Are my two-way radios DIGITAL?

If you recently bought two-way radios with any of the following DIGITAL standards listed on the box: P25, DMR, IDAS or NXDN, the radios are DIGITAL. If it does not list any of the noted DIGITAL standards, then the two-way radios are ANALOG only.

Why is this important? Well, many two-way radios prominently list a technical filtering feature by the common marketing name of DCG (Digital Channel Guard) or DPL (Digital Private Line) with DPL being the most widely used. The real name of that filtering feature is CDCSS (Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System). Since the word DIGITAL is in the description, it may give the impression that it is a Digital radio, but it is not.

CTCSS and CDCSS are a set of filters that reduce interference from other users when sharing the same frequencies. The CTCSS codes are an older set of filters used in the 50’s when two-way radios were just coming into use.

ANALOG only radios will just list the power rating, channel capacity, CTCSS and CDCSS as part of the selling features. ANALOG only two-way radios will never be able to work in Digital mode. They will not have the advantage of improved battery life, range, PRIVACY, caller ID and other features and functions true Digital radios have.

ANALOG and DIGITAL two-way radios of equal quality are almost equal in price and Digital radios are compatible and work with ANALOG radios. So the next time you are looking to buy two-way radios pay attention to the label and remember that if it does not say P25, DMR, NXDN, or IDAS, it is not DIGITAL.

Call 1-800-269-4098 or contact us if you need additional information or need help choosing your two-way radio equipment.

Written by: Frank Sampedro


  1. http://www.repeater-builder.com/tech-info/ctcss/ctcss-overview.html
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P25 Best Practice

For those of you thinking about implementing or upgrading your P25 system, Tait Communications has launched a new web site called P25 Best Practice. There you will find four guides on First Steps, Specifying, Procuring and Implementing a P25 system from a group of 30 accredited experts on the field. To read more just go to P25bestpractice.com

taitp25 best practice

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DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is the private industry version of a digital standard. Radios from multiple vendors designed with the DMR standard are guaranteed to work with each other. A Tait DMR two-way radio will work with a Hytera as well as Vertex Standard and MOTOTRBO. This offers flexibility as well as healthy competition when customers are trying to decide which product to purchase. Offering features such as one to one, one to all, group calls, GPS and text messaging, the DMR standard creates a new level of utility for the two-way radio.

DMR repeaters are designed to allow two users to share the same repeater at the same time without interference. This provides companies a two for one feature. Presently in analog operation one repeater is required for each group.

DMR has also opened the door for software designers to develop software products that will work with the radios. Just like smart phone applications, DMR applications are now offering value added features such as work flow reports and trouble tickets. With all these features available to the user, DMR still provides for analog communication. This guarantees a smooth migration with older legacy radios that customers may not be able to replace now.

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