Feb 04, 2022

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Categories: Radio

Do Walkie Talkies Need Line Of Sight? Here’s The Answer

‘Do walkie talkies need line of sight?’ is a common question that we get asked here at NRC Radio. Although some two way radios do require line of sight to communicate, there are many options available that can communicate without line of sight. This includes at a long distance, as well as through buildings, woodland and even mountain ranges.

In this article, we’ll explain more about how two way radios communicate with each other, as well as discussing which type of two way radio is best for your needs, whether you plan to communicate within line of sight or from a long distance.

Do Walkie Talkies Only Work In Line Of Sight?

Whether your two way radio will be able to communicate without line of sight will depend on the type of radio to choose, the power of the radio and the frequency on which it operates. Certain radios such as those operating on the ultra high frequency (UHF) range are able to penetrate through structures such as buildings and dense woodlands, meaning that you won’t need direct line of sight to use your radio.

However, it’s important to note that other walkie talkies such as those operating within the very high frequency (VHF) range require line of sight to communicate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to actually be able to see the other person, as they are able to communicate over many miles. It does mean, however, that there should not be able dense obstacles in the line of communication.

Learn more about two way radio coverage here

What Type Of Two Way Radios Can Communicate In Buildings?

If you need to communicate within a building, such as a school, hospital or warehouse, you’ll need to look for a two way radio that is able to penetrate through concrete and steel structures. The most suitable type of two way radio for this purpose is one that operates on the UHF (ultra high frequency) range.

UHF radios use short waves to communicate, which enables them to penetrate through thick walls and structures. This enables you to stay in contact with your co-workers inside buildings, even in areas where mobile phone signal may be patchy.

However, it’s important to note that this type of radio signal cannot transmit over long distances. Whilst you’ll still get a good few miles of range, you won’t be able to communicate over long distance unless adding repeater infrastructure.

What Type Of Two Way Radios Can Communicate Long Distance?

If you need a two way radio system that is able to communicate over a long distance, you’ll need to look for a radio that operates using the VHF (very high frequency) range.

VHF radios use long waves to communicate, which enables them to penetrate through thick walls and structures. This enables you to stay in contact with your co-workers inside buildings, even in areas where mobile phone signal may be patchy.

However, it’s essential that you understand that VHF two way radio signals cannot penetrate through thick walls, dense woodland or mountains. This is because the frequency waves require a clear line of sight to communicate.

Shop our full range of two way radios here

How Far Can Two Way Radios Transmit?

How far your two way radio system will be able to communicate will depend on the radio that you choose, its power and the frequency on which it operates.

UHF radios are great for communicating where there isn’t a line of sight. However, they are not able to operate long distance. If you’re looking for a radio that can be used long distance, you’ll need to opt for a VHF radio.

Alternatively, you could consider using a repeater to extend the range of your two way radio by boosting its signal. This is an effective way to increase the range of a walkie talkie, without losing the benefits that two way radios provide.

How Far Apart Can Walkie Talkies Be?

How far apart your walkie talkies will be able to be will depend on the type of two way radio system that you choose, the frequency on which it operates and the power rating of the individual radios. Whilst some radios will be able to transmit across hundreds of miles, others may have a range of just five miles or less.

The best way to find out the range of your two way radio system is to check the instruction manual. This should explain exactly how far apart your two way radios can be without losing communication.

However, it’s important to remember that other factors can also impact the range of your walkie talkies, such as obstacles that the waves must navigate around. These could include buildings, woodland or mountains. Obstacles such as these could limit the range of your two way radio system, depending on the frequency that you’re using.

Learn more about two way radio coverage here

Will Walkie Talkies Work In The Mountains?

If you’ve spent any time at all in the mountains, you’ll know that mobile phone signal is scarce. This leaves hikers and climbers alike wondering whether walkie talkies are the solution to their communication needs.

There are many different types of two way radio available, and some of these are ideal for use in mountainous areas. VHF two way radios are ideal for outdoor use, so are often used in mountainous areas where mobile phone coverage may be patchy.

If you’re looking for a walkie talkie to keep you connected when you’re in the mountains, we’d love to talk you through your options.

In Summary

‘Do walkie talkies need line of sight’ is a question that we are often asked at NRC Radio. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question, as it depends entirely on the type of radio that is being used, its power rating and the frequency on which you are communicating.

If you need help finding the right two way radio system to meet your business needs, we are always happy to help. Give us a call today to discuss your requirements and begin your journey towards finding the ideal two way radio system to keep your business connected.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements and find the perfect two way radio system for your business