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East Anglian Radio Services Wireless since 1980
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Ratings continued

Digital radios sound different to ordinary analogue radios. The audio is converted into digital signals, transmitted to the other radio(s) and then converted back into real sound. This often results in a slightly robotic sound, and also introduces a very short delay, as the conversion into digits and back takes time. This can be up to a quarter of a second or so (very similar to the same process that happens in mobile phones), but does sound rather odd if the person talking on the radio can hear their voice coming from another radio as a kind of echo. In normal use, the delay has no impact on use whatsoever.


Oddly you will not find a star rating for range. While a few of the radios in our range have slightly higher or lower power output, the range of portable radio systems is set by the geography of where they are being used.  Ignore any advert that mentions range as it’s impossible to be accurate. A manufacturer quoting anything much over 500m is guessing, or relying on lab testing in line-of-sight conditions. It is perfectly possible to use a hand held radio to talk to the International Space Station, but there is nothing in between to obstruct the signal. Two offices 10m apart may not be able to communicate if the dividing wall has steel rebar reinforcement – the radio waves simply unable to penetrate.

In practical terms, hand held radios work quite well within a small local area. A shop, suite of offices, a small school or a building site. There will inevitably be dead spots where the radios don’t work properly. If your intended working area is larger, then the onl solution for reliable communications is a repeater. This can be considered to be a ‘booster’. It has an aerial system that is usually mounted high up and in the open. This aerial can receive all the portable radios on the site, and then re-broadcast the signal back out. Repeaters are not cheap, usually between £800 and £1500, but if your area is larger, then they are the solution. Using a £1000 repeater with £30 radios may seem a little odd, but it makes the system more reliable, if that is essential. Repeater use is subject to a site specific license, and there will sometimes be power limitations to prevent your area being too big – and the license price is linked to the area covered. A small to medium size site will be less than £100 a year in most parts of the country, although a little more in congested city areas.


This is an unusual area to rate. However, it is a very common question -”How simple is it to work?” The simplicity rating is often the oppoiste of the rating for features. A very simple radio may have very few controls - one that offers many features will need additional buttons and controls, but sometimes radios just defeat the casual user, and as a result may well be unpopular. If you need a simple radio, look for a 5 star rating. If you need many features, then a 2 star rating may be inevitable - this may be irrlevant if the radio will never need adjusting or reprogramming - we can advise.


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