Selecting a Radio

Let the Radioman assist you.

When selecting a two way radio you have to ask yourself a few questions, namely:
  • What do I need the radio for?
  • How far do I need to communicate?
  • Am I travelling with other people that have radios?
  • How much do I need to spend?
For offroad work in South Africa the majority of enthusiasts us 29 Mhz (29.8725 Mhz and 29.7100Mhz). The radios operating in this band are 4 watt radios operating in AM mode and have a range varing from 3 to 10km. Some enthusiasts use VHF (142.725 Mhz tone 118.1)

VHF radios used without repeaters have a reliable range of between 10km and 15km but in ideal conditions and with one station being located at a higher altitude than the other, with unobstructed views the communications can reach up to 45km. Greater range can be achieved using repeaters but then a user must understand that in this situation communications are area dependant.

On construction sites handheld radios are the chosen mode of communication with limited range but with the versatility of being portable. Licence free radios are low powered and ideal for crane operations while the higher powered radios are ideal for "on the ground" communications.

HF radios are perfect for long range communications but they are expensive and the question that we always ask is "Who are you going to communicate with?". HF radios give you a range (depending on frequency choice) of around the world communications. Communications between dawn and dusk are reliable but communications after dark can be erratic.
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