Q. What sort of range can I expect?
A. Simple answer is – as far as any other 5W UHF Handheld, although with a FDP Radio, you can often expect a greater range due to the radios better than industry standard receiver sensitivity. Our FDP Range Extender Antenna’s improves that again, as it virtually doubles the effective output power and receive signal over the standard 1/4 wave supplied.
UHF range could be summed up as – line of sight, height is might, and he with the best antenna wins. UHF signal is very much related to topography.
General Rule: Line of Sight
1w with Standard Antenna = 3+km
5w with Standard Antenna = 13+km
5w with 3db Range Extender Antenna = 25km+
Put the two people, each with the handheld radio antenna 1.5 metres above the ground on a flat beach. Radio range without any dunes or hills in the way will be about 10-15km. Reduce the power of the radios to 1 watts and range will probably drop to somewhere in the region of 4km.
Put one person on top of a 6 metre dune, assuming no higher dunes or hills are in between blocking the signal, range will increase to 15-20km . With the FDP range extender antenna fitted to both radios 20km would be very achievable.
Now put one person up on a 70 metre hill and the line of sight should be about 30km. Range Extender Antenna fitted to cars via adapters to the handheld radios’ antenna sockets and the range should be up to 40-45km.
3dB or 4.5dB gain antennas seem fine out to about 15km vehicle to vehicle and further to repeaters. More than 15km and you might need to start looking at 6dB gain antennas.
If you require greater range you can use what’s called a repeater station, these are usually situated on high ground & will relay your signal to other CB users, Range can be between 50 – 150km or more.
Q. You mention a Battery Save Feature available, what is that?
A. The Battery Save Feature on FDP Radios extends battery life greatly, even up to several days of receive (up to 50hrs standby time – depending on software setting by the distributor or approved agent). Some manufacturers call this a battery management system. Both the FDP Pro and FDP DMR have several battery save options available to them by software programming. Very few radio can boast this. At default our battery save is set at 1:2, but higher levels are available.
At default on the FDP Pro you can get up to 30 hrs standby time, and normally a full days typical use from the battery, even at full power.
Also consider reducing the transmit output to LOW to save battery power, when being used over ranges of only a few hundred metres (like in traffic control). It is unlikely the person on the receiving end will notice any difference.
Q. Do the batteries require cycling and can they be over-charged?
A. Lithium ion batteries don’t require full cycling (fully discharging and then recharging) like the old NiCad or NiMH battery packs – so you can recharge anytime. All FDP Charging Cradles are the quick intelligent type and will stop charging the battery when full, and it will only take a couple of hours from a flat battery. However it is still best to turn the power supply off to the cradle when not in use (overnight left on is fine). This also helps re-setting of the charging cradle.
Li-ion Batteries require different care to the older NiCads or NiMH. Do not store a battery in a discharged state, as it can ruin the charging capacity of the battery. Do not leave a discharged battery in a radio that is left ON for excessive periods. This is called over discharging, and is not covered by warranty. This can ruin any rechargeable battery, not just Li-ions. For long term storage, it is recommended that the battery be removed from the radio, and fully charged beforehand.
Q. I don’t quite understand what is meant by Frequency Receive Mode (FDP Pro).
A. This is a frequency receiving (no transmit) mode between 430-500Mhz on the FDP Pro. You can scan for new frequencies of interest here, or if you know the frequency – type it in via the keypad.
Q. Can I monitor a CB channel and listen to the built-in FM Radio at the same time on the FDP Pro?
A. Yes – you can monitor a particular CB channel whilst listening to music and such, with the built-in FM Radio. If someone starts to talk on the monitored CB channel, the FM Radio will mute, and go over to that particular channel. Once that channel goes quiet, the FM Radio will cut back in.