If you’re looking for an easy way to stay in contact with someone without relying on cell service, then you may want to consider the two-way radio. As its name might suggest, the two-way radio is capable of both transmitting and receiving a signal. So, essentially, you can talk to someone, and then hear their reply. Obviously, this is a rather important concept if you’re looking for a device in which to communicate with someone. The signal of a two-way radio is important, especially in regards to its frequency. If you and your desired conversationalist partner are not on the same frequency, then you won’t be able to talk.
There are two modes to a two-way radio that you’ll need to consider.
The half-duplex is the traditional mode of a radio. The user can either listen or talk. They cannot do the same at the same time.
The full-duplex mode, however, allows the two users to talk and listen at the same time. This is usually done by using two different frequencies. So, depending on your needs, you may need to keep in mind which modes the radio is capable of supporting.
Typically, radios have a lifespan spanning from five to seven years. Their accessories can sometimes last for a year or two. Of course, depending on how often you’re using the radio and in what conditions, the lifespan may decrease. For example, if you’re using it out in the woods and there’s a downpour, or you’re climbing a rock, and the radio keeps hitting into the stone wall, obviously its durability is going to decrease with the more abuse it takes. As such, you’ll want to keep in mind the activities you’re going to be performing with the radio. You may just want a durable radio more than anything else.
Who Needs A Two-Way Radio?
If you’re reading this article, then you may be considering procuring a two-way radio already. However, if you’re on the fence, here are some professions and activities that could require a radio or could be made all the safer with a radio. As mentioned before, if you’re outside in the woods, it’s always a good idea to have a radio. Cell phone service can be spotty in the thick woods, and if something happens, you’ll want to be able to call for help. Hunters or just hikers can benefit from having a radio readily on hand. Mountain climbers, too, should carry a radio with them in the event of a fall or accident. It could save your life.
Professions could also benefit from having a radio on hand. In the event of a power outage or loss of cell service, communication is key to things running smoothly and efficiently. Whether it’s a business, hospital, law enforcement, or other businesses or services that require fast-responses to situations, a radio can come in handy. For new parents who aren’t keen on letting their young children have cell phones just yet, you can provide them with a radio to keep in contact. With the rising violence in the world, having a sure way to talk to your child could give you peace of mind.
The following two-way radios are such products that you may want to consider. This article will go over each and the benefits that each provides for the user. You should keep in mind the environment in which you intend to use the radio as well as the activity and reason for which you need the radio when selecting the two-way radio that is perfect for you.
Starting the list strong is Midland’s GXT. This radio comes packed full with 50 channels or frequencies to select from. It’s also equipped with 142 privacy codes, so you and your partner don’t have to worry about others listening in on your conversation. The frequency band is Frequency Band: 462.550 – 467.7125MHz and offers up to 36 miles of coverage. While certain terrain and buildings may decrease this mile coverage, Midland has crafted this radio to work as best it can through those obstructions. This gives you a wide range to work within when communicating.
For those who intend to use their radio outdoors, Midland has an NOAA/All hazard weather channels. This alerts you when hazardous weather is on its way. You can also scan to see if there are any alerts about the weather broadcasting to your radio. For those who want to hike or go climbing, this is an essential feature to stay safe. Another safety feature the radio provides is an SOS Siren. In the event of an emergency, you can press the SOS Siren which activates a distress and locator signal to different radios.
For those new parents who want to equip their children with a communication device, you may want to consider the Galwad. This is a simple to use two-way radio that provides excellent coverage and clear transmission. It has 16 channels, so it’s direct in its usage and easy for children to remain on or find the right channel to speak with their parent. It has a single band or frequency UHF of 400-470MHz. The battery is 1500mAh and comes with a cord to charge it. The Galwad radio also has a power-saving feature to make that battery last longer, so you can be sure that it lasts for the entire class day, or if you’re out an amusement park, the entire day in the park.
It also comes with an alarm for when those batteries do need to be charged, so your child can be made aware that they need to plug their radio in to charge. Coverage for this radio ranges from five to six kilometers. That’s three miles for Americans and can reach up to 20 floors.
Another family radio that you may want to consider comes from Uniden. This two-way radio has 22 channels. So, again, fewer channels available to confuse your child when searching, but also enough to find a frequency that affords some privacy. This includes seven FRS and 15 GMRS channels. The radio comes with a call tone, so you can be made aware when someone is attempting to communicate with you in the event that you don’t hear them speaking. This can be especially handy in loud amusement parks or cruise ships.
It also offers a 16-mile range, which is an excellent amount for families who want to keep in contact with their child over a longer distance. There’s a built-in auto-squelch that cuts down on interference during the call, so you can have a clearer conversation. A scan mode allows you to search for other radios that are within your vicinity to make contact. It takes AAA batteries to power and automatically uses a power saver to extend the life of those batteries. Finally, the radio has a keypad lock feature to ensure kids can’t change certain settings.
When you’re out camping and roughing it and something happens, you’ll want to make sure that you can easily spot your radio. The Midland LXT comes in a stark yellow to ensure that you can find it even in the darkest of nights. With 36 channels and up to 30 miles coverage, this a radio best used for those looking to explore the outdoors. Whether that’s hunting, hiking, climbing, fishing, or other outdoor activities, this is a radio you may want to consider having for safety. It comes equipped with an NOAA weather/all-hazard alert system to make sure you’re not caught unaware.
For those whose duty it is to protect said forest or outdoor areas, this is a radio that you can use for your profession as well. Besides the hazardous weather alerts, you can also scan for weather alerts, so you can be the first to announce to other hikers about any potential dangers. This radio has 121 privacy codes, five call alerts, and a three-level VOX system, so you can talk hands-free. The radio is water resistant and has the choice of using AAA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack.
If you’re looking for durability, the Cobra may be just what you’re looking for when it comes to a two-way radio. It’s waterproof and has a built-in LED flashlight. This allows you easy use of it during the dark or to simply use to light your path before you make camp. Its coverage is up to 35 miles and has 3,124 channel combinations. So, you can be sure to settle on a channel that only you and your partner are privy to. In addition, it’s powered by 3 AA NiMH batteries that are rechargeable and included.
One of the best features of this radio is that it has 10 NOAA weather channels. So, whether you’re working or enjoying a hobby, you can be sure to remain aware of any drastic changes in the weather. It also has a VOX system to allow for hands-free use of the radio. In the event of loud noise, the radio also has a vibration system that informs you when you have an incoming call, so you don’t miss a single message.
Sometimes two radios aren’t enough, especially for families with multiple children. This three-pack from Motorola could be just what you need. The same could be said for outdoorsmen and women. The Motorola T26 has 22 channels with 121 privacy codes. It can also be used with other radio brands provided you know the channel and privacy codes of them. It has real-time weather reporting on its 11 weather channels. It also has an easy scanning feature that lets you see which channels are already being used by others. You can either use AA batteries or the included rechargeable NiMH batteries to power your radio.
Another easy-to-use radio for all ages is the Baofeng. This radio can also be used with other BF888s, provided that you know what channel they are on, so you use your old radios with your new one. It has 16 channels with a battery life that lasts around eight hours. It also comes equipped with a flashlight and a battery saving feature to make sure that your radio lasts as long as it can.
In the event of an emergency, it has an alarm you can use as well as a VOX system for hands-free use. The frequency range rests at UHF 400-470MHz and it has a unique voice prompt function. Unlike its previous models, this version of the Baofeng has a longer antenna to allow for clearer and longer coverage. The volume is also loud for the speaker, so you can hear them better in loud environments.
For professionals, you may want to consider the Samcom FPC. While it does allow for private conversations, it also has an excellent group feature. By pressing the GROUP option, you can talk to all channels at the same time. This is an excellent feature to have for those who need to make announcements radio-wide. It has a 3000mAh rechargeable battery that can last all day.
The coverage is up to four kilometers, or two miles, with clear sound. By using an earpiece, you can talk and use the radio without the use of your hands. In addition, the radio has a built-in noise suppression feature to ensure that the audio quality is as clear and crisp as it can be. Finally, it can connect with desktop intercoms, too.