Digital Vs Analogue Walkie Talkies
The Short Read:
Analogue radios use older tried and tested technology but can be quite limited. Digital Radios offer better, clearer, and longer range signals but are more expensive.
The Long Read:
There are two types of two way radio systems or walkie talkies as they are more commonly known, analogue and digital. Analogue walkie talkies were introduced globally in 1933 however, the U.S military were using them for more then twenty years prior to their official global introduction. There are major differences between the two, with analogue using archaic operative tech, and digital using more advanced, digital specifications.
Digital technology has revolutionised the media and technology industries in such a significant way however, how do digital two way radios weigh up against their older counterparts? In this article, we will outline the major differences between the two types of technology, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both digital and analogue two way radios.
Analogue radio technology was introduced publically in 1933, their simplistic tech makes them reliable and user-friendly. They utilize sinusoidal value waveforms to communicate voice signals in a continuous wave.The simplistic radio wave is transmitted using frequency modulation and requires minimal technological systems to operate efficiently. They successfully send vocal sound without any digital interruption, they also utilize bandwidth providing organisations and businesses with a very reliable communicative method.
There have been no recent major advancements in analogue radio technology, the extant analogue technology systems are currently the most reliable and budget-friendly two way radio systems available. However, despite the fact that analogue radios are reliable and cost-effective, there are still a few disadvantages of using analogue radio systems.
Disadvantages of Analogue Radios
- Analogue radios can only cope with one conversation per channel, reducing the overall efficiency of communication.
- Analogue radio systems need transmission-specific receivers and transmitters, system updates require entire fleet updates.
- Digital apps are not compatible with analogue two way radios
Despite some of the drawbacks associated with analog two way radios, they could still be a good choice for the communicative needs of certain businesses or organisations. They remain relatively low cost in comparison to digital options, they also require less high-tech components and applications. Digital tends to be more costly because the digital two way radio terrain is relatively young, there are only a limited range of options available, meaning a much higher price tag.
Analogue two way radio systems are still useful, and they still provide reliable, user-friendly radio communication. However, digital technology has transformed radio communications rapidly changing the standards of two way radio communication.
Digital Radios: Transformative Times
Digital technology has transformed the way we work, live and communicate. The endless technological capabilities of digital technology has totally reconstructed the two-way radio communications industry. Although the primary functionalities of digital radios may seem very similar to analogue, the inner mechanisms are dissimilar.
Digital walkie talkies, similar to digital recordings and broadcasts, convert their sound load into numeric patterns. However, analogue radio carries vocal sounds across a mobilized wavelength. Digital radios immediately transform vocal sound into clear computer vocabulary. This can subsequently travel long distances, efficiently and effectively. They provide the user with clarified, efficient sound when compared with analogue radio systems.
Digital signals provide the user with enhanced auditory quality, as a result of their overall intransigence to underlying interruptions and other undesirable signal interception. The most prominent complaint pertaining to analogue radios is the constant transmission irregularities associated with using them. This can often cause interruptions and breaks in communication, this rarely occurs with digital 2 way radios.
Aside from improved audio quality and enhanced transmission range, digital radios also provide the user with a wide range of features like, Global Positioning System capabilities and text communication functionalities. They are generally much simpler to secure than analogue systems due to the fact that they rarely experience reduction in vocal quality as a result of signal scrambling. Digital radios permit the apportionment of single-call channels, this doubles call scope and increases spectral capability.
Advantages of Digital Two Way Radios
A huge advantage of digital two way radios is the fact that mostly, they come with analogue compatibility features. Therefore, most modern equipment comes with analogue and digital capabilities. This provides businesses and organisations with the flexibility to upgrade their radio equipment one by one as opposed to upgrading an entire fleet.
The major downside of digital 2 way radios is the steep up front cost of digital technology. The digital communications industry runs at a slower pace than the media or entertainment industry, digital communications generally place emphasis on proven, workable systems. Therefore, the inescapable prevalence of digital radios will probably take some time. The significant cost of digital radio systems is often a deterrent for some businesses and organizations however, with time and increased investment in digital communications technology, systems should become more accessible and affordable.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using digital and analogue two way radio systems:
Advantages of Analogue Walkie Talkies
- Accessories and components are more accessible because analogue technology has been available for many years.
- Simplistic mechanisms, easy to use
- They use bandwidth efficiently
Disadvantages of Using Analogue Walkie Talkies
- Restrictive, one conversation per channel
- Receivers and transmitters are designed to work with specific transmissions
- Business software apps not compatible with analogue systems
Advantages of Using Digital Two Way Radios
- Multiple conversations on one channel
- Text messages and status updates
- Uses less bandwidth
- Reduction in background noise and static
- An array of software applications available for digital two way radio systems
- It is possible to use digital and analogue radios at the same time
Disadvantages of Using Digital Two Way Radios
- Steeper learning curve
- Digital signals do not work well with radio frequency signals therefore, an increase in radio frequency noise can cause system errors.
- More expensive
To conclude, analogue two way radio technology is old but reliable, businesses generally trust analogue systems because they use trusted, proven systems. However, times are changing, the digital revolution is here, the total shift toward digital technology is inevitable however, the downside of upgrading to digital systems is the steep up front cost associated with it. Do the advantages of using digital two way radios outweigh the cost disadvantage? The answer to that question would lie in the examination of the specific needs of a particular business or organisation.