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Understanding Radio Range

Posted by Bill Dick on

Most handheld two way radios, or walkie talkies operate on line of sight coverage. Meaning if you can see the other radio, you can "talk" to it. With no obsticles in the way, and no interference, you should be able to get ~6 miles, or 10 KM. Not all radios are created equal though. The output power of a handheld can be anywhere from 0.5W to 5W. Having more power doesn't always mean greater range as there are many factors that go into range. Continue reading below to get a better understanding of the magic of radio!

GMRS / FRS / Ham, Whats the difference?

The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a North American land-mobile FM UHF radio service designed for short-distance two-way communication. It requires a license in United States but can be used license-free in Canada
 
GMRS radios are typically handheld portable devices much like Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, and share the FRS frequency band near 462 and 467 MHz. Unlike a FRS radio that has a maximum RF power output of 0.5W, GMRS radios are 2W. The higher output offers better range in adverse conditions. GMRS radios also offer more channels, up to 22 in total.
You may have also heard of "Amateur Ham Radio" While these radios do require a license, the output power is up to 10x a standard family radio, at 5W. These radios are far more complex and for those who want to make a hobby out of radio. They also tend to offer the greatest "range"
 
The advertised range is the theoretical maximum range of the radio under ideal conditions. The below video will help explain how to achieve the advertised distance of the radios Fleetwood Digital sells. No Video? Click Here

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