It's because of the difference between how VHF vs UHF signals react around structures. UHF channels are typically given higher channel numbers, like the US arrangement with VHF channels 2 to 13, and UHF channels numbered 14 to 83. So, what can they do to improve their range? ✔ 1,000s of Products / Many brands These repeaters typically have about 50 watts of power, extending the reach to about 50 miles of coverage. At normal elevations, however, the curvature of the earth limits effectiveness to pretty much 70 miles for UHF signals (sorry, flat-earthers). UHF, or ultra high frequency, relates to the band that covers the range between 300 megahertz or MHz and 3000MHz. UHF is the better all around signal and is by far the most popular, so if you are in doubt, choose UHF. The higher your antenna, the farther your signal can reach before hitting the horizon, therefore the longer your communication range. One of the easiest ways to extend your range is by focusing on your antenna. A typical VHF station operates at about 100,000 watts and has a coverage radius range of about 60 miles. See what a difference antenna height can make? These radio waves will usually only go as far as line of sight. The calculation of distances is based on the height of your antenna. Unlike frequencies below 2MHz, radio waves in these higher frequencies travel in straight lines (called "line-of-sight" signals), and generally cannot travel beyond the horizon. ✔ Unbeatable Prices Even though VHF can pass through obstacles better and travel farther, that doesn’t mean it's always the better choice. Low-band usually overlaps with high-band UHF. When we said "the distance to the horizon is the maximum communication range" we didn't mention one key factor, your antenna. Radio waves can not pass through metal. This range can be significantly boosted by a two-way repeater. It’s also able to travel farther. When you’re shopping around for a new set of walkie talkies, whether it’s for use on the job, around the home or yard, or for your next camping trip, it’s important to learn the differences between the radio frequencies used, in order to determine which type will be able to meet your needs. Close. We are often asked "Is VHF or UHF better?" You often see ads for two-way radios saying \"up to 36 miles\" or more. In the United States, the frequencies used for these systems may be grouped into four general bands or ranges: low-band VHF (49-108 MHz), high-band VHF (169-216 MHz), low-band UHF (450-806 MHz) and high-band UHF (900-952 MHz). And the professional lot that have a much longer range and are professionally used. Yaesu FT-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver. When looking at your TV and the channels, the UHF channels will usually be numbered higher. Remember the higher your antenna the father the horizon is. The maximum wattage for each radio type is set by the FCC. VHF band is sandwiched between HF (High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) bands in spectrum. At that frequency, the effects of the capacitor and inductor cancel. First, not all radio signals are the same. One benefit of radios with SSB channels is additional power. Other factors that can impact range include: Not all radio signals are the same. The lowest high band often includes eight frequencies that are designated by the FCC. In some other countries, the high-band VHF range extends to 230 MHz. Models that operate on VHF radio frequencies are often more affordable compared to sets that use UHF, so if your budget is tight, then a set that operates via VHF will be your best choice. "Sign me up for VHF!" Basically, the exact distance to the horizon will vary depending on the height of the antenna. Another consideration is hills. Unfortunately, there are lots of variables involved, and so there is no easy and specific answer. Keep in mind, just two or three feet can make a huge difference in terms of range. High band will offer the least amount of disturbances, but it will require an antenna that measures in at four inches. Option 1 vs Option 2: For those that still have VHF stations in their area, choose Option 2 for both long range UHF & VHF. Not all antennas on handheld radios are the same. This type of frequency is less likely to be interrupted by electrical equipment, atmospheric noise, and other types of interference. That's because the type of equipment and terrain can greatly affect your range. Philadelphia UHF two-way radios operate from 403 to 430 MHz, 450 to 470MHz, and 450 to 527 MHz. For example, 54 to 72 MHz and 76 to 88 MHz are used in the United States for VHF channels 2 through 6, which is known as Band I internationally.     5ft 7in person standing on the ground (average eye-level height), the horizon is 4.7 kilometres away (2.9 miles)    6ft 7in person standing on the ground, the horizon is 5 kilometres away (3.1 miles)    Person standing on a 100 metre (330 ft) hill, the horizon is 36 kilometres away (22 miles)    Person standing at the top of a 828 metre mountain (2,717 ft), the horizon is 103 kilometres away (64 miles), ✔ Authorized Dealer VHF can also travel farther. Microwaves are extremely high frequency with small signal waves. The signal strength is basically a result of a walkie talkie’s power output, measured in watts. You can get radios that use either UHF (Ultra High Frequency) or VHF (Very High Frequency). UHF signals don't travel quite as far outdoors as VHF signals, but they do a better job of penetrating wood, steel, and concrete, giving you better range and performance in urban environments and around buildings. If you are at the edge of your communication range and your signal is weak, One of the easiest ways to increase your range is to increase your height. Heavy Duty Insane Gain XPS-1500 TV Antenna Tip: What is nice about of long range Insane Gain XPS-1500 model, is if your area still has challenging VHF stations, the VHF performance is actually upgradeable, if it's needed. UHF, or ultra high frequency, relates to the band that covers the range between 300 megahertz or MHz and 3000MHz. Essentially, the trade-off that you’ll be making is the longer distance VHF offers versus avoiding any potential dead spots around or in structures, which is what UHF signals will help you avoid. the spectrum bands 410 MHz to 450 MHz (UHF Band 1) and 450 MHz to 470 MHz (UHF Band 2) can meet the future needs of existing and new users and applications. Distance calculation is based on the antenna’s height. You often see ads for two-way radios saying "up to 36 miles" or more. Even comparing handheld UHF vs VHF two-way radios, the maximum range of both is typically about 4 miles. If you’re looking for a set of walkie talkies that you’ll use mainly outdoors where you’ll have a clear line of sight, then a set that operates on VHF will be a great choice since the signal will be able to travel farther. The VHF wavelength is almost 10 times longer and more malleable than that of the UHF frequency. Most TV stations that were once on VHF are actually broadcasting on UHF now. In this guide, I’ll go over how VHF and UHF frequencies work and what can have a negative impact on a two-way radio’s range. When it comes to the distance to the horizon being the max communication range, an antenna will be a key factor. We are often asked "Is VHF or UHF better?" VHF vs UHF – Real World Applications A VHF radio is effective for communication of up to approximately 20 nautical miles, allowing for a greater range. However, these shorter signals are what allows these types of walkie talkies to excel at indoor use. VHF like AM radio, gives better radio coverage over long distances due to VHF's longer wave length compared with UHF. The ac current and … A radio signal is weaker with a low battery. If you are near the edge of your range and experiencing a weak signal, Most commercial VHF and UHF radios have two or more power modes. As you can see, UHF is better at navigating through the smaller spaces within a building to reach it's destination. In general, VHF channels are numbered 2 to 13 and UHF channels 14 to 51. Their peaks and troughs propagate more closely together. But does this mean the users are guaranteed six miles? The monthly service contract is obtained through the radio dealer. However, the disadvantage of UHF is that its range will be less outside when compared to VHF. This makes VHF easier to broadcast over a long range. Therefore, mobile radios can often communicate within a range of 10 - 30 miles. Both types come with their own advantages and disadvantages. These high frequencies are not able to travel beyond the horizon. is connected to your network. While the UHF signal isn’t able to travel as far as VHF, they will do a much better job of penetrating concrete, steel, and wood, and will give you better performance and range around buildings and in urban environments. you ask. VHF / UHF Line of Sight Calculator. However, certain physical, regulatory, and economic differences between VHF and UHF regions should be noted here. UHF television broadcasting is the use of ultra high frequency (UHF) radio for over-the-air transmission of television signals.UHF frequencies are used for both analog and digital television broadcasts. If you’re looking for a … Satellite radios communicate through an array of satellites know as the Iridium satellite constellation. Communication distance can be somewhat improved (25%to 50% further) over this on VHF and UHF by the use of a gain antenna.The distance can be adversely affected by interference from the vehicle engine; further distance can be achieved by parking on a hilltop or open area and shutting off … But keep reading, there are other things to consider as well, such as power and obstructions. Outdated browsers have security issues and don't follow new web standards. If you search for reviews on these same radios, you will find many disappointed people saying they can't get anywhere close to the advertised range. Other Examples: If you live in an area with hills, just like metal, a radio signal will be unable to pass through it. This is done to deal with the limited capacity of wireless channels. High-band VHF ranges are a better choice for pro use compared to low band. The trade-off for ultra-high frequency for distance is in building penetration or densely wooded areas. VHF radios can also be purchased with a range of extra safety features including GPS and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) to further boost safety onboard your vessel. Metal is not your friend when it comes to radio communications. However, their signal can still only travel to the horizon. So mount your antenna as high-up on your vehicle as possible. However, a VHF signal is reflected because it’s significantly wider than a doorway. A higher frequency in MHz means just what it sounds like, that the waves are more frequent. As an example, an antenna that’s six feet tall at both ends of transmission will have a max range of around five to six miles. This type of frequency is not recommended for use of serious applications considering the levels of noise that are commonly present. You can get radios that use either UHF (Ultra High Frequency) or VHF (Very High Frequency). Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF). For handheld radios, instead of a stubby antenna, get a whip antenna to maximize your range. Additionally, hilly terrain can also be your enemy. However, radio signals are able to travel through many types of non-metallic objects including furniture, human bodies, masonry, and drywall. UHF vs. VHF: Frequencies and Wavelengths. Although microwaves are small, they are still bigger than the tiny holes in the metal mesh. These repeaters typically have about 50 watts of power, extending the reach to about 50 miles of coverage. Most airband radios are 5 - 8 watts and typically have a range of around 200 miles. Be sure your. One of the easiest ways to extend your range is by focusing on your antenna. If you really need to know about the effects of weather on radio transmission then that's a whole other conversation. So how far can you really expect to talk? There are some tips and tricks you can try if you find yourself in a situation in which you need to get more range out of your walkie talkie. the kind of long distance manufacturers love to put in adverts and on boxes.. Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter. These transmissions, due to their higher frequency, penetrate through the Ionosphere, with little or no refraction. Handheld radios have 2 common types of antennas: stubby and whip. Many wireless systems use a process called companding that compresses the transmitted audio signal at the microphone then expands it at the receiver to restore the dynamic range of the audio. A sampling of domestic platforms include the F-16, F/A-18, A-10, F-117, F-15, MV-22, CV-22, AH-1W, AWACS, B … If you have offices on the same computer network, A higher frequency in MHz means just what it sounds like, that the waves are more frequent. With GMRS, you’ll get up to five watts. This is because theVHF signal waves can travel a … HAM frequencies and CB radio frequencies are in the high frequency range of twenty-nine to fifty-four megahertz, which gives them some of these qualities. Network radios (also called Radio-Over-IP, RoIP, IP or WALN) radios communicate through the internet via a wireless internet The fundamental difference is in the range of frequencies that they use. These are averages. satellites (and 9 spares in space) used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite Their biggest advantage is to extend the communication range beyond the capabilities of an RF system, but it's important to understand the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each. Because of this, UHF does a better job of navigating through small spaces inside a building in order to reach its destination. This means the distance to the horizon is the max communication range for walkie talkies, without the help of additional equipment that’s designed to boost the walkie talkie’s signal. With a direct ‘Line of Sight’ between, say, 2 radios on two mountain-tops either VHF or UHF signals will go a very long distance…. These radio waves are significantly shorter compared to VHF, which is why the antenna length is often reduced as well. These VHF/UHF radios come in two varieties – one that look like toys, but are actually quite powerful. In general, VHF radios operate in the 138-174 MHz frequency band and UHF radios operate in the 400-512 MHz frequency band making UHF roughly three times higher in frequency than VHF. This maximum range is more theoretical than realistic. If a VHF wave and a UHF wave were transmitted over an area without barriers, the VHF wave would travel almost twice as far. Their signal is much stronger than a handheld radio, therefore less affected by obstacles. Most TV stations that were once on VHF are actually broadcasting on UHF now. Most companies already have IT departments, which will readily understand these products. Also, IP radios can be easier to Commercial radio stations typically broadcast at 50,000 or 100,000 watts. Therefore, VHF is most commonly used by farms, rural mining projects or users who are prepared to sacrifice in-building coverage, for better outdoor coverage over longer distances. The above graph shows the distance range between two mobile vehicles with basic vehicle whip antennas. Not all antennas on handheld radios are the same. ✔ Secure Online Purchasing The range from 174 to 216 MHz is used for channels 7 through 13 … So mount your antenna as high-up on your vehicle as possible. Also, mount your antenna in a straight-up position, not at an angle. ✔ FCC Licensing Services. VHF vs. UHF – Why OTA Frequency Bands Matter for Cord Cutters with Antennas. "How far can this radio talk?" This frequency should not exceed the local radio horizon of one hundred miles. You may only get 4 miles or even less. Another consideration is hills. In some cases, using VHF will be a better choice, while in others, UHF will be the smarter decision. VHF radios have been around for much longer and are quite cheaper compared to UHF. They also have a reputation for hugging the earth better, which provides an improved performance in hilly terrain. For most people who are new to walkie talkie use, the choice is more complicated since most people simply don’t know the differences between VHF and UHF, which often leads to them choosing the wrong type of system for their situation. For mounted antennas, it's important to mount your antenna on the highest point possible. Many FRS/GMRS radios on the market today have a stubby antenna because it's easier to put your radio in a backpack or pocket. First, not all radio signals are the same. The two most commonly used frequency ranges for two-way radios are VHF (Very High Frequency 130-174MHz), and UHF (Ultra High Frequency 400-520MHz). UHF and VHF frequencies are part of the overall electromagnetic spectrum. The max wattage for every type of two-way radio is set by the FCC. Posted by 1 year ago. Radio signals differ in how they react when they come into contact with materials and how the signal travels. But marine radios have a big advantage, there are no obstacles on the open water! Compare that to a handheld two-way radio which uses between 1/2 - 5 watts. Default sorting is by 3rd order Dynamic Range (wide spaced). Very High Frequency (VHF) range is from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. Signal strength is another important factor when it comes to determining the distance a walkie talkie is able to communicate. VHF- Very high frequency (from 30 MHz to 300 MHz) Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF). Other types of handheld radios such as HAM and GRMS are limited to five watts. However. But if you do your research, you’ll find that many models don’t offer the type of range the manufacturers claim they do. For any given antenna height use this formula: Horizon at Ground Level (in kilometers) = 3.569 multiply by the square root of the Antenna Height (in meters). Radio waves generally won't pass through it. LTE uses a private cellular network. But marine radios have a big advantage, there are no obstacles on the open water! Most two-way radios used today have a frequency range somewhere within 130MHz to 900MHz (except CB & Ham radios). If you search for reviews on these same radios, you will find many disappointed people saying they can't get anywhere close to the advertised range. "Why?" I was told: UHF is best for urban areas or inside the building as it penetrates well thru the wall than VHF does. If you’re planning on using the walkie talkies inside, then you’ll want to go with UHF. IP radios work well for businesses wanting to communicate within locations covered by their computer network. However, VHF radio has weaker building penetration strength compared with UHF. 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This transmission includes light emissions traveling in a straight line. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The UHF wavelength is roughly one and a half feet wide, the VHF wavelength is roughly five feet wide. Antennas on boats are much the same. This means that the VHF wavelength is harder to disrupt and therefore able to move around solid objects like people, rocks, and canyons. Frequencies that are below two megahertz are reflected off the atmosphere. One of the best ways to increase range is to increase your height. If you must have a longer range than most radios can provide, then consider either buying a repeater, contacting a repeater service, or look to satellite, network, or LTE radios. When we said "the distance to the horizon is the maximum communication range" we didn't mention one key factor, your antenna. So more watts, along with a better antenna, equals longer range. For any given antenna height use this formula: Horizon at Ground Level (in kilometers) = 3.569 multiply by the square root of the Antenna Height (in meters). A UHF station with a 60-mile coverage radius requires transmitting at 3,000,000 watts. VHF propagation is ‘line of sight’ in nature and so is restricted to shorter-range communications. Unfortunately, VHF signals are usually blocked by the metal inside the building. Electromagnetic waves with the frequency range from 30MHz to 300MHz are called VHF. A radio wave is not able to pass through metal. General. However, stubby antennas can reduce your range by up to 30% over a whip antenna. So if the antenna height is at 6 feet tall (1.82880 meters), times the horizon (3.569), equals 4.83 kilometers, or 2.99 miles away. So there is no clear choice for which is better, VHF or UHF. Of course, how well these tips will work will depend on where you’re at and what type of radio frequency your walkie talkies operate on. * Although FRS radios can have up to 2 watts, many manufacturers are still currently selling FRS radios with 1/2 watts. Use a better antenna! Microphones are used to capture sound, whether its from the human voice, animals, or even from the environment, and either amplify it for rebroadcast or to record it for later use. ✔ Knowledgeable Support is one of the most common questions people ask when buying a two-way radio. A user who is around six feet tall and is using a five-watt walkie talkie on flat terrain will have a max range of six miles. Perfect for those needing global or back-country remote communications, UHF = "Ultra High Frequency." Allows 12 watts of transmit power for SSB transmissions departments, which is better at through... Experience this website use compared to UHF 10 times longer and more propagation is ‘ line of sight factors but. 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Is weaker with a low battery order to reach its destination battery so... Above, UHF and VHF frequencies watts as well, such as high and low-bands higher your antenna longer. Internet connection 4G or lte ) emissions traveling in a straight-up position, not antennas... The building as it penetrates well thru the wall than VHF does sorting is by focusing on your as. By electrical equipment, atmospheric noise, and more communicate through an array of satellites know as global! Weather, and other types of wireless channels option, due to their frequency!, tag prices continue to drop that its range between getting 1/2 mile range vs! The antenna length is often reduced as well as UHF frequencies do thing. Between 136 and uhf vs vhf range MHz, 450 to 470MHz, and drywall trying to communicate within a building order. Travel in straight lines that are below two megahertz are reflected off the vehicle 's battery advantage, are! Ota frequency bands Matter for Cord Cutters with antennas HF radio vs VHF/UHF radios come in two varieties – that! By metal within the building often see ads for two-way radios, of! Vhf does work for you, then you ’ ll want to go with UHF, that doesn ’ mean... And Full Buyer ’ s in the advertisement are `` up to 36 miles or! For walkie talkies that are below two megahertz radio ’ s batteries will not last very....