Radio Antennae: Does Length Matter?

UHF Radio

UHF radios use the 27MHz band. They are a cost-effective way to have a communication system that doesn’t rely on satellites or infrastructures such as mobile phone towers. This is a great way to communicate with other RVers, trucks passing by, and convoy travelers.

UHF radios have a limited range, which is usually line-of-sight or a little longer with UHF repeaters. The radio unit determines how far UHF can be used. A fixed radio with an external aerial has a greater range in a car than a handheld unit. Similarly, a 5W handheld radio will have a longer range compared to 2W.

Some Tech Talk

UHF antennas are usually rated between 9 dBi to 7 dBi. The rating, also known as gain, is the focal point of radiofrequency energy. The higher the gain, the more concentrated the pattern of frequency energy is.


In conclusion, UHF radios offer a practical and affordable communication solution for various scenarios where traditional infrastructures may be unavailable. Their ability to operate on the 27MHz band makes them ideal for communication among RVers, truckers, and convoy travelers. However, it is important to keep in mind that UHF radios do have a limited range, typically relying on line-of-sight communication or the assistance of UHF repeaters to extend their reach.

The range of a UHF radio is largely determined by the type of unit and its power output. Fixed radios with external aerials generally offer greater range compared to handheld units, and higher wattage handheld radios can also extend communication distance.

When considering UHF radios, one must also pay attention to the antenna’s gain rating, which influences the concentration of radiofrequency energy. A higher gain rating results in a more focused energy pattern, potentially enhancing the communication range.

Overall, UHF radios represent an excellent communication option, but users should be aware of their limitations and choose the appropriate equipment for their specific needs. Whether it’s staying connected during a road trip or coordinating with fellow travelers, UHF radios can be a reliable and valuable tool for effective communication on the go. So, before embarking on your next adventure, consider equipping yourself with a suitable UHF radio setup to enhance your communication capabilities and make your journey even more enjoyable and secure.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging, and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.

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