Despite the flexibility of two-way radio, its usefulness is usually limited by range, especially within structures or buildings. Often when you move about while talking, you’d discover in the process that you have walked out of the radio range with fading/broken feedbacks.
A quick walk through the basics of walkie-talkie connection will reveal that walkie-talkie communication is majorly influenced by:
Your location: big enterprise, small farm space, opens ranches, hillside, or country sides
The surrounding terrain: ideally, a two-way radio can transmit as far as 30 miles from a raised platform to a flat (obstruction free) platform below. The terrain of your location determines how far your device can transmit.
Radio power: you get the best output range when your radio power is high. Therefore, it is essential that your device is fully charged for maximum result.
Design of your radio antenna system: the higher you go, the farther your radio signal hence the need for an antenna. So if you don’t have one, you might as well get at least 6inches’ antenna for an improved range performance.
The radio frequency band
The range capacity of your radio: two-way radios often come with its range capacity written on it, so you are left to choose one that offers the best range for your location.
Barriers within and around the location: the more structures and obstructions you have around your walkie-talkies, the more the signal level drops. Some radio signals can fall as much as half a mile depending on the height or type of barriers.
Indoor/outdoor use: walkie-talkies are best-enjoyed when used outdoors. That’s not to say that you can’t use your walkie-talkies around the house, but you have to be able to work around boosting its signal.
In the case of a signal loss, troubleshooting may require you to consider these factors. Understanding the direct relationship between these factors and your radio performance goes a long way to help reduce or prevent signal loss.
But what if your device is just out of range without any of these trigger causes? You can try any of the following tricks
- Stand up or walk around your location. You never can tell, there may be a point within the room where you can find a good reception.
- Go to the highest point of your location where your radio can get a more significant line- of- sight.
- Try using a high power mode. It gives a substantial boost to your radio signal and improves your range, especially in denser areas.
- Open up your radio monitor to allow external signals on your frequency. This works well to boost the receiving power of your device.
How to Improve Radio Signals In A Metal Building
Structures made of concrete, steels, and blocks restrict signals mainly because these structures are made up of materials that either absorb radio frequencies or redirect it. It is no longer news that radio signals are lost within buildings or obstructions.
But the better news is that there are some steps that can be taken to solve signal loss problems within a metal building, thus enjoying an improved transmission.
Therefore, if you are planning to use your radios within a metal building, any of these steps can be useful for having a improved radio reception.
Use of Antenna: In recent times, external antennas have proven to be an alternative solution to signal loss such as DAS (Distributed Antenna System), a network of antennas that improves voice and data connectivity by sending and receiving cellular signals on a carrier’s frequency.
The DAS is usually connected to the primary source, and while acting as a single antenna, it covers a whole area at reduced power. The use of an antenna such as DAS has proven reliable over time, especially inside buildings within a densely populated area.
If you don’t want to use an antenna, using a cellular signal booster system is one other easier way of improving your radio signals within a metal building. The cellular signal booster system (CSBS) just like the DAS receives signals from a source, boosts the signal and broadcasts the signal over a particular area. A metal building signal booster system consists of an outdoor and indoor antenna, a repeater/amplifier and a cable to connect them altogether (usually a coax cable).
The outdoor antenna is best mounted at the highest point of a building to get a strong outdoor signal.
The types of cellular signal booster system vary, but they are dependent on the capacity of the building you intend to use it for. Some of the models are weBoost Home 4G, weBoost Connect 4G or Wilson Pro.
How to get radio reception in a metal building
Now that you know how to improve your radio reception within a metal building, you might as well want to know how to get the best radio signal strength. Or what is the use of a signal booster without a good signal around your location?
To get a good reception, you will need to:
- Identify the frequency you want for your building most, especially if it’s a company. A cellular frequency is usually between 800Mhz, 900Mhz, 1.9Ghz, and lots more.
- Choose a radio site.
- Access the areas where you can measure the signals from your chosen radio site.
- Install an antenna facing towards the radio transmitter selected or if it’s a smaller metal building, connect the antenna facing the radio directly.
- Be sure that the antenna is raised high to get enough signal strength.