Advantages Of Digital Radio
5. Technical Benefits:
Digital radios consume less current than analog radios. This means portable batteries operate longer between charges. This leads to longer intervals between charges and that means longer battery operating life before replacement. Most digital radios use memory free, high capacity Lithium-Ion batteries that are smaller and lighter than the old Nickel-Cadmium or even Nickel Metal-Hydride batteries.
Lower current consumption means less vehicle battery drain and longer operating life when fixed stations are operating on battery backup in an emergency situation.
4. Advanced Features:
There are some really beneficial options that can easily be incorporated in a digital communications system. The reason is that digital communications systems convert everything to data (including voice). This means it is fairly easy to add 2-way text messaging and GPS either for finding directions, fleet dispatch, or vehicle tracking. The most popular at this time is text messaging.
The difference in 2-way radio and cellular communications is that cellular communications are designed for one-to-one communications whereas 2-way radio is designed for one-to-many communications. This is great for group coordination, dispatch, and other activities where a large group of people need to communicate with each other. The shortcoming of the one-to-many communications is the lack of privacy.
Analog systems can easily be monitored by the public – not so with digital. Of equal importance, digital radios systems allow user groups, or even individuals, to communicate with each other in PRIVATE while still being available to monitor group activity. This is a huge benefit!
2. Elimination of Noise:
Static, hiss, and fringe area communications are words that do not apply to digital communications. With an analog system, as the signal levels degrades with distance, noise intensifies until the noise is actually greater in the fringe areas than the actual communication signal. You may be able to hear a transmission, but it is unintelligible because of noise – Not so with digital.
If you’ve got a signal – it’s crystal clear since there is no noise. A digital system sounds like it is talking farther than analog. Actually it doesn’t. It just gives you maximum communications capability that sounds great!
1. Elimination of Interference:
Every since 2-way radios became practical for vehicular and personal use; we have been conditioned to accept the fact that interference from other users that may be sharing the channel must be accepted. We have been told that there is no such thing as a private channel.
We have added privacy options such as tone coded squelch and more recently, digital coded squelch but we still have interference UNLESS we use digital radios. We may still share channels with other users. In some cases, this may be beneficial where Police, Fire, and EMS share a frequency for common emergency use.
The difference in digital is that we can either segment or combine different users on the same channel with unwanted interference being a thing of the past. Better yet, we get better utilization of available frequency spectrum – truly a win-win benefit.
As a final comment, it should be noted that interoperability to communicate with other users and compliance with mandatory government regulations are important, but the real reasons for going digital are as shown above.