Should You Switch To Professional Grade Digital Radios?
Prosumer products are popular choices in a wide range of sports and hobbies. Communicating by radio is no different. Folks who do a wide range of activities outside can benefit from switching to commercial grade digital radios. Let's take a look at what 6 of those reasons might be and how they may influence your decision to switch.
Many low-end products still operate in analog modes. The downside to using these models is that they offer lower voice quality because analog signals are prone to ingress from outside noise sources. Digital systems provide clear audio as long as you have a signal, and professional models are designed to stabilize signals under more adverse conditions than amateur ones.
The functionality of commercial-grade digital radios now approaches what you might expect from a cellular phone. This includes the use of digital apps. Many models include GPS modules, texting, and even Bluetooth connectivity. Map modules can also be uploaded to maximize utility.
As you might expect, professional systems typically offer more features than the cheapies off the shelf at your local big-box store. For example, some high-end systems allow simultaneous voice and data connections. That can be a huge benefit when you're trying to sort things out with the person on the other end.
Improved Battery Efficiency and Storage
Battery life means everything when you're in the middle of nowhere. Professional-grade digital radios are designed to be more energy-efficient than their amateur and analog cousins. Numerous analog models also don't have removable battery packs so swapping for extra life isn't an option. You can also purchase bigger battery packs for many commercial-grade systems.
Setting Up a Base
Digital systems can be configured to play nicely with a base station. This allows a single operator to stay in touch with multiple people. If you're setting up a camp and going out for a motorbike ride, for example, it's good to be able to keep everyone connected with your camp.
With analog systems, there's no way to prevent snooping. Even some amateur grade digital systems don't use very secure protocols. By going up to a professional-grade digital radio, you can be assured that all your communications will stay within the tight loop you've set up.
The best professional systems are designed to be patched through to telephones. Set up a base station where there's a cell phone signal, and your radio and the station can be configured to relay your call through a phone at camp.