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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between digital radios and analogue radios?

Typically, digital radios offer better coverage as they can hold on to a signal longer, they have enhanced voice clarity and good noise reduction capabilities, channel capacity is double that of an analogue radio and battery life can be extended by up to 30%. Many advanced features such as one to one and one to many calling options are available as standard.

Analogue radios have a more natural voice sound and there are more manufacturers and accessories available. They can be manipulated to provide most features available as standard in digital radios.
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What is the difference between licensed and non licensed radios?

A licensed radio (radio for business and commercial use) is a radio that would not operate unless programmed to a specific frequency.

The radio channels/ frequencies used for licensed radios are examined by Ofcom.

Licensed Simple Site and Simple UK channels are also shared on a UK-wide basis, but can still suffer interference issues in urban areas.

Licence Exempt/ Licence Free/ Unlicensed radios are non-specialised radios. They are used on channels that are shared on a UK-wide basis and are therefore more likely to suffer interference from other users due to their high usage.
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What is the average battery life of a radio?

Depending on the usage a radio battery lasts about 8 – 12 hours on average. If the battery is of Li-Ion type, it may last longer, especially with the latest models.

We also recommend that you scrap your old radio battery and replace it with a new one every 18 – 24 months. Back To Top

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

It is not possible to give a definitive answer to the question without actually trying them out on-site. The maximum range is around 2 miles (3 kilometres) dependent on several factors such as such as the size of the radio’s antenna, the frequency band the radio is using, the surrounding terrain, and whether the user is indoors or outdoors

All PMR446 radios are legally limited to 500mW transmission power, which means that all brands will have around the same range. The range is reduced drastically when the radio signal passes through solid objects. Within buildings the range may be as little as 1/4 mile.

Business radios transmit well over 2 miles and when repeaters and antennas are used, range significantly improves and can reach all the way to 30 or 40 miles.
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What is a Repeater?

A radio repeater is an un-manned base station. This is used to extend the range of communication between handheld and / or mobile radios. These are installed with antennas which are usually found at the highest point of the building as the higher the antenna the better the coverage. There may be additional antennas located within the building to get coverage where there are blind spots.
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What can I mount an aerial on to if I do not have anything suitable?

Our telescopic trailer mast extends to 80 feet (24 metres); it can be used to solve all kinds of coverage problems in almost any location.
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Digital vs Analogue?

Digital two-way radio is the new standard in radio communications. Equipment is available in both licensed and licence free form.
The benefits over and above traditional analogue radio communications include:
– Greater number of simultaneous talking paths possible
– Information such as unit ID, status buttons, or text messages can be embedded into a single digital radio channel
– Consistent and good voice quality, stronger range
– Features available GPS tracking, Lone Worker, Man Down, Vibrate, Text Messaging and Telephone Interconnect
– Secure privacy through improved encryption voice quality
– Integrated Voice and Data Services
– Improved Spectrum Efficiency
– Longer Battery Life
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Is a Two-Way Radio a better choice over a Mobile Phone?

The way that the radios work is very simple. You take two (or more) radios, set them to the same channel and then you can communicate by pressing the transmit or PTT button when you want to speak, and releasing it when you want to listen. There are no charges or line rental to pay. You just pay for a licence (if operating a licensed radio) which is significantly cheaper than your telephone line rental. Two-Way Radios are not like mobile phones because:
– They do not depend on any outside network to operate.
– You do not have to pay to make calls.
– You cannot talk and listen at the same time. You have to remember to press the Push-To-Talk button to transmit, and let go of it when you want to listen.

Mobile phones are good but they cannot always be relied on for quick, clear communication. The advantages of Two Way Radios are:
• Better response and/or reaction time
• Better co-ordination and control of staff and resources
• The ability to communicate with your entire group at once
• A higher level of safety
• Lower operating costs
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UHF or VHF Two-Way Radios?

UHF RADIOS
UHF radios (Ultra High Frequency) operate on frequencies from 400–512 Megahertz (MHz). UHF radios work best for most two-way radio users because the waves are shorter and can get around areas of interference found in buildings, wooded or hilly areas. UHF walkie-talkies with a good-sized antenna and enough power will reach further into a building. If your two-way radios are going to be used exclusively indoors or if they’ll need to go indoors and outdoors, UHF is your best choice.
VHF RADIOS
VHF radios (Very High Frequency) operate between 136–174 MHz. The advantage is that it can cover more distance with less power. Two-way VHF radios work best when there’s a clear line-of-sight between the sender and the receiver with little obstruction. VHF band Two- way radios are great open fields, golf courses and for rural outdoor use.
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How long does it take to charge a battery?

It can take anywhere between 2-3 hours depending on how old the battery is we recommend that batteries are renewed every 18 months. Back To Top


What are the benefits of taking a Maintenance Contract?

• This protects your investment and keeps it operating in peak condition
• Our service contract customers always have First Priority
• A quicker Turnaround Time on repairs
• Low cost with repairs
• Dependent on package, replacement equipment can be offered until the problem has been resolved, at no extra cost.
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What are the benefits of long-term hire?

•  There is no charge for your licence, Scotia will provide you with a licence until the hire ends
•  There is no lump sum payment only monthly payments paid upfront
•  Replacement hired radios will be sent out if problems occur (time dependent on contract signed)
•  There will be no costly repairs for any faults unless physical damage is evident
•  Replacement batteries every 18/24 months
•  You can add additional radios to your fleet
•  A 6-way charging unit is provided to charge the radios without any extra cost
•  If experiencing problems with other radio users, radios can be re-programmed cost free
•  Reduced rates for any other small hires you require
•  Upgrades are available at the end of your contract
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If you have a question about any of Scotia Radio’s products or services, call us on 0141 341 3390, email us or use our online enquiry form.
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Scotia Radio, 33 Townsend Street
Port Dundas, Glasgow, G4 0LA
Email: enquiries@scotia-radio.co.uk
Telephone: 0141 341 3390