UHF Handheld Radio Buying Tips You Need to Know
Before you start shopping around for a UHF Radio, there are some features and considerations you should be aware of in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Here are tips that will help you choose the right model, purchase it at the right price, and keep it running in top condition.
Consider the Advertised Range
The first thing you’ll notice about a UHF handheld radio is the advertised range is expressed in miles. If a handheld model is rated at a 100-mile range, then it means the radio can communicate over that distance line-of-sight (i.e., with no obstructions). If you look closely, you’ll see that most models are also rated at half-mile ranges (50 miles) and quarter-mile ranges (25 miles). Always use these as reference points when comparing radios. To put these ranges in perspective, consider that a quarter-mile range channel is ideal for hemmed-in industrial complexes. A full mile will serve you well in suburban and rural settings, while the extra half mile makes all the difference between “can” and “can’t” in an urban environment.
Choose UHF Handheld Radios With Scanning Capability
When you’re searching for a UHF handheld radio, it’s important to look for models that include scanning capability. Having a scanning radio on hand allows you to monitor your local public safety channels and make sure that there’s not an emergency happening nearby. These channels are a good resource for weather updates, too.
Consider the Distance of One Mile in Terms of Footprints
For example, a full mile will cover a 25 by 100-foot area. A half-mile range covers half of that area or 12.5 by 50 feet – which is twice as wide as it is tall in the case of the quarter-mile model. This footprint size provides you with an easy way to gauge how far your handheld model will reach line-of-sight under different environmental conditions.
Consider the Size of the Handheld Radio
The size of the handheld radio m
The size of the handheld radio makes difference in your ability to carry it around casually. This is especially critical in urban settings where one-handed use is preferred. Some UHF handheld models are small enough to carry in your pocket or tucked under your shirt; others will comfortably fit into a shoulder bag or fanny pack and still function handily. The biggest drawback here is that too many people have gotten stuck trying to cram a small radio into their pockets and accidentally dropped it, getting scratched up along the way. Everybody has different preferences – but this consideration comes first, foremost, and foremost.
What Features Does Your Radio Offer?
This is where features really start to come into play. Most of the features you’ll find on UHF handhelds are either in the form of accessories or extras that extended batteries can provide for common operation (e.g., a flashlight, lanyard cord). However, there are two other features that everyone should consider. First, a charger is invaluable. Most handhelds come with a rechargeable battery, but you have to charge the radio if you’re in an area of poor reception or need more time on one channel. The second feature is an antenna. You can buy UHF handhelds with antennae, but most people will swap out the original antenna for something that digs deeper into the airwaves – and this means more range! Some radios come with both the antenna and charger (with charger in-box).
It’s important to keep in mind that UHF handhelds can operate just as effectively from an extended range. However, the extra mile range will prove more useful when you’re on the move and you need a more effective channel to communicate over greater distances.