Why All the Channels

Hi Friends,

Commercial grade two way radios usually have 16 channels but in some cases have as few as 2 or as many as 512.

It is easy to understand one or two or just a few channels but 512! Read on and I’ll tell you why sometimes 512 channels are needed.

Each channel on a commercial grade radio is programmable using a PC computer and a special cable and software. Typically a radio might be programmed with different frequencies on each channel so different work groups can talk independently. A school for example might use one channel for the maintenance staff and another channel for the administrative staff and yet another channel for the athletic department.

Sometimes the entire staff is on one channel but additional channels are used to avoid interference.

Many of our customers use 2 channel scanning. Two channel scanning assigns each group of radio users 2 channels. The first channel uses the regular frequency assigned to that group. For example the staff that works in the warehouse uses channel 5. When these folks go to work they put their radios on channel 5 and they talk to each on channel 5 all day. Their radios are programmed to listen for broadcasts on channel 5.  Additionally their radios are programmed to listen for broadcasts on channel 1. (We call channel 1 the “all call” channel.) During the day if someone wants to call everyone simultaneously they would use channel 1. Radios pick up the call on channel 1 because they are continuously scanning for broadcasts on channel 5 and channel 1.

Each department might have their own channel but still share the all call channel.

Some radios have as many as 512 channels. These channels are arranged in groups of 16 channels. A 512 channel radio has 32 groups of 16 channels.

A fire department that services multiple counties or districts or states may store each town’s or area’s frequencies in a group. Then when they are called to help fight a fire they can immediate tuned to the pre-programmed group of frequencies. For example in a given township there maybe a channel for the police, a channel for the fire department, a channel for city works and so on. A properly equipped radio can be up and running as soon as it is on the scene.

Radios are cool. You can learn more about 2 way radios by downloading your free copy of the Little Green Radio Book.

Let us help you get the most out of your 2 way radio equipment. Doing business with 2 Way Radio Express is easy. Give us a call today at 239-601-1969.

Best Wishes,

Manzie R Lawfer