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Difference Between UHF and VHF Radios

vhf-radioUHF vs VHF Radios

You can get radios that use either UHF (Ultra High Frequency) or VHF (Very High Frequency). The fundamental difference is in the range of frequencies that they use. VHF radios have been around for much longer and are quite cheaper compared to UHF. Because of that, there are a lot of VHF radios in existence compared to UHF. Couple this to the fact that VHF has a much narrower spectrum and fewer channels, it leads to congestion and greater chance of having interference from other radios in the area.

The higher frequency of a UHF radio directly translates to a much shorter antenna, allowing manufacturers to produce much more compact models. This is desirable as smaller models are more portable and a lot less clumsy to manipulate. Though both types of radios can reach great distances, VHF radios suffer from signal degradation due to barriers in the landscape. These barriers can range widely from mountains, hills, trees, and even buildings. This reduces the range of VHF radios greatly, especially in urban locations. UHF waves can penetrate these barriers much better and are affected less. UHF radios often tend to consume their batteries a lot faster compared to VHF due to the higher frequency being used. This might be bad for people who are away from a charging station for extended periods of time.

Both radios are good but there are certain situations that you might find one to be better than the other. In rural areas where there are very few buildings and even fewer tall ones, you can settle for the cheaper VHF radio. The fewer number of people in the area also lessens the chance of interference since there are fewer competing users. UHF radios are the best option when you intend to use it inside city limits where you are surrounded by a lot of tall buildings and your signals are expected to pass through multiple walls. The wider frequency spectrum of UHF also lessens the chance of interference from other users, which is very likely because of the great number of people in a relatively small area.

1.UHF radios have a wider range of usable frequencies compared to VHF
2.VHF radio equipment is cheaper compared to UHF
3.VHF radios need a larger antenna compared to UHF radios
4.UHF is better at penetrating barriers compared to VHF
5.UHF radios drain the battery faster than VHF radios

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  1. I have never heard that using a higher frequency will increase power consumption.

  2. Can a UHF and a VHF radios be interchangeable by just changing the frequencys ?

  3. This article would suggest that UHF has a better range than VHF, VHF will give you much better range than UHF. Also, I’ve yet to see a UHF consume more battery power.

  4. What is the range of a 1/4/8 watt vhf + uhf handheld radio.
    Mark Kirby.

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