How to Find Two Way Radio Frequency: A Detailed Guide

In a time where we are all burdened with work and need a sweet escape, going out on adventures is always a great thing to do. It may be something as simple as fishing or even camping. In most cases, you are likely to go with somebody, and chances are that you will have no cellular network in such places. Although these situations are great to cut yourself out from the world, you still need to have some sort of communication for safety reasons. Hence, a two-way radio is ideal and knowing how to find two way radio frequency is essential.

Two-way radios tend to have a very long range. So, the chances of it being out of network like a mobile phone are quite slim. Unfortunately, understanding how to find the frequency for it can be a little tricky for first-time users. To help out, in this article, we will describe a couple of things to remember when you opt for a two-way radio and how to get a range on it.

How to Find Two Way Radio Frequency: The Basics

The two-way radio wave is a parallel-traveling wave system. This is where the earth’s curvature poses a problem to the transmission of these waves. With that said, the two points on earth where distance can get counted as straight lines is considered as a useful range for two-way radio transmission. This range can be anywhere between four and six miles.

Nonetheless, you can calculate the distance of the range yourself mathematically with the use of a simple formula. When you calculate the radio’s height in meters, the range will be approximately 3.56 times in kilometers. So, if you want to make the range on the radio about three miles long, then place it at about six feet higher from the ground. Thus, you will be able to enhance the range of the radio by up to 20 or 30 miles with absolute ease. That is if you place your radio 40 feet above the ground.

The Two Key Points

Two-way radios are considered to be one of the earliest technologies in wireless communication. It is also one of the most reliable one out there especially in areas with no network. Two key points distinguish two-way radio with other types of wireless communication. These include:

  • Instant Communication: This allows you to press the PTT (push to talk) button, and in a second, you can speak on the device. This is done with the help of a quick-setup technology that is embedded in these devices.
  • Group Communication: This feature allows the capability to facilitate one-to-many communication quite efficiently. When we talk about group communication, we mean one user can speak with one, ten, hundred or even thousand users at the same time.

Types of Frequencies

There are two types of standard frequencies used in two-way radios. These two include VHF and UHF. These two frequencies are used together in a two-way radio system. Let us briefly discuss each of them.

  • UHF or Ultra High Frequency

This has a high frequency; however, it has a very short wavelength. As such, it has the ability to transmit greater energy. The applied UHF in radio can typically vary from 400 to 512 MHz. The wavelength, on the other hand, is only between one and five feet. This frequency is efficiently applicable for communication inside a metallic building but it cannot penetrate most obstacles.

  • VHF or Very High Frequency

This allows longer wavelength in a shorter frequency. The frequency here is between 130 and 174 MHz. However, the allowable wavelength is greater than 20 feet. Thus, the energy of the transmission is comparatively lower, but it has a greater capability of penetration between obstacles. Additionally, the curvature of the earth causes far lesser impact during this frequency’s transmission. The downside, however, is that if it is a shorter frequency, the energy transmission is quite low.

How to Perfectly Adjust the Wavelengths: Some Tips

In a two-way radio, you will notice that the two waves are present. This is because the application of just one of the waves will make the activity of your radio very limited. Again, UHF is shorter but offers effective communication while VHF is better for longer communication and has the ability to pass through obstacles far better.

Nonetheless, you can still control which of these waves is more dominant. You can do so by just pressing the control switch according to your preferences and needs.

  • Adjustment of UHF

You will need to adjust the UHF wavelength in a place apart from where you are headed to. Meaning, this should be done before you step out of your house or wherever you are at that moment. To do so, you will need to turn the UHF control button around until the frequency reaches a level higher than the balanced scale. You will be able to quite easily figure out the reading of this frequency right from the pointer of the UHF reading. The VHF reading will automatically lessen itself from the balanced state.

  • Adjustment of VHF

Adjustment of VHF frequency is essential for a longer range in communication. This procedure is quite similar to the one mentioned above. That is, you need to find a button to control the VHF on your radio. Turn that around to have an optimum frequency of 130 to 174 MHz. This will allow you to get a perfect adjustment of the frequency. If and when the frequency falls, the VHF wavelength will then rise by itself. Alongside this, the frequency of the UHF also gets balanced out.


Above are the things that you need in order to become efficient on how to find two way radio frequency. The set up of the frequency on the radio is simple and nothing more than the function of the UHF and VHF along with the curvature of the earth. It is imperative though that you avoid as many obstacles as you can in the process and have a horizontally straight signal tower. As you may have realized that is quite an impossible feat.

Hence, to achieve the best frequency possible from the two-way radio, you should try to find and maintain the perfect combination between the VHF and the UHF.

Leave a Comment