Help Me Choose a Radio

Choosing the best two-way radio for an application requires a few pre-qualifying questions to be answered prior to calling for radio recommendation:

  • Are two-way radios currently being used, and if so; what is the brand, model and quantity?
  • What type of business is it?
  • How large is the area or facility?  Are there any obstructions?
  • How many total employees are working at one time?  Are there multiple shifts?  Are there different workgroups or departments?

Upon answering these questions, please call our customer service representatives, who can be reached for a radio recommendation, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Standard Time or email us at any time.

Most business users need to communicate on-site and around their structures. The primary concern in choosing the correct radio is coverage of the facility with a clear, crisp audio signal that is easy to understand. Wide area coverage of multiple buildings or the distance of a few miles may require use of a range extender / repeater. Range is determined by several factors:

  • UHF analog radios provide the best coverage indoors and out; especially in steel and concrete structures and large, industrial or multi-story buildings. A 2-watt, UHF analog radio will provide better coverage inside industrial buildings than a 5-watt, VHF analog radio.
  • DTR Digital radios provide comparable coverage to the 4-watt UHF analog radios in addition to having superior sound quality.
  • VHF analog radios are good for outdoor, “line of sight” applications and inside wood structures.
  • Power plays a role in determining coverage and signal penetration.
  • Obstructions such as steel, metal, and concrete will reduce range and coverage.
Range and Coverage Guide
Model Inside Steel / Concrete
Industrial Buildings
Inside Multi-Level
Typical User Markets
RMU2040, RMU2080, RMU2080d Up to 250,000 SQ FT Up to 20 Floors Construction, Property Management,
Manufacturing, Lodging
CLP1010e, CLP1080e, CLS1110, CLS1410 Up to 200,000 SQ FT Up to 10 Floors Retail, Hospitality, Restaurant Lodging
DLR1020, DLR1060 Up to 300,000 SQ FT Up to 20 Floors Construction, Property Management
DTR700 Up to 350,000 SQ aFT Up to 30 Floors Construction, Property Management
RDU4100, RDU4160d Up to 300,000 SQ FT Up to 30 Floors Construction, Property Management
Manufacturing, Lodging
RMV2080, RMM2050 Up to 180,000 SQ FT Up to 10 Floors Construction, Property Management
RDV5100 Up to 250,000 SQ FT Up to 15 Floors Construction, Property Management

UHF analog radios offer optimal coverage and signal penetration indoors through concrete, steel, and metal or outdoors from building to building. DTR and DLR Digital radios offer the best audio quality along with coverage comparable to UHF 4-watt analog radios. VHF analog radios work well in flat, open areas or around wood structures.

Power is a major factor in achieving the range and coverage in a particular structure, as well as providing a clear, crisp audio signal that is easy to understand. Coverage is improved when power is increased. Digital radios are an exception however. The 1-watt DTR digital and new 1-watt DLR digital radios use less power than a 4-watt UHF analog radio, yet offers comparable coverage.

It depends on the application. Multiple channel radios are used when separating workgroups or departments. One channel per workgroup is typical. Some workgroup examples are: Management, shipping, manufacturing, maintenance, security, general and sub-contractors. (Radio example: RMU2080) Some department examples are: Stock, customer service, produce, and liquor. (Radio example: RMU2040)

Yes, as long as the frequencies, codes, and bandwidths match and the radios are either all analog or all digital.


There is no limit.

There are no monthly fees or service contacts. However, an FCC license is required for operation of analog, UHF and VHF business two-way radio frequencies. DTR and DLR Digital radios do not require an FCC License.

Yes. These radios are built rugged and durable for business use and meet Motorola’s accelerated life testing that includes a 5-foot drop to concrete.

The CLP, RM, RD, DTR and DLR models are dealer programmable to work with range extenders / repeaters. These models, with the exception of DLR, can also be used with base stations.