Q: Which radio will give me the biggest range?
A: Range is an extremely hard thing to determine with radios because there are so many variables involved. All unlicensed radios emit the 0.5 watts of power and all licensed radios emit 4 watts of power, so all unlicensed radios will give you the same range and all licensed will give the same range. The environment you are using the radios in will also affect the range of the radios, this is because radio waves travel in straight lines and things such as buildings, woodland etc. can severely limit the range.
Q: What is the difference between Licensed and License Free?
A: All licensed radios require an OFCOM issued license to be able to be used in the UK, there are two types of license, a simple UK license which you can use all around the country or a technically assigned which can only be used in a site specific location. A license free radio as the name suggests does not need a licence as it is a set of frequencies designated by OFCOM that anyone can use anywhere in the country without the need of a licence.
Q: What is an IP rating?
A: An IP rating is a classification system that determines the dust and waterproof level of the radio, the first number is the dust proof of the radio, this goes from 0-6. The second number is the water proof level, this goes from 0-9. So for example an IP67 rated radio is regarded as fully dust proof and waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to 1m of water.
Q: What is the difference between VHF and UHF?
A: VHF (Very High Frequency) is found at the lower end of the frequency scale and due to the longer wavelength it is able to travel further than UHF, although VHF doesn’t penetrate structures very well so are not ideal if you need radios in a built up area. However due to the longer wavelength it is better suited to outdoor locations, open fields, golf courses etc., and are primarily used in aviation and marine communication. UHF (Ultra High Frequency) operates at the higher end of the frequency scale and because of this they penetrate buildings better than VHF making it a much better choice for indoor use and built up areas.
Q: What is an ATEX radio?
A: An ATEX radio is a radio that has been specially designed to work in a hazardous environment. Everything about the radio has been designed to make sure there is the absolute minimum chance of creating a spark. They are predominantly used in places such as oil and gas rigs and other places where safety is paramount due to the extremely hazardous environments.
Q: I can’t get full coverage on site with my radios, are there any other options?
A: If you are unable to get full coverage across your site don’t worry you do have options to help you get full coverage. A repeater is one way to boost your coverage area, a way to test if this will cure your problem is to stand as central to your site as possible next to a power supply with one of your radios and see if you can reach your black-spots from here, if you can this means a repeater would cure your coverage issues. If you are still getting black-spots then another option would be using 2 repeaters and connecting them up using a IP Connect system where the radio signal travels through the IP network to give better coverage, another option could be using long range radios such as the Pronto Express, these work across the 3G data network so there are no range issues with these.
Q: What is the difference between Analogue and Digital radios?
A: More and more people are switching their communications across to digital, there are many reasons for this, clearer sound quality, less interference and many others. Digital radios come with a lot more features and are able to do a lot more than analogue radios, they are able to do things like text message, call selected groups or individuals, or have different types of alarm systems in place amongst many other things.