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Chicomm Blog

Matching Two-Way Radio Equipment to other Equipment

Posted by Jill McNamara on Friday, October 14, 2011

radio equipment

Tom's Tech Talk (#8): "Sync" Your two-way Radios & Accessories

     As most people believe that hooking up a radio is a couple of wires, consider this. Typical radio antenna connections are 50 ohms of impedance. Antenna cable comes in many varieties. For instance your Cable TV Cable is 75 ohms impedance. Twin lead for an outdoor antenna is 300 ohms. Standard 2 Way Radio cable is 50 ohms. In layman’s terms, ohms equates to the resistance of a part or device. When mixing different varieties of cables, you actually get a mismatch. This mismatch usually results in degraded performance or even failure.

    For two way radio, the typical impedance is 50 ohms. This means that the radio should match the antenna cable and the antenna cable should match the antenna. When done properly you obtain maximum transfer of power to the antenna. When done improperly the mismatch can actually cause reflected power back into the radio either shortening the life of the amplifier or causing degraded performance in the operation of the radio.

      I cannot tell you how many times we see someone going to their local electronics store and obtaining the wrong parts. They install the equipment and then call us to figure out why it doesn’t work. Better yet, they install the equipment poorly and believe that the poor coverage is all they can achieve. They don’t realize it was their install and improper parts that minimized the coverage of the system.

    When done right, you should have a balanced system that effectively transfers the energy for both transmitting and receiving. Maximize your purchases and have it professionally installed.



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Tom TreichlerThis article was written by Tom Treichler, Director of Sales & Service at Chicago Communications. Tom has over 30 years of experience in the industry with a background in engineering, system integration, and wireless broadband. If you have any questions for Tom, or another representative at ChiComm, please contact us.