Do I really need… part 12 – UHF Communication
The humble UHF radio is still the main system of communication between vehicles. With a good installation you can reach a long distance, and because the majority of people have UHF radios available, you’ll almost always be able to find someone out there to contact.
There’s two main types of UHF radio that are available now. Vehicle-mounted and hand-held. Both have their pros and cons, so there’s no clear winner in what to get, but there’s a few things to consider.
If you’re going to spend the majority of your time driving, a vehicle mounted 5-watt unit will serve you best. These can be mounted almost anywhere in your cabin, and the units that have all of the controls on the microphone can be hidden away with only the microphone unit showing.
While a good hand-held UHF radio will have the same output power as an vehicle-mounted UHF radio, it can be a lot more convenient because you can carry it where ever you go. The downside to these units is that they can be a bit more cumbersome to use when you’re driving, and they also won’t have the same range as a vehicle-mounted unit even with the same power thanks to their smaller aerial.
If you can only get one, a good 5-watt vehicle mounted system is best as it will give you the best range and power, while a good hand-held unit is also a great option if you can’t mount anything in your vehicle, and can also be useful if you’re going to be outside or away from your vehicle at any time. If you can, get both. It’s always great to have your UHF in the vehicle while your spotter is out with the hand-held UHF radio talking you through where to go. It’s also good to have a backup just in case the worst does happen and one of then breaks for some reason.