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Radio Compatibility: Which Models Will Work Together

One of the questions that we are asked frequently is if a new two way radio that a customer is considering purchasing will be compatible with older radios that they already have. This compatibility question is best answered based on the type of radio (consumer vs. business), as the answer is very different.

Consumer Radios
Midland GXT2000 Two Way RadioConsumer radios operate on a standard set of frequencies, either the GMRS or FRS services or a combination of both. Most newer consumer radios are "dual service" radios that support both FRS and GMRS. These radios will typically have 22 channels. Older consumer radios may only have 14 channels, operating only on FRS.

Regardless, all of these radios that support FRS and/or GMRS use the same frequencies and are compatible with one another. Simply set all radios to the same channel number and privacy code, and you will be able to communicate. Popular manufacturers of consumer radios are Audiovox, Cobra, Garmin, Midland, Motorola (Talkabout series), and Uniden. Kenwood used to make GMRS models (the TK3101 and TK3131, for example), but have moved away from consumer radios and no longer produce them.

Business Radios
Kenwood TK-3402 Two Way RadioCompatibility is not nearly as straightforward when it comes to business radios. First of all, there are several types of frequencies that business radios are made to support: VHF, UHF, and 800/900 Mhz frequencies, for example. The first step in finding a compatible radio is choosing a model that supports the same frequency type as your existing radios.

These frequency types refer to an entire range of actual frequencies, and just choosing the same frequency type does not guarantee compatibility. If you purchased your existing radios from a true two way radio dealer, there is a possibility that the dealer could have programmed special custom frequencies into the radio. If this were the case, your radios may not be compatible with a new radio even if you purchased the exact same model.

Usually most compatibility issues arise with 4 or 5 watt radios, which are much more likely to support custom programming. With one or two watt business radios, it is a little easier to ensure compatibility. The Motorola CLS series of radios and the two watt RDX series models will always be compatible, and two watt Kenwood radios that are marked with a ProTalk label will always be compatible, provided you purchase the same model.

If you have any questions or concerns about business radio compatibility, the easiest option is to simply contact us and we can recommend a compatible solution. For older radios or radios that could have been custom programmed, we may ask that you send in the radio so that we can read the actual frequencies from the radio before making a recommendation.

Related Resources
Looking for a MURS Compatible Radio?
It's Official: Vertex Digital and Motorola TRBO Radios Now Compatible
The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-07 - Comparing Small Business Radios
Radio 101 - The facts about GMRS two way radio compatibility

161 thoughts on “Radio Compatibility: Which Models Will Work Together”

  • Isaac

    Hello,
    I currently have a set of Radioboss 289G and a set of Kenwood Protalk XLS 3230. I'm trying to figure out if they can work on the same frequency. They are both UHF business radios, so I would imagine they would work together, but I'm having a hard time figuring them out. Any tips or suggestions on how to go about solving this problem?

    Reply
  • Rick

    The consumer radios such as the Motorola Talkabout MG167 and T100 are pre-programmed at the factory for use on FRS and/or GMRS frequencies only and are not user programmable.

    Reply
  • I think our GP340 on the ship are on UHF. I can't program the GP340, but can it be done the other way around: can the consumer radios be programmed to work with a business radio?

    Reply
  • Rick

    They would need to be using the same band (VHF or UHF) and programmed to the same frequencies and privacy codes.

    Reply
  • Rick

    The Motorola MG167A and T100 are consumer FRS/GMRS radios. The GP340 is a business radio. The VHF version of the GP340 will definitely not communicate with the consumer radios since they operate on the UHF band. It may be possible to program the UHF version of the GP340 to communicate with the consumer Talkabout models, however it may or may not be legal to do so, depending on the laws in your country.

    Reply
  • Evelyn

    Are the Motorola MG167A and/or Motorola T100 compatible with Motorola GP340? Can I use MG167A or T100 to communicate with people using the GP340 (on channels 1, 2 and 3)?

    Reply
  • John

    we have Motorola CP150 & CP200 in the facility but they do not talk to each other. Is there any change that can be made to make them compatible?

    Reply
  • DERREK M SIMPSON

    I work for walmart and we use cp110 and Rdm20 20 motorola radios so would any radio of those tWo models work if I purchased one

    Reply
  • Rick

    The ProTalk is a business radio and the Cobra MicroTalk is an FRS/GMRS radio. If your Kenwood is a UHF XLS radio and covers the same frequency range, you would need program the Kenwood to the same frequencies and CTCSS/DCS codes to which the Cobra is pre-programmed.
    Of course, if you lost your Kenwood ProTalk XLS radio, I'm not sure this information will help.

    Reply
  • Caleb Jones

    I have 2 cobra micro talk 2way 19 mile weatherproof 22 channel walkie talkies. I would like to know what is compatible with it?

    Reply
  • Shauna bustamento
    Shauna bustamento September 15, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I have lost my other walkie talkie its a kenwood pro talk xls and i have a cobra micotalk 121privacy codes how can i get them to work together thank you

    Reply
  • Rick

    We need a little more information. Are all of the radios of the same model, or are the CXT 565 radios mixed with other makes and models? Are all the radios on the same channel? Do any of the radios use CTCSS or DCS codes on these channels?
    This video may help.
    Radio 101 - Privacy Code Issues on GMRS Radios.

    Reply
  • lori caldwell

    Our facility uses the cobra CXT 565 .We have some walkies that we can talk in them and be heard however we can not hear anything from them.Can you help.Thanks

    Reply
  • Liz Stevens

    I have a Motorola rdm 2070d and a rmu 2040 and can not get them to clone. Is it even possible?

    Reply
  • Yhia fo

    Are the uniden uh850s concttin with the baofeng 888

    Reply
  • Rick

    Hi Darren, it is likely the used CP200 radios were programmed to different frequencies on channel 1. The radios need to be programmed to the same frequency on the same channel. You will need to find out what frequency is programmed to channel 1 on your previous radios and re-program all of the other radios you recently purchased to the same frequency. If your radios are using CTCSS or DCS codes on that channel you will need to match them as well.

    Reply
  • Darren

    Hi, I just recently bought 8 used motorola CP200 from different suppliers on EBay. The radios powr on but I cna not communicate with the other radios we previously had. I have them all on #1. Am I missing something or do I need to do anything to get these to communicate?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Imee

    Hi Sir, I would like to ask if SMP 328S is compatible to SMP 468?
    and if "yes" how can i connect the two radio.
    Thank you for your help!

    Reply
  • Rick

    Hi Josh, the answer depends on what radios everyone has and what frequencies they use. If they are using standard business radios such as Kenwood, Motorola, Icom or Vertex Standard and you are using Uniden FRS/GMRS radios, the answer is no, they will not talk to each other. The Uniden consumer radios are specifically designed for FRS/GMRS frequencies and are not user programmable. The business radios may either be UHF or VHF and operate on business frequencies. You would need to purchase a radio that is programmable and operates on the same band and frequency range as the other radios.
    However, this is not to say that you wasted your money. On the contrary, Uniden makes good, solid radios and they are quite useful for other applications, especially if you spend a lot of time participating in recreational activities with family and friends outdoors. Many Uniden models support NOAA weather channels and alerts and may also be handy in an emergency, so I wouldn't throw them away.

    Reply
  • josh aberle

    I'm new to this so I work for a construction company and there using walkie talkies buisness ones I believe so I went out and bought a diffrent modle all in general I bought a uniden 22 channel talkie will I be able to talk to my fellow workers if they give me the channel there using or did I waste my money?

    Reply

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