Portable 2-way radios communicate directly to each other without subscribing to a network as a cell phone does. Radios can operate kilometers apart but sometimes they need infrastructure to increase their coverage footprint. This is especially true when operating in buildings.
We have many solutions available to increase the coverage and capacity for your specific need.
We have our own mount Seymour repeater network, which is available to give lower mainland wide coverage for your digital radio fleet.
We can design custom repeaters, which we can install at your facility or at our site.
Factors that affect radio coverage
Frequency: VHF travels further distances than UHF or 800MHz but their signals do not bounce as well so are less effective indoors. Most people find that UHF is ideal for in-building use, whereas VHF is better outdoors.
Body loading and antenna efficiency: Portable antennas require a ground plane, which on handheld portable radios are too small. This means the signal to and from a portable is never as good as from a vehicle-mounted mobile or base station. This factor is more significant in VHF than UHF. Avoid stubby
antennas if you are concerned about coverage.
Obstructions: Hills, trees, and buildings block signals while outdoors to reduce your expected coverage. Inside buildings common obstructions include tinted glass, reinforced concrete, doors, walls will reduce your coverage rapidly.
Interference: there are many electronic devices in our lives these days. Most now are computer-based, and those computers create a lot of radio frequency (RF) noise. That noise makes it harder for 2-way radios to hear other radios trying to reach them. LED lighting has caused several of our customers grief with their radio equipment. If you operate your radios on a frequency which is shared with another company, you might not even know, and that other company could be causing interference to you that you wouldn’t likely even hear. It is best to ensure you are properly licensed. Ask us to review this all for you.
Weak batteries: older batteries often drop their voltage under load when the radios transmit. Low voltage correlates to low output power, which reduces coverage. This is worse when it is cold when the user transmits a lot or works an extended shift. Always replace your batteries when they reach 80% of their original capacity when they are fully charged or every 2-4 years depending on usage. Motorola’s IMPRES batteries keep track of this for you and those stats can be viewed on an IMPRES charger that has a display.
Radios out of spec.: All 2-way radios should be serviced yearly to ensure they have the output power and sensitivity they had when they left the factory. Motorola radios are no exception. Call us if you want your fleet serviced.
Analogue vs. Digital: digital has a better overall range than analogue has, however, some users find that the opposite is true when in a moving vehicle.
Motorola SLR8000 repeater
This is Motorola’s highest tier industrial grade, rack mount repeater. Designed to operate continuously for 15 years, it is the natural choice for the backbone of your radio system. It is important to choose carefully because repeaters are often a single point of failure to your system. The SLR8000 features:
- Integrated 120VAC power supply
- Integrated 1-100Watt transmit power amplifier
- Integrated 5 Amp charger (12 or 24VDC)
- Analogue and digital operation
- Can be set up as a base radio
- Can be connected to other repeaters and hardware using IP
- Digital Trunking options – Capacity plus (single or multi-site), Capacity Max
- All repeaters require additional RF filtering, grounding, and antennas.
- 2 rack units high, 31 lbs/14kg
Available in 136-174MHz, 403-470MHz, 800&900MHz
The SLR8000 replaces similar legacy repeater equipment such as MTR3000, MTR2000, MSR2000, MSF5000
Motorola SLR5700 repeater
This repeater is similar to its big brother, the SLR8000. The main differences are:
- Can accommodate extended range direct mode (single frequency repeater)
- One rack unit high, 19lbs/9kg
- 3 Amp 12V charger
- 1-50 Watt power amplifier
- Reduced spec for intermod and selectivity, which means it is not as well suited for dense RF sites with multiple repeaters.
- No wireline card available
- Not available in 800MHz or 900MHz
- It is about half the cost of the SLR8000 unit
The SLR5700 replaces Motorola legacy repeater equipment such as the XPR8400, XPR8300, GR1225,
GR400, GR500, R.I.C.K repeater, Desktrack
Motorola SLR1000 repeater
The SLR1000 is similar to the SLR5000 but is packaged in a smaller outdoor rugged enclosure. The main
- Packaged for outdoor use (pole or wall mount)
- 1-10 Watts transmitter output
- Ideally suited for extended range direct mode (single frequency repeater)
- Attachable antenna available to eliminate the need to run cable
- 12V DC input. External power supplies available
For low power consumption operation, there is no better choice than the Codan (formerly Daniels) MT4 repeater. It is highly reliable and modular in design. We recommend and install this repeater for customers needing coverage in remote areas and sites with no access to power. Currently, the Codan does not support the DMR Motorola digital format, which means we can only install in analog mode or P25 (public safety format) digital.