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  • How to clean and disinfect your two way radios

    Cleaning and Disinfecting RadiosThe two way radio is an important tool for both business and personal short range communications, particularly during a national emergency such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    But what about the radios? Don't they need to be cleaned and disinfected as well?

    Absolutely! Your radios should be cleaned regularly for general maintenance. They should be disinfected as well, especially when used in environments and situations involving possible contagions. This becomes even more critical when the radios are shared between users, or handled and operated directly by the user close to the face or mouth.

    Think about it for a moment. Like any portable personal device, a handheld radio or walkie talkie can pick up and carry germs at the very first touch. When you hold and or carry it around in the palm of your hand, press the buttons, bring it up to your face, and speak into the microphone, you are transmitting any germs you carry directly to your radio, both on the surface and into any crevice that can catch them. Pass the same radio around to others, and, well, you get the idea.

    In such cases, the radios should be thoroughly disinfected immediately after each shift or use. This applies to any type of operating environment, business or personal. Germs don't discriminate, and neither should you. Keep your radios clean and sanitized for your personal protection and the safety of those around you.

    But you can't just dump your radio in the water and give it a twenty second washing like you would with your hands. As with any electronic device, cleaning and disinfecting a two way radio requires some care. There are some specific things you can do but there are also some things that you shouldn't do, primarily because they could be harmful to you and/or the radio itself.

    While not all radio manufacturers have specific instructions for such maintenance, some manufacturers including Motorola, Kenwood and Midland do have guidelines and recommendations about how to properly clean and disinfect their radios. With a few slight differences and variations, the instructions are pretty much the same. It is important to note, however, that all radios are not the same. Some are rather basic in design, with few buttons, no displays, simple speaker grilles and non-detachable antennas. Others have full keypads, large displays, large, deeply penetrable audio jacks, external battery contacts or terminals, rotating knobs and various other physical features that can make a thorough cleaning session a little more involved.

    Also, the materials used for the radio housings may vary. Consumer grade radios often use lighter, lower grade plastics that may not withstand a lot of stress and strenuous cleaning or liquid solutions. Business grade radios tend to use heavier duty materials capable of withstanding external elements and stress. The housings of most quality business and marine radios are often designed to be more water resistant, and may even repel some liquids. Many Motorola on-site business radios even have antimicrobial properties. While these antimicrobial housings do not protect against viruses, they can help slow the growth of bacteria and make the radios easier to clean and disinfect.

    So, how do you clean and disinfect your two way radios?

    Before you start, let's talk about what not to do. Especially the don'ts.

    Don't

    • Do not immerse the radio in water.
    • Do not clean the radio while it is turned on or charging.
    • Do not pour or spray any cleaning solution or liquid directly to the surface of the radio.
    • Don't use anything abrasive. Do not use metallic or heavy duty brushes. Do not use any rough or abrasive cloths. Don't use any abrasive cleansers.
    • Do not use bleach or solvents or cleaning sprays or anything like that to clean or disinfect the device. At the very least these chemicals can discolor the surface of the radio, and at worst they may melt the plastics or eat away at the surface of the radio. They can also scratch or damage the displays, so you really don't want to do that sort of thing.

    Do

    • Be sure the radio is turned off.
    • Remove the batteries or battery pack before cleaning.
    • Clean a battery pack housing separately, and only the outer facing plastic shell or housing.
    • Remove the belt clip if possible and clean it separately.
    • Remove any externally connected accessories such as earpieces, headsets or hand microphones before cleaning.
    • Clean your radios in a well ventilated area and away from heat sources.
      Avoid breathing vapors or fumes from approved cleaning solutions.

    General Cleaning of your radio

    • Removing heavy dust, soil, mud, grime, stains, etc.c
    • Prepare a solution of a non-abrasive dish detergent and water, with no more than 0.5% detergent in the solution. Some manufacturers recommend using distilled water.
    • Apply the solution to the surface of the radio with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Note: do not apply any liquid directly to the surface of the radio. Apply it to the cloth first, then to the radio from the cloth.
    • Use a stiff, non-metallic and short bristled brush to loosen and remove the dirt from the surface and crevices of the radio.
    • Wipe the debris and moisture from the radio with a dry, soft, lintless, absorbent cloth.
    • Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including any metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks and crevices.
    • Allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery(ies), charge or use the device.

    Disinfecting your radio

    • Wipe down the radio using isopropyl alcohol with a 70%-80% concentration. Below 70% will not be effective.
    • Apply the isopropyl alcohol to the surface of the radio with a soft, non-abrasive cloth first, then to the radio from the cloth. Do not apply it directly to the radio.
    • Be sure wipe down into the cracks and crevices in the radio to effectively disinfect from germs.
    • Some manufacturers allow the use of an antibacterial wipe, but excess liquid must be squeezed out of the wipe before use so that it is merely damp, not wet, to avoid over saturating the radio with fluid.
    • Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including any metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks and crevices.
    • Allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery(ies), charge or use the device.

    Your radio is a powerful tool for communication, but as with any object, it can also be a germ magnet. Whether they are used in a dental office, medical facility, warehouse, retail store, restaurant, on the water, in a cockpit, on the trail, at home with the family or out in the field, clean and disinfect your radios regularly to ensure maximum personal protection and health.

    For an in-depth discussion on cleaning and disinfecting two way radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Podcast TWRS-148 - The COVID-19 Pandemic and Two Way Radios.

  • Radio 101 - How to program the Wouxun KG-UV8D from the keypad

    We receive many questions from users who just purchased their first Wouxun handheld radio from Buy Two Way Radios and want to know how to operate it. More specifically, they want to know how to program their radio manually, directly from the radio itself.

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to manually program a simplex channel into your Wouxun KG-UV8D, KG-UV8D Plus or KG-UV8E directly from the keypad of the radio. He also shows you how to enter the CTCSS tones and DCS codes.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • TWRS-148 - The COVID-19 Pandemic and Two Way Radios

    Two Way Radio Show
    We discuss the current national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to two way radios. We also tell you how to properly disinfect your radios and take some of your comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:23

    How we're dealing the COVID-19 pandemic 1:43
    We discuss the current national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we’re dealing with it at Buy Two Way Radios.

    Using radios for social distancing 18:57
    We discuss the importance of having radios during this national emergency and some ways they can be used to assist both small businesses and families with instant, effective communications for social distancing.

    Radios with antimicrobial properties 32:03
    We tell you which radios have antimicrobial properties that can be useful during the current situation and what the term antimicrobial really means. For more information, read Motorola radios with antimicrobial protection.

    How to clean and disinfect two way radios 43:46
    We explain how to properly clean and disinfect your radios for maximum personal protection.

    Questions and Answers 51:32
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Check out and join the new and improved forum! It's free!

    Wrap up and Close 1:01:06
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. If we read your comment about this episode on a future episode, we may send you a free Two Way Radio Show t-shirt! Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2020 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Radio 101 - How to Erase Rewind Say Again Recordings on the Cobra CXT1035R

    Some Cobra personal FRS and GMRS radios have a feature called Rewind Say Again. ​When activated, it records the last 20 seconds of the last transmission received over the air. But, how do you get rid of it when it's done?

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to erase the Rewind-Say-Again recording on a Cobra CXT1035R or ACXT1035R FLT two way radio.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • Motorola radios with antimicrobial protection

    Motorola Business Two Way RadiosMotorola is a leading manufacturer of rugged durable two way radios for business and commercial operations. But did you know that many of these models also have antimicrobial properties? Well, apparently they do!

    According to Motorola, the tough, polycarbonate material used for the housing on their popular CLS CLP, DLR, DTR, and RM series on-site business two way radios includes built-in antimicrobial properties that help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold on the surface of the radio. In other words, it helps slow the spread of germs when handling and using these radios. This results in a more stain-resistant device with less odor, often created by the growth of mold and germs.

    Although these radios do have antimicrobial properties, it is important to understand that the use of these radios does not prevent the existence or transmission of germs. The antimicrobial housings do not kill bacteria, viruses, or disease related organisms. These germs can still exist on the surface of the radios. What an antimicrobial housing does is help inhibit the growth of bacteria on the device, so that germs don't reproduce as rapidly while on the surface of the radio. This helps minimize the germ count somewhat and makes the radio easier to clean.

    Important! for maximum protection from bacteria, germs and virii, Motorola recommends that you always clean the radios thoroughly before and after each use.

    So, which Motorola radios have antimicrobial protection? Here is a list of Motorola business radios we carry that feature an antimicrobial or microbial resistant housing:

    Model Type Mode Band Antimicrobial
    Housing
    CLP1010
    CLP1040
    CLP1060
    Business Analog UHF
    CLS1110
    CLS1410
    Business Analog UHF
    DLR1020
    DLR1060
    Business Digital 900MHz
    DTR600 Business Digital 900MHz
    DTR700 Commercial Digital 900MHz
    RMM2050 Business Analog MURS
    RMU2040
    RMU2080
    RMU2080d
    Business Analog UHF
    RMV2080 Business Analog VHF
  • Great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R

    Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way RadioThere's no denying it. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular and prolific handheld two way radios in the world. It's no wonder, really. It's extremely compact, feature packed, and extremely affordable, or, to put it bluntly, it's really, really cheap. A power packed dual bander at a powerfully low price, the UV-5R is without a doubt the preferred choice of many radio operators across the globe.

    Of course, with high popularity comes high demand. With such demand comes the challenge of keeping the UV-5R in stock and available to ship same day to our customers. Usually this is not a problem, but the current worldwide pandemic has created an unusual situation for retailers in general, and it affects our warehouse operations as well.

    Due to the sudden interest in personal preparedness during the coronavirus emergency, we've experienced an uptick in demand for certain makes and models of two way radios by the general public. As such, some of our most popular radios may be in short supply or temporarily out of stock. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of those affected models.

    But there's absolutely no reason to panic, or panic buy. On the contrary, we have plenty of other radios in stock and available that fit the bill. While some may not be at the same price point as the UV-5R, they are certainly capable of powerful, reliable operation on the same bands and frequencies as the Baofeng. Not only that, these models are of equal or higher build specifications for greater ruggedness and better durability, adding greater value for the price!

    For instance, the TYT TH-UV88 is a dual band analog radio that matches the UV-5R in almost every respect, even down to the built-in LED flashlight. Some even call it a potential UV-5R killer. Sure, it costs just a little more than the UV-5R, but it has something the UV-5R doesn't, a more rugged and durable housing. It also has a real one year manufacturer warranty from TYT, something that Baofeng claims to offer, but in most cases makes it all but impossible for the end user to actually redeem.

    Then there's a great selection from Wouxun. These are powerful dual band radios with exceptional features and capabilities, some of which are not available at all on the Baofeng UV-5R. Does the UV-5R have a full color LCD display? No? Well, it's a standard feature on many Wouxun models. Can the bands be freely set in the UV-5R for VHF TX and UHF RX or UHF TX and VHF RX on the same channel? Well, you can do it on the Wouxun KG-UV6D. Does the UV-5R have cross band repeat capability? The Wouxun KG-UV8D does, and so do several other Wouxun models, including the KG-UV8E, and it's a tri-bander!

    Yes, the Baofeng UV-5R is Part 90 type accepted for business use, and some of the other models mentioned are not. But some of them are. And if you need a radio specifically for business use, why settle for a cheap little transceiver when you can get much more durability, and in turn, greater ROI with more rugged Part 90 type accepted radios specifically designed for business use? Icom, Motorola and other manufacturers offer many models that fit the bill. And, if you really need to buy on price alone, Why not consider the Olympia P324? This is a great little radio for business applications. It's Part 90 type accepted, and it's an incredibly inexpensive buy. Note: at the time this article was written, it's also on sale!

    We could go on and on, but you get the point. Why be disappointed that the UV-5R is out of stock, when there are so many other great radios to choose from that are also a bargain, and are better radios, to boot?

    So the UV-5R is out of stock? No problem. Just upgrade. Considering all this, when you upgrade your purchase from a UV-5R to another model, you aren't settling for less, you're getting something more. It's a win-win for you. And that's a smarter buy.

    Here are some great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R:

    Manufacturer Model Type Acceptance Bands Service
    Baofeng UV-82 Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    Icom F4001
    F3001
    Part 90 UHF
    VHF
    Business
    Motorola VX-261 Part 90 UHF or VHF Business
    Olympia P324 Part 90 UHF Business
    TYT TH-UV88 Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    Wouxun KG-UV6D Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV6D PRO Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV7D Part 90* UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV899 Part 15 UHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Plus Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8E Part 15B Tri-Band Amateur
    KG-UV9D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9D PLUS LE Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9P Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur

    *The 2M/70cm version has been approved by the FCC. Type accepted for Part 90, FCC ID WVTWOUXUN07. The 2M/1.25M and 2M/6M versions are for amateur use only.

  • Radio 101 - How to Reset the TYT TH-9800​

    The TYT TH-9800 is a powerful quad band mobile amateur radio with flexible options, and is generally considered a good value for the price. One example of this flexibility is the reset option. Most mobile radios allow the user to perform a reset, but it is often limited to one or two reset options. The TH-9800 offers four.

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to choose a reset option and perform the reset quickly to bring your TH-9800 back online.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • COVID-19 Updates: Shipping / Staffing Changes

    Coronavirus
    Courtesy CDC

    With the country battling the outbreak of the Coronavirus, businesses everywhere are dealing with its impact and we're no different. We're creating this post to keep you up to date with any changes to our operations that might impact your shipment, or the customer service that you might receive from us.

    We do understand that two way radios are useful in many ways during emergency situations like this one, which can lead to an increase in demand. It is our intention to remain open and continue to ship product for the duration of the crisis.

    We plan to keep this post updated as things change, and the latest update will be at the top.

    Monday, March 23, 2020

    We are still fully staffed and will ship all in-stock orders without delay.

    Today we will be operating with all staff working remotely, except for those needed for warehouse and radio programming. We did our best to test and work out the kinks last week, but we do expect the occasional hiccup - especially over the first few days. The following are a few challenges that we are expecting:

    • Our sales staff won't readily have access to co-workers. In the office, our sales reps sit in pretty close proximity to one another. That has a few advantages. It is easier to ask co-workers questions, and we can often learn a lot just by being present for other conversations. Our sales team will still be able to get in touch with one another by phone, e-mail and chat, but we expect that on average it will take a little longer to handle customer requests.
    • Our sales staff won't readily have access to product. Occasionally a customer asks a question or have a request that is most easily handled by grabbing a sample product or pulling one off the shelf in the warehouse. Now these types of things will take longer and probably require a callback, as our reps will have to get in touch with in-office personnel (who are probably very busy).
    • We'll be less "professional." Don't be surprised if you call in and hear an occasional dog bark or have your sales rep distracted by a kid that needs their attention.

    Your continued business is very much appreciated at this time, but we may need a little of your patience as well.

    Thursday, March 19, 2020

    First and most importantly we're still fully staffed and able to ship almost all orders the same day, as you've come to expect from us. We understand that many people consider two way radios to be critical products for their preparedness plans, and we are committed to meeting these needs.

    So far this week we've spent a considerable amount of effort preparing our computer and phone systems to work remotely. Some staff members are testing our at-home systems today, and sometime during the next week we hope to have our in-office staff reduced to only those employees that are absolutely essential to have on-site.

    Once we have transitioned our sales and customer service team to working from home there may be some changes or delays to our normal process, particularly during the initial stages of the transition. We will keep you up to date on this as the transition approaches.

    Product Change

    There are several software CDs that we produce ourselves, in-house. Examples are the Wouxun and TYT software CDs. We sell these individually and include them for free with certain programming cables. With our staff out of the office, we've decided that we will no longer be able to produce these CDs.

    For now, we have plenty of CDs in stock, but we are working now to make sure that all radios have links to their software on the Downloads tab from the product page.

    Monday, March 16, 2020

    As of today there are no changes to our operations. We are almost fully staffed and expect that customer service and warehouse operations will proceed as normal.

    The state has closed schools, which does make things more difficult for some of our employees. We are exploring options for allowing some staff members to work from home.

  • Radio 101 - How to Set Repeater Channels on the Midland MXT115​

    The Midland MXT115 is a GMRS micromobile two way radio that is also repeater capable. All you need to do is activate them. This is actually quite simple and can be done very quickly, once you know how to do it. how do you activate and configure them?

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to easily setup the 8 GMRS repeater channels on the Midland MXT115. He also shows you how to configure a CTCSS tone or DCS code on a repeater channel.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • Radio 101 - What is a JIS Rating?​

    Two way radios are often used outdoors and may sometimes be exposed to moisture or even harsh weather conditions. When choosing a radio, it is important to consider how well it can withstand exposure to water. One of the standards used to rate water resistance is the JIS rating. But what is the scale for JIS water resistance rating, and what does it mean?

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick explains in simple terms what the JIS rating system is and how it works to determine the water resistance of two way radios.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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