What’s the Frequency, Kenneth

Without giving too much about this two way radio wiki short article, but I found it remarkable and relevant to what Im currently doing.

walkie talkie headset radio shackAll 2 Way Radios are made to work on specific frequencies that the government (in the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission or FCC) reserves for different types of transmissions. Police and firefighters, for instance, have their own frequencies so that business and public signals don’t interfere with emergency communications. So you can go ahead and put down that fire hose and the badge you made from tin foil — the authorities don’t want you messing about on their channels.

As you already know, FRS and GMRS frequencies are made for public transmissions. The FRS and GMRS channels overlap at some frequencies, but the actual radios that access these channels have some distinctive differences.

FRS handsets come with fixed antennas and are limited to 0.5 watts, making them very low-powered devices that often only work at a range of a few hundred feet, so it’s unlikely that your radio will ever interfere with a neighbor’s a few blocks away. Those kinds of walkie-talkies are just personal-use devices, and anyone can transmit on FRS bands for any reason.

GMRS devices can be much more powerful, at up to 5 watts, or about the same power consumption of a smartphone that’s using all of its primary features. What’s more, GMRS systems can be used with repeaters, which are devices that boost the range of the radio signal. In either case, GMRS devices always feature better range than FRS-only handsets.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of hybrid FRS/GMRS radios available. These 2 Way Radios let you transmit on both groups of channels. However, when you’re transmitting on FRS, the handset’s power automatically drops to 0.5 watts.

There’s another critical difference between GMRS and FRS. Although anyone can use the FRS channels, only licensed radio operators are allowed to use GMRS frequencies.

That’s because these radios are more powerful and more likely to cause interference with each other.

Licensing is simply a way to reduce congestion on GMRS channels. However, many people use GMRS radios and disregard license requirements because the FCC generally doesn’t enforce these regulations.

FRS and GMRS are North American communications standards. In Europe, walkie-talkies mostly use PMR446, or frequencies at around 440 MHz. You can’t use a PM446 radio to work on FRS or GMRS, or vice versa. It would be illegal to even try. So when you’re traveling abroad, it doesn’t hurt to verify that your radios operate on a legal frequency. In extreme circumstances, transmitting illegally on the wrong channels can result in fines or even jail time.

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two Way Radios in Motorsports

While many of our readers will be interested in some of our own content pieces, here is one i found surfing around wordpress that is far better written than I might ever dream to reach. Maybe in the future I’ll get to this level, you never know.

Every employer has a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all its employees in the workplace and equally that persons not in their employment are “not exposed to risks to their health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable” – with the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act introduced in 2007, the implications for enterprises in the public and private sectors of not taking lone worker protection seriously have escalated.

Walkie Talkies are already widely in use in lone worker applications across chemical and manufacturing plants, utilities, mining, security and transport industries where personnel often cover large, remote areas or operate in hazardous environments.

However, with the increase in flexible working times, care in the community services, home deliveries and reductions in workforces operating from fixed locations, more people than ever are now operating as lone workers, often in situations where they may be exposed to potential accidents and inappropriate or violent behaviour.

While the reliability and quality of any Kenwood two-way radio would prove to be an asset in most lone worker scenarios, the NEXEDGE® range of digital two-way hand portable walkie talkies and mobile in-vehicle two-way radio units offer much more than the ability to transmit voice and data instantly and efficiently.

All models feature Emergency Key and Emergency Call features as standard, while some advanced models additionally offer Lone Worker and an Emergency Advanced Motion Detection Function, which make them ideal for incorporating within a robust health and safety and lone worker policy.

NEXEDGE® Digital Two-way Radios with Lone Worker features include both hand-portable walkie talkies and mobile in-vehicle units.

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How To Choose A 2 way radio For A Road Trip

augmentative communication device grantsSo to carry on my run of content on this blog, I’ve planned to share one of our favourite articles this week. I was hesitant to include it to this site as I actually did not want to offend the original writer, but I hope he/she is glad that I loved reading their article and planned to share it with my readers.

If you’re planning on taking a cross-country road trip, having some kind of backup communications in addition to your cell phone is a very good idea. A couple of years ago my wife and I took a cross-country road trip involving a U-Haul truck and our car. We were relying on our cell phones for vehicle to vehicle communications however in the mountains of Utah we became separated in an area where there was no cellular phone signal. At a fork in the road we took different routes and it was literally several hours before we were able to establish contact and find each other again. Following this traumatic experience we stopped at a discount store and purchased two FRS two-way radios, which we then used for the rest of the trip to keep in touch with each other. If you’re planning a cross-country road trip yourself, and need a good “road trip two-way radio” there are several options from which to choose.
FRS – GMRS Two – Way Radios Or “Icom walkie talkies”

One of the least expensive options for vehicle to vehicle communications are FRS two-way radios. You can find these for sale at most discount and sporting goods stores. There are also combination FRS – GMRS two-way radios which include the General Mobile Radio Service frequencies. GMRS walkie talkies do require a license, but typically offer much greater range. FRS two-way radios typically cost $20 to $60 per pair and combination FRS – GMRS radios may cost as much as $80 or more for a pair. The more features that you want in a two-way radio, such as water resistance, VOX (voice operated transmit,) privacy codes etc., the more you will typically pay for the devices. The main feature that you want to look for in walkie-talkies for a road trip is the ability to have private conversations with your party. Privacy codes enable the user to set an individual code whereby the walkie-talkie only picks up members of their party and ignores calls from other radio users in the area. If you don’t use privacy codes on your walkie talkie, you will be bothered by children and others talking when you go through towns. The two way radios that we chose for our road trip were made by Midland and featured up to one thousand unique privacy codes, ensuring that we not pick up any interference even as we traveled through urban areas. (At first we did not enable these privacy codes, and were picking up all sorts of chatter.) Another nice feature that these radios had was that we could tune into NOAA weather radio channels to pick up the forecast for the area that we were traveling through. Many brands of FRS and GMRS walkie-talkies offer this feature and will enable you to pick up NOAA weather channels.
Most of these radios will operate for about two days on a set of AA batteries. If your road trip will take more than a couple of days, it might be a good idea to choose a model that offers a DC power cord which you can plug into your vehicle’s power port.
Road Trip CB Radios: Breaker, Breaker Good Buddy!

Another option for keeping in touch with another vehicle on a road trip is to use a portable CB radio featuring a magnetic mount antenna that you place on the roof of the car. CB Radios have been around since the 1960’s and are still used by many over the road truckers. Because of the fact that so many truck drivers still use CB radio, you may be able to contact an eighteen wheeler if you have an emergency, such as in areas where your cell phone does not work. Portable CB radios typically cost around $80 each, so you would end up spending about $160 to be able to talk from car to car. If having car to car communications is your primary goal, a portable CB radio is a decent choice, however it does have many drawbacks compared to the FRS walkie-talkies mentioned above. CB radios are prone to high levels of interference from distant stations and lack any kind of privacy codes which prevent you from hearing other users all day long. In addition, CB radio frequencies are rarely monitored by the FCC anymore and you’re likely to hear all kinds of profanity, racist and other kinds of offensive language as you travel across the country. If you are easily offended, or plan on having children with you, you will not want to listen to some of the things you hear on CB. Also, (in addition to profanity,) CB radio has a language of its own, and you may be “heckled” by not using the right terms on the air. Having a portable CB radio in one of your vehicles for use as a means of backup emergency communication is a very good idea, however may not be the best choice for communicating from car to car.

Other Ways To Avoid Becoming Separated On Two – Car Road Trips

If you’re planning on taking a two-car road trip across the country having both cell phones and two-way radios is a good idea. In addition you’ll want to have a backup plan if communication between vehicles breaks down. At the beginning of each day you should plan your route and decide on where you’ll end up at the end of the day. Try to plan on stopping at certain landmarks along the way such as truck stops that you locate on a map. Also, you should have a third-party contact whom each of you can call to relay your location in case you become separated. Cell phones do quit working, in addition to having reception problems in different parts of the country. Nothing can ruin a two vehicle cross-country road trip more than drivers losing touch with each other.
Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver)Amazon Price: $58.43
List Price: $89.99