How to pick the best walkie talkie for your needs
So, you are looking for a Walkie Talkie? You can find different models by following links at our side, but firsst of all you need to know how walkie talkies and two way radios work, so you can choose the best one for you. As ubiquitous as mobile phones are in today’s world, that handy phone you carry around still has its limitations. And that is where devices like a two-way radio come in.
Not familiar with what a two-way radio is? Perhaps, you’ve heard of its more popular nickname, the “walkie-talkie.”
It works much like a telephone in that it sends and receives voice signals through air. The good thing about it though is it does not need a central network or cell phone tower for it to function—meaning you can take it and use it anywhere and at anytime.
What Are Types And Channels Walkie Talkies use?
For regular users, the most common type of walkie-talkies you can get are the FRS/GMRS two-way radios. These can be easily purchased at the big electronic stores. What FRS and GMRS represent are the different channels or frequency ranges that these devices can work on.
Generally, the channels 1 to 7 are shared by both frequency ranges but they differ after that. Channels 8 through 14 belong to the FRS channel, while GMRS makes use of the 15 to 22 range.
If you want to communicate with someone using a two-way radio, you have to make sure you use the same channel. This means if you set the walkie-talkie to channel 9, then when you talk and listen, you will be heard by the other people making use of that channel.
That is why when you communicate on these radios you must remember that you are making use of a public channel. You will never know who could be listening in on your conversations. Caution is definitely key.
Make sure that when you select a channel and notice that other people are using it, then it would be best to switch to another channel in order to avoid any confusion that may arise. However there are instances when you’re in crowded places—like festivals, amusement parks, and even the mall—when the usual 22 channels aren’t enough to guarantee two-way radio users of their privacy.
That is where the “privacy codes” provided by a lot of the mid-range two-way radios come in. These codes work by breaking up a single channel into sub-channels ranging from 38 to over a hundred. If you are capable of figuring out how these works, a lot of the radios can provide over 1,000 channels for you to use.
Aside from privacy concerns, another thing you have to take into consideration when acquiring a two-way radio of your own is the range you can get out of your device. An FRS-only channel can only broadcast at a maximum of .5 power watts due to government regulations.
This can usually get you a range of approximately half a mile to one mile at most. The GMRS channel, on the other hand, is guaranteed to give you the most output power and range out of your walkie talkie. But if you intend to use those frequencies, you would be required to get an FCC license.
What About Power?
There are some two-way radios that run on AA or AAA batteries and many of them make use of desktop chargers or rechargeable battery packs. Those making use of rechargeable batteries are extra convenient because you have the ability to purchase an extra pair or two and they can run on regular batteries if you can’t get to your charger fast enough.
Is It Really For Me?
You think that you got the whole communication thing covered when you are out and about but think about it, do you really?
As mentioned earlier, cell phones are convenient pieces of equipment but they are not as reliable as especially if you are an outdoors/nature type of person and you are far from any cell tower. What are you going to do then?
But really, walkie-talkies aren’t just something for your kids to play around with. They will come in handy when you go on family vacations or out-of-town trips with your friends.
You are bound to end up in places where there are a lot of other tourists like you—say, an amusement park or marketplace—and with different things you all want to do, being separated from your brood isn’t a far reality. Two-way radios can help you keep tabs on each other.
They can make for good communication tools for convoys, too. Passengers on different cars can easily stay in touch with each other just to make sure everyone is headed in the right direction.
Surprisingly or not, two-way radios play a big role in the big and popular sport of hunting. It helps the hunters stay in touch with their companions when they’re out in the woods looking for their next target (or at least to avoid being someone else’s target!). And yes, it comes in camouflage if you are gung-ho about truly blending into the wild.
Which One Should I Get?
Motorola, Midland, Kenwood, Uniden, and Cobra are some of the major manufacturers of two-way radios. All of them offer various radios that come with different output power ranges and distance they can carry.
It’s up to you to determine what suits your needs, especially with the wide range of features these devices carry as well.
If you need some quick weather update, a lot of these radios support the NOAA weather channels. If hands-free operation is essential for you, two-way radios offer that too as long as they are VOX-capable.
And if you want the full arsenal, some accessories for two-way radios include handheld speakers, headsets, throat mics, earbud receivers, and yes, even a car chargers.
While most two-way radios fall into either FRS or GMRS category, Motorola mobile radios are capable of taking advantage of both the FRS and GMRS frequency bands.
Users will have access to all the 22 channels, if you get a GMRS license, that is. To avoid having eavesdroppers listen in on your conversations, privacy codes are available on their devices as well.
Meanwhile, fifty-year veteran in the two-way radio industry, Midland, also knows what you should get from a mobile radio. They provide users with a wide range of options to choose from to suit any operating condition.
A few notable models include the LXT380VP3 and GXT1000V4.
The LXT380VP3 is equipped with a lot of great features as well as a 24-mile range. It has privacy codes as well and can conserve power to make it last longer by its ability to reduce the power transmitted. It runs on built-in rechargeable batteries or AAA batteries.
The GXT1000V4, on the other hand, has the thrill-seeking, rugged adventurer in mind. You don’t have to worry about it getting a bit of rain on it or spilling some water on the radio as it is water-resistant.
If you get into trouble, this can send an automatic distress beacon as well as a location signal if necessary. If you’re worried about distance, you shouldn’t be as it has a 36-mile range. And if you want to enjoy the serene calm of nature, this radio can be set to vibrate to alert you of any incoming signals.
There are so many more types and brands of Walkie Talkies to choose from. Just think of your needs and requirements and you are bound to land the two-way radio of your dreams.