Experienced Technicians in the world of Radio Communications

Delmac Field Services We specialize in Designing, Installation & Maintenance of Digital & Analogue Radio Networks Systems all over South Africa, Swaziland & Mozambique



How long has Delmac Field Services been in business
We have been in business since 1990.  We have established a reputation for offering competitive pricing and excellent customer service!  You can always expect high-quality equipment, competitive pricing, and friendly service from us!

Do I need a licence to use two-way radios?
Yes, to use a Two-Way Radio legally, you need to apply for a Radio Users Licence through the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) directly. We can assist you with your application as well. Theres an application fee and minimal annual Licence Fee applicable.
Alternatively you can rent space on Delmacs License .

What is a two-way radio?
A Two-Way Radio is a radio that receives and transmits radio signals. A walkie-talkie is another name a lot of people would call it!!

What types of organizations use two way radios?
Two way radios users are everywhere. They include Industrial plants, construction companies, wildlife preserves, game fFarms, schools, retail stores, special events companies, security companies, public safety organizations, film companies and just about anything else you can think of, wherever people need to communicate with each other outside.

What is the range of two-way radio?
This is a commonly asked question and while there are averages, each persons experience is based on the wattage of the radio and the terrain/venue in which it is used. The first question you would be asked when purchasing a radio is UHF or VHF?

UHF stands for "Ultra High Frequency" and VHF stands fro "Very High Frequency".

UHF band radios are great for both indoor and outdoor use, however, they are perfect for use indoors in convention centres, restaurants, clubs, warehouses, hotels, and anywhere else you would utilize a radio indoors. They are also great for situations where you need to communicate from indoors to outside. UHF (Ultra High Frequency: 430-470 MHz) will penetrate and bend around walls, windows, and other obstructions more easily than VHF.

VHF radios are great for outdoor use where there are not many obstructions and the terrain is fairly open. VHF (Very High Frequency: 136-174 MHz) travels quite far in this environment and is able to navigate hilly (not mountainous) terrain better than UHF. Golf courses, open field areas (such as hunting environments), outdoor construction sites are all places where using VHF make sense. On average, the radios will have a range of about 1 km per watt, however, the terrain and venue does matter. The more obstructions in the environment, the shorter the range will be. With standard business radios, 4-watt UHF and 5-watt VHF, we typically advise clients there is an average range of 2-5 km in most environments.

As for other UHF radio services, reliable range is considered to be line-of-sight and the distance to the radio horizon can be estimated based on antenna height. Theoretically, the range between two hand-held units would be about one or two miles (about one and a half to three km); mobile units have higher antennas and a range of around 5 miles (8 km). A GMRS repeater with an antenna that is high above the surrounding terrain can extend the usable range over a wide area – for example, up to a 20-mile radius around the repeater station. Obstructions such as hills and buildings can reduce range. Higher power does not necessarily give a proportional increase in range, although it may improve the reliability of communication at the limits of line-of-sight distance

How many radios can talk to one another?
The minimum number is two and there is no maximum limit, providing the radios are within range of one another and all radios are programmed on the same channel.

Do I need a licence to use two-way radios?
Yes, to use a Two-Way Radio legally, you need to apply for a Radio Users Licence through the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) directly. We can assist you with your application as well. Theres an application fee and minimal annual Licence Fee applicable!!

How can I use 2 Way Radios without getting an ICASA License?
There are 2 ways you can operate 2 Way Radio equipment without a Government License. First, you can buy radios that dont require a license (See the paragraph below for an explanation of unlicensed radios). Secondly if you need a more professional solution and more powerful radios, you can rent the use of airtime on Delmacs Community Repeater system. Delmac have an ICASA license and the own and operate a number of radio masts throughout the region. In effect you purchase the equipment through Delmac and then you use Delmacs license to operate the equipment. There will be a small monthly rental for each radio you use.

What are the benefits of licenced radios compared to licence free radios?
Licence free radios transmit at 500mw of power whereas a licensed one transmits 4 or 5 watts. Licensed radios generally are more professionally made and are more robust. Due to better loudspeakers and audio circuits, the licensed radio usually sounds clearer. There are more accessories and more features available for licensed radios. Extended and high gain antennae and long range equipment can also be employed with licensed radios. Anyone can listen in on a licence free radio channel and you may find interference from other users. Licensed systems experience little interference as you are allocated your own frequencies. Should you hear interference, it can be reported to us or ICASA who will investigate. Licence free radio users can only change channels to find a quiet one with less interference. Licensed radios can cost significantly more than licence free radios. Licence free radios are usually sold 'off the shelf' as consumables, whereas licensed ones come with a higher level of service.

What Are Portable Radios?
Handheld wireless communication devices that are used to send voice or data messages one-to-one or one-to-many over radio frequencies within a local area, city or province.

Portable radios are battery operated (need to be recharged periodically through a desktop charging unit)
May be combined with mobile radios (radios mounted in a vehicle)
Available in licensed VHF & UHF and Licence Free formats.

What Are Mobile/Base Radios?
Vehicle-mounted or Fixed-location units used to send voice or data messages one-to-one or one-to-many over radio frequencies within a local area, city, or province.
Can be used as a base station and run off its own power source and may be combined in a wireless radio communication system with Portable Two-Way Radios (handheld wireless devices that run off an internal battery). Available in licensed VHF and UHF formats.

What is the range of portable radios and what's the difference between UHF and VHF?
Coverage is reliant on power, antenna height and terrain. On-site portable radios will typically cover from 1 -3km in radius, while wide-area radios can offer coverage up to a 30km radius from the repeater site. Due to the characteristics of radio waves, UHF radios generally offer better building penetration and therefore are ideally suited for indoors as well as for areas of high building density (cities).

VHF radios are better suited for areas where there is vegetation, where the signal can pass through objects. For this reason VHF radios are ideal for outdoor use. Where the application requires a combination of indoor and outdoor use, a UHF radio is preferable. Our sales consultant will know by your specific application which radio will best fit your needs.

Why do I need a base station if portables are cheaper?
While portables are generally less expensive than a base station, in most cases they do not fit the application properly. Portable radios operate from batteries, and also have lower power than a mobile or base. Experience dictates that your battery will die half-way through the day, or an important piece of information will not be passed because you walked into a "dead zone". In a wide area coverage type system, portables are meant to supplement the operation of mobile units, not replace them.

What is a repeater?
A repeater is a device that takes a radio signal (for example from your portable radio) and re-transmits it at higher power. A repeater is installed in a fixed location with the intent of coverage enhancement. Multi-story buildings are covered more thoroughly and dead spots are removed. The building's construction, number of floors and the presence of steel and concrete determine range.

Why would I need a repeater?
A repeater is a combination of a radio receiver and a radio transmitter that receives a weak or low-level signal and re-transmits it at a higher level or higher power, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. This can be used with professional, commercial, and government radio systems. In short, it takes the radio wave from the handheld unit, elevates or amps it up, and blasts it out to the rest of the receiving radios. Some reasons that we may suggest you use a repeater is to extend the range of the radios, to eliminate spotty communications within arenas, convention centres, and similar structures, and to help provide consistent communications in high RF areas. A feature that defines the repeater is the fact that it transmits and receives at the same time, (simultaneously). A duplex repeater uses two radio frequencies; an "Input" frequency, which it monitors for signals, and an "Output" frequency, on which it retransmits the received signals at a higher power or higher altitude. The input is the frequency on which mobile radios, or hand-held radios, transmit to reach the repeater. The output is the transmitter frequency for the repeater which repeats the audio from the received signal on the input.!

Is programming of radios included in the price?
When you purchase new equipment from us programming is FREE!

What is the advantage of two-way radios over Cellphones?
Instant communications, cost and dispatch capabilities. Push a button and be connected to one or one hundred individuals. Two-way radios are easy to use with a push-to-talk feature, which enables the user to communicate instantly with anyone on the network. Two-way radios are designed to be utilized in extreme conditions and offer rugged features. Flat monthly fees with no per minute airtime cost, unlike cellular phones. Low monthly costs which includes unlimited talk-times. For safety, security, efficiency and financial reasons, Two-Way Radios are the single, most widely used communications solution!!

What radios should I use for my business?
If you are new to two-way radios and are considering using them for the first time, all of our products are ready to use when you remove them from the box. The UHF models will have a tendency to penetrate brick, mortar and steel better than VHF, but VHF is usually quite adequate. VHF has properties that exhibit more overall range in distance than UHF, but again, UHF is also fairly adequate.

How do I determine the best solution for my business?
We spend time learning about your business and how your specific operation works. Then we use this knowledge to develop customized solutions. It may be as simple as spending five minutes discussing application and results desired, or it may require a site inspection to determine the best, cost-effective system. In any case, we will recommend a system that provides the results you need now and prepares you for the future.

I own my radios. Can I rent additional units to use in conjunction with my radios?
Definitely, you may need to increase your radio fleet for larger jobs and depending on the unit, we can program your frequencies into our rental radios.

How much notice do I have to give when I want to rent radios?
We can supply radios the same day we get them, but sometimes we would appreciate at least a days notice!!

If I rent radios from you, do I need a licence?
No, the frequencies you will be operating on are secured for your specific purpose!

Do you offer any discounts for a large quantity or long-term rentals?
Yes. If you are willing to commit to a larger quantity or long-term rental, we will commit to improved pricing for you!! Please contact us with your particular needs and we will do our best to accommodate you!!

If you need a Quotation