible global citizen and do your part to protect the environment by recycling your rechargeable two-way radio batteries, unless you want coal in your stocking this year. In this article, we talk about the three types of batteries that are typically used in two-way radios and explain why it’s essential to not throw these batteries away in the trash. More importantly, we tell you how to dispose of them properly, so you don’t have to be a complete jerk to the environment.

Get the Most from Your Two-Way Radio Batteries
There are steps you can take to get the most life from your lithium-ion (Li-Ion), nickel cadmium (Ni-Cad) or Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) two-way radio batteries. This includes not leaving them plugged into the charger and keeping them away from heat. However, over time a rechargeable battery will begin to degrade and lose its charging power. When it comes time to replace your walkie-talkie radio batteries, don’t just throw the old ones away!

Walkie-Talkie Rechargeable Batteries and Toxins
In the case of Ni-MH and Ni-Cad batteries, they contain toxins that can be harmful and have a serious environmental impact if they enter into the solid waste stream. With Ni-Cad batteries, cadmium is a toxin and the U.S. government regulates the disposal of this type of battery. Cadmium can escape from the battery and cause both environmental and health issues. Ni-MH batteries have mild toxins and in certain states like New York, it is illegal to dispose of them in the trash. With Li-ion batteries, the metals used in their manufacture (cobalt, nickel, iron and copper) are not intrinsically hazardous, but there is a significant problem with the sheer number of them that end up every year in landfills. In Europe, there is more aggressive recycling of Li-ion batteries, because it is believed that the metals can, over time, contaminate water supplies.

Recycle Two-Way Radio Batteries – It’s Easy!
Fortunately, it is very easy to recycle two-way radio batteries. Major two-way radio manufacturers like Motorola are in partnership with Call2Recycle. They’re funded by portable electronics and rechargeable battery manufacturers. This non-profit organization was founded in 1994, and it is the largest battery recycling program in the U.S. This group collects and recycles all kinds of batteries, including rechargeable batteries, at no cost for consumers or businesses. In their first 20 years, they’ve been responsible for collecting and recycling more than 100 million pounds of batteries and cellphones, keeping them out of landfills and giving them a second life as new batteries and other consumer products. To find drop-off locations for batteries, visit them at and enter your zip code for a list of locations near you. There are more than 34,000 battery recycling drop-off locations, including some of the nation’s largest national retailers, making it easy to dispose of your old rechargeable batteries.

The explosion of portable hand-held devices like two-way radios, cell phones and other essential devices puts an enormous burden on the environment and threatens the health and well-being of future generations. However, with responsible environmental stewardship, we can reverse that dangerous trend. When you recycle rechargeable batteries from your two-way radios, your small contribution can have a big positive impact.

1 comment October 26th, 2015

Best Walkie Talkies for Skiing

Have you gotten separated from your skiing companions on a busy slope and you’ve just heard of an impending storm coming? It’s not a problem at all because you’re all connected with durable two-way radios and you can connect with everyone instantly! Take the time to read this article to keep everyone in your skiing party safe and informed.

Even if you all have cell phones, there are distinct advantages when using walkie-talkies for skiing communications. So long as you’re within range of those you want to speak with, you won’t have the concern of “dead zones” as you would with cell phones. With two-way radios, there are no monthly usage fees, and if you use Family Radio Service (FRS) radios and frequencies for your communications, you don’t even have to purchase an FCC license to operate them.

There are special considerations for hiking or skiing walkie-talkies that business users in an office building don’t have to worry about. Just as important as choosing a radio with ample power and range to reach everyone on that mountaintop, your radios must be rugged enough to withstand extreme temperatures, moisture, shock and vibration – all likely risk factors on the slopes. They must be slim and lightweight so they don’t load you down. You’ll also learn how important hands-free voice activation technology is when you’re racing by the people you need to speak to! Certain two-way radios for skiing are equipped with weather channels from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that broadcast important information about local weather conditions. These are the sorts of features you want to look for when trying to select the best walkie-talkie for skiing.

Tech Wholesale, your premiere source for high-quality two-way radios for personal use and business use, has top-of-the-line Motorola radios that are especially recommended for use while skiing. They combine power and durability with important features like hands-free operation and optional accessories such as a remote speaker/microphone or earbud. Certain models also include NOAA weather channels.

The Motorola RMU2040 is a business-grade UHF radio with 4 channels and 2 watts of power. It has an outdoor range of up to 250,000 square feet and has a rugged design built to military specifications for dust, wind, shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. It also allows for voice activated hands-free operation. The Motorola RMV2080, also in our business class, operates at VHF frequencies, for up to 220,000 square feet of coverage. It has 2 watts of power and 8 channels. Features include hands-free operation, NOAA weather alerts and military-grade durability. If you’re looking for a rugged radio system for skiing that doesn’t require an FCC license, the Motorola Talkabout-MH230R is the walkie-talkie for you. These radios operate on the FRS band, with 22 channels and .5 watts, giving you an outdoor range of up to 2 miles in various conditions and across diverse terrain. There are 3 walkie-talkies in the package, and they all include NOAA weather channels, iVOX hands-free operation and elimination codes for crosstalk-free communications.

1 comment October 23rd, 2015

Radio Battery Recharging Tips

Get the most from your two-way radio batteries with these battery recharging tips. In a few minutes, we’ll tell you have to improve two way battery life and ensure that you’re always fully operational with the best signal available and greatest range. Yes, the radio’s output can affect its coverage, and the higher the wattage of your radio, the faster the batteries will wear down. One way to improve the range of a walkie-talkie unit is the make sure the batteries are well cared for.

Properly store non-initialized new batteries. If your battery has not yet been used, you can minimize cycle life reduction and loss of capacity by storing it in a cool, dry and well-ventilated location. With proper storage, a lithium ion battery (Li) or nickel metal hydride battery (NiMH) can last up to 18 months, and a nickel cadmium battery (NiCad) can last up to 2 years.

Initialize your new battery before using it. If you’ve just purchased a two-way radio battery, initializing it will enhance the battery’s capacity. To initialize, charge new batteries overnight for at least 14 hours. For a NiCad or NiMH battery, charge for 14-16 hours. For a Li-ion battery, charge for 1-2 hours after the light on the charger changes to green.

Do not store batteries in the charger. Continually charging the battery will reduce the battery’s life. When the battery is fully charged, immediately remove it from the charger. A charger should not be used as a radio stand.

Charge batteries only when they are at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Charging batteries that are below 40 degrees or above 104 degrees Fahrenheit will decrease the battery’s cycle life.

Partially discharge used batteries for extended storage. If a used battery is removed from the radio for an extended length of time (more than 30 days), discharge the battery to approximately 50 percent of its capacity and then store it in a cool and dry location.

Re-initialize batteries that have been stored for more than 2 months. If a battery has been kept in storage for more than 2 months, they should be fully discharged and recharged as if they were brand new batteries (see Initialize your new battery). Previously stored batteries may require several charge and discharge cycles to reach their optimal capacity. This reconditioning cycle will help speed up this process.

When to replace old batteries. If you notice that a battery has stopped holding a full charge, it probably needs to be replaced. Batteries older than 18 months should be replaced, especially if they are used on a daily basis and regularly recharged.

1 comment October 21st, 2015

The Best Handheld UHF Radios

Take a few minutes to read this “Best Two-Way UHF Radio Guide” and you’ll come away with an encyclopedia of knowledge in the basics of handheld UFH radios. “Best” can mean different things to different users, so we’ll talk about the top business requirements for handheld UHF radios. Whether you’re looking for a radio that’s compact, lightweight and inexpensive, a military-grade two-way radio that can withstand the weather and extreme temperatures or a walkie-talkie radio that has all the latest features and maximum flexibility, there are high-quality radios that will meet and exceed your expectations. Take a few minutes to read our Best UHF Radio Guide and discover the best handheld UHF radio for various requirements.

Best Compact and Lightweight UHF Two-Way Radios

For discreet use and comfortable to wear all day (or all night) long, there’s the Motorola CLP1010. Weighing just 2.38 ounces and measuring a sleek 3.5 by 2.0 by .75 inches, this compact two-way radio packs a lot of punch for its economical price. The single-channel, 1-watt radio has an outdoor range of 100,000 square feet and an indoor range of up to 10 floors. It also can be used with a repeater for extended range of 250,000 square feet outdoors and up to 20 floors indoors. The Motorola CLP1040 is the next model up with 4 channels, and the Motorola CLP1060 has 6 channels, ideal for larger companies with multiple groups of personnel. The Kenwood PKT-23 is their most compact model, weighing just 3.9 ounces and measuring 1.8 by 3.3 by .8 inches. This lightweight and powerful UHF radio has 4 channels and 1.5 watts, with a range of 5 miles outdoors and up to 17 floors indoors.

Best UHF Walkie-Talkie Radios with the Greatest Range

If you’re looking for a UHF radio with the greatest range, consider the Motorola’s robust RDU models. The Motorola RDU4100 provides 4 watts of power and 10 channels, with an outdoor range of 350,000 square feet and an indoor range of 30 floors. Built to military specifications, it meets stringent MIL-STD 810 and IP-54/55 standards for resistance to water, dust, shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. The Motorola RDU4160D has the same features as the 4100, but gives you 16 channels and a removable antenna. The Kenwood TK-3402U16P, with its 5 watts of power, offers the greatest range of their TK models. It can transmit up to 7 miles outdoors and 33 floors indoors. This premium UHF radio has 16 channels, a removable antenna, built-in VOX, channel scan technology and is designed to MIL-STD 810 and IP54/55 standards for maximum durability.

Most Rugged and Durable Handheld UHF Radios

When shopping for a handheld UHF radio that’s resistant to water, dust, vibration, shock and temperature extremes, as mentioned above, you’ll want to choose a radio that’s compliant with MIL-STD 810 and IP54/55. In addition to the two-way radios mentioned above, the Kenwood TK-3400U4P and Kenwood TK-3400U16P have been rigorously tested to meet these exacting requirements.

Best Business UHF Radios with the Most Advanced Features

The top-of-the-line radios from Kenwood and Motorola for having the longest range and greatest durability are also the models with the most advanced features. From Motorola, the RDU4160D features 3 voice inversion scramble settings to improve privacy, advanced voice activation, Customer Programming Software (CPS) and 213 privacy codes. It is also compatible with the Ritron Jobcom base station for increased coverage beyond its standard 350,000 square feet and 30 floors. The Kenwood TK-3402U16P has built-in VOX, channel scan and voice annunciation technology, wireless cloning, privacy codes and the ability to lock user controls to prevent accidental channel changes.

1 comment October 18th, 2015

The Best Handheld VHF Radios

Do you need a ruggedly made two-way VHF radio to communicate in a challenging outdoor environment? Give us a few minutes, and we’ll provide you with a guide to The Best Two-Way VHF Radios on the market today. They’re designed with military-grade durability, wide range and with many advanced features. These high-quality VHF radios from Motorola and Kenwood will meet and exceed your expectations.

For a license-free VHF two-way radio, there’s the Motorola RMM2050. Operating on the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) frequency band, this 5-channel, 2-watt radio has an outdoor range of up to 250,000 square feet and an indoor range of 20 floors. It features VOX hands-free operation and complies with stringent MIL-STD 810 standards for extreme durability. It is also IP54/55 compliant for optimal reliability in harsh outdoor conditions. This means it can withstand dust, water, vibration, shock and fluctuating temperatures. With its economical price and no need for an FCC license to operate, this is a smart choice for companies with a tight budget.

For even more flexibility, power and the most advanced features, the Motorola RDV5100 is an extremely powerful VHF two-way radio. It provides 5 watts of power and 10 channels, with an outdoor range of up to 300,000 square feet, the widest range in Motorola’s RDX series. It includes 27 Business Radio frequencies ranging from 146-174MHz and 213 interference eliminator codes for a crystal clear and secure signal. Features include advanced voice activation for hands-free communications and programmable preferences. The RDV5100 is also designed for maximum durability, meeting MIL-STD 810 and IP54/55. With its polycarbonate construction, this is another leading two-way VHF radio for extreme conditions. It’s also one of the most flexible radios made, as it has a removable antenna and can be used with the Ritron VHF base station repeater for even greater range.

Kenwood also manufactures exceptionally well-designed VHF radios that lead the industry in power, range, durability, design and advanced features. The economically priced Kenwood TK-2400V4P is a 2-watt, 4 -channel VHF radio with an outdoor range of up to 6 miles or 220,000 square feet. It meets or exceeds the 11 categories of MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F and G environmental standards tests. It offers VOX hands-free operation, wireless cloning, weather-sealed construction, a voice inversion scrambler and a compact design.

At the top of Kenwood’s line of premium VHF two-way radios is the Kenwood TK2402V16P. It has 16 channels and 5 watts for a powerful outdoor range of 7 miles or 370,000 square feet. High-end features include a removable antenna, so you can switch to a lower-profile stubby antenna to make the unit even more compact, hands-free operation and wireless cloning. It offers 56 frequencies and 121 privacy codes, scanning capability, polycarbonate case and up to 17 hours of battery life. This model also meets MIL-SPEC 810 C/D/E/F/G requirements.

Add comment October 15th, 2015

How to Build a Radio Antenna

If you’re looking for instructions on how to build a radio antenna, it’s likely because you’re trying to increase the range of a handheld two-way radio, mobile radio unit or radio base station. The two primary factors in increasing a radio’s range are the radio’s output power and the antenna. In this article, we’ll give a quick radio antenna primer, important factors to consider for the best radio antenna for your two-way radio and the basic steps in building a simple monopole antenna.

Radio Antenna Basics

During the process of transmission, the purpose of a radio antenna is to convert electric power into radio waves and radiate those waves into the atmosphere. For reception, the process is handled in reverse, with the antenna intercepting the power of the electromagnetic wave, producing a voltage that is sent to a receiver and amplified. There are different types of radio antennas, including monopole, dipole, array, loop, aperture and traveling wave. Two-way radios use Monopole Antennas, with the Whip Antenna and the Rubber Ducky antenna being the particular types you find on handheld radio units. Ground Plane Antennas (a whip antenna with horizontal rods at the base) are used as antennas for radio base stations.

Antenna Considerations and Placement

Before building an antenna, it is important to understand your radio’s abilities and limitations. It is obviously not possible to use a handheld two-way radio with an external antenna, because you’re always moving around.

If the two-way radio is to be used exclusively inside your vehicle, you will need an external antenna, since the metal of the vehicle will interfere with the radio waves. In this case, you could build an external antenna and mount it on the vehicle’s trunk, but it is very important to match the antenna with the radio’s frequency. For a quarter-wave monopole antenna, the length of the antenna is .25 percent (1/4) of the wavelength of the frequency you’re transmitting on. If you’re using a radio base station, you can use an external antenna which would be placed on top of the roof or a tower for maximum effectiveness. The higher the placement of the external antenna, the greater the range of your transmissions.

Best Antenna Materials

While antennas can be made from different kinds of metals, some are more conductive and less likely to corrode over time. Though inexpensive, aluminum antenna wire is not recommended, because it is difficult to work with, can break or stretch out of shape easily and can’t be soldered with standard solder. Tin wire can be used for making an antenna, but you usually have to purchase it in very large quantities. Copper is an excellent choice for antenna wire. If you can find old insulated copper house wire, this is likely your best option.

Basic Instructions for a Simple Monopole Antenna

Please note that this basic instruction is for a desktop two-way radio such as a Ham radio with a built-in tuner. An external antenna for a mobile unit or base station must be sized according to the particular frequency’s wavelength. These simple radio antenna will require the following materials: a 1-inch thick, approximately 3 foot long round dowel or broomstick; a sturdy wooden base; a 6- to 12-inch aluminum disk with center screw hole; a large quantity of .16-inch PVC plastic covered wire and PVC tape. You’ll also need nails or screws, a wood staple, a hammer and screwdriver.

  1. Attach the base (square or round) to the dowel, using a nail or screw. Wood glue can be used to make it more stable.
  2. Attach the aluminum disk to the top of the dowel. Strip the end of the PVC wire and place it between the top of the dowel and the aluminum disk. Tighten the disk to the dowel using a screw or nail. The stripped wire must be securely in between the 2 pieces.
  3. Take the wire and tightly wind it around the dowel, keeping the wire coils flush against each other and wound tightly around the entire dowel all the way down to the base. Using the wood staple, attach the wire to the base.
  4. Wrap the dowel with the wound wire completely with the PVC tape.
  5. Place your newly made antenna near a window.
  6. Keep unraveling the wire at the bottom until it’s long enough to connect to your two-way radio tuner. It is now ready to use.

Antenna Building Resources

To build a properly sized and tuned antenna for a mobile two-way radio or radio base station, the instructions are obviously lengthier and more involved than this brief article allows. However, there are excellent resources for those wishing to learn more.

Radio Antenna Basics on Wikipedia

The ARRL Antenna Book (published by the American Radio Relay League) – The ARRL was founded in 1914 and is the national association for amateur radio in the U.S. It is the world’s largest organization of radio amateurs, and they offer many excellent guides that focus on specific radio communication topics.

1 comment October 12th, 2015

The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Devices

The next time you’re caught in a torrential rainstorm with your two-way radio, the difference between waterproof and water-resistant will suddenly become very important. Take a few moments to read this important guide to distinguishing one from the other when purchasing any electronic device.

If you look up the words, water-resistant is defined as “resisting though not entirely preventing the penetration of water,” whereas the definition of waterproof is “impervious to water.” That’s a big difference. What seems like a small issue could mean the difference between a fully functional walkie-talkie when you need it or a malfunctioning or even dead device.

If your radio is labeled as being water-resistant, that means that it’s designed and manufactured in such a way that it’s difficult for water to get inside and damage the electronics. It might be coated with a substance that improves the chances of damage if the device gets hit with a little water. The amount of water that a “water-resistant” radio could withstand might include a light rain shower or an accidental quick dip under a running faucet.

A truly “waterproof” radio means in theory that the device is completely unaffected by water and does not allow any water to pass through (as in watertight). Currently, there is no industry standard required for a company to label their electronic device as “waterproof.” All that exists is the Ingress Protection Rating scale (IP Code), which assigns a rating of 0-8 as to the amount of water that device can withstand without harmful effects, with 8 equal to “continuous immersion.”

At Tech Wholesale, many of our two-way radios meet the stringent test methods of Military Standards 810 C, D, E, F and G, for resistance against vibration, shock, dust, extreme temperatures and yes, rain. The 800-page “Department of Defense Test Method Standard – Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests” document that outlines MIL-STD-810G is exceptionally exhaustive and covers all aspects of the standard.

The following radio models meet these exacting requirements: Motorola DLR Digital Radios, Motorola DTR Digital Radios, Motorola RM Radios, Motorola RDX Business Radios, the Motorola RMM2050, Kenwood TK-2400V4P, Kenwood TK-2400V16P, Kenwood TK-3400U4P, Kenwood TK-3400U16P, Kenwood TK-2402V16P and Kenwood TK-3402U16P.

Add comment October 9th, 2015

Two Way Radio Communication Etiquette

Because two-way radios are used by police, firemen, military personnel and security workers to send very important messages, clear communication over the radio waves is vital. It’s because of this that fundamental rules were adopted, to be used by all. Read this quick guide on two-way radio etiquette and you’ll soon become a smooth operator!

Identify Yourself at the Start of the Call

For new walkie-talkie users, perhaps the most disconcerting thing is that with radio communication, more than 2 people will likely be on a call at any given time. Unlike telephones and mobile phones, each user will not have a specific phone number that flashes on a screen to identify them. Therefore, as strange as it seems to say, for example, “Mary, this is John, Over,” it clearly states who you wish to speak with and who you are who’s speaking. On the other end, wait until you hear your call sign before you respond.

Wait a Few Seconds to Speak

Especially with digital radios, after you press the PTT button (Push to Talk), you should wait 2-3 seconds before you begin to speak, as there might be a brief delay.

Speak in the Same Language

English has been designated as the International Radio Language, and you can only speak in a foreign language if you’re licensed to do so.

Make Sure You Have Their Attention

Common radio etiquette dictates that you acknowledge when someone contacts you, either with “Go Ahead” (you’re ready to listen) or “Stand By” (you know they’re calling but you need a moment to be available).

Clarity, Simplicity and Brevity

A two-way radio is designed to send and receive important messages and isn’t intended for idle chit-chat. Be clear about what you have to say and keep it as simple and as brief as is possible. Speak slowly, clearly and in your normal voice, without shouting.

Do Not Transmit Confidential, Financial, Military or Sensitive Information

Since you never know who might be listening in on a radio call, until you confirm that the call is secure, you should not divulge any confidential or sensitive information.

Think Before You Speak

A worthwhile instruction at any time, this is especially important when transmitting over a radio. A two-way radio system is intended for vital and sometimes urgent communications. Since it’s possible that many users will hear what you say, you must know which individual or group you want to send a message to and be clear on what that message is to avoid unnecessary rambling. It may help to write it down and divide a longer message into shorter messages (see Handling Long Radio Messages).

Don’t Interrupt

If someone else is talking, wait until the conversation is over, unless it is an emergency (see “In Case of Emergency”). The word “Over” is the standard word to use to let others know that you have finished speaking. This word also indicates that you’re waiting for a response.

Handling Long Radio Messages

If you have a long message to deliver, you can divide it into sections and say “break,” waiting a few seconds before speaking the second part, and then continuing in that way. Saying “break in between individual points or instructions and then waiting a few seconds allows the other person to ask a question or comment if necessary.

Don’t Use the Word “Repeat” To Have a Message Repeated

In military communications, the word “repeat” can have severe consequences, so it’s standard radio procedure not to use this word, but instead use “Say Again” to have the other party repeat their message.

Avoid Saying Yes, No, Uh-huh and Nope

In the interest of absolute clarity, use the words “Affirmative” and “Negative” instead of words that may be misheard or misinterpreted.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Otherwise known as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, this phonetic alphabet is the most widely used system of letters and numbers that can be easily pronounced and understood by those transmitting and receiving radio or telephone messages. It is designed to help overcome any language barriers and transmission static. A small sampling of this alphabet is Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo. See Wikipedia for more information and the full alphabet. There is also a name based alphabet that begins Adam, Boy, Charles and David.

In Case of Emergency

While it’s very rude to interrupt someone while they’re speaking on a two-way radio or walkie-talkie, at times there may be an emergency situation. If this happens and it’s vital that you interrupt, say “break, break, break.”

Terminating a Call

When you want to end a call after a final transmission, say “over and out.” This should end the communication with no further speaking by anyone.

Two-Way Radio Language

Radio Check – Check on signal strength. Can you hear me now?

Read you loud and clear – Responding to “Radio Check.” Transmission Signal is strong.

Go Ahead – Resume the transmission.

Stand By – Acknowledges transmission, unable to respond.

Come in – Asking other party to acknowledge that they hear you.

Copy – Indicates that you understand what was just said.

Say Again – Re-transmit your message.

Roger or Ten Four – Message is received and understood.

Wilco – This means “I will comply.”

Affirmative – Yes.

Negative – No.

Over – Transmission finished.

Out – Communication is over; channel is available.

Break, Break, Break – To interrupt a communication because of an emergency.

1 comment October 6th, 2015

How to Boost a Two Way Radio Signal

Is there not enough “oomph” in your radio signal? Spend a few minutes and learn how to get a more powerful radio signal for wider coverage stronger, clearer communication. If your radio is not giving you the coverage area promised in the specifications, it could be for a number of reasons. The radio’s range is not an exact science, and many factors come into play. Indoors, the range is affected by the size and placement of the antenna, the frequency band you’re using, the condition of the battery and the radio’s wattage. Outdoors, the most important factor in a radio’s range is the terrain of the area where you are transmitting. Any buildings, trees, hills, dense metallic structures or even your own body might get in the way and block the signal. There are also weather conditions to take into account as well as the time of day. Whether the radio is being used inside or outside, there are steps you can take to boost a radio signal.

Check Your Batteries

This may seem like a “no-brainer,” but failing batteries can often cause a signal to grow weaker in strength, and it might not be the first thing you think of to check. It is good practice to make sure your radio is in proper working condition and that the batteries are fully charged at all times.

Getting to Higher Ground

The easiest way to boost your radio’s range if you’re having trouble sending or receiving a signal is to get to a higher elevation. Outside, that might mean walking up a small hill. Indoors, moving from the ground floor of a building to the second floor can increase the coverage. Even standing up from a seated position can make a difference in the radio’s range.

Steer Clear of Obstructions to Boost a Radio Signal

Moving outside if you’re inside, or at least towards a window, may improve the signal. Try not to stand near or inside of any large metal structure, as this will block radio signals (this includes inside vehicles, unless you’re using an external antenna). Ideally, remove the radio from your belt and hold it vertically at face level when transmitting or receiving, so the radio signals aren’t blocked by your body.

Antennas-the Bigger, the Better?

A larger antenna can sometimes improve the radio’s signal, but changing the antenna isn’t always an option. With many handheld two-way radios or walkie-talkies, the antenna is built-in (sometimes even inside the unit) and is not removable. Antennas in walkie-talkies are purposely kept as small as possible to keep the radio small and compact. However, certain models such as the Motorola RDU4160D UHF radio, the Motorola RDV5100 VHF radio and the Kenwood TK-2402V16P VHS radio come equipped with removable longer whip style antennas. This will give you maximum range with this antenna size, and you can switch it out for a stubby antenna for situations where you need a more compact radio. If you’re looking for a compact yet still powerful antenna for your radio, Tech Wholesale carries stubby UHF antennas for Motorola radios and stubby replacement antennas for Kenwood ProTalk radios. A Kenwood whip antenna is available for certain Kenwood two-way radios.

Using An External Antenna for a Better Signal Inside a Car

If you have a two-way radio mounted inside a vehicle, you may be getting interference from the metal of the vehicle. In that case, you’d want to mount an external antenna to the roof or at least the trunk of the car. This will not only extend the signal range, but will reduce any static and interference.

Extend Your Radio’s Range with a Repeater

If changing the antenna or your location isn’t possible, you can consider using a radio repeater to extend the range of your two-way radios. A repeater will receive a signal, increase its power and then re-transmit. Using a repeater will let you communicate over a large area with obstructions such as buildings or mountains. An example of a two-way radio repeater is the Vertex PAX-7045 Repeater, which is a complete Plug-and-Play package. It’s not just a high-quality repeater that will extend the range of two-way radios. It also serves as a base station for fleet communications. If you’re already using the Motorola RPX Repeater, you can even extend the range further by using a UHF Dipole Antenna or the UHF HKKN4022 Magnetic Mount Antenna Kit.

1 comment October 3rd, 2015