First, select the radio frequency band which would best suit your needs. (ie: VHF, UHF or 900 MHz) If you are talking in and around concrete and brick you would want to select the UHF or 900 MHz.
Second, with your frequency band chosen, narrow down the field of radios which have the features you like. (ie. number of channels, amount of wattage, text messaging, or plain jane, etc.)
Third, compare apples-to-apples. If you decide a 1 channel, 4 watt UHF radio would suit your needs, compare all brands with this criteria.
Fourth, look at the MIL SPECs of the radios you've selected. This will tell you much about their durability. (Some of the low cost radios will show up as lacking in this area.) The MIL SPECs are available for every radio on their product literature, and most likely on the internet.
Fifth, look at the size and weight of the unit. A radio might look great on paper, until you find out it is the size of a brick.
Sixth, look at repairability. Once your radio is out of warranty, is it repairable, and at what cost.
Seventh, look at battery, antenna and belt clip replacement costs. In two years you will need to be replacing those rechargeable batteries.
Hopefully, this will get you started. If you have questions, repost here, or talk to a radio dealer or two. IMHO most schools use UHF 4 watt models, or the newer 900 MHz (license-free) digital radios with success.
Sep 04, 2008 |