A question that gets asked very frequently is “Do you sell base station two way radios?”. The fact is that, other than talk through radio repeaters and some HAM radios, there are no actual business type base station two way radios – certainly not on the market right now.
Question: But how come I’ve seen base station two way radios in control rooms and taxi offices? Like this one?
If you look closely, you’ll see that this is actually a mobile radio (like one you see in a taxi or lorry) sat on top of a base stand that has a built-in power supply. So when we say there are no base station two way radios, that’s not strictly true – but it does mean that you can build your own (or we can build it for you). Then you simply select a base station microphone instead of a handheld microphone.
We sometimes call this setup a “fixed mobile”, “base station mobile”, a “dispatch radio” amongst many more names. But they all mean a mobile radio with a mains power supply and microphone. Do you have some more names for base station two way radios – let us know in the comments.
So what’s needed to make a base station two way radio?
Here’s a handy list of what you need for a two way radio base station. The principles of this guide can also be applied to CB radios and Amateur (HAM) radios.
1) Mobile Vehicular Type Radio
Almost all manufacturers of two way radios make a vehicle type mobile radio, as well as portables. All mobile vehicle type two way radios operate on a 12-13.8v D.C. power supply. In order to use this with a mains supply you’ll need a power supply unit (or PSU).
2) Mains to 13.8v Regulated Power Supplies
There are three different types of power supply see below.
2.1) Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Alfatronix makes a very innovative power supply called the Alfatronix AD power supply. The AD is a two way radio stand, power supply and backup battery charger. The model in the picture below is the Alfatronix AD “universal” version. But they make a specific version for the most popular Motorola, Hytera, Kenwood and Icom radios.
The main benefit of the Alfatronix AD series power supplies is that they also have a backup battery connection where you can hook up a lead-acid battery. The battery will stay charged whilst the mains is connected. If the mains fails, the backup battery will kick in and power the radio.
2.2) Alternative – Encased Type PSU
There are many encased type power supplies. But the most notable are made by Samlex – see here on our website.
The Samlex Encased style power supplies are fantastic as they position the radio around 1cm (approx. 1/2 inch) above the PSU which reduces the chance of noise from the PSU affecting the radio. You can also position a hand held microphone clip to mount a handheld microphone on the side; or you can choose a base station microphone (as shown below).
3) Selection of Microphone
You can choose one of two different types of microphone. Handheld microphones and Base station microphones. Almost all of the most popular vehicle based two way radios can be purchased without a microphone. That means you can choose the microphone you’d prefer rather than settle for the microphone you’re given.
Here at Radiotronics, we strongly recommend a Base Station type microphone. This is because base station microphones can help reduce fatigue, but also typically develop less faults over time and work out cheaper in the long run.
The last, and most arguably most important, piece of the puzzle is the Antenna. When using a base station radio, you have two options for antenna.
Short range: If you want only short range; for example, you’re operating via a repeater or you’re operating without a repeater but your other radios are within a few hundred yards, you could consider a short rubber type antenna (shown on the base station unit above). We offer some great “right-angle” type rubber duck stubby and whip antennas from as little as £10+VAT. It’s worth noting that you’re unlikely to get much of a signal and these type of antennas only really work up to a few hundred yards at the most. But they’re ideal for repeater-based radio systems.
Medium to Long Range: If you need long range, then the only real option is a large high-gain outdoor antenna. The cost purely depends on the height and quality of antenna. We can advise further if you provide us a few details when contacting us.