With a technology that’s always evolving there is always something new to learn and often we need a “refresher” on understanding what we currently have.  Outlined below are a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our customers.  If you have  any questions, please feel to contact us, we would be happy to assist you.

How far can I talk with my MOTOROLA two-way radios?

“How far can I talk?” is one of the most commonly asked questions by radio users. There are no straight answers as many factors contribute to the distance that you can communicate. Wattage of radios, antennas, type of communications, frequency, location of use and terrain.

Commercial Level Hand-held radios using a simplex frequency or otherwise knows as “radio-to-radio”-will generally provide you with the range of up to 4-5 km depending on the terrain. Flat terrain with little or no tree line is best. When there are obstacles such as buildings, high terrain or trees in between the radios you will shorten the distance you can communicate between users.

Commercial Mobile radios with 25 watts of power mounted in vehicles using a 1/4 whip, communicating with a simplex frequency is most likely to provide you with the communication distance of approximately 12-15 km depending on the terrain.

Base stations with 25 watts will generally talk approximately 12-15 km. adding external antennas with higher db gain can increase the distance you can expect to communicate.

If you need to communicate further distances you may wish to look at either erecting a tower on your property, obtain repeater services from a local company or join one of Spectrum’s private area networks such as “TALKPLUS” to give you wide area coverage.

* Spectrum offers a variety of consultation services which can include custom path studies to determine which communication products would be suit your application.

What Radio Band works best UHF or VHF?

There are two major bands for most two-way radios.  They are Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio and Very High Frequency (VHF) radio. Neither frequency band is inherently better than the other.  They each have their advantages and disadvantages. Both formats are effective ways to communicate with another person so deciding on the right radio for you depends on your application, nature of your business and frequency allocation by Industry Canada.

Do I need a license to operate two-way radios? And if so, how do I apply for a radio license?

Any radio system operating in Canada requires a licence from Industry Canada to operate, unless the need for a licence is specifically exempted in the Radio communication regulations.

If you are renting tower space or services from a communication service provider such as Spectrum Telecom, we will regulate the license use on your behalf.

Visit the Industry Canada website to obtain an application or read the guidelines regarding Radio licensing as specified in the Radio Communication Act.


How do I properly charge my MOTOROLA Portable Radio Batteries?

These battery tips will help you obtain optimized performance and a longer life cycle from your Motorola rechargeable battery.

  1. Charge your new battery overnight before using it. This is referred to as INITIALIZING and will enable you to obtain maximum battery capacity.
  • Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride: 14-16 hours.
  • Lithium Ion/Polymer: 1 to 2 additional hours after the charger light turns green.
  1. Motorola Impres batteries, when inserted into a Motorola Impres charger, will indicate a calibration cycle by displaying a steady Yellow indication on the charge status indicator. Allow this calibration process to complete by not removing the battery from the charger until it has completely charged and displays a steady green indication.
  1. In order to minimize capacity loss and cycle life reduction, new, NON INITIALIZED batteries must be stored in well ventilated, cool and dry locations. Batteries stored in these conditions may be stored:
  • Nickel Cadmium up to 2 years.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride up to 18 months.
  • Lithium Ion/Polymer up to 18 months.
  1. If used batteries are to be removed from service for extended periods (greater than 30 days) they should be discharged to about 50% of their capacity before storage in a cool, dry location.
  1. Batteries which have been in storage for more than two months should be fully discharged and recharged.
  • Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride: 14-16 hours.
  • Lithium Ion/Polymer: 1 to 2 additional hours after the charger light turns green.
  1. When using a Motorola rapid charger, leave the battery in the charger for an additional 1 to 2 hours after the steady green light appears.
    (Applies to non-Impres batteries only.)
  1. Do not leave your radio and fully-charged battery in the charger when not charging. Continuous charging will shorten battery life. (Do not use a charger as a radio stand.)
  2. Only charge a battery when it needs it. If it is not fully discharged, do not recharge it. We suggest that you carry a spare. This is the most cost effective solution for users requiring longer operating time.
  3. Do not return fully charged non-Impres batteries to the charger for an “extra boost.” This action will significantly reduce cycle life. Repeated short cycle charging of non-Impres batteries will shorten battery life. (Do not use a charger as a radio stand for non-Impres batteries.)
  4. Stabilize batteries to room temperature (72ºF) before charging. Charging below 40ºF and above 104ºF will decrease cycle life

Why are two way radios better than Cell phones for business?

When it comes to work, almost nothing works like a two-way radio. Digital two-way radios can give you instant, rugged, secure and high-performing communication that helps increase productivity, improve resolution time and protect workers. They are easy to use and will allow your team to talk one on one, or as a group. DIGITAL TWO-WAY RADIOS ARE AN EXCEPTIONAL CHOICE.

Two-Way Radios


Cellular Phone

  • Helps to ensure privacy via a closed network.
  • Offers excellent reception and wide coverage.
  • Can be designed to work even in times of emergencies and natural disasters.
  • Is effective in highly noisy environments.
  • Many safety features to protect workers.
  • Ruggedly built for work environments.
  • Increases efficiency with prompt one-to-many communication.
  • Accelerates resolution time by instantly connecting people.
  • Offers long life cycle support.
  • Intuitive, one-touch user interface.
  • Easy to use when driving or wearing protective equipment.
  • Battery life to support intensive use for the length of a full shift.
  • Saves money; can have no monthly fee for usages.
  • Exposes callers via a public network.
  • Prone to dead spots and poor reception.
  • Subject to outages from call overload, power failures and natural disasters.
  • Is ineffective in highly noisy environments.
  • Limited safety features.
  • Too fragile for work environments.
  • Decreases productivity by limiting communication to either one-to-one or one-to-two people if no PTT capability.
  • Delays response by taking approximately 60 seconds to connect.
  • Offers short life cycle support.
  • Complex user interface.
  • Legal restrictions when driving.
  • Difficult to use safely in a work environment.
  • Battery life insufficient for more than occasional use.
  • Costs money every month to use.
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