Portable radio communication devices

Most of the technologies described here use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) end of the radio spectrum, and space wave radio propagation. This means that these radio signals rely on line of sight transmission. This is like having a light in total darkness— the light will be able to be seen from a very great distance, as long as nothing gets in the way. If something is in the way, some light may refract off other objects so you may still see some light but it will not be as intense. Therefore, it is important that you use your radio or phone in a position where you have the best chance of radio access to a base station or other user. This may involve climbing to the top of a hill or contouring around a spur.

Some other tips for use include:

  • always keep the antenna vertical
  • speak slowly and clearly
  • electronics and water don’t mix—keep your radio or phone dry, and try to make it watertight
  • carry your radio or phone with the battery disconnected when not in use – this will prevent the battery going flat and also prevent more damage if the unit does get wet, but you may lose information stored in memories, such as phone numbers
  • keep batteries warm in temperatures below about 10° to retain charge and ensure they can release stored charge
  • never trust the safety of yourself or your party solely to a radio or phone.