3 ways to expand the transmission range of your VHF radio

3 ways to expand the transmission range of your VHF radio

There are many reasons why you may need to increase the communications range of your VHF radios in the field. From broadcasting to multiple locations and groups to overcoming terranean barriers, the ability to extend this range can be crucial in unexpected situations or to meet the demands of your operation.

How can I expand the range?

1. Elevate your antenna

Antennas are a vital solution to achieve clear communication not only within base stations, but in temporary and mobile situations as well. An antenna functions by radiating concentrated energy either 360 degrees out from its central transmission point or in a particular direction, and depending on the gain factor, propels a signal outwards towards receiving radios using this compressed power. An efficient way of extending the range of your VHF radios is to elevate your antenna to higher ground.

Increasing the height of an antenna allows for a greater range of broadcast and higher quality of reception while also reducing the chances of the transmission becoming blocked by obstacles such as hills or dense forest. Equipment such as the 1.8 metre whip antenna are collapsible, therefore easily transported between locations. For a more stable, ruggedised alternative, the 30 to 108 MHz elevated wideband VHF antenna can be mounted on existing structures, and ensures a high performance of transmissions for your operation.

The range of your VHF radio can be extended by elevating your antenna, increasing the quality of contact.

2. Invest in a rebroadcast system

While many challenges in a tactical environment can be avoided, in most instances terranean features aren’t one of them. Operating in an area with deep valleys or hills presents challenges in that VHF transmissions are distorted or halted by these landscapes, and that communication over a further distance is restricted due to disrupted line of sight transmission.

Adapting and overcoming these landscapes with rebroadcast technology is essential in maintaining secure and clear communication with members of your squadron.

A VHF rebroadcast system acts as the middle man between parties without sacrificing secure or encrypted communication. This system works by receiving a VHF signal on one frequency and simultaneously transmitting it on another, or hopping between multiple frequencies, as a means of secure transmission. This enables you to cover a much wider distance as it is transmitted in both directions between the different operators. The Barrett 2083+ Rebroadcast System can link low band networks together and allows for digital encryption.

Hills can be challenging to navigate when maintaining clear communications with your squadron.

3. Increase power.

The power output of your transmitter will have a direct impact on the range of your radio – a low power output level will make for a weak signal. While line of sight communication still needs to be maintained, this range of communications can be extended by increasing power. The Barrett PRC-2081+ 25W Manpack package is an upgrade of the PRC-2080 with an increase in both power and signal range.

Barrett Communications has a range of secure tactical VHF and HF radios that are both interoperable and functional in extreme weather conditions. If you’re interested in upgrading or replacing your tactical VHF or HF radios with modern transmission equipment, get in touch with the team at Barrett Communications.


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