So to resume my run of content pieces on this website, I’ve decided to share one of our favourite posts this week. I used to be hesitant to add it to a website because I actually didn't wish to offend the initial writer, but I trust he/she is happy that I enjoyed reading their article and wanted to share it with my readers.
Today almost all two way radios have ranges from 1 to 2 miles and they are much smaller than the ones we had a decade or so ago. Walkie Talkies are very useful – they are great for long road trips when taking separate cars, on the ski slopes, at amusement parks, when hunting or camping, on backcountry hiking trips, or even in large shopping malls. Businesses can use two-way radios instead of cell phones in many situations as well. There are no per minute charges with 2-way radios which is one benefit over traditional cell phone use. Plus, if you are in the woods where cell phones don't always work, a two-way radio may just save your life. What should you look for in a two-way radio from the store? We get into two-way radio features in our buying guide down below.
The main features to consider when buying a two-way radio are: channels, privacy codes, lock features, range, FRS/UHF/GMRS, size, usage life, display screen, and call features. Most two-way radios comes with 2 to 14 channels, the more expensive ones offer more channels. Extra channels can come in handy when you are trying to operate the Two Way Radios in a congested area. Some radios have sub-channels which greatly increases your choice and reception. To keep people from picking up your channel, look for two-way radios that offer privacy codes.
Privacy codes or private call features will scramble your voice so outside parties will not be able to listen to your conversation. Weather reception channels are available on most Walkie Talkies and are great for finding out about local weather conditions. A lock feature allows you to stay on your particular channel even as you move around. A range of 1 to 2 miles is what most two-way radios will provide. The actual distance will vary as the terrain around you changes.
For a longer range, you will need to get on a GMRS (General Mobil Radio Service) which will require a special license that the FCC can supply. FRS (Family Radio Service) is the general radio frequency for families and recreational use that two-way radios use. You will also find two-way radios on the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) for better reception. Compared to the large radios of 20 years ago, todays two way radios fit right in the palm of your hand are rather small. Most are only 5 to 12 ounces in weight. Two way radios run on alkaline batteries or nickel cadmium batteries (check with the manufacturer).
Battery life for Two Way Radios is based around 90% standby, 5% reception, and 5% transmission. The display screens on two-way radios are not that large, but you can get a lot of information on the screen like battery life, clock/time, alarm, stopwatch, digital compass, thermometer, and indicators for transmitting or receiving a signal. LCD display screens are easier to see in changing light conditions so look for a model that offers that. A channel saver feature is nice to have and some models do it automatically for you while others require it to be done manually. Talk confirmation lets your other party know when you are done talking and when it's safe for them to respond. Memory location will store the channels you use most so you can access them more quickly.
A scanning feature lets you see which channels are currently in use. Last channel recall feature lets you pull up the last channel you were on. All two way radios have an incoming call alert which is often just a simple ring. Look for models that offer a vibrate mode instead of the ring as this will come in handy when you are out hunting and need the quiet. The top brands in two-way radios are Motorola, Cobra, Kenwood, and Icom Two Way Radios. Prices range from $25 to $250 for two-way radios.
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