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UHF Handheld Radios Sets

Ultra High Frequency (UHF) handheld radios, also known as walkie-talkies, are 2-way transceivers that emit shorter wavelengths and more powerful frequencies (136 – 174 MHz) that can easily travel a distance of up to 5 km, depending on the terrain.

For a relatively large marine vessel, like a cargo ship or tanker, it is important to have a reliable internal communication system where the captain is able to communicate with the crew and vice versa. A UHF radio set is ideal because it will not interfere with the existing marine VHF frequencies used and, at the same time, allow communication privacy if required. At Tecomart, we offer handheld radio sets for sale from reputable global brands such as Motorola and ICOM.

UHF Handheld Radio Applications in Marine Communication

Ultra High Frequency (UHF) handheld radios operate in the frequency range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz and are popularly used in many communication scenarios. In marine environments, where reliable communication is paramount, these radios play several crucial roles:

1. Ship-to-Shore Communication

UHF handheld radios in marine applications offer a practical solution for ship-to-shore communication due to their ability to provide clear and consistent signals over short to medium distances.

  • Port Operations: When vessels approach ports, communication between the ship and port authorities or ground personnel is essential for smooth docking, offloading, and onloading operations. UHF handheld radios facilitate this exchange of information, helping guide vessels safely into harbours.
  • Customs and Immigration: UHF handheld radios allow vessels to establish initial contact with customs and immigration officials, ensuring that procedures are started promptly and correctly.

2. Crew Communication

Communication between crew members on board a vessel is essential for daily operations and safety.

  • Deck Operations: Daily tasks like loading, unloading, or even routine maintenance require seamless communication among the crew. UHF handheld radios enable the crew to coordinate these tasks effectively.
  • Below Deck and On-Deck Communication: UHF handheld radios are particularly effective in penetrating the ship’s structure, allowing for clear communication between crew members located below deck and those on the deck.

3. Emergency Procedures

In emergency situations, swift and clear communication can make the difference between life and death.

  • Man Overboard: In situations where a crew member falls overboard, quick communication using UHF handheld radios can mobilise the necessary personnel and equipment for a rescue operation.
  • Fire or Flooding: In case of emergencies like fire or flooding, the crew can use UHF handheld radios to coordinate evacuation, firefighting, or damage control measures.
  • Medical Emergencies: If a crew member needs urgent medical attention, UHF handheld radios can be used to contact the ship’s medical team or even communicate with medical professionals onshore.

4. Coordination with Other Vessels

In busy waterways, coordinating movements with other vessels is crucial to avoid collisions and navigate safely.

  • Passing Procedures: When two vessels approach each other, they may need to communicate to establish passing intentions. UHF handheld radios allow skippers and pilots of both vessels to talk directly, ensuring safe passage.
  • Group Activities: For vessels travelling in a convoy or participating in joint activities (like fishing fleets or research missions), UHF handheld radios facilitate communication among them.

Components of Handheld UHF Analog / Digital Radios Sets

  • Antenna: Transmits and receives radio signals to and from the handheld radio set.
  • Microphone: Allows the user to transmit audio through the handheld radio set.
  • Speaker: Enables the user to hear audio received by the handheld radio set.
  • Keypad: Used for dialling in frequencies, adjusting settings, and making other inputs.
  • Display Screen: Shows information such as channel, battery status, and signal strength.
  • Belt Clip: Attaches the handheld radio set to the user’s belt for easy access.
  • Earpiece: Provides private listening for the user.
  • Programming Cable: Used to programme the handheld radio set with specific frequencies and settings.

Finding the Right Handheld UHF Analog / Digital Radios Set

Whether you’re a seasoned mariner or just getting started, it’s important to choose the right UHF handheld radio set for your needs. Consider the following:

1. Power

A general rule of thumb is that for every 1 watt of power, there is 1 mile of coverage. The higher the range, the higher the wattage needed. It is recommended to get a higher-powered UHF handheld radio like the APX4500 Single-Band P25 Mobile Radio – Enhanced. With its level of power that provides a strong and reliable signal for clear communication over a wide area, it clears obstructions and harsh weather conditions at sea that will lower the amount of coverage.

2. Waterproof

If you’re planning to use your UHF handheld radio set out on the deck, it is important to choose a waterproof walkie talkie so you will always have clear communications, even during wet and windy conditions. Look for IP-rated UHF radio sets, such as the ICOM IC-F4003 or the Motorola XiR P3688. The first digit of the IP rating represents dust protection, while the second digit represents waterproofing. Higher numbers represent better protection in both cases.

3. Channels

A multi-channel UHF handheld radio system is a great way to improve communication on your marine vessel. By having multiple channels available, like the IC-F4230DS, which has up to 128 memory channels with 8 zones, you can ensure that everyone has the ability to communicate effectively without interference. A multi-channel walkie-talkie system can also ensure that all communications will be kept confidential, providing enhanced security for your vessel.

4. Battery life

A longer battery life means longer talk time and a handheld radio set such as the IC-F4003 helps you stay connected to your crew and other vessels in times of need. In addition, the long battery life of the IC-F4003 makes it suitable for extended use in a variety of applications, such as outdoor recreation, construction, and security.

Get Your Handheld UHF Analog / Digital Radios Sets

Whether you are the captain of a large boat or operate a smaller watercraft, having a dependable communication device is essential. Our UHF handheld radio sets are backed by years of experience and expertise, so you can trust us to provide you with the best possible products and services. With our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, you can trust that our UHF handheld radios will provide you with the best possible performance and reliability. Other than land mobile radios such as Handheld UHF Analog / Digital Radios Sets and Handheld Analog / Digital Mobile Radios, we also provide other types of marine communication and marine navigation equipment such as AIS transponders and loud hailers at wholesale prices.

At Tecomart, our commitment goes beyond just selling UHF handheld radios. Founded in 1994, we have grown from introducing radio communication equipment in remote regions of Thailand and Indonesia to becoming a beacon of trust in marine communication and navigation. Our hands-on experience with seafarers and fishermen has deepened our understanding of maritime communication challenges. Leveraging this knowledge, along with advancements in GPS technology, we’ve equipped vessels with cutting-edge communication and navigation systems.

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services in the marine industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions About UHF Handheld Radios

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) handheld radios are communication devices that operate on the UHF frequency band and are used for short-range communications, such as in security, and public safety organisations. They are often used as a compact and portable alternative to traditional two-way radios.
UHF Handheld radios, also known as walkie-talkies, use a built-in antenna for efficient two-way communication. The user speaks into the microphone, triggering the radio to convert the audio into a signal, which is then transmitted. The receiver then converts the incoming signal back into audio for the user to hear.
To calculate the coverage area of a handheld UHF analog/digital radio set, consider factors like line of sight, terrain, and interference. UHF radios primarily rely on line-of-sight communication; obstructions like buildings or mountains can limit range. Flat terrains offer better coverage than hilly or forested areas. Additionally, electronic and environmental interference can affect signal clarity. The radio's power output directly impacts its range: higher power means a larger coverage area. Meanwhile, antenna design, including its length and type, can also influence the effective communication distance. For precise coverage estimates, consult the radio's specifications and consider conducting field tests.
Just like handheld VHF marine radios, UHF radio sets also require maintenance. It primarily involves regular cleaning of the device, ensuring battery health, checking antenna integrity, and updating software or firmware as needed. Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures and moisture. Periodically inspect connectors and buttons for wear. Battery care is vital; rechargeable batteries should be fully cycled to prolong lifespan. An annual professional checkup, including testing of transmission and reception capabilities, can help in early detection of potential issues and ensure optimal performance.
To program a UHF handheld digital mobile radio set, you typically need to access the radio's programming mode via its menu or a specific button combination. Using proprietary software provided by the manufacturer and a compatible cable, connect the radio to a computer. Within the software, configure channels, frequencies, privacy codes, and other settings as required. After programming, upload the configuration to the radio. It's crucial to use the correct software version for your radio model and to frequently save configurations. Always refer to the specific radio's user manual or manufacturer's guidelines for detailed steps and safety precautions.
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) handheld radios operate within a frequency range of 136 – 174 MHz, producing shorter wavelengths and powerful frequencies. Typically, these devices can transmit signals over distances up to 5 km, though this range can be influenced by terrain and atmospheric conditions. When choosing a UHF handheld radio at Tecomart, it's crucial to understand its specifications, as they can differ based on the model and intended use.
UHF handheld radios used in marine environments are expected to comply with stringent standards to ensure safety and reliability during marine operations. One pivotal regulation is the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), supervised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). This system emphasises automated distress communication, using technologies like digital selective calling. Pertinent to UHF radios, the GMDSS regulations (found in 47 C.F.R. Part 80, mainly Subpart W) mandate that such radios on specific vessels be certified, regularly maintained, and operated by personnel with a GMDSS Radio Operator's License. Additionally, these radios should have an FCC ID# and a label confirming their compliance with GMDSS provisions. Compliance checks can be conducted through the manufacturer or the FCC's official channels.

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