General. As you can see, UHF is better at navigating through the smaller spaces within a building to reach it's destination. The fundamental difference is in the range of frequencies that they use. A stronger signal is capable of withstanding successive passes through obstacles, allowing it to travel farther. The two frequency ranges (also called "frequency bands") used in most two-way radios are VHF (Very High Frequency), and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). Scroll to the bottom for notes. The most common question people ask when they go to the market to buy a two-way radio intercom is how far they can communicate? Feel free to search, filter or sort as you wish. Many wireless systems use a process called companding that compresses the transmitted audio signal at the microphone then expands it at the receiver to restore the dynamic range of the audio. First, not all radio signals are the same. Both types have their pros and cons, so neither one is inherently better than the other. However, a VHF signal is reflected because it’s significantly wider than a doorway. But marine radios have a big advantage, there are no obstacles on the open water! For example, 54 to 72 MHz and 76 to 88 MHz are used in the United States for VHF channels 2 through 6, which is known as Band I internationally. Unfortunately, VHF signals are usually blocked by the metal inside the building. With a direct ‘Line of Sight’ between, say, 2 radios on two mountain-tops either VHF or UHF signals will go a very long distance…. These high frequencies are not able to travel beyond the horizon. VHF frequencies can penetrate objects better than UHF. These are averages. advantage, or disadvantage, of LTE is your radios work anywhere cell phone coverage exists. They differ in how they travel, and how they react when they encounter materials. VHF, or very high frequency, operates at a lower level, covering the frequency range from 30 MHz to … A radio wave is not able to pass through metal. Not all antennas on handheld radios are the same. Metal will not be your friend when you’re using a walkie talkie since radio waves are not able to pass through it. In this guide, I’ll go over how VHF and UHF frequencies work and what can have a negative impact on a two-way radio’s range. Yaesu FT-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver. These low frequency signals can be received by walkie talkies that are below the horizon, hundreds of miles away. VHF waves are not very good at penetrating walls, buildings and is one of the most common questions people ask when buying a two-way radio. Base station antennas are located on the roof of a building, and commercial broadcast antennas are usually located on mountain tops or very high towers. Assumes standard equipment. The trade-off for ultra-high frequency for distance is in building penetration or densely wooded areas. you ask. To explain this let’s take an example. These bands are frequently used by maritime, military, emergency, and air traffic control systems. The stronger the signal strength, the more it can withstand weakening when it passes through obstacles. Default sorting is by 3rd order Dynamic Range (wide spaced). Common uses for VHF are FM radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, two way land mobile radio systems (emergency, business, private use and military), long range data communication up to … An unlicensed radio, such as an FRS model is usually limited to two watts, while CB radios come in at four watts. These radio waves travel over line of sight, making them ideal for local communications over a few kilometres. So just having more watts without a better antenna is like having a large funnel with a small hole. \"How far can this radio talk?\" is one of the most common questions people ask when buying a two-way radio. However, their signal can still only travel to the horizon. VHF can also travel farther. Using a better-quality antenna is the easiest way to extend range. This type of frequency is not recommended for use of serious applications considering the levels of noise that are commonly present. From the air it gets even better. Are you guaranteed to get 6 miles? Unfortunately there isn't a quick answer. The monthly service contract is obtained through the radio dealer. UHF vs VHF Microphones. UHF and VHF frequencies are part of the overall electromagnetic spectrum. But the general rule-of-thumb is if you are using the radio primarily outdoors where you will have clear line-of-sight then VHF is a better choice because it's signal will travel farther. Very high frequency (VHF) signals are transmitted from 54 to 216 megahertz (MHz), while ultra high frequency (UHF), as the name implies, comes through much higher, 470 to 806 MHz. You can get radios that use either UHF (Ultra High Frequency) or VHF (Very High Frequency). For any given antenna height use this formula: Horizon at Ground Level (in kilometers) = 3.569 multiply by the square root of the Antenna Height (in meters). Even comparing handheld UHF vs VHF two-way radios, the maximum range of both is typically about 4 miles. Mobile radios usually broadcast from 25 to 100 watts maximum. VHF like AM radio, gives better radio coverage over long distances due to VHF's longer wave length compared with UHF. radios, and some CB radios. To sum it up, the more watts a radio has, the stronger the signal. Basically, the exact distance to the horizon will vary depending on the height of the antenna. Additionally, MURS is limited to two watts as well. Basically, when it comes to VHF vs UHF range, it’s often a trade-off. IP radios require a controller, which So these low frequency signals can sometimes be received by radios below the horizon hundreds of miles away. In many cases, a radio’s max range is more theoretical than realistic since terrain and equipment type can greatly affect range. If you’re using a GMRS/FRS model, try the GMRS channels. Basically, the lower the frequency, the farther it can travel. However, if a VHF wave and a UHF wave were transmitted over an area without barriers, the VHF wave would travel almost twice as far. If you search for reviews on these same radios, you will find many disappointed people saying they can't get anywhere close to the advertised range. When we said "the distance to the horizon is the maximum communication range" we didn't mention one key factor, your antenna. You can see there is a big difference. If you are using the radio in or around buildings, in urban areas, or heavily wooded areas, then UHF is a better choice because it's signal will navigate around obstacles better. As I mentioned above, UHF and VHF are the two most commonly used radio signals. Because of this, UHF does a better job of navigating through small spaces inside a building in order to reach its destination. If you’re planning on using the walkie talkies inside, then you’ll want to go with UHF. Both UHF and VHF radios are prone to line of sight factors, but VHF a little more so. This makes VHF easier to broadcast over a long range. Although VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) are both used to describe frequencies, these are not related to the frequency of the voice that is being recorded. LTE uses a private cellular network. The two most regularly used frequency ranges for two-way radios are VHF (Very High-Frequency 130-174MHz), and UHF (Ultra High-Frequency 400-520MHz). Unlike frequencies below 2MHz, radio waves in these higher frequencies travel in straight lines (called "line-of-sight" signals), and generally cannot travel beyond the horizon. VHF radio waves operate in a band between 30-300 megahertz, while UHF radio signals are propagated within 300 megahertz and 3 gigahertz. If you’re planning on using your walkie talkies indoors, you’ll find that you run into plenty of dead spots, due to the longer length of the VHF radio waves. Consider that a handheld radio must be in range of a repeater to have its signal picked up and rebroadcasted. Frequencies that are below two megahertz are reflected off the atmosphere. So how far can you really expect to talk? ✔ Secure Online Purchasing *Single side band (SSB) is used in some amateur (ham) This band is often used for the outdoors only. VHF features 130-174 megahertz, while UHF features 400-520-megahertz. Most models will use two common types: Many radios on the market these days have stubby antennas since they make it easier to place the walkie talkie in a pocket or backpack. So according to our rule-of-thumb, 2 people around 6 feet tall using a 5 watt handheld two-way radio, used on flat ground with no obstacles, will have a maximum range of approximately 6 miles. When you’re using walkie talkies, the signal is usually transmitted via UHF or VHF. If you’re considering purchasing a set of walkie talkies for commercial or personal use, then knowing the differences between these radio frequency bands will allow you to find the perfect set based on your individual needs, where the walkie talkies will be used, and how you plan on using them. HAM frequencies and CB radio frequencies are in the high frequency range of twenty-nine to fifty-four megahertz, which gives them some of these qualities. VHF walkies operate on the frequencies between 136 and 174 MHz, they work over large distances with lower power consumption. Moreover, handheld radios run off a small battery, so a higher wattage would mean your batteries will not last very long. you say. Consider some of the new technologies listed in the next section. VHF radios offer a larger broadcast range, using radio waves from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. It's because of the difference between how VHF vs UHF signals react around structures. This maximum range is more theoretical than realistic. Close. If you are using the radio primarily outdoors with clear line-of-sight, then VHF is a better choice because it's signal will travel farther. Signal strength is another important factor when it comes to determining the distance a walkie talkie is able to communicate. However, in the outdoors, it tends to have better range than UHF in open environments, such as farming, hiking and outdoor activities. UHF and VHF are the two most commonly used frequency ranges for walkie talkies. That's because the type of equipment and terrain can greatly affect your range. What is VHF? Also, mount your antenna in a straight-up position, not at an angle. Each mode of radio wave propagation is useful in different settings. satellites (and 9 spares in space) used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite The stronger the signal strength, the more it can withstand weakening when it passes through obstacles. Either VHF or UHF radio technology can work for you if you don’t really have a long range to cover. However, certain physical, regulatory, and economic differences between VHF and UHF regions should be noted here. Both types come with their own advantages and disadvantages. The max wattage for every type of two-way radio is set by the FCC. However, low frequencies are very vulnerable to other issues. Antenna type can have a significant effect on range. For mounted antennas, mount your antenna standing straight-up on the highest point possible. Radio waves generally won't pass through it. Not so fast. 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