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Everything You Need to Know About UHF Technology

Everything You Need to Know About UHF Technology
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Image by Pradamas Gifarry via Unsplash

Does your organization use UHF technology for wireless communication? If so, you need to ensure your system gives you clear signals without interference. While, you don’t need to know precisely how UHF technology works. It helps to know some fundamentals, so you can talk to a professional about getting a system that matches your needs.

What Is UHF Technology?

UHF (ultra high frequency) technology includes satellite phones, Wi-Fi devices, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and many other devices that communicate via ultra high frequency radio waves.

Modern UHF RFID (radio frequency identification) wireless communication systems can come as all-in-one or as component systems. With component systems, you get to choose precisely what hardware to use.

Many systems include:

  • RFID tags
  • Antennas
  • Evaluation units
  • Power cord sets
  • Patch cords

You can find more components in the TX RX Products Page.

UHF Frequency Range

UHF uses radio frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz and has wavelength ranges between 100 mm and 1 m. The US Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) divides the UHF frequency range into two smaller categories:

  • L (Long wave), which consists of frequencies between 1 GHz and 2 GHz.
  • S (Short wave), which consists of frequencies between 2 GHz and 4 GHz (the upper end of S occupies the lowest range of Super high frequency, or SHF).

UHF Vs. VHF: What’s the Difference?

UHF and VHF sit right next to each other on the radio spectrum. Still, several features differentiate UHF from VHF, including their frequency and wavelength ranges, signal propagation, antenna sizes, and real-world applications.

Frequency and Wavelength Ranges

UHF has a 300 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range and a 0.1- to 1.0-meter wavelength. VFH has a range from 30 MHz to 300 MHz and a wavelength between 1 and 10 meters. In other words, UHF has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than VFH.

Signal Propagation

UHF radio frequencies typically use ground reflection and line-of-sight (LOS) propagation. In other words, if you can stand at your UHF transmitter and see your destination, the frequency can almost certainly reach the device. Unlike AM radio waves, UHF signals can’t follow the planet’s contours or travel beyond the horizon.

LOS propagation isn’t quite as literal as it sounds. For example, UHF signals can usually travel through interior walls. A thick wall made of stone, however, might block signal propagation.

Antenna Sizes

Shorter wavelengths mean UHF signals require smaller, more compact antennas. Since VHF have longer wavelengths, they need larger antennas. Anyone concerned about using space efficiently should choose UHF technology when possible.

Real-World Applications

Since UHF and VHF sit next to each other on the radio spectrum, they have some similar uses. For instance, you could use both signal types for a television broadcast. The smaller wavelength of UHF, however, makes it more suitable for transmitting signals between:

  • Wireless internet routers
  • Two-way radios
  • GPS devices
  • Remote control systems
  • Mobile phones

As long as you don’t need devices to send messages farther than 30 miles, you will probably want to choose UHF technology. Barriers, including buildings and hills, can affect how far UHF transmissions travel, so you need to consider how your area’s terrain might influence communication.

Not sure how your surroundings will affect your UHF transmissions? TXRX offers Site Optimization Services (SOS) that can optimize your RF quality and range. SOS can also detect interference from licensed and unlicensed carriers on your channel.

Industries Using UHF Technology

Any industry using walkie-talkies, short-range television broadcasting, mobile phones, and computer networking could potentially benefit from UHF technology.

Some groups currently using the technology include:

Various government agencies can also use UHF technology for wireless communication. For example, the military might use walkie-talkies to share information with troops. Similarly, a city police force can use UHF radios to coordinate crime-prevention activities.

Benefits of UHF Technology in Wireless Communication

Some benefits of relying on UHF technology in wireless communication include:

  • Taking advantage of transmissions that contain large amounts of information, which is especially useful for organizations that want to transmit video and audio.
  • Staying away from crowded areas of the frequency spectrum, such as 2.4 GHz, which is commonly used by Wi-Fi networks and the devices that connect to them.
  • Preventing interference from other UHF RF users in the area.
  • Relying on compact antennas instead of the larger designs needed to broadcast VHF signals.

Are There Disadvantages to Using UHF Technology?

Every wireless communication technology has some potential drawbacks to consider. With UHF technology, you should think about:

  • Obstacles and other users in your area that could interfere with your UHF-based communication.
  • FCC rules for how you can use certain UHF transmitters and channels. (In some cases, you might need to apply for a license.)
  • People in your area could listen to your communications.

TX RX offers several services that can help you overcome the disadvantages of relying on UHF technology for wireless communication. Learn more from our blog post about radio frequency site optimization services.

Talk to TX RX About Your Wireless Communication Needs

Curious to learn more about getting a UHF RF system or improving the one you already have? Get in touch with TX RX for expert advice!

 

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