Base Unit Radios

What is a mobile unit radio?

Mobile units are what you see in taxi cabs, police cars and municipal vehicles. Mobile radios are mounted in the vehicle and run off of the vehicle's battery. Mobile two-way radios will use a separate antenna attached to the roof, fender or other area on its exterior.

What is a base unit radio?

Base stations are placed on a counter top or desk. They get their power from a standard wall outlet. They typically use an exterior antenna located on the highest point of the building for maximum signal boost.

Mobile units and base stations can be more powerful and much more expensive and complex than handheld two-way radios. They are able to broadcast using as much as 100 watts of power, but they need very special licensing and require experts to configure their set-up. In operations such as fire and police departments, mobile units, base stations and handheld walkie-talkies are designed to work together to provide seamless communications from the field to home base. Check out mobile units and base stations for more information.

How do repeaters and trunking extend range?

Repeaters improve the quality and range of your two-way radio transmissions. They work by receiving a signal on one frequency and rebroadcasting it on another simultaneously. When placed in between parties who are out of normal range they work to push the signal forward, so it can go the distance.

Repeaters can be a literal, physical workaround for obstacles and penetration issues. Position a repeater in a strategic place in the line of sight - say on the top of a mountain that cuts through a job site - and it can pick up a signal and push it up and over the obstruction. Once set up, these are terrific tools, but they are significantly more expensive to purchase, license, and maintain.

Trunking systems link two or more repeaters to add channels that serve more users and increase range. They also manage signal resources in areas where broadcast traffic is heavy. Click for a more in-depth discussion of repeaters or trunking systems.


No two-way radio is going to pack a range of hundreds or even thousands of miles - that would mean A LOT of repeaters. If you need to get information from out in the field or in the wild, back to the mother ship a long way away, Radio over Internet Protocol can make that happen. Software-centered solutions enable you to connect your two-way radio to the Internet. Tapping into the Internet lets you communicate with anyone in the world!

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