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Chicomm Blog

FAQs About Two Way Radios

Posted by Jill McNamara on Thursday, September 22, 2011


Q: What is the first thing that you should check when problems occur with your two-way radios?

A: The Battery. Repairs ( Labor )  is costly. Change a battery out with another radio to first check. If you just need a new battery then order one and ask if there are any specials.

MOTOTRBO digital radioQ. Retail stores claim that their radios can work 15+miles, is this true?

A. Yes and no. A radio can work for  15 miles if nothing is in the way of transmission. ( Mountain to Mountain ) There always seems to be obstructions such as buildings and never  a true line of site. These retail store radios are never recommended for business applications and are usually 1 watt of power. That is why there are Professional radios that give better range because their 4 & 5 watts of power. Other needs also come in to play such as a Repeater.

Q. Do Stubby antennas work the same as the Standard Whip Antenna?

A. Depends;  The Stubby antenna in most cases receives less of a reception than the standard whip. Most customers like the stubby antenna because it makes the radio smaller but it really should be trial and error. It may not affect the range in most cases depending on your current coverage issues. Try one and test the reception, if it works, then go with the smaller antenna.

Q. Why do some 4 and 5 watt radios receive and transmit better than other radios?

Different Manufactured radios have different  receive and transit sensitivity standards. The better the sensitivity the better they receive and transmit.

Q: Is there a way to tell if my battery is still in good condition or if it is old?

A: Motorola Original Batteries: There is a 3 digit date code that can determine your Motorola batteries age.  The first digit of the date code is the   last digit of the year and the remaining digits are the weeks in that year.  So 728 translates to the 28th week of 2007.

Q: How long will my two way radio batteries last?

A: It depends on work load, battery type and chemistry, and charging cycles. In most cases an average battery will last 2 years.

Q: Is the radio water proof?

A: Most radios purchased are not Water Proof but there are Manufactures such as Motorola who do have radios that are IP57 rated. If you are interested in a Waterproof radio look into the IP ratings to determine what level of submersibility.

Q: What’s the difference between UHF and VHF?

A: UHF – Usually ( 450-470Mhz )  radios are designed to work in urban environments and indoors where VHF ( 136-174 Mhz)  radios are designed for outdoor, rural environments. 

Q: How can  new purchased radios talk to my old radios?

A  If you want to purchase new radios send in your old radio and we can match the frequency as long as it is in the same bandwith. It would need to match such as ( UHF ) to ( UHF ) not  UHF  to  VHF .

Q: What do I do if my radio needs repairs?

A: Send it to Chicago Communications LLC and we can estimate the repair for your approval.

If you have any other Questions about Two Way Radios, or anything related to ChiComm Products/Services, please Contact Us.