What is a Radio Transceiver?

Carol Francois

A radio transceiver both sends and receives radio signals. In order to be classified as a transceiver, the transmitter and the receiver must use the same set of wiring or be located within the same device. With a radio transceiver, the user is able to perform a wide range of functions for both the receiver and broadcaster of signals on radio frequencies.

A radio transceiver is a radio device, such as most shortwave field radio units, that can both receive and transmit radio signals.
A radio transceiver is a radio device, such as most shortwave field radio units, that can both receive and transmit radio signals.

There are several key functions that are critical to the value of a transceiver: signal strength, part quality, warranty and ease of use. These units typically cost more than a dedicated signal transmitter or receiver since they offer the convenient of multiple functions in one device. It is important to ensure that full value of this purchase is received.

If you are considering a radio transceiver, it is a good idea to make a list of your requirements. Write down all the transmitter and receiver functions that you required and those that would be nice to have. Prioritize them to help in the decision-making process. Not all transceivers will have all the functions that you want, so it is important to know what is necessary and what is nice to have before the process begins.

The primary purpose of a radio transmitter is to broadcast the signal. Determine the wattage that you require and the distance that you want to broadcast your signal. Look for features that make the system easier to use, such as memorized settings, signal broadcast strength indicators, and digital read outs. In a receiver, look for a high quality sound, static reduction system, multiple channel settings and digital signal capture. Make sure that the system has large display, with easy to read labels and intuitive design.

There should be a minimum one-year warranty on the parts and labor of your transceiver. It should be covered for general usage against overloaded circuitry, sudden increases in signal strength and other component related issues. Check if the unit is waterproof or water-resistant. Radio transceivers can be very useful outside and the level of tolerance for exposure to moisture is a critical factor that must be considered.

When using a radio transceiver, take the time to read the manual and explore the many features that come with the unit. Invest the energy and time required and it will yield great return of improved efficiency, enjoyment and technical skill. There are large communities of transceiver users or ham radio operators who broadcast their own radio shows and programs using a basic radio transceiver.

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