All You Need to Know About the Difference Between VHF and UHF
  • Which is better? UHF or VHF
  • What do UHF and VHF stand for?
  • Who uses UHF and VHF?
  • How can I improve my signal strength on my VHF or UHF two-way radio?
  • What is the difference between UHF and VHF? Similarities?
  • Is my two-way radio compatible with existing radio systems?


Understanding the difference between 2-way radio VHF (very high frequency) and 2-way radio UHF (ultra-high frequency) will help you determine which one is right for you. Every wireless communication, like two-way radios and cell phones, have operating frequencies which is controlled by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

To help get a better understanding of UHF and VHF, below are some answers to some frequently asked questions.


Which is better VHF or UHF?

Choosing between one or the other depends on what you are going to use them for. VHF is mostly for outdoor use where you are free from obstructions. The frequencies of VHF travel further if they are not disrupted by barriers. The only time you will want to use VHF is if you are outside in a wide-open space like a field. VHF has smaller frequencies which means interference with other radios is common.

UHF, on the other hand, is an all-around better signal for long distance communication. UHF is better when using radios for indoor use like buildings or around cities. A plus to using UHF is you are less likely to be interfered by other two-way radios. The reason why UHF is better for inside use opposed to VHF is, UHF signal does a better job at reaching through wood, steel and concrete, therefore, can reach further into the building.


What do UHF and VHF stand for?

UHF stands for “Ultra High Frequency” while VHF stands for “Very High Frequency.” UHF can range from low band (378-512 MHz) to high band (764-870 MHz) while VHF ranges from low band (49-108 MHz) to high band (169-216 MHz). MHz stands for Megahertz and measures the speed of electronic devices.

0.003 MHz- 0.03 MHz

Very Low Frequency (VLF)

.03 MHz – 0.3 MHz

Low Frequency (LF)

0.3 MHz – 3 MHz

Medium Frequency (MF)

3 MHz – 30 MHz

High Frequency (HF)

30 MHz – 300 MHz

Very High Frequency (VHF)

300 MHz – 3,000 MHz

Ultra-High Frequency (UHF)

3,000 MHz – 30,000 MHz

Super High Frequency (SHF)

30,000 MHz – 300,000 MHz

Extra High Frequency (EHF)


Who uses UHF and VHF?

UHF is typically used by public safety officials like fire, police, and EMS with tv channels of 77-80. UHF is used for common purposes like phones, televisions, and ham radio operators. Casinos, security officials, warehouses, construction, manufacturing, and health care also use UHF radios to communicate to others across the building and through departments. The frequencies a public safety official use MHz between 849 and 869 and a 13 cm ham radio band has an MHz of 2300 to 1310.

VHF is commonly used for communication on boats and marine personnel. It’s a very important piece to have on board because you can contact nearby boaters when certain emergencies arise. Channel 16 is used when needing to make an emergency call and certain protocol should be followed. Agencies like TSA and CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) use VHF for their two-way radio communications.

How can I improve my signal strength on my VHF or UHF two-way radio?

One way to improve the range on a two-way radio is by improving the antennas. The length of your antenna determines the length of the radio waves. The wavelengths of UHF (ultra-high frequency) are short so antennas for UHF two-way radios are typically small and stubby in size. VHF requires a slightly larger antenna to improve its range and how far it will travel. VHF antennas can receive channels 2 through 13 while UHF antennas can receive channels 14 through 83. Since VHF often gets interfered with other frequencies, the best ways to ensure you don’t get interrupted is to locate where the interference is coming from. On a boat, there are a lot of places the noise can come from. Listen to the receiver and note any changes in noise level. Another way to help with interruptions is bonding. This ensures that the notice goes away to the ground instead of radiated. All motors and such should be constructed in the ground.

An issue that can occur with signals is frequency overlapping. This means that if two radios are using the same frequency then the radio waves interrupt each other, and the transmissions overlap. This will most likely happen when they are in the range of each other or are in the same coverage area. You won’t have any issues with a single transmitter but if you want to cover a large area with multiple transmitters that’s when it becomes difficult because you don’t want them to interrupt each other.

What is the difference between UHF and VHF? Similarities?

The main difference between the two frequencies is the range. UHF two-way radios have a range that is wider than VHF. This means that UHF frequencies have smaller waves that produce a greater range. They are more likely to pass barriers like rock easier. VHFs range is reduced due to signal degradation with barriers such as trees or hills. Together they both reach a good distance. Another difference between UHF and VHF is their battery life. UHF uses a lot of its battery due to the higher frequency. The last difference between the two radios is that UHF does come at a higher cost than VHF. With knowing that, there is a lot of VHF radios that are being compared to UHF with slight differences. 

Is my two-way radio compatible with existing radio systems?

In order to ensure your radio is compatible with existing radio systems make sure you are staying within the same frequency band. If you are using a UHF radio now, your new radio needs to have a UHF operating mode if you want them to communicate. Another way to ensure your radios are compatible is by making sure the current systems are correct. The newer models should be digital, but other models may still be using analog. Lastly, you need to keep in mind that if your radios meet the certain requirements mentioned above, they still may not be compatible. If you are unsure at any time that your two radios are compatible give our partners at First Source Wireless a call and they would be happy to assist in selecting the correct two-way radio. You can find all of First Source Wireless two way radios at https://www.firstsourcewireless.com/harris-macom-two-way-radios

About First Source Wireless:

First Source Wireless mission is to provide optical wireless solutions and products since 2003 and is a Women-Owned Small Business located just outside Washington DC in Eldersburg, Maryland. Call a representative for a free consultation at (800) 806-1076



1. Charge the battery to full capacity.  14 hours at the standard C/10 rate (capacity X .10).  For “rapid” chargers, allow additional time (2-3 hours) for “topping off” the charge after it switches from “charging” to “complete”.

2. Use the battery soon and use as much of the battery capacity as possible or practical.  A battery that is charged and discharged completely will maintain the longest running time capacity.  Also, several charge/discharge cycles are recommended to bring a new battery up to its rated capacity.

3. Store and charge the batteries at room temperature 65˚F to 75˚F.  Batteries that have been stored for over a month should be recharged before putting into service due to chemical self-discharge which occurs at a rate of approximately 1% per day.  Do not charge cold batteries (40˚F or below).

4. Reduced capacity or “memory effect” may result from repeated identical shallow discharge/full recharge cycles.  If such a condition is suspected, run the battery until the instrument loses all power, then fully recharge and discharge again.  Repeat this cycle 3-4 times.  Full usable capacity then becomes available.


RELM KNG Accessories

Check out in stock RELM KNG accessories 


Motorola Battery & Accessory Date Codes

Wondering if your Motorola Battery is still under warranty? Use the Motorola Battery & Accessory Date Code guide below


OEM Quality for a Fraction of the Cost


Waveband Communications guarantees the lowest price on any comparable quality Motorola radio accessories. Prior to purchase, send us an official quote for products of similar or higher quality from any Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Waveband Communications will match the quoted price. No hassle price matching process!

Order Your Motorola APX Radio Accessories Today

Order by phone: 800-806-1076
Order by text: 443-340-2964



Featured Motorola APX Radio Accessories 


Motorola BDN6728A Earpiece


Motorola BDN6728A Earpiece

Listen-only earpiece provides quality and comfort during private communications. Comparable to Motorola RLN5313_XL. 


Remote Speaker Microphone


Remote Speaker Microphone

Professional grade. Often used as a public safety microphone for Motorola APX. Comparable to Motorola PMMN4069. 



6-bank Battery Charger


6-bank Battery Charger

Tri-chemistry charger, capable of charging NiCd, NiMH, Li-Ion, and LiPo chemistry batteries. Comparable to Motorola NNTN8185.


3000mAh Smart Battery


3000mAh Smart Battery

Maximize the performance of your Motorola APX series radio with this smart battery. Comparable to Motorola PMNN4486.


Motorola APX 6000 Leather Case


Motorola APX 6000 Leather Case

Heavy duty leather case for Motorola APX 6000 series radios. Comparable to Motorola PMLN5327.

Choose from 1000+ GSA-Approved Communications Products

GSA-Approved Communications Products

Choose from 1000+ GSA-Approved Communications Products

Waveband Communications offers a wide variety of GSA-approved critical communications products. It's easy to do business with us, so why shop anywhere else? When reliability counts, choose Waveband Communications. Contract #GS35F228BA



Featured Relm Radio Accessories

Relm KNG-P150 Two-wire Surveillance Kit

Relm KNG-P150 Two-wire Surveillance Kit  

Professional grade two-wire surveillance kit for Relm KNG-150P Radio. Meets OSHA regulations.



Relm KNG P-150 Radio Battery

Relm KNG P-150 Radio Battery

Aftermarket, rechargeable battery used by the U.S. Military, as well as Police and Fire.



Relm KNG Radio Battery Charger

Relm KNG Radio Battery Charger

Highly durable battery charger with interchangeable adapter pods to charge a variety of battery models.



Relm KNG-P150 Battery Belt Clip

Relm KNG-P150 Battery Belt Clip

Our battery belt clip meets stringent quality standards and is designed to provide years of reliable service.



GSA SmartPay Card

Use Your GSA SmartPay Card

Purchasing radio accessories are easier than ever before with your GSA SmartPay Card. Place an order for all your radio accessory needs with Waveband Communications—no extensive process or hoops to jump through (valid on purchases up to $10,000).

Radio Battery Non-Rechargeable

Primary Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Primary Batteries

Always be ready!

˜ Natural Disasters        ˜ Power Outages            ˜ Remote Operations  

Primary batteries (non-rechargeable) fill a critical need for many situations when reliable power is needed quickly or charging is not practical. Include primary batteries by Waveband Communications in your readiness plan.

Our primary batteries are constructed with high energy lithium cells and enclosed in an impact resistant case to ensure you stay on the air. Advantages of primary batteries from Waveband Communications are:

ü  Grab and go convenience

ü  Up to 10-year shelf life

ü  Lithium cells deliver dependable, superior performance compared to alkaline.

ü  Purple case is easily distinguishable from other battery types

Primary batteries are expensive for everyday use. However, they can be priceless in many situations. In addition to a readiness supply at HQ, consider keeping our primary batteries in vehicles to support extended operations.

Primary (non-rechargeable) batteries are available for the following radio families:

Questions about primary batteries? Contact our experts today.

Waveband Communications is at the forefront of battery technology for high stakes two-way radio communications.

Phone: 800-806-1076


Kenwood Flier

Waveband Communications is now stocking Elite Series Radio Accessories for Kenwood Radios


The Elite Series Accessories are designed for the high demands required by our countries public safety organizations


All orders can be shipped within 24 hours



  • Features:
  • 3.5mm Accessory Jack
  • Functioning Emergency Button
  • Hirose Connector
  • Waterproof IP54 Rating
  • 41 Currently in stock

*Works with the K2-ADP-M7 Adapter*



  • Allows ARC Hirose series speaker mics with 6 pin adapters to connect to Kenwood Radios
  •  Compatible with: NX-410, NX-411, NX5-5200, NX-5300, NX-4000, NX-5410, NX-5410d, NX-5220, NX-5320, TK-5210G, TK-5310G, NX-210, NX-220, and NX-300 Radios
  •  51 Currently in Stock


  • This Two Wire Surveillance Kit is compatible with our K2-ADP-M7 adapter
  •  Allows for ease of use when removing the radio from a duty belt
  •  Quick Disconnect Hirose Adapter
  •  Kevlar Reinforced Cable
  •  Premium Microphone and Medical Grade Acoustic Tube
  •  103 Currently in Stock


  • 3.5mm Receive Only Earpiece
  •  Right angle plug with 10’ coiled cord
  •  For use with earphone jacks on all shoulder/ lapel mics
  •  612 Currently in Stock

W- Scorpion

  • Receive only lightweight flexible earpiece
  •  For use with a 3.5mm audio jack
  •  442 Currently in Stock

Flexible Open Ear Inserts

  • Available in both Left and Right Large, Medium, and Small
  •  Over 1,000 Currently in Stock




Two-way Portable Radio Battery Comparison

 Comparison of nickel cadium, nickel metal hydrid, lithium Ion and lithium polymer batteries. 

The differences are apparent!

Waveband Communications designs and manufactures various chemistry batteries for all major two-way portable radios. This includes, but is not limited to Motorola, Kenwood, Harris, ICOM, and Relm. We are going to discuss the differences between each chemistry so you are able to select the right battery for your communication needs.


Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) is the best battery for performing in extreme hot and cold temperatures. It also has a great shelf life. What this means is that when you do not use the battery for a significant amount of time, it still performs at a high level. Find the advantages and disadvantages of Nickel Cadmium here:


  •          Available in various sizes and performance options.
  •          Very forgiving if abused.
  •          The high number of charge and discharge cycles. If properly maintained, it provides over 1,000 charge and discharge cycles.


  •          Relatively low energy density compared to newer systems
  •          Environmentally unfriendly contains toxic metals. Limited in some countries.
  •          Has relatively high self-discharge meaning it needs to be recharged after stored.

A Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery is the next step up from nickel-cadmium considering it has 30% to 40% more capacity than Ni-Cd.  See the advantages and disadvantages of Nickel Metal-Hydride below for more information:


  •          Simple storage and transportation.
  •          Environmentally friendly, only contains mild toxins (profitable for recycling).


  •          Approximately 20% more expensive than Ni-Cd because Nickel Metal-Hydride batteries are designed for high current draw, which is more expensive than the regular version.
  •          Limited service life. If repeatedly deep cycled, performance deteriorates after 200-300 cycles. Shallow discharge cycles are preferred for batteries.
  •          High maintenance – batteries require a full discharge to prevent crystalline formation.

Now, the Lithium-ion batteries are lighter and provide higher capacity for longer run times. To learn more about this battery, please find the advantages and disadvantages below for your convenience:


  •          High energy density with the potential for higher capacities.
  •          Relatively low self-discharge. The self-discharge is less than half of Ni-Cd and Ni-MH.
  •          Low Maintenance. There is no periodic discharge needed due to no memory effect.


  •          Requires circuit protection. Circuit protection limits the voltage and current. The battery is safe if it is not irritated.
  •          Subject to aging, even if not in use. It is suggested to store the Li-Ion battery in a cool place at 40% charge to reduce its aging effect.
  •          Expensive to manufacture. Greater than 40% in cost to manufacture compared to Ni-Cd.

Lithium-Ion Polymer (Li-Po) batteries acquire the highest capacity, but they do not have a memory effect. For more details on this type of battery, please find the advantages and disadvantages here:


  •          Flexible form factor. Manufacturers are not bound by standard cell formats. With the high volume, any reasonable size can be produced economically.
  •          Light weight because it eliminates a metal shell. It is 20% lighter than the Li-Ion battery.
  •          Improved safety. More resistant to over charge, less chance for electrolyte leakage.


  •          Lower energy density and decreased cycle count versus the Lithium-Ion battery.
  •          Expensive to manufacture once this battery becomes mass produced. The Li-Ion polymer battery has the potential for lower costs. It reduces control circuit offsets higher manufacturing costs.

Intrinsically safe battery packs are required for safety while using electronic or electrical equipment in the environment made by hazards from flammable gases or dust. Waveband Communications intrinsically safe battery packs for mobile communication equipment are designed to not allow the generation of heat or a spark to cause an explosion or ignite flammable atmospheres. The use of these battery packs from Waveband Communications is crucial for fire fighters as well as those who work in mines or oil refineries. Our battery packs help minimize liability and maximize safety for the personnel working in dangerous areas that have the potential existence of explosions and fires. Choice your FM approved IS battery at https://www.wvbandcoms.com/intrinsically-safe-battery-packs  Lithium Ion Polymer batteries are in the most use by law enforcement personnel. This is because the batteries last longer for their extensively long shifts.  Lithium-based chemistry batteries are ideal for personnel that requires extended battery life this includes, Casino Security, investigative task forces, and elite military forces.

Lithium Ion Polymer batteries have been popular for powering drones. They also power today’s cell phones. Lithium-Polymer batteries have had the ability to discharge quickly, delivering relatively high power for a short time period.  In addition to providing longer talk times Polymer batteries, have no memory effect, are lighter, and come with a 24-month warranty.

Waveband Communications has made investments to ensure the dependability and only use the best quality components for your batteries. We have the highest level of inventory to be able to deliver these products immediately to support our mission-critical clientele.

Get your Lithium Ion Polymer battery pack today! Check us out: https://www.wvbandcoms.com/wv-7335-lip-high-capacity-lithium-polymer-battery-for-motorola-xts2500-series-radio 

Find all of our two-way radio batteries at: wvbandcoms.com/two-way-radio-battery-packs.

Overstock Accessories at 50% off!



Single-Wire Earpiece for Motorola XPR 3500 Radios. Has a sturdy "C" swivel earloop with clear-audio speaker that rests on the ear.


Buy Now


Professional Grade 1-wire surveillance kit with hirose quick release. In use by hundreds of Federal law enforcement professionals, casinos, security, and railroad personnel nationwide. This product is well proven in the field by heavy duty users.

Buy Now


Motorola PMLN6536A 2-wire pellet-style earpiece kit for Motorola CP200 series radios. Motorola CP ear piece with clip microphone and PTT, ear bud and CP 200 connector.

Buy Now


Motorola PMMN4071A Compatible Waterproof Remote Speaker Microphone for Motorola XPR 3300, 3500 Radios

Buy Now


SHOP & SAVE up to 50%



Choose from our large variety of in stock accessories for all major radios models at www.wvbandcoms.com

Offer Expires 2/2/2018