Two Way Radios Explained
Two Way Radios are used for both for leisure and business. No matter how reliant we have become on mobile phones over the last 10 years, 2-Way Radios offer one thing Mobiles do not.
"Instant communications at the touch of a button to multiple users"
You Simply Push to Talk and instantly connect to other radio users
Leisure radios commonly referred to licence free radios or walkie talkies have been designed to work straight out of the box, they are ideal for camping, hill walking, Skiing, motor sports and road trips across Europe.
They are programmed with 8 or 16 Channels.
They are a low-cost solution and sold in twin or quad packs. They come complete with chargers and often you can install AA batteries in them on the move. They are not designed to be used every day and not to be used for businesses as they a entry level radio.
Business Radios Are Commonly Known as Licensed Radios
They enable a business or government agencies to operate fast and effectively offering instant communications to deal with incidents that may occur. It sometimes becomes overwhelming with the options available we are here to help and honestly give us a call for free expert advice.
Business Radios - By Sector
Why Do We Use Two-Way Radios?
Schools - There is a fire alarm and all the children and staff are located at different muster points. How do you attend for everyone quick and effectively?
Mobile phones - you must dial each teacher to check they have accounted for their pupils
Two Way Radios - One press of a button you can talk to all the teachers instantly at the same time.
That is why radios are still used for incident management. They enable to schools to react fast whether that be a fire alarm, calling for a first aider, carrying playground supervision or sadly worse if there is a serious incident involving guns or knives it enables the teachers to lock the school down quickly.
Construction Industry - The crane is lifting heavy equipment across the site
How do you notify all your staff? and how do you communicate with the crane driver to tell him to lift and lower?
Two Way Radios - Allow you to give the crane driver instant instructions and warn other members of staff what is happening at the same time. Communications are 2 Way which also means if any of the crew notice something wrong with the lift, they can highlight the issue before it is too late.
Security Industry - whether you are dealing with concerts, nightclubs or bars, incidents occur and the faster you react the better chance you have to protect your clients/customers.
If you need a first aider, if there is violent incident, if you are patrolling a perimeter how do you communicate fast and effectively?
Two Way Radios enable you to get help and assistance at the touch of a button.
Licence Free VS Licensed Radios
Customers often panic about the licences needed to operate two-way radios.
Ofcom have allocated a group of frequencies for two-way radios to use.
Licence Free - Use PMR446 or 446MHZ this group of specific frequencies can be used across Europe and are preinstalled in licence free radios. Often different manufacturers use slightly different frequencies to each other in this band to reduce talk over between channels. But licence free radios also come with additional privacy keys settings which change the end of the frequencies slightly to give you more privacy.
Licence Free radios have also had the power reduced to 0.5 Watts to reduce its range to stop cross over talk between the channels.
Licensed Radios - Credit due to Ofcom they have made this process very simple in the UK. You can apply for a licence online starting at £75 valid for 5 Years (only £15 a year) this enables you and your business to operate using different frequencies not used by licence free radios.
The aim is to keep business radios separate from Billy aged 10 who has just been bought some licence free walkie talkies by his mum.
The other advantage is Licensed radios are upto10 x more powerful than licence free. This increase range and the efficiency of the radio working in building with multiple floors and steel and concreate structures.
Display or Non-Display Radios
Two Way Radios normally fall into two categories when it comes to displays
Non-Display - The radio will normally have a channel and volume knob on the top and the rest of the radio will be plain faced. The lack of display normally results in longer battery life as well protecting the radio from damage.
Display - The radio will have a LED or LCD display on the front or top of the radio. The display highlights channel selected, signal strength and battery life. With digital radios it can also highlight lots of other features like caller id, contact list, display text messages and allow you to access the radios main menu.
No Keypad, Semi Keypad, Full Keypad
Two Way Radios have a variety of button configurations and we put them into three groups:
No Keypad - The radio is plain faced and blank
Semi Keypad - The radio will have a display and the semi keypad allows you to carry out basic functions programmed into the radio.
Full Keypad - Allows you to send text messages via the radio to other users, you can also add custom content to the radio like new contacts. Full Keypad also allows you to dial radio IDs and phone numbers if you are using a digital network.
Two Way Radio Batteries
Nickel Metal - This was Motorola's standard battery and to be honest the weakest part to buying a Motorola radio (Motorola now supply you with a LI-ION Battery for free). Nickel Metal can be delivered air freight without any restriction but it cell capacity and operating time is normally less than lithium Ion battery. These batteries also have a memory and life span is shorter.
Lithium Ion - Lithium batteries offer the radio a higher capacity which means you can operate it longer. You can now purchase batteries lasting over 24 hours in operating time. Motorola IMPRES batteries also have the technology to talk to the chargers and communicate to decide how much the battery needs charging or reconditioning to prolong the batteries life.
Sadly, the main downfall to Lithium Batteries is their restrictions to be flown by air. After the Lithium batteries caught fire mid-flight there is now a restriction in place on the amount of Lithium Batteries per an individual box. The limit is currently two batteries per a box.