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How Do I Choose a Walkie Talkie

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A walkie talkie {formally known as Handheld Transceivers (HT) and also known as a two-way radio} is always needed when it comes to information sharing associated with large number of persons due to its ability to aid the fast transfer of information instantly and simultaneously.

 Purchasing a walkie talkie without proper research is not a very good idea because there are different types of walkie talkies in the market and they have different capacities and serve different purposes. So before we go into how to choose a walkie talkie, it is necessary we know the types of walkie talkies.

Frequency type (Radio FrequencyFrequency RangeFrequency Wavelength (Distance Covered)
Ultra High Frequency  (UHF)300 MHz-3 GHz10cm – 1m
Very High Frequency (VHF)30- 300 MHz1-10m
High Frequency (HF)3- 30 MHz10-100m
Medium Frequency (MF)300 KHz -3 MHz100m-1km

A table showing the types of radio frequencies a walkie talkie can operate on, arranged from the highest to the lowest frequency.

Types of Walkie Talkies

1) Ham Radio (also known as Amateur radio): Ham radios are created to operate without any network or service. It is a lifesaver because during an emergency situation it is right dear to help. It possesses an antenna speaker which makes audio sounds clear rather an earbud speaker whose audio quality can fail at anytime. It uses frequencies ranging from 150 MHz to 440Hz.

2) CB Radios (Citizen’s Band Radio): This Walkie Talkie is mostly used by vehicle owners or users. Truck drivers, especially and even farmers, use it for communication. It operates on a frequency range of 26.965-27.405 MHz and has more than 35 channels but they are not very portable.

3) FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service): To own this type of Walkie Talkies, you need a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Their frequencies range from 400 to 520 MHz, making it better than some types of Walkie Talkies. They are very suitable for hiking, camping and a family trip.

4) Air Band Radio: This is used in aviation industries. Since it is on air, information transmission would be much better and clearer. It uses a radio frequency of 108 MHz to 137 MHz

5) Marine Radio Service: It operates on a VHF frequency of 156 to 174 MHz Due to information transmission is on water, it will be better and clearly than on land. The best thing about this type of two-way radio is it has 88 channels.

6) Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS): It makes use of VHF frequency and can be used for individual or business purposes. It operates on a frequency of 151 to 154 MHz

7) Private Land Mobile Radio Service (PLMRS): It is also known as Business Radio Service. Whether your business is a small scale or large scale business, this is the best Walkie Talkie for you. It is created to have exceptional audio quality. Even if you are in a construction, site you can hear information loud and clear. It is also highly durable and portable. PLMRS is available in UHF and VHF frequencies. As well as in analog or digital type. It uses a frequency of 460 to 470 MHz

How to Choose a Walkie Talkie

There are certain factors you must consider before purchasing a Walkie Talkie and they include:

1) The Purpose of purchasing the Walkie Talkie: “Why am I buying a Walkie Talkie?” is the first question you should ask yourself. Are you buying it for a family trip, picnic or other forms of recreational activities or are you buying it for a business? 

2) Location: Are you going to use the Walkie Talkie on air, on water close to shore or very far from shore, or on land around people or far from people like caves, mountains, etc.

3) Frequency: The common types of frequencies a Walkie Talkie uses are Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF). A Walkie Talkie with VHF frequency is best for long distance communication. If you are hiking with your team, a VHF two-way radio is what you should go for. A UHF Walkie Talkie is good for business premises, schools and indoor activities due to its ability to penetrate thick walls and strong building structures like iron and steel except glass.

4) Amount of Channels: A Walkie Talkie with 33 channels cannot talk to as much people as a Walkie Talkie with 88 channels can at the same time. So you must put the number of people you want to communicate with concurrently into great consideration. For communication with a lot of people, a Walkie Talkie with many channels should be purchased.

5) Distance: The distance a Walkie Talkie Can cover is very necessary. Some Walkie Talkie’s can cover 30 Miles when some can cover 50 miles and more and some covers less because Walkie Talkie are designed to cover different ranges.

6) Battery: A Walkie Talkie is charged by electricity just like any cellular device. How long this recharged battery can last should be considered, particularly by people who are planning to use it in an area that is not power (electricity) sufficient. For instance, if you are hiking or camping, it is likely that you are somewhere in the wild with little or no power supply. Hence, a Walkie Talkie that has a long lasting recharged battery should be purchased to avoid sudden disappointment and life-threatening situations. But if a Walkie Talkie is for use in a static point like a school, a business, in a vehicle a how long the recharged battery can last is not really an important factor. Lithium-ion batteries are mostly used to create Walkie Talkie’s because of its long lasting recharge ability. Nickel-Metal Hydride charges quickly and has a durable battery.

7) Licensing: Certain Walkie Talkie’s require you to get a license. For instance, in order for you to use the FRS and GMRS freely for outdoor purposes, you must get a license. If you don’t want anything to do with licensing or you don’t want to spend a penny, then go for a Walkie Talkie that doesn’t require a license.

Conclusion

This guide will help you on your journey of choosing the perfect Walkie Talkie that will suit you. But in 2022 there are some Walkie Talkies you should look out for, known for their toughness, durability, long lasting battery and explicit design. And they are:

1) Motorola Talkabout T800 (water resistant and toughness)

2) Husker Kids Walkie Talkie (Best for kids)

3) Motorola T92 H20 (Best for water-related activities like boating)

4) Motorola Talkabout T200 (Best for families)

5) Retevis RB18 (Best for Adults)

6) Garmin inReach mini (Best for hiking)

7) Backcountry Access BC link (weather resistant and tough).

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