• What is the RANGE of a 2-way radio?
  • VHF vs. UHF, what do I need?
  • NiCd & NiMH Battery Life & Charging?
  • Battery Recycling?
  • What is the life expectancy of a handheld radio?
  • How can I save my WET RADIO?
  • What about Servicing/ Retuning/ Refurbishing?

What is the RANGE of a 2-way radio?

Handheld radios generally will talk "radio-to-radio", "line-of-sight" up to 2 miles. Once you start putting obstacles in between the radios you will shorten your range. Even the body fluid of the person wearing the radio on their hip will absorb some of the range. Higher wattage radios will have a slight increase in range and a significant increase in clarity of transmission on the outer fringes of your range.

Mobile radios, such as those mounted in vehicles, will generally talk "radio-to-radio" 8-10 miles depending upon the obstacles and the terrain.

Base stations will generally talk approx. 8-12 miles. Contrary to popular belief wattage does not determine distance. Antenna height and placement determines distance.

Increasing Range: Hold your radio perpendicular to the ground, not slanted like you would hold a phone. This problem alone could decrease your range 30-50%. Don't shout CB-style, shouting reduces talk-range on industrial-type radios. Have your radios serviced every two years to maintain peak performance.

VHF vs. UHF, what do I need?

In many business settings you can use either VHF or UHF with success.

VHF: Especially good for people who work somewhat line-of-sight or outdoors. VHF gets around rocks, dirt, hills and trees well and can also be used in many indoor situations.

UHF: While VHF and UHF will both operate line-of-sight up to 2 miles, UHF (450mAH range) gets in and around metal better and even has a better metal punching capability. It also works well in and around concrete structures.

If you are satisfied with what you have there is no reason to change. On the other hand, if you are having communications problems you may be a candidate for switching.

NiCd & NiMH Battery Life & Charging?

Rechargeable NiCd batteries have an average lifespan of 18 to 24 months. NiMH batteries have a life span of 12-18 months and are less prone to memory development.

Trickle charging (8-12 hrs.) is better for the life of your battery than regular use of a fast-rate charger. Limit fast charging to those times you really need it. If you can't run your batteries down completely before charging, do so at least once a month, followed by trickle charging. This will extend the life of your battery.

When using wall-plug style chargers, wipe off the plug before inserting it into your radio. Many radios come to our service center with debris in the charge jack, which can cause your radio to short out. Also be aware that chargers do wear out, much like a light bulb. If the light on your wall-plug style charger does not come on when plugged into the radio or it blinks you need to replace the charger. On drop-in charger models check your charging trays and the bottom of your radio for dirt and debris.

How you care for your batteries dictates how long they will last. To extend the life of your batteries, try to run them all the way down before fully recharging them. The jury is still out on the issue of a battery developing a memory. Some say it does, some say it doesn't. It has been our experience that it does.

Do not remove the plastic coating from your batteries. This ruins your battery pack and also voids the warranty.

Battery Recycling?

NiCd & NiMH batteries must be recycled or disposed of properly and cannot be dumped in landfills or incinerators. The EPA classifies used batteries as hazardous waste. Look for your local recycling program or call Delmmar at 800-872-2627 and we will help you with disposal information.

What is the life expectancy of a handheld radio?

You can expect most low-end handheld radios to last you between 3 and 4 years. On a basic radio the cost works out to be between 14¢ and 34¢ a day. The high-end radios ($500-$800) were engineered to last around 4 to 5 years. You can extend the life of your radio by keeping it free from moisture and dust. To keep it in peak operating condition you should have it retuned by a qualified technician every two years.

How can I save my WET RADIO?

Employees are sometimes reluctant to let you know they have dunked a radio. Let them know upfront, before the situation occurs, that time is of the essence when it comes to a wet radio.

Exposure to water can destroy your radio. If your radio gets submerged you need to get the water out of it ASAP, otherwise the circuit board will be ruined. Don't hesitate, corrosion takes over very quickly! Consider anything you do is a "last ditch effort" to save your radio. Remove the battery pack from the wet radio. If the battery pack is wet, get rid of it. Dry the radio thoroughly using a fan or blow dryer. Then get the unit into a service facility for a thorough cleaning of the component board.

In severe dunking cases where the radio is wet throughout, or has been exposed to severe impurities, experts tell us rinsing with distilled water to remove the impurities and then thoroughly drying the unit with a blow dryer will help slow the corrosion. Then get the unit into a service facility as soon as possible. Let them know it has been dunked.

What about Servicing/ Retuning/ Refurbishing?

As with any electronic device, from the moment you turn on your new radio it begins to age. As it ages the radio comes out of alignment. A qualified technician is able to check your radio for weak or worn out components and align the frequency for a lot less than the price of a new unit. It is best to send the radios to the service shop for retuning every two years or as problems arise.

At the Delmmar Radio Repair Center your radio will have all the common to fail components replaced, along with any other specific components your individual radio needs. Then the radio is retuned and aligned to factory specifications. We have a 5-7 workday turnaround on most units and a 60-day warranty on our repairs. See our repair page for pricing and use the easy-to-print repair request form to send in your units. If you need more information please call us at 800-872-2627.