This blog is a vintage one, but still very relevant. Without saying i told you so…. but it was always inevitable!
When it comes to Walkie Talkies, many folks get confused by claims of producers about range. Keep in thoughts that challenging radio environments will rapidly cut your range to a minimum of about 300 yards, or about a mile or so in somewhat much better circumstances. Steel cars are even worse, and tinted windows are only a little much better. Only lots of height will get you to the maximums claimed by manufacturers. In any case, the manufacturers test their radios under decidedly unrealistic conditions, using facilities in the unobstructed flat-lands of Florida, using elevated testing platforms. Discussion on 2 way radio energy:
This service is licensed for the maximum amount of power that the government allows; about 4 watts. FRS or Family Radio Service radios are automatically limited to only 1/2 watt; barely enough to get down the street. Most much better radios are billed as combined GMRS/FRS, but the walkie talkie automatically cuts power to 1/2 watt on the GMRS channels. Walkie Talkies are not cell phones
This is a lot of power, thinking about that most digital cell phones these days operate on about 500 milliwatts or less, most of the time. However, cell phones use a near invisible network of “cell” sites all close to us, on high building corners, hills and mountain tops, so they seldom have to reach up and out farther than a couple of hundred yards. Cell websites use height and power to boost variety of your tiny cellphone signal. A walkie talkie has to do things the tough way, without the assist of a cell site. However, four watts will drain a battery quickly and requires slightly more expensive, larger and heavier internal components to handle the additional energy.
Getting said this, anybody who has spent time in the field with these issues knows that dependable communications is key. Some settings, such as using radios car to car, on urban streets or in heavily forested areas will reduce the variety of even the most powerful radio from miles to a couple of hundred yards. “Line-of-site” is the rule for radios like this, so if you have height, your range will be greatly extended. With obstructions, signals may be absorbed or reflected away.
The rule of thumb, even for somebody just getting enjoyable with these radios, is the much more power the better. In the wilderness, trees and rocks form similar barriers to radio signals, but as a safety device outdoors the radios truly need to perform reliably so the max energy makes for more peace of mind in tracking children and hiking partners. Therefore, unless you really require the little size of the five.five inch Cobra LI5600 Walkie Talkie, you may want to go for the increased power of Cobra’s seven inch (including antenna) LI7020, or LI7200.
Radios are inexpensive enjoyable for the whole family. When it comes to variety however, maintain your expectations realistic. Read your instruction manual, keep your settings as simple as feasible and go for it in the both genuine and urban jungles!