Commercial Analogue Two Way Radios…
have been around for some considerable time. (Since the 1930’s) and some manufacturers have come and gone, or changed identity.
Modern analogue radios use FM (frequency modulation), although this writer can still remember the good old days of AM (amplitude modulation).
Analogue communication has a long history and is used worldwide, so isn’t going to disappear any-time soon.
Having said that, a well known, worldwide brand have taken the first step towards a totally digital future. Motorola ceased production of analogue only two way radios in 2014.
Whilst this seems on the face of it to be giving up a large share of the marketplace, most of their digital products are capable of both analogue and digital (like some other brands). So there is backward compatibility (and an upgrade path).
Pros and Cons of Analogue Two Way Radios…
- Cost: Analogue Two Way Radio is a mature technology. This usually means cheaper prices.
- Compatability: Generally, there is good interchangeability between different makers of analogue equipment. “Digital” on the other hand, is an open standard, and there is no guarantee of interoperability between manufacturers.
- Range: Like for like, digital transmissions outperform analogue two way radios on distance.
- Voice quality: At very close range, audio quality is high. However, quality declines with increasing distance.
- Functionality: When compared to digital, analogue features are limited.
- Spectrum efficiency: Only one conversation per channel. Digital is capable of two.
Radphone’s advice on two way radios…
- In a new system, implement digital from the start.
- On an existing system, buy equipment with analogue and digital capability, so a gradual upgrade is possible.
- And above all, make sure that you choose the right manufacturer from the start because it’s unlikely that digital products from a different brand will be compatible.