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What do IP Specification for Water/Dust Resistance mean for Two Way Radios?

There was a time when only marine radios were waterproof. Over time and with developments in radio technology, both commercial two way radio and Amateur radio equipment now benefit from this feature.

One of the questions we are commonly asked is what does IP stand for and importantly what does it mean for the product I have purchased?

There are different levels of waterproofing and dust protection. IP "Ingress Protection" ratings are measured from "0" to "8" to define the level of water ingress or from "0" to "6" to state the level of dust protection built into each radio. If the product was tested in compliance with this standard it is usually listed on our leaflets.

If something has a water only rating (whether 4, 5, or 6) you write it as IPX5. The X acts as a placeholder since there is not a particle (or dust rating). If something has a dust rating of 6 (dustproof) and a water rating of 5, you write it as IP65. In the rare instance that the dust and water rating are the same (let’s say 6), you write it as IP6.

The various IP ratings are defined below.

IP Standards for Protection against Liquids

IP Rating Description
IP "0" No protection
IP "1" Protected against vertically falling drops of water (e.g. condensation)
IP "2" Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
IP "3" Protected against spray to 60° from the vertical
IP "4" Protected against water sprayed from all directions (limited ingress permitted)
IP "5" Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions (limited ingress permitted)
IP "6" Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on ship-decks (limited ingress permitted)
IP "7" Protected against the effects of immersion between 16cm and 1m
IP "8" Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

IP Standards for Protection against Objects

IP Rating Description
IP "0" No protection
IP "1" Protected against solid objects up to 50mm (e.g. accidental touch by hands)
IP "2" Protected against solid objects up to 12mm (e.g. fingers)
IP "3" Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm (tools and wires)
IP "4" Protected against solid objects over 1mm (tools, wires and small wires)
IP "5" Protected against dust - limited ingress (no harmful deposit)
IP "6" Totally protected against dust

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