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Frequenty Asked Questions
  • Do my radios need a licence?
    Most professional readio require a licence to operate.  This is issues by Ofcom and can cost from £75.00 up to several throusands depending on the type you need.  G6 will advise on which licence is best suited for you and complete the application on your behalf.
  • Can I try before I buy?
    Absolutely.  We have a policy of allowing all customers to try products for a minimum of a week before commiting to buy.  If you require a longer trial that’s not a problem, just let us know and we will arrange it,
  • Will 'licence free' radios work in my environment?
    Licence free or PMR446 radios will work in virtually every type of environmnet.  They are often a good option for a quick solution but the coverage you will get is limited.  Also they are prone to interference from other users as this is a shared service, available to all.  For ‘commercial’ use, we would always recommend opting for the professional version rather than a ‘multipack’ from Argos or a similar outlet.  These may seem like good value but they lack performance and.
  • How is digital different to analogue?
    Digital radios offer a wider range of features then their analogue predecessors.  Options such as voice encryption and individual calling are much easier to impelement on a digital system than they used to be on analogue networks.  To find out more about digital radios, click this link. [LINK TO DIGITAL RADIO TECHNOLOGY PAGE)
  • Is my radio waterproof?
    That depends on its IP rating.  IP stands for Ingress Protection and consists of 2 digits.  The first digit represents the protection agains solid matter i.e. dust, sand, grit etc.  The second refers to liquids.  Most radios start at IP54 which gives protection against limited dust ingress and waterspray.  IP67 offers protection against all dust ingress and immersionin water up to 1m.
  • What sort of range can I expect from my portable radio?
    This is a common question but it isn’t always easy to answer and you willget different views from different professionals.  The range very much depends on the type of environment you are operating in and the frequency band the radio is using.  As a rule of thumb, don’t expect anything more than 3-5km from youe hand portavle radio.  In many instances it will be better than this, but on ocassions it will be worse.  If you are sitting in your car in an underground car park it will be far less than if you are standing on the roof of a tall building.
  • What affects the range of a radio signal?
    Many things.  Terrain, height, operating frequency, radio output power, even the weather.  As a general rule, the higher you are the better the range will be.
  • Should I use VHF or UHF?
    This depends on the areas in which you are going to operate.  As a rule of thumb, UHF works better in urban areas e.g. cities and towns.  VHF is better suited to rural operation, open countryside and rolling hills.  But often it is a compromise.
  • Can I use my radios in other countries?
    If you have a licensed radio you must obtain the necessary licence to operate in the country you plan to visit.  This can be complicated and expensive, and often requires you to have a residential or business address in that location.  Call us for more advice in this area.
  • What is the difference between NiMh and Li-Ion batteries?
    NiMh stands for Nickel Hetal Hydride.  Li-Ion stands for Lithium Ion.  These refer to teh chemical composition of the battery itself.  Both types are commonly used to power radios.  Li-Ion is generally believed to have a longer operating life than the other types.
  • What does UHF stand for?
    UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency.  It covers the frequency range of 300MHz to 3000MHz.  Most radios in commercial use operate between 400MHz and 520MHz, with 403-470MHz being referred to as the UHF1 band in the UK.
  • What does VHF stand for?
    VHF stands for Very High Frequency.  It covers the band 30MHz to 300MHz.  Most commercial radios operate in the 136-174MHz band but some specialist services, such as Mountain Rescue, still use the lower frequencies around 88MHz as this gives better range in the terrain in which they typically operate.
  • How important is the antenna on my radio?
    It is vital.  The antenna and cable that connects it to the radio (called the feeder) is the most important part of the system,  A properly chosen and installed antenna can make the difference between good and poor performance of a radio system, regardless of the type of radio connected to it.
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Digital Radio

Digital radio was launched in the commercial marketplace in March 2007.  The first company to produce a DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) product was Motorola.

Their pioneering MOTOTRBO product range introduced a whole world of possibilities to what had been a stagnating analogue dominated marketplace. 

Digital offers a range of features and functions including increased system capacity, increase spectrum (frequency) efficiency, integrated data communications and enhanced voice communication.

There are two principal standards available DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) and dPMR (Digital Private Mobile Radio).

DMR uses TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) technology where the standard 12.5kHz wide voice channel is split into two virtual 6.25kHz channels across two ‘timeslots’ divided in time.  Imagine a banana cut into chunks with every other slice being timeslot 1 and the ones in between being timeslot 2.

dPMR uses FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access).  Here the 12.5kHz channel is sliced down the middle giving two actual channels with a bandwidth of 6.25kHz each.  Again use the banana picture but this time sliced along its length.

Both of these systems demonstrate different characteristics and both have advantages and disadvantages.  Currently more manufacturers seem to be adopting the DMR TDMA standard including:

  • MOTOROLA
  • HYTERA
  • VERTEX
  • TAIT
  • KENWOOD (also have dPMR products)

One of the key benefits to digital radio in both technologies is the ease with which networks can be joined together using the Internet.  It is now possible to quickly and cost-effectively create multi-site networks across diverse geographic locations.

There is also a wide range of third party software applications designed to make use of the technology.  These include dispatch and tracking applications, telephone interconnect, text messaging and data acquisition products.

Developments like Hytera’s Pseudo Trunking and Motorola’s Capacity Plus and Linked Capacity Plus offer the ability to make best use of the physical channel capacity available and to build sophisticated networks for a fraction of the cost of their analogue equivalents.

 


More information for Digital Radio will be added shortly.
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