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About Rugged Radios

With over 20 years of experience in manufacturing high-noise environment communications, Rugged Radios has been the pioneer in its industry. The company boasts a full lineup of innovative racing communication products that include headsets, intercoms, handheld radios, and more. The company takes pride in its ability to configure almost any communication application – an option not available with other manufacturers.

Rugged Radios specializes in communications for off-road, circle track, and road racing, in addition to aviation, fire/safety, marine, tactical, and industrial purposes. The brand’s lineup consists of both individual components and complete communication packages. Rugged Radios can configure anything to meet your individual needs, whether it be for work or play, to provide an unparalleled advantage and better experience all around.

Why Install a CB or HAM Radio?

The most popular automotive applications that use CB Radios are big rigs. Communication is the key to avoiding traffic jams or potentially unsafe situations. For off-road use in a Jeep, truck, or UTV, having communication with other vehicles can save you from a crash. It's also common to get separated from your group and without cellphone service, you will have no other way to contact the group to find them. CB Radios are also great in emergencies and can make the difference between life or death.

Why Choose Rugged Radios?

Rugged Radios has been providing racers and recreational riders with high-quality communication equipment for over two decades. They have blazed a trail in communication product development using proprietary design elements, circuitry, and features only found at Rugged Radios. The company currently offers a comprehensive selection of antennas, voice-activated racing intercoms, handheld radios, lapel mics, radio jumpers, 2-way desert bike-to-bike kits, headset hangers, radio mounting plates for UTVs, replacement parts, and much more.

Each Rugged Radio headset and helmet kit includes a powerful speaker and microphone units for crystal-clear sound, and rugged cabling and molded connections for long-lasting operation. Rugged Radios’ products are especially useful when dependable and consistent communication on long distances is needed. Its lineup of quality radios can reach up to 30 miles for optimal communication.

Do Rugged Radios Require an FCC License?

Two-way radios work on radio frequencies that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A license is needed to transmit over these frequencies. To ensure their customers are in compliance with FCC Rules and Regulations, the company has licensed 10 nation-wide commercial band frequencies (35 Watt), and 60 area-specific commercial band frequencies (60-Watt).

These channels are available for business, recreational, or race use. For a list of channels and areas licensed, you can get a list of company licenses here. Under this FCC license, Rugged Radio’s customers can transmit on Rugged brand mobile and handheld radios only, on the pre-programmed channels, and in the locations designated by the license. You can even ask Rugged to license a new area by calling (888) 541-7223.

Where is the Best Place to Mount My Rugged Radio’s Antenna?

Mounting your antenna properly is critical for getting the most out of your two-way radio. A metal vehicle roof with the antenna mounted in the center with no obstructions within 18" provides the farthest range.

  • Roof Racks
    Mount the antenna at the highest point of the rack away from obstructions and use a no ground plane antenna.

  • No Roof
    Choose a mounting spot in the middle of the vehicle where the intersection of two tubes can act as a ground plane. Mounting the two-way radio antenna to a corner triangle tab and using a no ground plane antenna works best.

Don't run coax and intercom helmet cables in the same wire loom because RF can bleed when transmitting, causing excess system noise. Don't run coax or power cables near MSD or ignition connections or equipment. This layout can create a lot of noise if the coax is too close to the MSD, transmitting can even power the vehicle off!

Do I Have to Tune My Rugged Radios’ Antenna?

The two-way antennas are tuned at the factory for the middle of the range found on the radios. Keep in mind that tuning is far less critical for the relatively short wavelength of VHF/UHF than it is for CB or HF frequencies. For most applications, they recommend keeping the antenna length as-is.

When antenna tuning is needed, we use an SWR meter and a generic online wavelength calculator to get a baseline. This type of two-way radio antenna tuning is a trial and error endeavor and requires adjustments in small increments to get it right.

Get Rugged Radios at Vivid Racing

Rugged Radios is the number one choice for racing communications. Vivid Racing is proud to carry a satisfying lineup of products from Rugged Radios, including complete radio kits, antennas, and accessories such as batteries, chargers, and adaptors. If you have any questions regarding the products listed above, please call our sales team at (480) 966-3040. We’d be more than happy to go over the uses and functionality of Rugged Radios.