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Chicomm Blog

How Two-Way Radios Work: Whiteboard Video

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For all of you visual learners out there, we’ve got something special: a whiteboard video that demystifies two-way radios, how they work, the five kinds of systems available and what features and functionality your team will come to rely on.

We start with this key question: “We all know about two-way radios and their ability to coordinate communications instantly -- but do you know all the extra capabilities of radio?”

If your answer is no or you’re not sure, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In just over three and a half minutes, you’ll learn:

  • How Two-Way Radios Work
  • What Two-Way Radio Systems Are Available
  • Two-Way Radio Features and Functionality

How Two-Way Radios Work

To best understand how two-way radios work, it’s helpful to know how they differ from traditional analog radios. Conventional radios send audio signals on specific radio frequencies to each other and overlay your voice on top of those signals. We relied on analog radios for years to carry one voice across one radio channel.

Today, we’re using digital mobile radio technology, or DMR, to digitize voice communications, converting the sound of your voice into the same kinds of letters and numbers as the data on a computer. That digitization process brings all kinds of benefits, such as allowing multiple conversations on the same radio frequency and better clarity.

What Two-Way Radio Systems Are Available

The five main two-way radio systems generally vary by the number of users and locations they’re able to accommodate. They are:

Conventional, the most basic system. It’s best for a single location with a small number of users, from one to 150.

IP Site Connect is a great option for small to midsize businesses. IP Site Connect accommodates the same number of people as a conventional system but uses repeaters and your existing data network to connect multiple locations that are miles apart. 

Capacity Plus is a solution for 100 users or more across different locations. The system links the locations’ disparate repeaters, turning them into a single unit and automatically managing traffic by re-assigning users as channels fill up.

Linked Capacity Plus is multi-site Capacity Plus for even larger customers. It uses the same technology as IP Site Connect to bridge sites together.

Capacity Max is for the largest enterprise customers, with the widest coverage and capacity for thousands of users who may be thousands of miles apart.

Two-Way Radio Feature and Functionality

Understanding what features and functionality are available makes it even more clear why two-way radios are better than cell phones. Not only are two-way radios less expensive, they’re built for business and for safety.

Among other benefits, two-way radios offer: GPS tracking, work order management, indoor location tracking, and man down, which issues an automatic call for help when the radio is face down for a certain period of time.

Be sure to watch our whiteboard video for more information about two-way radios and to find out why we recommend Motorola’s MotoTrbo platform to best meet the needs of your business.

To meet your needs for two-way radio communications, contact Chicago Communications today!