Two Way Radios A Beginners Guide

Two Way Radios : a​ Beginner's Guide
A two-way radio is​ a​ device which transmits and receives voice signals through the air .​
They work somewhat like a​ telephone, but since they do not require a​ central network they can be used anywhere! With two way radios, two or​ more people can have a​ discussion no matter where they are -- sometimes while they are miles apart! Another common name for a​ two-way radio is​ a​ walkie talkie.
The most common type of​ two-way radio for regular consumers is​ the FRS/GMRS two-way radio .​
These are the radios that you typically see in​ the big-box stores .​
FRS and GMRS are the different frequency ranges, or​ channels, that these radios can operate on .​
The FRS channels are 8 though 14 and the GMRS channels are 15-22 .​
Channels 1 through 7 are shared, and are used by both the FRS and GMRS systems.
All radios in​ your group will need to​ be set to​ the same channel before you can communicate .​
For example, if​ your radio is​ set to​ channel 7 it​ will send your voice over that channel when you talk, and it​ will listen for and allow you to​ hear other people talking on channel 7 .​
It is​ always important to​ remember that these channels are public! Always be careful what you say over a​ two way radio, because you can never be sure who is​ listening.
When choosing a​ channel, privacy and range should be your primary concerns .​
If you are using a​ FRS only channel, because of​ government regulations your radio will only broadcast at​ a​ maximum of​ .5 watts of​ power .​
This wattage will typically get you between half a​ mile, and one mile of​ range .​
If using a​ GMRS channel, you can get the maximum output power and range out of​ your two-way radio .​
However, if​ you are using a​ GMRS channel, you are required by the FCC to​ purchase a​ license to​ operate on those frequencies.
As far as​ privacy goes, if​ you choose a​ channel and notice that there are others using the same channel, you should switch to​ a​ different channel to​ avoid confusion .​
Sometimes, such as​ at​ a​ crowed amusement park, 22 channels just aren’t enough to​ provide privacy .​
Because of​ this, most mid range radios and up also provide Privacy Codes, which break up a​ single channel into anywhere between 38 and 121 sub-channels .​
When you figure in​ the privacy codes, many radios offer over 1000 individual channels for you to​ choose from.
Some two-way radios operate on AA or​ AAA batteries .​
You will also find that many of​ the radios come with rechargeable battery packs and desktop chargers .​
If you buy a​ model with a​ rechargeable battery pack, you will get the convenience of​ the rechargeable batteries and plus, you will still be able to​ operate them with regular batteries if​ your battery packs happen to​ drain before you get them back to​ their chargers.
There are many good uses for a​ two-way radio, but they can come in​ especially handy on family vacations or​ outings .​
Have you ever taken a​ trip to​ an​ amusement park or​ a​ ski trip and somehow got separated from your friends or​ family? a​ two-way radio would have been very helpful to​ locate one another .​
How about taking more than one car on a​ road trip? a​ two-way radio would be a​ great means of​ communication between vehicles.
Another popular sport in​ which two-way radios can play a​ big part is​ hunting .​
Hunters are always in​ need of​ some sort of​ communications device to​ keep in​ contact with one another throughout the woods .​
The avid hunter can now even find two-way radios in​ camouflage color!
The major brands of​ two-way radios include Motorola, Cobra, Midland, Kenwood and Uniden .​
You can find radios from these manufacturers in​ all different ranges of​ output power and distance .​
There are all different types of​ features out there you can get with your two-way radios as​ well .​
Many two-way radios even support the NOAA weather channels .​
There are also lots of​ accessories you can find for your two-way radios including headsets, handheld speakers, earbud receivers, and throat mics .​
a​ lot of​ these you can even operate hands-free as​ long as​ they, and the radios, are VOX capable .​
You can now even buy car chargers for your two-way radios!
It is​ no doubt that two-way radios have come along way over the years .​
Most people have found them impossible to​ live without, just like cell phones! From starting out at​ a​ maximum range of​ about 2-5 miles, you can now find them with maximum ranges of​ up to​ 14 miles! Next time you are on the go with friends or​ family, make sure you’re prepared and take a​ two-way radio along .​
They may just prove to​ be pretty handy.

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