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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 2-way radio?

A 2-way radio is a device which has both an audio receiver and transmitter and therefore allows communication between the 2 users.

What is a PMR

A Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) which is just another way of saying 2-way radio really.

What is a PoC

Push to Talk over Cellular (PoC) is the newest type of PTT devices which use cellular data instead of radiowaves to send information.

What is PTT?

Push to Talk (PTT) is the ability to communicate at the press of a single button.

Which is better digital or analogue?

It depends on why you need it. Some applications of PMRs would suit an analogue radio but others a digital one.

What is the difference between Digital and Analogue Radios?

Digital radios can hold on to a signal longer, so often offer better coverage. Their channel capacity if double that of analogue radios and they have better voice clarity and noise reduction capabilities. Their battery life can also be extended up to 30%. They provide many advanced features as standard, such as one to many, one to one and text messaging.

Analogue radios are made by a wider variety of manufacturers, and there are a lot more accessories available. They also offer a more natural voice sound. They can also be engineered to provide most of the features available as standard in digital radios.

What is an IP rating?

Ingress Protection (IP) rating is how resistant to damage your device will be to dust and water. The First number represents dust protection and goes up to 6. The 2nd number is water resistance and it goes up to 8 (currently). So an IP67 product is completely resistant to dust and can survive in water up to a meter deep. Find out more here: http://www.dsmt.com/resources/ip-rating-chart/

What is the difference between licenced and unlicensed radios?

A licenced radio will require a licence to use and will work over a greater distance, with more power.

An unlicensed radio does not need a licence but will work at a much shorter distance.

What’s the difference between a mobile unit and a hand portable one?

A mobile unit tends to be much larger than a hand portable one. A hand portable is essentially a ‘walkie talkie’.

How long will the battery last?

Some models last as long as 18 hours but the average is about 12 hours.

How long do the batteries take to charge?

Batteries can take around 2-3 hours to charge, but this can differ dependant on how old they are. We recommend batteries get renewed every 18-24 months.

What is the average range of a two-way radio?

This depends on many factors such as the size of the radio’s antenna, the surrounding area, whether you are using it indoors or outdoors and the frequency band the radio is using. The maximum range is around 2 miles/3 kilometres. The only way to get an exact answer is the test them out on-site.

Business radios can transmit over 2 miles. If added antennas and repeaters are used, the range can significantly improve all the way up to 30 or 40 miles.

Can I use my radio abroad?

If your radio is licence free then you can use it abroad. If it isn’t, you need to arrange a licence with the country you are in.

What is a repeater?

A repeater is used to extend the range of communication between radios. They simultaneously receive radio signals, and re-transmit them at higher power so they ca cover larger distances. This enables communication where distance or obstructions can be a problem. Repeaters are usually installed with antennas which are put at the highest point of a building or area because the higher the antenna the better the coverage.

Why is a two-way radio a better choice than a mobile phone?

Two-way radios work very simply. All you need is two radios that you set to the same channel, and you can communicate by pressing the PTT button to talk and releasing it to listen. Unlike a phone you do not have to pay any extra charges or line rental. You only pay for a licence. Which is significantly cheaper than telephone line rental, and that’s only if you are using a licensed radio. The advantages of two-way radios are:

  • Simple and instant communication at the push of a button
  • You do not have to pay to make calls
  • Better co-ordination and control of staff
  • They have both one to one calling and group calling, so you can quickly transmit a message to many different people
  • Cheaper to operate
  • Higher level of safety
  • More hard wearing than mobile phones
  • Better battery life

What are the benefits of hiring?

  • No lump sum payments, you only need to pay monthly payments
  • If any problems or faults occur, replacement hired radios will be sent out
  • Unless physical damage has occurred, you won’t have to pay for costly repairs
  • Battery replacement every 18-24 months
  • Easily add additional radios to your fleet
  • Charging units provided without extra cost
  • Radios can be re-programmed free of cost
  • Upgrades available at the end of your contract
  • Only keep radios for as long as you want/need them
  • No licence charge, NRC can provide you with a licence until end of hire

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