A car radio in many situations can be a real salvation or just a way to have fun with your interlocutors during a long trip. This has repeatedly helped truckers and autotravellers not to fall asleep at the wheel, call for help, and get support in a given situation.
Someone will say that radio stations are no longer relevant in current conditions since, at each person’s disposal, there is a much more functional and compact device called a smartphone. But the phone’s work is limited even in current conditions due to the lack of coverage and telephone towers in many areas. Most often, drivers notice that the smartphone does not pick up the signal on the highways. It becomes challenging to get through and especially to access the Internet. Radio communications are by no means a thing of the past. Many drivers continue to use these communications actively. And truckers are rightly considered the primary consumers. Before talking about the nuances of choosing radio stations for truckers and auto travelers’ needs, as well as voicing the current rating, you need to find out some necessary details that relate to the work, device, and actions of authorship.
Purpose and application of car radio stations.
On the modern market, you can find a large number of different types of car transmitters on sale. To optimally select a walkie-talkie for a car, you should focus on a number of technical parameters. In most cases, the buyers of such equipment are taxi drivers , truckers, travelers, and intelligence officers. However, some frequencies from the range are not designed for use by civilians and require permission. In those places where telecom operators’ antennas cannot be caught, a radio station with a transmitter is the only possible technical means to guarantee regular communication. That is why, with its help, it is safer and more economical to contact dispatchers, colleagues, and rescue services.
Criteria for choosing a walkie-talkie.
The choice of a car radio should begin with the purpose for which it is purchased. Various manufacturers focus on the production of devices: automobile, office, travel, amateur. In addition to the acquisition purposes, you need to rely on the scope of use when buying. This will determine how stringent the requirements will be for impact resistance, coverage range, and other characteristics. If the product is purchased for occasional rare use, then there is no point in investing in expensive analogs.
Range of radio stations and their power.
To ensure regular communication between drivers of cars in the city or outside it, it is better to use stationary radios with a capacity of at least 8 W, equipped with an external antenna. They practically guarantee high-quality communication with a range of several tens of kilometers. Even portable handheld devices with less power can establish a connection between 2 km and 20 km.
How to choose a walkie-talkie for a car based on the range criterion? This indicator, especially outside the city, is influenced by the following characteristics:
location of vehicles. When driving in mountainous terrain at the highest points, the communication range can reach 20 km. If the hill is between the cars, then this figure can be reduced to 1 km. Straight sections of a track usually provide up to 5x better connectivity than uneven or winding ones,
the number of cars on the road at a given time. The more there are, the worse the connection and the lower its range. A natural obstacle to radio waves’ passage appears when there are an abundance of long cars and buses on the road, which reflect them in opposite directions. Additional interference is created by radio-electronic equipment such as mobile phones, tablets, navigators,
landing height in a particular car. The greater this criterion, the greater the distance the signal will propagate.
For this reason, SUVs will provide better connectivity than traditional sedans; vehicle equipment. The radio station antenna loses part of the signal due to the glazing area, especially the tinting. Weather conditions can also affect the radio communication range. For example, dampness and precipitation reduce this indicator. However, most modern radios with a power of 7-8 watts are enough to provide a decent signal at a distance of 1000-2000 meters. As practice shows, it is enough when moving vehicles in convoy. The range and quality of communication is directly affected by the transmitter power in the station. When the batteries are fully charged, the value will be even higher.
Channels and frequencies of radio stations.
The simplest models of walkie-talkies are designed for only one communication channel, and for this reason, it is rather inconvenient to use them. Given the large amount of such equipment on hand, it should come as no surprise that the broadcast is often clogged. That is why full-fledged walkie-talkies should be at least two- or even multi-channel. To switch between channels, they are equipped with an additional toggle switch. The built-in digital indicator will display the channel numbering and individual modes of the device. Manual frequencies can be specified manually in the settings. Most radios in the car, which can be selected in professional car dealerships, can register up to 80 frequencies with a step length of 25 kHz. And if it so happens that the user is in a place of massive traffic congestion, and all channels are clogged, then within one of the so-called “subchannels” can be organized. Then it will be possible to communicate with the opponent without interfering with other participants in the network. And the most popular channel among motorists continues to be channel 15, which is commonly referred to as the “truckers” channel. To work with it, you need the walkie-talkie to be equipped with an AM mode (amplitude modulation).
Types of antennas for walkie-talkies:
The antenna’s length directly affects the quality of the connection and the distance at which it is provided without any severe interference. The radio should be incredibly reliable for the route, given the significant distances between vehicles or between the driver and the dispatcher.
Nevertheless, even on the freight trucks roof, it is considered inappropriate to install devices over 1.5 m in length. Otherwise, there is a risk of hitting road obstacles or wires. The most acceptable types of antennas for walkie-talkies, based on the method of attachment, are magnetic. Motorists who are thinking about choosing a car radio should understand that magnetic devices are easily fixed to the body. In this case, the car’s metal roof will no longer be able to act as a signal amplifier – this will require additional wires. Mortise antennas for walkie-talkies are considered more reliable in this sense, but you will have to drill holes in the body for them.
Key selection options.
Quite often, even in the era of global smartphoneization, let’s call it that, questions arise about which walkie-talkie is better and more correct to choose for truckers. There are several basic parameters worth paying particular attention to. Having received the necessary and most important information about radio stations’ design and operation, it will be much easier for you to choose since the knowledge luggage contains the relevant information and understanding of what exactly you want to get from the purchased equipment.
Experienced truckers and specialists in the field of radio equipment identify five main points that are most relevant when choosing a radio station for a car that makes long trips to remote corners of our country and not only:
- Power indicators.
- Antenna type.
- The type of squelch used.
- Power supply and its features.
- Frequencies and number of channels.
- Dimensions and design.
You already know about the existing types of antennas for a walkie-talkie, so it makes no sense to dwell on this issue again. The same can be said about radio frequencies and the number of channels. They also talked about the range, that is, the range and the power of the equipment. Regarding the radius, everything is mostly clear, but on control, it is worthwhile to linger a little and make some clarifications. Power If you still do not know how to choose the right car radio, planning to use it for long-range or for long trips to remote parts of the country, where there is a chance of encountering a lack of cellular communication, you should prepare in advance and collect the necessary baggage of useful information. Many buyers pay special attention to what power characteristics are present in a particular radio station. Power is the parameter that has a direct impact on the transmission range of radio signals. Often we are talking about radio stations with a power range from 4 to 50 watts. But the most demanded and famous are those with a power of about 8 watts. They are inexpensive, transmit a high-quality signal and function entirely within a radius of 5 to 10 kilometers.
In the case of truckers, such parameters are quite enough. But there is an erroneous position or opinion, according to which the power is directly related to the quality and range of signal reception. This is not true. A simple example can be given. One trucker uses a 15W radio, which is quite a lot and not so common. At certain distances, the situation will turn out that the connection will be one-way. That is, your interlocutor hears you perfectly, but you do not hear him at all, or with severe interference. And the whole point here is the use by the second driver of a standard radio station for 8, and maybe 4 watts. If we talk about a radio station’s power, then it is essential to remember one golden rule. It says that the quality of communication is only 20% dependent on the radio station itself, its parameters and characteristics, including power. The rest, 80%, falls on the shoulders of the antenna used. Therefore, the issue of choosing an antenna should be given special attention. It is much more important than power. For truckers, as mentioned earlier, 8 watts is considered optimal. It often makes no sense to buy more powerful models. But a lot depends on the specific situation and individual needs.