Yes, you will need an account to place orders, look at order history, or download software you have purchased. You will also need an account to view prices of certain products where the manufacture requires a log-in.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal. We also except purchase orders from customers who have been pre-apporved for credit from our credit department. You can download the credit application here Purchase Orders.
Our products are shipped using either UPS, FedEx, or for small orders we sometimes use USPS. Tracking is available on all orders.
This depends on 3 things: if your radios need programming, the shipping service you select, and your location. We ship from warehouses at various locations throughout the USA.
Within the contiguous United States, we offer 2 Day, 3 Day, and Ground shipping. Ground shipping usually takes between 4-7 business days for delivery within the continental US (depending on your location). When calculating your delivery date, only include business days in your calculation (Monday through Friday). Carriers do not count weekends (or certain holidays) as days in transit.
At Quality Two-Way Radios we make every effort to ship your order within 24 hours if received before 3:00 pm EST (Monday through Thursday). Orders placed after 3:00 pm EST Thursday may ship the following Monday. Orders placed on weekends may ship the following Tuesday.
Please add 1-2 days for processing when radio programming is requested. Icom repeaters take 1-2 weeks to ship depending on configuration and tuning.
Alaska & Hawaii Shipping
For shipments to Alaska or Hawaii shipping times may take longer than 7 business days. For Alaska and Hawaii we offer standard shipping. We do not offer expedited shipping to these locations.
No, we currently ship only to locations within the United States.
Getting a License
For businesses or non-profit organizations
- FRS service can now be used for either personal or business usage without a license. Limited to 2 watts.
- GMRS is for personal use only.
- MURS is an unlicensed service and can be used for either business or personal operations, but since it is open to everyone you may find the lack of privacy and channel interference to be a problem in a business setting. Your radio must be MURS certified. Also 2 watts and 5 frequencies only.
- ISM 900MHz
- These radios are usually referred to as "900MHz On-Site" and typically provide coverage within an area of between 325,000 - 350,000 sq ft, and transmit at 1 watt. 900MHz radios work well indoors, but have limited range outdoors. This band does not require a license.
- CB (Citizan Band)
- Long used by truckers and hobbiest, CB radio is does not require a license and can be used for either personal or business operations. Again, since it is open to everyone you may find the lack of privacy and channel interference to be a problem in a business setting.
- GMRS - Small Family Run Businesses Only
- The FCC licenses GMRS "to facilitate the activities of licensees and their immediate family members." So, only small family run businesses qualify to use GMRS. One license covers the licensee and their immediate family members.
- Get a FCC Business License to use more powerful equipment and less used frequencies. Many businesses use a radio which requires a license due to inference on the MURS, CB, and FRS frequencies, and the limited power.
Think of the various FCC services as lanes on a highway, some lanes are open to all (FRS and MURS). Those lanes may become congested at times. Other services are much like an HOV lane on the highway, they are licensed and allocated to minimize interference on the channel.
For personal use radios
- You may also use either FRS or MURS (see information above) or CB radios. None of these types of radios require a license.
- You may get a GMRS license. Its easy, doesn't cost much. And it will cover you and all members of your family. GMRS can also have repeaters with up to 50 watts of power and there are 8 repeater frequencies. For more information visit Getting a GMRS License.
- You can get a ham radio license. However, this requires each individual to hold a license and you must pass a test to get a ham license.
- Marine radios do not require a license. However, there are specific rules about where you can use these radios.
- Airband radios are licensed through the pilot training and certification process.
No. There is no requirement that you have a license before buying a two-way radio. You are responsible for insuring you have the proper license to operate your radios. However, if you want us to program your radios you will need a license.
Choosing a Radio and Radio Technology
- UHF radios perform well both indoors and outdoors. If you are using your two way radio inside or near buildings, in a city environment, we recommend you use UHF or digital radios since the signal will penetrate through walls far better. UHF radios are also used outdoors where there are trees, or other obstacles.
- VHF radios are best for outdoor use where there are few obstacles and clear line-of-sight. VHF signals will travel further than UHF, but you need to have a clear line-of-site. VHF signals do not penetrate obstacles as well as UHF signals.
- Digital radios perform much like UHF radios.
Wattage is one key factor that determines the strength of your radio signal. Therefore, the more wattage a radio has, generally the longer distance it’s signal can travel and the clearer the transmission will be. The larger the job-site, the more watts you should purchase.
Channels are used to send the actual communications. Each channel in an analog radio is tied to a particular frequency. You can assign a different channel to separate work groups within your organization. This way each work group can have their own channel to reduce disruptions to other departments. Digital radios provide the added benefit of allowing each worker to have an individual channel as well as a channel for their work group.
Think about which groups of employees need to communicate with each other on a regular basis. Divide these employees into groups who will be assigned a specific channel. For instance in a small hotel, you might make the following channel assignments:
Channel 1 - ‘All Call’ channel that talks to all groups
Channel 2 - Housekeeping Staff
Channel 3 - Front Desk Staff
Channel 4 - Maintenance Staff
Channel 5 –Valet Parking
To cut down on excess chatter, the Housekeeping Staff would communicate with other Housekeeping Staff by using Channel 2. That way, other departments don’t hear calls that don’t involve them. Your groups might be set up according to location, department, or type of work. Each department would leave their radios turned to their own channel and communicate among themselves by using the Push to Talk button (PTT).
You can use the scanning feature to set up which groups hear and talk to other groups. In our hotel example, you’d program all staff radios to scan Channel 1 (All Call) and their own channel. So, Housekeeping radios would scan Channel 1 and Channel 2. Front Desk radios would scan Channel 1 and Channel 3 and so on. The Manager might program their radio to scan all channels, so they can oversee general operations.
When one group needs to talk to another group, they simply turn their radios to that group’s channel to speak with them. For example, when the Front Desk wants to talk to Housekeeping they would temporarily turn their radios to Channel 2. Anyone who wants to talk to Maintenance would turn their radios to Channel 4. Anyone who wants to talk to the whole group would turn their radios to Channel 1 where everyone would hear their message because all radios have been programmed to scan Channel 1.
It’s important to plan ahead. Think about how many people and groups of people will need to communicate now and in the future. You’ll want to buy radios that can accommodate your business growth 3-5 years in the future. You might spend a little more now, but it will be much less expensive than replacing all your radios if they can’t handle your communication requirements in the immediate future.
Commercial grade handheld radios can have between 2 and 512 channels. As you can see this is quite a range!
The distance a handheld radio can communicate depends several factors. The most important factors for you to consider are: band (VHF or UHF), wattage, antenna type, and environment.
- The more wattage a radio has, the longer distance it’s signal can travel. Manufacturers claims of long distances are based on what might be achieved under near perfect conditions. Some radios may work a mile or so away, but most are designed to work primarily within a single location. For example, in a city environment the most powerful UHF radio (4 watts) will give you approximately a range of 2 city blocks. Obstacles such as buildings, hills, etc. will reduce the range of communications. Out in the open with no obstacles you can expect more distance. If you are standing on a hill your distance could be even further.
- Longer antennas provide better signal reception; a short (or stubby) antenna cuts your range by roughly 30%.
- Repeaters can extend the range of communication. A repeater basically does as the name suggests, it 'boosts' the signal and sends it out again. Repeaters have much more wattage than handheld radios, generally between 25 and 100 watts, so the repeated signal will travel much farther than the original signal from the radio.
Please visit How Far Can I Talk? for more detail on what affect radio range.
Each of the following types of radios come in VHF, UHF, and Digital varieties.
- Handheld or Portable radios are the two-way radios that most people use. As the name suggests you hold them in your hand and can be carried them with you.
- Mobile radios are used in vehicles and are permanently mounted. They can have up to 100 watts of power, need special licensing and setup, and you can expect more range with these types of radios.
- Base stations are placed on a desk or counter. They pug into a standard electrical wall socket, and use a antenna usually located on the highest point of the building where they are located. They also can have up to 100 watts of power, need special licensing and setup, and you can expect more range with these types of radios.
- Repeaters can extend the range of a radio by boosting the signal where the repeater is located so the signal may continue traveling. It can help you get ‘around’ obstacles, or simply extend the range of communication beyond what is possible with your handheld or mobile radio alone.
- Trunking systems manage communications of more complex systems. In conventional radios a frequency is assigned to a channel through programming, one frequency per channel. Channel assignments in a conventional radio can only be changed by re-programming the channel. In a Trunked radio system all frequencies are in a 'pool', the pool is managed by another device. Frequencies are allocated to a radio's channel dynamically as they are needed. Once the transmission is complete the frequency is released back into the 'pool'. This is a much more efficient use of frequencies but requires more sophisticated equipment. Generally systems with a large number of users require trunking systems. There are several types of trunking protocols; LTR®, PassPort®, SmartTrunk®.
There is no limit to the number of radios that can be used at a location other than what is on your license. However, to manage communications better we recommend that you limit the number of users on each channel to approximately ten.
Many radios of one brand can communicate with other radio brands. However, to communicate these things must match:
- The radios must be on the same frequency band (VHF, UHF, etc).
- UHF and VHF radios do not communicate with each other. They use difference frequency ranges or 'bands'. VHF uses frequency ranges between 30 – 300 MHz (MHz stands for mega hertz). UHF uses frequency ranges between 300 MHz – 3 GHz (GHz stands for giga hertz).
- The radios must be programmed to the same frequencies and tone codes on each channel.
- If the radios are digital, and you are transmitting in digital, the radios must be using the same digital protocol. The common two way radio digital protocols are:
- DMR / MOTOTRBO
Always check with your dealer to make sure the different radios will work together.
Here are just a few of the main advantages of digital radios:
- Most digital radios allow for both group and individual communication.
- The clarity of the signal is generally better with digital radios due to digital error correction technology. Although once you get to the outer range of communication and the signal gets very weak, you will get no reception with digital, where you might still get some faint signal with analog.
- Text messaging and the ability to add other types of data to the transmitted signal are possible with digital radios. Digital technology in two-way radios is relatively new and still evolving.
- Digital that operate on the 900MHz ISM frequencies do not require an FCC license to operate. However, the range of these radios is limited.
- Today most digital two-way radios also have analog transmission capability. This makes communication between older analog radios and newer digital radios possible for a customer who already owns an analog fleet of radios, and wants to migrate to digital technology over time.
A short (or stubby) antenna cuts your range by approximately 30%. The short antenna sometimes makes the radio easier to carry, and works well in locations like small hotels, schools, small construction sites, where distance is not an issue.
Privacy codes go by many different names, so this can be confusing. Names such as QT, DQT, PL, PL-tone, PL-code, Privacy code or tone, C-Tone, or CTCSS/DCS, all basically mean the same thing. They are just terms that different manufacturers have used to describe the same function.
This is a sub-audible frequency (you can't hear it) that filters out unwanted transmissions on the same frequency. This allows channels using the same frequency, in the same vicinity, to be shared by different user groups. Each group will not hear the other if they are using different privacy tones. Think of it as lanes on a highway; people can share the same highway (frequency), and PL tones are the lanes that prevent them from running into each other (hearing each other). PL codes are the codes associated with each PL Tone.
Intrinsic safety (IS) is a technology for safe operation of electronic equipment in locations where explosive gases may be present. Intrinsically safe radios are designed so the electrical energy in the radio is low enough that ignition of the explosive gases will not occur. Manufacturers must meet specific standards in order for a product to be certified as 'Intrinsically Safe'. Radios meeting this standard have the designation 'Intrinsically Safe' or 'FM Approved' on their documentation.
For more detailed information on Intrinsically safe classifications and usage please visit Intrinsically Safe Classifications.
Encryption scrambles the voice signal so other radios in your vicinity cannot listen in on your conversations. There are several different types of encryption. Some are simple types that offer basic protection from conversations being over heard. Others offer a higher level of protection and are not easily unscrambled by scanners or other surveillance devices. The common forms are:
- Voice Inversion Encryption is a simpler type of Voice Scrambler used to jumble communications to prevent other radio users in the vicinity from listening to your conversations.
- Rolling Code Encryption, a feature usually only available on higher-end units, is a more robust technology of encoding that is not as easily decoded as scrambling.
- DES 20 provides protection against more advanced types of listening technologies.
- Digital DES P25 secure 56 bit encryption (for public safety applications).
- Digital AES P25 provides the maximum security with 256 bit encryption (for public safety applications).
For more information on encryption please visit Encryption Basics.
In our experience, digital radios do not significantly outperform analog radios of the same wattage. Digital radios have the same power (4 Watts on UHF radios, 5 Watts on VHF radios) resulting in similar performance when it comes to distance and obstacles. Probably the main reasons to purchase digital radios is for better voice quality the added functions they have, not longer range.
P25 stands for ‘Project 25’ and refers to a set of standards for radio communications used in federal, state, and local public safety agencies (such as police and fire departments). P25 enables these agencies to communicate between each other in case of emergencies. These radios are not for businesses or personal use.