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Two Way Radio Range


One of the questions we get asked most frequently is:

What’s the range of your two way radios?

The problem with this question is that there are simply so many factors which can cause issues with radio communications signals. These include atmospheric conditions, obstructions such as buildings, condition of the two way radio battery and many other things.

Radio to Radio (Back to Back) – A Simple Answer

A simple answer is that portable radios are to be used for close range communications only. Some manufacturer’s state 5km, 10km etc. The reality is that would only be possible in ideal conditions with no obstacles and is unrealistic in the real world. So the best answer is when using two way radios in back to back (radio to radio) mode, you should expect no more than a mile or so in open land and no more than a couple of hundred meters in built up areas when outside; and no more than probably 100m when indoors.

Caveat with Licence Free radios: Licence Free two way radios (in the EU) transmit on 0.5w. Therefore regardless of line of sight, they may not produce enough power to give the radio signal enough energy to travel very far. Licensed two way radios, on the other hand, typically transmit between 4w and 5w. This is plenty of power to produce enough energy for the transmitted signal to be able to reach it’s maximum potential distance.

A More Detailed Answer – Line-Of-Sight

The fact is, there is a way to technically answer this question. But this is a technical answer and might be a little baffling for those who are not technically minded. Technical answers such as this rely on constants such as absolutely perfect and ideal circumstances and atmospheric conditions – which just do not exist in the real world.

Nevertheless, we can calculate the maximum theoretical range of a radio signal using a line-of-sight calculation which considers the curvature of the earth and presuming the earth to be a perfect sphere – which of course it is not. And this also assumes your radio signal is transmitted with sufficient power that is maintains enough energy to travel the distance.

The equation is:

  • horizon (km) = 3.57 x √ height (m)
  • horizon (mi) = 1.23 x √ height (feet)

The typically the height of an adult holding a portable radio when in use is 1.5 – 1.7m high. Let’s assume a typical height of 1.5m to be conservative.

  • √1.5m = 1.22474487139 x 3.57 = 4.37 km
  • √ 4.92126ft = 2.21837778568 x 1.23 = 2.72 miles

Using this theory, at 1.5m high, the point of the horizon is 2.72 miles (approx) which is the point where radio signals will unlikely be able to reach.

However, assuming that two users are both 2.71 miles (approx) either side of the horizon, in theory, given they are transmitting the signal with enough energy (watts), the very maximum distance you can achieve from a portable two way radio used back to back is 2.71 miles x 2 which is 5.42 miles. However, this is quite unrealistic. As mentioned above, atmospheric conditions, ionospheric absorption, and potential obstructions, will prevent this from likely ever being achievable.

For those even more technical, I agree that there could be a case to argue about diffraction and skip propagation etc. But for the purposes of this article, those points are not covered here.

Source Used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line-of-sight_propagation#Radio_horizon

Point to Point Line of Sight

This article has not covered things such as Near Line of Sight, or the Fresnel Zone. Here’s a digram from L-com and an explanation.

 

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TALKABOUT T82: Replacement For The TLKR T80

The release of the TALKABOUT T82 from Motorola Solutions has signalled the discontinuation of the ever popular T80 models, license free radios that have been market leading devices from the manufacturer. The last order date should you want to purchase this radio is the 27th April 2018, with delivery available to be scheduled up until the 31st October later in the year. There is the potential for more T80 models to be available after these dates, but this is only up until depletion of stock.

The T82 was released in July 2017, an upgrade on the still available T80 boasting many more features not previously seen on a license free device. VOX voice activation allows for hands free use of the radio, automatically transmitting should the user begin to speak, ideal when working in a manual environment, or when partaking in leisure activities such as cycling. Further adding to this is the device being IPx2 Rated, this means that the T82 is splash proof. An emergency alert button is also present on this radio, further adding to the safety features not previously seen on the T80 model, alongside its 16-channel capacity, a further 8 more than seen on the previous model.

One of the key features of the TALKABOUT T82 is having a dual power battery function. This allows for the use of both AA standard alkaline batteries or the NiMH batteries which are included in the box when purchasing this device. These devices are 800mAh and offer up to 18 hours battery life when charged fully, should this not be enough though, it is possible to purchase a 1300mAh NiMH which will extend the life of your device to 26 hours of use when fully charged. Charging your device is done by a micro USB, a single power point with a double headed USB connector allows for your radios to be charged from the same point. Should you want a more efficient method of charging, a drop-in charging deck is available to purchase separately.

If you already have a fleet of T80s but don’t need to purchase any more devices before the cut-off date, there’s no need to rush into a purchase as the T82 is compatible with its predecessor. Therefore when/if you need any further devices adding to your fleet, the T82 will work fine with your current models and there is no need to purchase an entirely new batch of radios.

In The Box
Twin Pack of Motorola T82 Radios
2x Belt Clips
2x Mains Adaptor Plug & Charger Plug
2x 800mAh Rechargeable Battery
16 Personalization Stickers
Instruction Manual

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Hytera PD705/705LT: The Everyday Radio

The Hytera PD705 radios are ideal for use in the construction industry, these are built to military standard (MIL-STD-810F) so are durable and able to withstand anything thrown its way. Being IP67 resistant this means that the radio is waterproof, allowing it to continue working should it be used when raining or if it were to be dropped into a body of water up to 1 meter deep. The Ingress protection rating also means that the device is dustproof, therefore working in an environment such as a building site is no issue for the PD705 range.

Both devices have a 48-channel capacity, meaning that there are enough channels to cope with anything from a small business right up to a large-scale operation. Available for both UHF and VHF frequencies, these devices can be programmed to suit the needs of the user, whether you need to enable your radios to work in an outdoor working environment or within a factory or leisure facility. Another option which the user gets is whether they would like their device to be analogue or digital. Pre-programmable text messages back to the base station are an option, whilst a channel announcement is also a feature on both devices due to the radio not having a display.

The PD705LT is just as robust as the standard version but has had unnecessary features removed. Both devices have the lone worker features as standard, but should you be looking for the option to have Man Down then this comes as an additional extra with the PD705. When purchasing the PD705 from the Radiotronics website, there is the option to add both GPS (device tracking) and Man Down to the device(s) that you are purchasing. Man down is a feature which detects whether a radio has been laid on its side for a certain period of time, a warning is then sent from the device and if not responded to then an alert will be sent from the radio to the control centre, an important feature should you be in a dangerous working environment. A priority transmission can be sent to all devices within the fleet, should an important message need to be sent to all teams or a safety warning of sorts, these transmissions will interrupt any other calls which are taking place at the time

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Hyteras ATEX Radios – PD795/715Ex

The Hytera PD7Ex range of radios are market leaders when it comes to a reliable ATEX devices. Built to military standard (MIL-STD-810G), they will continue to work throughout the harshest of environments, IP67 resistance means that both the 795Ex and 715Ex are water and dustproof.

The PD795Ex has a full display and keypad, the radio allows for the user to not only communicate via talking but to also send text messages between devices. The PD715Ex doesn’t have a display or keypad, but you are still able to send text messages, texts can be pre-programmed into the device to be sent on command, these may include specific instructions between teams or a call for help. For verbal communications between radios the device has a channel capacity of 1024, but with mixed mode scanning being a feature on these radios you can hold and scan through both analogue and digital channels.

ATEX radios such as the PD7Ex range are made for working in dangerous environments, these specific radios are fit for purpose within Gas, Mining and Dusty industries (Specifications below). Regular radios can accumulate static which may cause electric arc, this arc could produce a spark via numerous methods such as the battery becoming disengaged, or other maloperation such as being dropped. Such an occurrence could lead to disastrous consequences, which is why an ATEX radio is highly recommended when working in dangerous conditions.

ATEX: II 2G Ex ib IIC T4 (Gas); II 2D Ex ib IIIC T120°C IP5X (Dust); I M2 Ex ib (Mining)

The Hytera PD7Ex series has various safety features readily installed on the device. A function that ties in with this is the GPS tracking, such a feature allows for the whereabouts of the radio to be tracked to a small radius of the actual location of the device. This is extremely important when working in such environments as the ATEX radios are designed for, because at times users of the device could be in high risk working environments. “Man Down” is something which works hand in hand with this. Should a worker be knocked unconscious or trapped with no means of escape, the radio if laid on its side, will send out a distress signal to all other radios connected to its network, with GPS this allows the user to be found quickly and at less risk of serious injury. Other safety features which these devices come readily installed with are Lone Worker, Remote Monitor, Radio Enable/Disable and also a Call Alert.

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Hytera PD985: The Portable Repeater?

Hytera PD985
The Portable Repeater?

Hytera recently released the PDC760, a ground breaking two-way radio which doubled as a smart phone. Running on an android operating system, this device boasts a 4” Gorilla Glass 3 touch screen, whilst also withstanding a 1.2 meter drop test and being IP67 resistant. You can see our PD760 preview here.
But Hytera have another new radio to the market that is dissimilar to anything else currently available, but not in a bad way. The PD985 is an Analogue/Digital dual mode two-way radio, but what makes this device different is its ability to act as a repeater for other devices. The feature is known as “Single Frequency Repeater Mode”, the way this works is fairly simple. Based on an interference cancellation technique, the PD985 can use one frequency slot to receive a signal and another to transmit it in the same frequency using DMO (Direct Mode Operation) mode to extend the communication distance.

To add to the Single Frequency repeater mode, the device is packed with other features which make it perfect for the majority of working environments. IP68 resistance means that no matter the condition, the DP985 will continue to work seamlessly whether it’s in the middle of the ocean or in a dusty factory. This radio also has many other safety features, this including Man Down and Lone worker, the full catalogue is listed below.

Standard Safety Features                              Optional Safety Features

• Emergency Alarm                                         • Multiple Key Encryption
• Dedicated Emergency Button                       • GPS SMS
• Alert Call                                                       • GPS Location Check
• Man Down
• Lone Worker
• Basic Encryption
• Enhanced Encryption (40Bit)
• Priority Interrupt
• Remote Monitor
• Radio Enable/Disable
• Radio Check
• IP68 Dust/Water Resistant
• Vibrate Alert

The physical features of this two-way radio are impressive to say the least, with an alphanumeric keypad, and a full colour 1.8” high definition display the visual appearance of this device is one of the best available. A 360 Degree Stepless Channel Knob is a new control implemented by Hytera, the design of this was brought about to improve on previous devices, to allow the user to change channels and zones easily and comfortably. With all the features of this device you would expect the battery performance to be affected, but from adopting a new battery saving technology, this has guaranteed longer communication time for the user, an improvement of 33% on the PD785. A Final advantage of the hardware used for this device is the enhanced audio quality, with a maximum 3W output speaker and new noise cancelling technology ensures clear and loud voice communications.

 

For full pricing on this product, find it on our website here.

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Hytera's Free Charger Offer – Ending 14/12/2017

Hytera is a manufacturer of radio transceivers and radio systems from China, founded in 1993 they have quickly risen to being one of the leading manufacturers of radio equipment across the globe.
Something which you may have missed recently is an end of year promotion from Hytera. The Chinese company is offering free chargers with every radio purchased from them, and if you were to purchase 6 then you receive a free MCA08 six-way charger, worth a massive £150.

There are many notable products which are included in this offer, the PD985 is a device which has an industry first single frequency repeater mode, what this allows is for the radio to act as a repeater and increase the coverage provided. Some newer features included are recording capabilities due to having a Micro SD, Bluetooth 4.0 for audio or data and noise cancellation technology.

The PD795Ex and PD715Ex, with and without a display respectively, are ATEX digital radios which are built to MIL-STD-810G military standard. These can store up to 1024 channels, whilst also holding the ability to send text messages as a second form of communication. With GPS built in and being IP67 waterproof/dustproof these are some of the highest quality military grade two-way radios.

A mid-range radio which is eligible for a free charger upon purchase is the PD565, it is a compact and lightweight but doesn’t lack in any features which set Hytera apart from the crowd. It is IP54 Water Resistant, showcases a limited keypad whilst also having a Tri-Colour status LED.

This deal is only available for a brief amount of time and ends on the 14th December 2017 at 3PM, don’t miss out on this offer. Check out all Hytera radios included in this offer on our website.

Charger Available With
PD4 (PD485, PD405, PD415)
PD5 (PD505LF, PD505, PD565)
PD6 (PD605, PD665, PD685)
PD7 (PD705LT, PD705, PD755, PD785, PD715EX, PD795EX)
PD9 (PD985)

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Fairmont Hotel, Shanghai Chooses Hytera PD365

Fairmont Hotel, Shanghai
The Fairmont Peace Hotel, which overlooks the Huangpu River in central Shanghai, boasts a history that overshadows any other hotel in the Far East. Restored and reopened in 2010, the Peace Hotel features 270 rooms and suites, offering guests an extraordinary place with unique architecture, expressive decor, magnificent artistry, and top class service in one great location.

Fairmont Hotel, Shanghai

… and The Fairmont Hotel has chosen the Hytera PD365 as their means of staff communications.

The Fairmont Peace Hotel discovered that on a day-to-day basis, staff were often liable to miss call instructions during peak periods, and forgot to trace the call back afterwards. This meant that responses were delayed and customers were not satisfied.

For this reason, the Hotel needed to be equipped with radios that were capable of sending preprogrammed text messages, and could be interconnected with the existing office platform to ensure timely, accurate and convenient call instruction delivery. The message had to real-time, with the ability to view immediately and keep a history of messages.

Furthermore, instructions needed to be delivered quietly (to avoid disturbing hotel customers) in order to upgrade service quality & efficiency. Knowing that Hytera’s DMR series products were powerful and adapted to solve the problems above, Fairmont Peace Hotel invited Hytera to develop a system.

The requirements were as follows:

  • A professional digital communications system complying with the global trend of improving management efficiency.
  • High voice quality when communicating within hotel premises, anywhere, anytime.
  • Can choose different voice call types, including All Call, Group Call and Private Call, according to service requirements.
  • Develop a gateway for wireless interconnection between the SMS communication system and the mail system of the Hotel’s internal office platform.

Enter Hytera PD365 Compact Digital Radio

Hytera PD365

The Hytera PD365 was the perfect solution for The Fairmont Hotel as it meets each and every requirement set out. By dividing the system into several groups, the hotel staff are able to communicate in their own talk groups, but the management can speak to all staff in an ‘all call’ when needed. Furthermore, the Hytera PD365 is able to send preprogrammed text messages and receive full text messages from larger radios such as the Hytera PD785 or a dispatch control room computer.

Hytera PD365 is aesthetically pleasing and lightweight this means that not only is the radio inconspicuous to guests, but also it’s less than 200g and therefore results in far less fatigue when in use.

Finally, the PD365 has the option of a wire-free desktop charger which allows reception staff to keep the PD365 fully charged – day and night.

Hytera PD365 Wireless Charger

All in all the Hytera PD365 is the ideal solution for the The Fairmont Hotel meeting every technical, logistical and aesthetic requirement.

> For more information on the Hytera PD365 please contact us via our main website.

Story Credit: Hytera.co.uk

 

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Ofcom Simple UK Gets 4 New UHF Channels

Ofcom Logo

Ofcom has recently announced 4 additional frequencies (channels) to the Ofcom Simple UK Licence meaning that the Simple UK Licence now allocates 7 UHF frequencies.

If you’d prefer, you can skip this article and go directly to purchase your Ofcom Simple UK Licence on our website – see the page on our website: Ofcom Simple UK Licence

You can read the exhaustive document here. This page summarises it and what this means for the Simple UK Licence.

Existing Simple UK UHF Frequencies

  • 449.3125 MHz
  • 449.400 MHz
  • 449.4750 MHz

As of late 2017, the following are also added to the Simple UK Licence

  • 458.7875 MHz
  • 458.8 MHz
  • 458.8125 MHz
  • 458.825 MHz

That means that there are now 7 frequencies in total which can be used on the Ofcom Simple UK Licence.

Radiotronics can arrange your Ofcom Simple UK Licence – and you can even buy it on our website. See the page on our website: Ofcom Simple UK Licence

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Ofcom Simple Site Licence Gets 6 Repeater Channels

Ofcom Logo

Ofcom has recently announced 6 additional channels to the Ofcom Simple Site Licence meaning that the licence now covers the use of a repeater.

If you’d prefer, you can skip this article and go directly to purchase your Ofcom Simple Site Licence on our website – see the page on our website: Ofcom Simple Site Licence

You can read the exhaustive document here. This page summarises it and what this means for the Simple Site Licence.

Ofcom’s Simple Site Business Radio Licence is the licence most businesses use when they only require business radios to be used within their own building or grounds. Ofcom Simple Site Licence enables businesses to get up and running with business radios without the complexity of going through the Technically Assigned business radio licence process. An application for a Ofcom Simple Site Licence is more of a purchase than an application because almost no-one will ever be refused.

Ofcom Simple Site Licence allocates a number of general business radio frequencies (channels) which, as mentioned above, can only be used at the site which the licence is granted to. How far away from that site is debatable – but we’ve always advised no more than 800 yards outside the site.

Current Frequencies

  • HF – 26.23275-26.865MHz, Not exceeding 12.5kHz, Max ERP 2W
  • Low Band – 49.0-49.4875MHz, Not exceeding 12.5kHz, Max ERP 2W
  • High Band VHF 159.6375-164.2MHz, Not exceeding 12.5kHz, Max ERP 2W
  • UHF – 459.05-459.750MHz , Not exceeding 12.5kHz, Max ERP 2W

New Repeater Channels

The new repeater channels are as follows. All of these channels are 7MHz split, restricted to 2W ERP for both base and mobile, 12.5kHz and a base antenna height of 15M.

  • TX 451.5125 RX 458.5125 MHz
  • TX 451.525 RX 458.525 MHz
  • TX 451.5375 RX 458.5375 MHz
  • TX 451.5500 RX 458.5500 MHz
  • TX 451.5625 RX 458.5625 MHz
  • TX 451.775 RX 458.775 MHz

These new channels, in theory give you sufficient room for six repeater channels (12 voice channels in DMR digital mode).

The Bottom Line

The most basic site-based repeater systems can now be installed without waiting for Ofcom to do a survey for a technically assigned site licence. This means for rapid deployment of radio systems that would otherwise have potentially been subject to months of red tape.

Radiotronics can arrange your Ofcom Simple Site Licence – and you can even buy it on our website. See the page on our website: Ofcom Simple Site Licence

 

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Hytera PDC760: Digital Radio or Smart Phone?

The PDC760 is a multi-mode advanced radio from Hytera that has been called a revolutionary device in the private/public radio network industry.

The device has all the functionality of the top of the range two-way radios, whilst also having features that match up to some of the leading smart phones worldwide. Running on an Android operating system, this allows the user access to the App Store, receive LTE Data, group calling capabilities and a Cloud Backup system, preventing any data from being lost should the device become damaged or broken.

The likelihood of the device breaking though is extremely slim, Hytera have fitted it with a 4” Gorilla Glass III screen, this being scratch resistant, anti-impact, anti-fingerprint and oil resistant, boasting a service life for the LCD display of over 30,000 hours. Having tested its durability from a 1.2 meter drop, whilst also being IP67 Dust and Waterproof Resistant, this radio can take almost anything that you throw at it.

With all of the different features that the PDC760 boasts you would expect for the shortcoming of this device to be its battery life, but that isn’t the case. Using the 2900 mAh Li-Ion battery which is supplied with the radio you can get up to 14 hours, but this can be boosted by up to 20 hours with the optional 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery. In order to maximise battery performance there is a second black and white screen located on top of the device, this allows for clear information without having to use the main screen, being visable from multiple angles.

For more information on this product including pricing, click here.

Features

  • Dimensions (H x W x D) – 139.5 x 68 x 25.3mm
  • Weight (With Antenna & Battery) – 378.8g
  • DMR – ETSI DMR Tier II, III
  • Analog Frequency – 350-527 MHz
  • Channel Spacing – 25/20/12.5kHz
  • IP67 Dust & Water Proof Resistant
  • Shock & Vibration – MIL-STD-810G
  • Battery Life – Standard Battery 14H
    – Optional Battery 20H
  • Operating Voltage – 7.6V
  • Ports – USB 2.0, 20 PIN Accessory/Charging Port
  • Main Display – 4” Capacitive, Touch Screen, Gloves Compatible
  • Top Display – 1” Black & White Display
  • Camera – 13MP Front/Rear Camera
    – Video Recording Quality – Front Camera: 1080p HD up to 30 frames per second
    – Rear Camera: 4K HD
  • Memory – Broadband – 3GB RAM, ROM: 32GB eMMC (128GB with Micro SD Card)
    Narrowband – Expandable to 16GB with Micro SD Card
  • AP Processor – Qualcomm 8-core, 2.0GHz

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