One aspect of two-way radios that too often turn into a one-way ticket to disappointment is manufacturers that advertise an expected range that ends up not being attainable. Too often, a two-way radios actual range falls far short of what "optimistic" manufacturers trumpet in their literature and advertising.
Tips and Tricks for Extending Two Way Radio Range
There are, however, ways that you can often boost the amount of range you are currently getting from your two-way radio. For radios that support General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) channels, which are land-mobile FM UHF frequencies designed for two-way communication over a short distance, make sure that you are actually using a GMRS channel rather than an FRS channel. FRS (Family Radio Service) channels are a two-way communications method designed to be used only over a very short distance and have a maximum output of 500 mW.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not allow transmission on an exclusive FRS channel at more than half a watt of power. Anyone's radio using an FRS-only channel will transmit using only "low power" mode. The FRS-only channels are 8 through 14. Channels 15 through 22 are exclusively for GMRS, and channels 1 through 7 are shared by both FRS and GMRS.
Use high-power mode on your two-way radio, or else you will not achieve maximum range. Low-power mode cuts down on the amount of output power your radio is using. A battery that is not fully charged can also compromise a two-way radio's range capability. A battery with a low charge results in a radio with less transmission power.
Two-way radios also have a monitor channel feature that allows users to check and see whether a channel is clear before transmitting. When this feature is enabled, the channel is opened and transmission signals too weak to be audible when the radio is in normal mode can now be heard, although often with a considerable amount of static.