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Q: I need to buy a portable radio. Where do I start?

Start by determining the frequency range available for your operation. If you or your organization owns radios, find out make, model and exact frequencies assigned to your channels. Ask if it's VHF or UHF.

Contacting your local PTT office or government organization responsible for radio spectrum assignments may be in order.

To work with each other, radios need not be same make and model. They just need to be compatible. Compatibility is determined by:

Model: that's the easiest. If we carry it, locate it by entering the information in the Search window.

Frequencies: Can the new radio be programmed to operate on the same channels as the old one? If both radios have overlapping frequency ranges, most likely they can talk to each other.

Number of channels: if your operation uses, say, 16 channels, the new radio must have at least as many.

Conventional radio: if your intend to talk to others directly on the same channel, or use a conventional repeater, look for conventional radio.

Channel Spacing: Contemporary radios support both 12.5 and 25 KHz channel spacing

Trunking radio: to put it simply - if your operation consists of several independent groups of people using a repeater (and other people don't bother you), you may be looking for a trunking (trunked) radio. Find out about the trunking protocol in use. Ask your sources if the protocol is LTR(R), MPT-1327(R), SmarTrunk(R), etc. The trunking protocol coupled with the frequency range will determine your choices.

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