Popular questions

All items that we sell are factory fresh with full manufacturer's warranties.

We are able to offer the pricing we do by being a top level dealer and receiving volume discounts that we pass directly onto you!

We are an authorized dealer for all the items we sell.

Most manufacturers have MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) requirements that dealers must follow when showing the price of certain items on an open website. These MAP prices are usually higher than the actual price that we are offering. Taking a few seconds to login or register will be well worth the effort as it will unlock our best pricing site wide!

No items can be returned more than 30 days from the original invoice date. 


If you purchase a product from our web site and decide that you no longer want it, we can offer you a refund if all the following criteria are met:


- The product must be unopened, and in resalable condition.

- The exterior of the package must be free from damage or marking of any kind.

- We must receive the returned item within 30 days of the original purchase date.

- Some special order items that we procured for a specific application may not be refundable.

 - All returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee

To begin your return, please call us or complete complete this form.


Returned items must be mailed to the below address:

Radio Depot

61 Industrial Park Drive

Hendersonville, TN 37075

Attn: Your sales order #

These designators refer to the frequency bands that the radios operate in. 

In general, VHF radios operate in the 138-174 MHz band, UHF radios operate in the 400-512 MHz band and 800/900 radios operate in the 800-900 MHz band. 

VHF radios are recommended for outside only applications in rural areas.  UHF radios are recommended for indoor and outdoor applications in urban areas.  800-900 radios are recommended for applications in population dense, city applications with many reinforced concrete buildings.

In most cases, the answer is no. VHF radios only work with other VHF radios, UHF with UHF, etc. 

Motorola offers some extremely high end radios that will talk across all bands but these radios often cost in the many thousands of dollars. There are also some console solutions that allow operators to patch different frequency bands together.

Beware of recently introduced Chinese products that claim to support both VHF and UHF bands.  Practical use has shown these products to offer inferior performance in both bands.  The old adage “You get what you pay for!” applies to communication products also.

The main advantage of digital vs analog is usable range.  Digital radios typically offer a 20-25% increase in range over analog radios. Also, unlike analog radios, there will never be static with a digital radio. 

Digital radios can be programmed to work with both digital and analog frequencies whereas analog radios can only be used with other analog radios. 

Finally, battery life is greater on a digital radio when used on a digital frequency.

If you are purchasing radios that need to work with any existing radios that you have, we need to know:

(1) the receive (RX) and transmit (TX) frequency for each channel

(2) the PL or DPL tone for each analog channel

(3) the digital ID (Motorola) or RAN code (ICOM) for each digital channel

(4) the channel name (if defined). 

If you want option buttons programmed on the radio to perform a specific task, we also need to know this info. All the above information can be provided directly to your sales rep, or you can email it to sales@radiodepot.com

Note that it is always best to provide a master radio from your fleet for the first order from us so we can ensure all current options are programmed in your new radios.

This differs depending on the manufacturer, but most cover failure of the radio due to normal use. 

Dropping the radio from more than 10 feet, running over it with a truck or forklift, dropping it in a mud puddle or spilling a chemical on it, in most cases, would not be covered under the manufacturer’s standard warranty. 

However, there are addiitonal warranties available on some models that would cover failures due to accidental damage.

Most accessories and batteries are warranted for 12 months while most low end radios have a 12-24 month warranty. 

Motorola XPR series radios now come standard with a 60 month warranty (18 months on IMPRES batteries).

In most instances, yes. Some exceptions are:

- Certain Motorola Radios (DTR series)

- Radios programmed with itinerant frequencies using low power (less than 2 watts)

- WiFi only radios

- LTE radios

- VHF radios set up for low power transmissions on Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) frequencies.

Two-way radio questions

Range is not specified by any manufacturer because so many factors can influence it.  Range is obtained from a combination of transmit power and antenna height and is affected by any potential interference between radios. 

This interference can be any combination of terrain and structures.  No radio will talk through a mountain from one side to the other without a repeater located on top of the mountain which has a direct path to each radio user.  Likewise, talking in a city environment where many reinforced concrete buildings are between users will greatly affect range. Each environment where radios are used is unique and will produce a unique coverage area.

Typically, you can expect a 1-2 mile useful range with most full power radios.

No.  To reach the 20 mile range claim on those radios, conditions would have to be perfect and the users would probably each have to be located on the top of a mountain with a direct line of sight to each other. 

While it is certainly possible for a portable radio to talk to another radio 20 miles away, most radios only can communicate within a few miles of each other.  VHF radios tend to talk the furthest with the limitation that they don’t penetrate structures well.  UHF radios tend to penetrate structures better than VHF but they don’t go as far as VHF.  800/900 give maximum penetration in buildings but their range is typically much less than UHF. 

As a rule, the lower the frequency the greater the range but lower the penetration into structures and the higher the frequency the shorter the range but higher the penetration into structures.

Basic Questions:

Ask yourself why you feel that you need a repeater. Are you not getting the coverage that you need?  What kind of building(s) are you needing coverage in?  What are their outer walls covered in (brick, metal, ect)?  What is the total square footage?  If you need to talk outside the building(s), what is the total acreage that encompasses?  Do you need your repeater to work on analog frequencies, digital frequencies or both (mixed mode)?

Additional Questions:

What place in your facility is centrally located, has 110VAC power available and has the ability to mount an antenna up higher than the surrounding terrain?  Since the hand held radios are the weak link in a radio system (due to their limited power output), you can test a proposed repeater location by having someone stand at the exact location of the proposed repeater antenna with a handheld radio and then have someone else walk around the property (also with a handheld radio) and see if the radios can communicate with each other at these desired locations.  If so, that would be a good spot to put a repeater system.  If not, move to the next proposed repeater/antenna location and repeat the process until you find a spot that produces the best result. 

These are all questions that will help determine what repeater is needed and where to locate it.

The IP Rating System defines how well equipment performs under harsh environments.  If the equipment has an IP rating specified, then the manufacturer has tested the item to the test specifications for that rating.

For a complete overview of the IP Rating System and examples of what the ratings mean, please view the document listed here.

An intrinsically safe radio is one that has special circuitry for use in hazardous environments where a spark could ignite flammable gases or particles.

In order to get a radio system that is intrinsically safe (UL or FM Rated), the radio must be ordered from the factory with the UL option (for Motorola) or FM option (for ICOM) specified.  This results in a UL or FM rated system from the factory with the appropriate UL or FM labels and markings on both the battery and the radio (white marking dot for UL or green marking dot for FM). Even though both UL and FM offer intrinsically safe certifications, they are not compatible with each other so a UL rated radio should always be used with a UL rated battery and a FM rated radio should always be used with a FM rated battery. Motorola used to supply FM rated radios and batteries before moving to UL. Motorola has now discontinued most of their FM rated batteries. If you have a Motorola FM rated radio, you will need to find a FM rated aftermarket battery to use with that radio in order to keep it an intrinsically safe system.

You cannot put a UL battery on a non-UL radio and have a compliant UL radio system! Likewise, you cannot put a FM rated battery on a UL rated radio (or vice-versa) and have an intrinsically safe radio system.

In most cases, no.  Most chargers do not operate correctly when the radio is on while being charged.  Also, using the charger as a stand to hold the radio between conversations is not recommended when optimal battery life is desired.

Programming questions

It is possible but requires an investment. 

With a few exceptions, the majority of the radios we sell require a computer running special software hooked to the radio via a special cable in order to program them.  Most software has to be purchased and licensed for legal use.

While we can sell programming software for most brands, Motorola software can only be purchased directly from Motorola.

Scanning allows you to listen to multiple frequencies. This is desirable if a user wants to hear all traffic on multiple channels. 

This feature is usually enabled and disabled via a programmable button.

Normal scanning proceeds sequentially thru each channel in the scan list.  If the scan list is long, it may take a while to return to your primarily used channel resulting in missed transmissions. 

Priority scan alters the scan process by starting on the priority channel, moving to the next channel on the list and always returning to the priority channel before continuing to the next channel on the list.  This minimizes missing a call on your main channel.

Absolutely not! 

We never password protect a radio's programming info unless specifically asked to do so by the customer (and the password would be provided).

Battery questions

NiCd is an old technology that produced heavy batteries with relatively low capacity and which were very susceptible to memory effect – a condition where the charger thinks that the battery is fully charged but it isn’t.  They also have been labeled an environmental hazard.  Due to these factors, NiCd batteries are no longer shipped with radios.  NiMH is a newer technology that produces higher capacity batteries and is less susceptible to memory effect. However, NiMH still produces batteries that tend to be heavy.  Li-ion is the latest technology which produces lightweight, high capacity batteries that do not suffer from memory effect.  Most newer radios use Li-ion batteries.  The negatives of Li-ion batteries is that they are more expensive than the other technologies and that they do not work well at extremely cold temperatures.  With this being said, Li-ion is the recommended choice for most applications.

This will depend on the amount of time that your radio is transmitting, receiving or doing neither.  Transmitting uses the greatest amount of battery power followed by receiving. You may see a manufacturer claim a typical 12 hour battery life for a particular radio/battery configuration. All manufacturers use a 5/5/90 calculation (5% transmitting / 5% receiving / 90% idle) when specifying typical battery life.  In a nutshell, the more you transmit, the less time you will have between charges.

Possibly.  Most chargers will rapid charge the battery and then will maintain a trickle charge after the rapid charge period completes.  When a trickle charge continues for extended periods, the battery heats up and outgasses its electrolytes creating a “dry cell” which will lead to unsatisfactory performance.  It is recommended that you place your battery in the charger when you leave for the day and remove it completely from the charger during use.  If you will not be using the radio for weeks, it is recommended that you do not leave the radio in the charger during this time.  There is an optional charging system for some radio models which can support batteries being left on a charger for extended periods of time. Motorola offers the IMPRES battery and charger system which does allow batteries to be left on the charger for extended periods as both the battery and charger contain microprocessors which communicate with each other and prevent overcharging.

Most batteries, if properly maintained, will last between 300-400 charge cycles which typically equates to 12-18 months.  Motorola IMPRES batteries typically last 18-24 months with the warranty being 18 months.

All Motorola batteries sold in the last 5 years have a four digit date code stamped on the label which shows the approximate date of manufacture. 

This date code is of the format "YYWW" where "YY" is the last two digits of the year and "WW" is the week of the year. 

For example, "1850" would be the 50th week of 2018 or the week of 12/10/2018.

Keep in mind that Motorola usually marks this date code to be 3-6 weeks after the actual manufacture date to allow for time in inventory before being sold.  Always keep your sales receipt to assist you with any warranty claim.

Motorola's warranty on most batteries is 12 months (18 months on IMPRES batteries) and this warranty policy will replace a battery that will not hold at least 80% charge during the warranty period.

ICOM batteries have a date code stamped on the battery label with the format being dependent on the battery model.

The document here will provide additional information.

Most ICOM batteries have a 12 month warranty.

No!  This subject is one of the most misunderstood in the radio business.  The only way to get a complete intrinsically safe radio system is to order the radio from the factory that way.  The factory, in turn, will ship a radio and battery with UL markings (for Motorola) or FM markings (for ICOM).  Simply placing an intrinsically safe battery on a non-intrinsically safe radio WILL NOT create an intrinsically safe radio system!

Accessory questions

Yes, the use of stubby antennas will typically reduce range. 

The lower frequencies (i.e. VHF) are more likely to be affected than UHF and 800/900.  Therefore, stubby antennas for VHF, while available, are not recommended where range may be an issue.

No. While most accessories will work, there are some accessories that will not work with certain radios, even though the accessory plugs into the radio properly. 

For any questions concerning compatibility, please contact our sales staff for assistance.

VOX is not supported on all radios.  Also, VOX, while an attractive sounding solution for hands-free operation, in practicality only works well in quiet environments. 

VOX configurations cannot tell the difference between voice and other noises which can lead to the radio transmitting at unwanted times.  Therefore, we do not recommend the use of accessories in VOX mode.

FCC licensing questions

The choice is yours but the FCC can issue fines of up to $10,000 a day per occurrence.

For additional information on FCC licensing, go to www.fcc.gov.

"NarrowBanding" is a mandate implemented by the FCC and which was fully implemented on 01/01/2013.  This mandate requires all radios used in the VHF and UHF bands transmit with a 12.5 kHz "narrow" bandwidth. 

All radios set up for 25.0 kHz "wide band" use must be reprogrammed to 12.5 kHz narrow band operation. Older radios which are incapable of narrow band transmission must no longer be used.  This entire process was put in place in order to create more frequencies in the radio spectrum (the range of frequencies available for use in each frequency band).

The fines from the FCC for continuing to transmit wide band after 01/01/2013 can be substantial.  

For additional information on this subject, reference the document below:

FCC NarrowBanding Document

Absolutely not. While it is expected that the FCC will eventually force digital only radio use sometime in the future (due to digital's more efficient use of available spectrum), this has not been implemented at this time. 

Be wary of any scare tactics that some salespeople may use to try and force you to upgrade your analog radios to digital.  Analog radios are still legal for use at this time as long as they are capable of, and are programmed for, narrow band operation.

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