A channel is a way to organize a two-way radio so that its user can communicate with multiple people without everyone talking over each other and having to worry about that talks when. This organization helps reduce chaos when using a radio. It would be extremely inefficient if everybody could talk at once, you would always be talking over someone else. These “channels” are selected from the frequencies available to them and programmed in the factory. Think about it like your TV- there are programmed channels that play. Now imagine it without channels, it would be extremely chaotic and unwatchable.
How many channels are typical to have?
That depends completely on you and your situation. In a typical two-way radio, the user has 4 possible channels to tune to frequencies for the radios in that group. Once clear frequencies are selected, all radios in the group would choose the same frequencies for the desired channel. For instance, in a hotel, maintenance would be on channel 1, engineering on channel 2, and the car valets on channel 3, etc. If you have a small business but want two-way radios for safety and communication you might only need two channels. But if you are a huge hotel or business that is always on your radios for a means of communication with other employees then you can have more than 50 channels. It all depends on you and your situation.
Do I have to program them all now or can I add on later?
The only way that this can work is if you buy a radio with lets say, 5 channels and you program maybe 2 of them. You still have 3 left over that you can do something with later.
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