Before we dive into this article, we do want to point out that this is not going to be a complete two-way radio frequencies list. Doing something like that would be rather pointless. Two-way radio covers an incredibly broad spectrum of radio frequencies. In addition to this, for most purposes of two-way radios (except for CB radio), you will not be communicating with people en-mass. You will be doing it in private (well, mostly private). In some cases you won’t need to know how to find two way radio frequencies as some radios are pre-programmed. Unfortunately, this still doesn’t mean that all frequencies will work. So, even if you did have a complete list, it may not make sense to your radio.
So, what are we going to do instead? Well, we are going to run you through the main types from the two way radio frequencies chart. We will tell you a little bit about the purpose that they are normally used for. This will actually prove to be more useful, simply because it makes choosing your radio a little bit easier.
Citizens Band Radio (CB)
Let’s start with CB radio, because this has been designed to actually be used by the public, and it is pretty much the only radio option where you can guarantee consistent communication without having to know the radio frequency of anybody. Just choose a channel and talk. There is a good chance that people will be tuned in and they may talk back. There are 40 different radio channels, operating at the shortwave radio frequency (between 26.9650 Mhz and 27.40500 MHz. Interestingly, while CB radio is public, some of these channels have a dedicated use based upon tradition. The ones you will likely need to know are:
- Channel 9: Emergency channel
- Channel 13: Marine and RV traffic, although most boats have moved on over to VHF options
- Channel 14: CB walkie talkies, although these are few and far between nowadays
- Channel 19: Main channel for truckers to communicate
Very High Frequency (VHF) radio operates on the frequencies between 136 and 174 MHz. You usually won’t need to refer to a two way radio frequency table, as it’s common for the handset to map these frequencies to channels. Some of them are reserved, but for the most part the whole spectrum can be accessed. Although do bear in mind that even the whole frequency spectrum can be accessed, there is a strong chance that your radio may not be able to tune into those frequencies. You will need to do your research on the specific model you have, or you are looking to buy, to find out what frequencies you can access.
While this is called ‘Very High Frequency’, the frequency isn’t actually all that high. There is an option above it. It turns out that the people who named these frequencies were not all that creative when it came to the naming process.
If you are planning to use your radio a lot outside, then you are going to need to choose a VHF radio. This type of device does not perform well indoors. So even if you know how to find a two-way radio frequency, there will always be a limit in the number of walls and other obstacles it can penetrate. These frequencies hate obstacles, and every obstacle that they touch will lessen the audio quality. Take it outside? Oh boy. Are you in for a ton of fun? The range of VHF radio is fantastic. The audio signal, assuming there are no obstacles, will be virtually unparalleled too.
VHF radio is perfect for those who are hunting or fishing. It is also a great option for those who are working outdoors for long periods of time e.g. farmers.
This is the really high frequency stuff (why didn’t they use that name?). Ultra High Frequency (UHF) operates between 403 MHz and 470 MHz. This is pretty much the most flexible of all radio frequencies. However, do bear in mind that UHF radio works a lot better indoors than it does outdoors. The obstacles indoors will likely still dampen the signal a little bit, but it won’t be too much and people should still come through ‘loud and clear’.
The problem with using UHF radio outdoors is the fact that the range is far more limited than VHF. So, while UHF radio signals are multi-purpose and can be used indoors and outdoors, you probably do not want to go down this route if you are only planning to use the radio outside. It isn’t really worth it due to that shorter range.
UHF radio will be used, mostly, by businesses that need to communicate with people in the same building as them. This means offices, warehouses, and the like. You may also find them used by security guards. If they are used outdoors, then they will likely be used by people who are always going to be within close proximity to each other e.g. they work well for cab drivers that may be driving around the same town, but if they are driving around a larger city, then VHF is probably going to be the route to go down.
It is worth noting that some of the best two-way radios on the market that can communicate via both UHF and VHF. However, these radios can be a little bit more on the expensive side of things because of this. So, only go down that route if you want something that has more functionality. If you already know whether you are going to be mostly using your two-radio indoors or outdoors, then you already know whether you need UHF or VHF. You typically do not need something that is ‘dual-purpose’. It would be a waste of money.
Go Start Chatting!
Remember; this is not a complete list of all the frequencies obtainable through two-way radio. There are some options we have missed off. This is because the general consumer is unlikely to encounter them. These options are limited to people with businesses, and in some cases, those who hold a license to broadcast over specific frequencies. For now, all of the information that you find on this page is all that you really need to know in order to find a quality two-way radio for general use.