Best radios for land surveying

Hi. I’ve checked in on this forum fairly often and have already learned alot about the wide variety of 2 way radios. Thank you all for the great posts.

My question is which radios would work best for land surveying, especially in high-traffic construction sites. Most radios work great when we’re off in the woods, but once a site is cleared for a highway and all the equipment is around us radio quality becomes much more important.

We currently use motorola CP100 radios, which are no longer manufactured. These did ok, but I’d really like something a little lighter that can still be used with a microphone attachment. A headset would be nice, but I don’t think that would work out too well for us. Just consider the fact that we’re usually swinging machetes or sledgehammers…

One other thing is that we work long days, so a long battery life would be a plus.


We have a few radios you might like that balance size with power and battery life. I take it you do not need a lot of range, about one mile or so ok?

We have this radio from Kenwood that is smaller than most business radios, it even comes with a Li-ion battery for around 16 hours of use (on average Lithium-ion batteries have longer life than Ni-MH batteries). The range is going to be short though at about one mile:

Another small radio would be an Olympia, it also comes with a Li-ion battery rated for 16 hours. Range is about one mile.

This one from Motorola is a bit bigger, and comes with a Li-ion battery that is rated at 12 hours. Range is a bit over one mile:

This Icom is the toughest of the bunch but it does not come with a Li-ion battery (rated at 14 hours of use). Range is about two miles though:

Of the four, the Icom is the most durable and the Kenwood is the smallest.

We have headsets and speaker mics for all of them:

Thanks Jeff for all the options. I’m looking over each on your website. I had already looked into the Icom, but I think radios with the Li-Ion battery might prove to be a better option. Since we already have a bunch of Motorola microphones that might be the easiest choice, but we tend to be pretty tough on our equipment and connection for the mic to the radio gets worn out easily.

Thanks again

There is a version of the Icom F-4001 radios we can get that come with Li-ion batteries. They cost about $25 more and come with a rapid charger. They would be a special order, so they would take a couple of days for us to get them in. Let us know if you are interested.