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Monthly Archives: June 2010

  • The Midland LXT490 Two Way Radio is Now in Stock!

    We now have the Midland LXT490 two way radio in stock here at Buy Two Way Radios. They are great entry level radios or for those looking for an easy to use, all-purpose walkie talkie. They have 22 FRS/GMRS channels and 121 privacy codes, weather alerts and are water resistant.

    The Midland LXT490VP3 radio pack comes with two LXT 490 radios, belt clips, desktop charger, AC wall adapter and rechargeable batteries.

    We have the LXT490VP3 ready to go for $44.99 + shipping. If you have any question about the LXT490 or any other consumer or business radios, just give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 or send us an email.

  • Motorola CLP Accessories, We Have What You Need!

    We now have Motorola CLP radio accessories in stock! We really like the new CLP radios from Motorola. The CLP 1010 and CLP 1040 are great business radios, so we are very proud to announce we carry CLP two way radio accessories and replacement parts.

    Motorola HKPN4007A CLP Multi Charger: The Motorola HKPN4007A CLP Multi Charger allows you to charge up to six CLP radios at a time.

    Motorola HKPN4008A CLP Single Unit Charger: The Motorola HKPN4008A CLP Single Unit Charger is perfect for those who only use a few radios. The charger is small and fits easily just about anywhere.

    Motorola HKKN4013A BT90 CLP High Capacity Replacement Li-ion Battery: The Motorola HKKN4013A BT90 CLP High Capacity Replacement Li-ion Battery adds even more talk time to your CLP radios.

    Motorola HKLN4436A CLP PTT Earpiece: The Motorola HKLN4436A CLP PTT Earpiece has a PTT switch with a swivel clip and a comfortable earpiece.

    Motorola HKLN4437A CLP Earpiece: The Motorola HKLN4437A CLP Earpiece has a swivel lapel clip and a comfortable earpiece.

    Motorola HKKN4014A BT60 CLP Replacement Li-ion Battery: The Motorola HKKN4014A BT60 CLP Replacement Li-ion Battery is a genuine Motorola replacement battery for your CLP radio.

    Motorola HKLN4441A CLP Replacement Li-ion Battery Cover: The Motorola HKLN4441A CLP Replacement Li-ion Battery Cover is for use with standard size batteries.

    Motorola HKLN4440A CLP Replacement HC Li-ion Battery Cover: The Motorola HKLN4440A CLP Replacement HC Li-ion Battery Cover is for use with high capacity batteries.

    Motorola HKLN4438A CLP Belt Clip: The Motorola HKLN4438A CLP Belt Clip has a swivel mount and is designed specifically for use with CLP radios.

    These are just a few of the accessories for CLP series radios. If there is anything you are looking for that you cannot find, please give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 or send us an email.

  • The Motorola CLP 1010 and CLP 1040 are Here!

    The Motorola CLP1010 and Motorola CLP1040 are now in stock and shipping out now to pre-orders as I type this! We are very excited at our business walkie talkie operations center. These are the most innovative two way radios we have seen in a long time and they are going to be perfect for a lot of businesses.

    If you run a retail business, doctor's office, dentist office, small warehouse or even a salon give these radios a look! They have great features and styling. These are high tech radios and they look it.

    Give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 if you have any questions or you can send us an email.

  • We Now Carry Galaxy CB Radios!

    Buy Two Way Radios is pleased to announce we are now carrying Galaxy CB radios. Galaxy CB radios make some of the most popular professional quality CB radios around. They have classic styling and are loaded with features.

    Galaxy DX 919 CB Radio: The Galaxy DX 919 CB Radio is a popular entry level design. The DX919 has a new compact shape while keeping a classic CB radio appearance.

    Galaxy DX 929 CB Radio: The Galaxy DX 929 CB Radio has many of the classic features you expect in a Galaxy radio. Like the DX 919, it has a compact size making it easy to install.

    Galaxy DX 949 SSB CB Radio: The Galaxy DX 949 CB Radio is a full featured series that still has the classic CB radio design you expect in a Galaxy radio. The DX949 is designed for serious CB operators.

    Galaxy DX 959 SSB CB Radio: The Galaxy DX959 CB Radio is designed for professionals. It is loaded with features and is a high-end CB radio. The Galaxy CB radio series is popular with professional truckers for a reason.

  • Response to the FCC's Review of the Part 95 Personal Radio Services Rules

    Here is draft of the response we are going to submit to the FCC:

    "This letter contains comments on the Notice Of Proposed Rule Making And Memorandum Opinion And Order On Reconsideration in the matter of the FCC's Review of the Commission's Part 95 Personal Radio Services Rules (WT Docket No. 10-119).

    First, a little background about myself. I am the president of Cricket Ventures, LLC which owns and operates the web site BuyTwoWayRadios.com, one of the country's largest GMRS specialty retailers. I would like to briefly voice my support in the FCC taking up this matter and provide comments on certain subjects that were mentioned in your Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM).

    I am in full agreement with an overwhelming majority of your proposed changes, in particular your proposal to remove the license requirement for GMRS use. This issue has been the cause of much confusion and discouragement from our customers over the years and I welcome the changes taking effect. I have comments on several other sections of your proposal that I will detail below.

    Page 6, Item 12:

    You propose to list frequencies in a table along with an assigned channel number. I believe that it is a great idea to use channel numbers to identify frequencies, however I would suggest that the FCC adopt the channel numbers that are commonly used by radio manufacturers in 15 channel GMRS radios. Example radios are the Kenwood TK-3101, Kenwood TK-3131 and the Icom F21-GM. I believe that if the FCC uses channel numbers that differ from current standards it will only lead to confusion.

    Page 12, Item 27:

    It is my opinion that all GMRS licensing requirements should be eliminated. As stated in the proposal, licensing offers little value when a licensed user is able to operate on any frequency in any location. In addition, it is inconsistent with other part 95 services. Also, with so few GMRS users actually completing the licensing process this requirement actually serves only to punish those who follow the rules. This would continue to be the case without a large enforcement effort, a near impossibility with the number of unlicensed stations already in use.

    Page 13, Item 30:

    The proposal seeks comment concerning the use of GMRS devices by businesses. It is my opinion that use of GMRS radios by individuals for business purposes should continue to be allowed. A potential drawback to this is that with the possible removal of the license requirement, some businesses may choose to use GMRS radios rather than part 90 commercial products because the part 90 licensing process creates a barrier to entry. I do believe however that there are sufficient advantages to the Part 90 service that businesses will continue to choose LMR products for high use and mission critical applications. Businesses may choose to use lower cost GMRS radios in light duty or non-frequent applications.

    I also believe that prohibiting business use of GMRS devices would be difficult to enforce and would likely lead to a situation like we have today with licensing, where those that follow the rules are effectively punished because breaking the rules involves no risk.

    Page 19, Item 47:

    I understand and support the stated concern regarding combination Marine/GMRS radios and I support prohibiting this combination. It is my opinion, however, that the proposal may be taking it too far by including Part 90 in the list of prohibited combinations (along with Parts 80, 87, and 97).

    There is some consumer demand for high quality business grade GMRS radios, but this demand is very small in comparison to the demand for the typical low priced combination FRS/GMRS radios found in retail stores. Business radio manufacturers say that this demand is too low for them to justify producing a GMRS specific radio. A typical Part 90 certified UHF radio is no different from a hardware perspective from a high quality GMRS radio. Providing the manufacturer with the option to produce a radio for businesses but also having it certified for GMRS use could provide consumers in need of higher end products with more options. Without this option, those looking for high quality, commercial grade GMRS products may have very few choices."

    We welcome your comments and opinions so let us know what you think by commenting here on our blog or on our two way radio forum.

  • My Thoughts On The FCC's Proposed GMRS Changes

    When I heard that the FCC was proposing changes to the GMRS, I was cautiously optimistic. After taking the time to read the proposal, I am excited about the changes and hope they are approved quickly. The proposal is in a seeking-comments phase and will likely change before it is adopted, but If the proposal were to be adopted as-is it would be a vast improvement over the system that we have today.

    Below I am going to detail my thoughts on the FCC's proposal.

    GMRS Licensing. I have been in the radio business for around 8 years now, and the biggest problem that I have had with GMRS is the licensing issue. GMRS licensing has been nothing but a headache for us. The law says that a GMRS license is required to use the radios, yet all indications are that this law is not enforced, and probably less than 1 in about 1000 users are licensed. With so few GMRS users actually completing the licensing process this requirement only punishes those who follow the rules.

    As a business that encouraged our customers to follow the law and become licensed, we lost sales to customers who were scared off by the process or the cost. Most of our competitors choose not to make mention of licensing, so this often put us in an awkward situation. Radio users that choose to purchase a license are treated unfairly as well when unlicensed users have the same benefits as them and no enforced penalty for breaking the law.

    Some enthusiasts will disagree with me but eliminating the license requirement is the right thing to do, it is the only option available at this point, and it should have been done years ago. When the FCC approved mass market GMRS radios without forcing manufacturers to stress the licensing requirement and chose to ignore enforcement, the possibility of licensing ever working was eliminated.

    A license serves little purpose anyway. Just about anyone over the age of 18 is eligible and receiving a license qualifies you to transmit on any GMRS frequency from any location. A license makes much more sense with business radios where a frequency is assigned based on your location to prevent interference. It seems the GMRS license has become nothing more than an optional tax and I will be delighted to see it go.

    Business use of GMRS radios. If businesses are allowed to use low cost GMRS radios, it could cost us business radio sales but it is the right thing to do. Businesses shouldn't have to buy $150 radios for light duty non-frequent applications, which is where I see GMRS radios being used. Businesses that need radios for daily use or critical applications will still choose products capable of using exclusive frequencies to eliminate interference, and they will need radios that are more durable than typical consumer grade GMRS products. Businesses are already commonly using GMRS radios today, unlicensed, and we know from experience that the FCC isn't interested in dedicating too many resources to enforcing GMRS rules. If new rules prohibited businesses from using radios, we would just end up with a situation like we have today.

    GPS coordinates and text messages. If the ability to transmit GPS information and text messages over GMRS frequencies is adopted, I believe that we may see some more advanced radios in the next few years. Perhaps some other manufacturer will release something similar to a Garmin Rino and in turn help bring market prices down. Text messaging is a feature that customers request from time to time and would be a very popular feature.

    Elimination of combination service radios. This is my biggest concern. I understand why the FCC does not want combination Marine/GMRS radios, and I support their disallowing this combination. I think, however, that they may be taking it too far by including Part 90 in the list of prohibited combinations. The proposal would prevent a radio that is certified for Parts 80 (Marine), 87 (Aviation), 90 (Commercial LMR), and 97 (Amateur) from also being certified for Part 95 (GMRS).

    GMRS business radios usage. There is a demand for high quality business grade GMRS radios, but this demand is very small in comparison to the demand for consumer grade product. Business radio manufacturers say that this demand is too low for them to justify producing a GMRS specific radio. A typical Part 90 certified UHF radio is no different from a hardware perspective from a high quality GMRS radio, so it would be a beneficial option for a manufacturer to be able to produce a radio for businesses but also have it certified for GMRS use. Without this option, those looking for high quality, commercial grade GMRS products may have very few choices.

    Two watt power limit. I would prefer to see the power limit set at 5 watts, but I can accept the two watt limit proposed by the FCC. Practically all of the existing consumer grade products already fall within this limit already.

    Regarding the elimination of repeaters or the reduction of base station power. While I do not believe that the FCC would prohibit repeaters or high powered base stations with these changes, I do not like that the question is even being posed. I do understand their perspective, very few of the overall users are taking advantage of this type of equipment and they want to encourage frequency reuse. However, I simply do not hear complaints from average consumer grade GMRS radio users that they are getting interference from base stations or repeaters. I am much more likely to hear complaints from someone who has invested in a repeater and think they are being harassed by those they feel are trespassing on their network. I believe there is room for all types of GMRS users and we all have to understand that this system is here for everyone to use even if it means tolerating some perceived misuse or encroachment.

    Tomorrow I will follow this up with a post on the comments I am going to make to the FCC. Once again, feel free to discuss this here on our blog, or over on our two way radio forum.

    Danny Feemster
    President, Buy Two Way Radios

  • A Summary of the FCC's Proposed Changes to GMRS and Other Services

    On June 7, 2010 the FCC released an extensive document proposing a large number of changes to its set of rules governing Personal Radio Services or "Part 95". The Part 95 rules establish and regulate many different services including FRS, GMRS, Citizens Band (CB), MURS, Radio Control (RC), and even personal locator beacons and medical related services. If this FCC proposal is adopted, it will result in essentially a complete rewrite of the Part 95 rules. This will include some fairly large changes to the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which is used by most of the consumer grade radios that we sell.

    Before we get into specific changes, it is important to note that this document is only a proposal. At this stage, the FCC has released the proposal and is requesting feedback or comments from individuals who would be impacted by these changes. The proposal may very well change based upon the comments received. Also, if you disagree with any of the proposed changes you still have time to do something about it. We encourage everyone to submit your comments to the FCC.

    As I mentioned above, the proposal would result in a rewrite of the Part 95 rules. The FCC thought this would be appropriate since the current set of rules was created over 30 years ago and was in need of some serious condensing. In the years since Part 95 was initially created several new services - including GMRS - have been added and the rules contain a lot of redundant information. By removing repetitive information, the new set or proposed rules is easier to understand and implement. This should result in reducing the confusion that currently exist in regards to allowed and disallowed services.

    Even though the FCC has simplified the rules, most are not going to delve very far into this 44 page section of the Code of Federal Regulations. That's why we are here. Below I am going to detail the changes that this document proposes to the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and some changes to a couple of other services.

    Proposed GMRS Changes

    Elimination of the GMRS license requirement. This is certainly the biggest news from the proposal! The GMRS license requirement would be eliminated and current GMRS licenses would become void. Currently users of GMRS radios are required by the FCC to become licensed before using radios. A license is good for 5 years and costs $85. In reality very few users of GMRS radios even realize that there is a license requirement, and far fewer actually complete the licensing process. In the proposal, the FCC acknowledges being aware of "reports" that confirm this all too common breach of the law.

    They also point out that a license makes little sense when it allows a user to communicate on any frequency in any location.

    Portable GMRS radios limited to 2 watts power. It seems that the FCC never specifically set a power limit for portable GMRS radios, meaning that they are currently technically subject only to the 50 watts ERP category limit. This has resulted in available GMRS portable radios that transmit at up to 5 watts. Creating a limit of 2 watts should not create any major issues because the vast majority of existing consumer grade radios are within this limit. This also brings the United States in line with Canada, which has a system similar to GMRS that uses the same frequencies with a 2 watt limit.

    Changes to GMRS repeaters. There seems to be signs of panic within the GMRS enthusiasts community concerning this FCC proposal and repeaters. The concern seems to have arisen from a request from the FCC for comments regarding whether repeaters and base station operations are still needed in GMRS. Even though the FCC is asking for feedback on the necessity of GMRS repeaters, it appears that they do not have any intention of prohibiting them, at least for now. In the proposed Part 95 text (Appendix B of the proposal document) repeaters are still allowed and there has been no change to the power limits (50 watts ERP).

    Businesses allowed to use GMRS. As the proposed Part 95 rules are now written, businesses would be allowed to use the GMRS. The document points out that businesses have been successfully using FRS, a lower power service that shares 7 channels with GMRS. Currently, businesses are prohibited from receiving a GMRS license, but licensed individuals can use radios for business use.

    GPS coordinates and text messages. The proposal would allow radios to encode user generated text messages and GPS coordinates and transmit this information over GMRS frequencies. This is already allowed on FRS frequencies, 7 of which are shared with GMRS.

    Voice scrambling explicitly prohibited. A few years ago, at least two consumer grade GMRS radio manufacturers released products equipped with a voice scrambling feature that was marketed as a way to counter others eavesdropping on conversations. Even though the radios with this feature were approved by the FCC, at least one of these manufacturers were fined after the radios came to market.

    The existing Part 95 rules contains some poorly worded language requiring that messages be "in plain language without codes or hidden meanings" and there was confusion as exactly what this referred to. The FCC is proposing to clarify this rule and explicitly prohibit voice scrambling functionality. While consumers loved this feature, the FCC believes that "these voice-obscuring techniques could thwart the channel sharing protocols in these services and the ability to communicate during an emergency."

    Elimination of combination service radios. The FCC is concerned that some manufacturers are now producing radios that will allow a user to transmit on both GMRS and VHF marine frequencies. Certain marine frequencies are monitored by the Coast Guard and are important for safety, and if the ability to transmit on these frequencies were to be added as a common feature in consumer GMRS radios it could lead to problems such as hoax mayday calls. The FCC is proposing to prohibit certifying a radio for both Part 95 and any of several other Parts including 80, 87, 90, and 97. These other Parts provide rules governing the use of frequencies for other purposes, including commercial radios and marine radios.

    Narrowbanding. Around half of the GMRS frequencies are currently spaced 25 kHz apart, or "wide band". If the proposal is adopted, equipment produced after a set date would need to have the channel spacing for all frequencies set to 12.5 kHz, or "narrow band". Having radios use narrow band allows for twice as many possible channels to be allocated by the FCC and brings GMRS more in line with commercial radios, which also have a narrowbanding mandate approaching.

    Designate frequencies by channel number. Previously the FCC simply stated the frequencies that were approved for use by GMRS. Now they propose to list frequencies in a table along with an assigned channel number. The point of this change is "to reflect current technologies and the way people use the services". It is interesting to note that the FCC's designated channel numbers for GMRS are different from the channel numbers being used by radio manufacturers.

    Frequency tolerance and unwanted emissions. Changes are proposed to the language in Part 95 concerning frequency tolerance and unwanted emissions. These changes seem to simply bring the document in line with current manufacturing standards and do not seem as if they would have an impact on product performance or manufacturing cost.

    Other Proposed Changes

    Personal locator beacons must use appropriate frequencies. In 2002 the FCC authorized the use of 406 MHz for personal locator beacons (PLB), which transmit a distress signal that can be tracked by search and rescue responders. The PLB system is a well thought out international system that uses satellites to route distress signals to proper authorities. Apparently, lower cost devices using other frequencies have been marketing themselves as PLBs. The FCC is concerned that consumers may buy one of these devices assuming it is a "real" PLB and not be able to summon help when it is needed. This proposal would require that anything market as a Personal Locator Beacon or PLB operate using the 406 MHz international system.

    CB radios can now be used hands-free. The proposed rules would explicitly state that hands-free microphones for CB radios are not prohibited. Existing language that prohibited "remote controls" for CB radios was unclear and could have been interpreted as applying to hands-free devices. The updated rules would require that the hands-free microphone only operate within a short distance from the CB unit, similar to a wired microphone.

    In the next post, I am going to further discuss the proposed changes as they relate to the industry.

    Please feel free to discuss the FCC changes here on this blog post and on our two way radio forum.

    Danny Feemster
    President, Buy Two Way Radios

  • The FCC Wants to Change GMRS Licensing, GMRS Repeater Usage, and More!

    I am sure many of you by now have heard or read that the FCC wants to change current rules in regards to GRMS radios, GMRS repeaters, CB Radios, and several other consumer oriented communication products. Here at Buy Two Way Radios we are currently going over the proposed changes (in detail), and next week we will have a lot to talk about here on our two way radio website and our two way radio forum.

    Some of the changes include limiting hand held GMRS radios to two watts, perhaps disallowing GMRS repeater usage, and additional power limits on base station and mobile units. There is a lot more than just this, so we will be going into more specifics next week.

    Many of the proposed modifications could have very important ramifications for some GMRS users. If you own or use a GMRS repeater, you need to read the changes. The FCC is open to comments on the subject, so we highly recommend that all of you do some reading and let them know what you think.

    Until then, feel free to discuss the proposed FCC GMRS radio and GMRS repeater changes on our forum.

  • The Motorola CLP1010 and Motorola CLP1040 Available June 25th!

    UPDATED (6/22/10): The CLP1010 and CLP1040 Two Way Radios Now in Stock and Shipping!

    You can now pre-order the revolutionary Motorola CLP1010 and Motorola CLP1040 here at Buy Two Way Radios. They will be available for sale on Tuesday, June 25th. In fact, they may even get here a bit earlier! We also have the Motorola RPU2160 Portable Repeater, designed specifically for use with the CLP1040 and CLP 1010, in stock now!

    Both radios are very compact, easy to use, and high-tech. Motorola has designed two ultra stylish radios that will make your staff look as cutting edge as your business.

    The Motorola CLP1010 and Motorola CLP1040 two way radios are going to be in very high demand, so we suggest pre-ordering now. We have already written about them in previous post, because they really are going to change how you look and think about two way radios. If you own a retail business, restaurant, theater, spa, gym, small warehouse, or use radios for short to medium range communications give the Motorola CLP1010 and Motorola CLP1040 a look, and then give us a call.

    The size and ease of use of the radios and the range boosting repeater make them just as ideal for those needing a mobile communications suite. If you are an event planner, go to trade shows, or have a business that travels a lot, the radios combined with the mobile repeater may be exactly what you have been looking for.

    In addition to carrying just the radios and the repeater we plan on carrying CLP series accessories, and many of you know we like to have a few two way radio accessories in stock. We are as excited about these radios as many of you are, and want to carry every CLP radio and RPU repeater accessory we are able to.

    Give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 or send us an email if you have any questions. The way your employees use radios to communicate on the job has just changed forever.

  • A Marine Radio for the Lake this Summer!

    Now that summer is here we are getting quite a few calls about marine radios. We have several models that are perfect for summer boating.

    Midland Nautico 1VP VHF Marine Radio: The Midland Nautico 1VP VHF Marine Radio is a very basic, entry-level handheld model. While we cannot recommend it for more involved boating, it is great for use on small lakes.

    Midland Nautico 3VP VHF Marine Radio: The Midland Nautico 3VP VHF Marine Radio is a slight upgrade from the 1VP model, prefect for those needing a bit more range.

    Midland Regatta 1B/W Marine Radio: The Midland Regatta 1B Marine Radio is for those that want a fixed radio instead of a handheld model. The Midland Regatta comes in black and white and is a good entry level marine radio.

    Cobra Marine MR-F80B Two Way Radio: The Cobra Marine MR-F80B Two Way Radio is a powerful, full-feature, fixed mount, marine radio. If you want a lot of range, and need a flexible communications system for your boat, the MR-F80B may be what you have been looking for!

    Icom IC-M34 VHF Marine Radio: The Icom IC-M34 VHF Marine Radio is the best handheld marine radio we carry. This is a very durable and reliable radio. The IC-M34 is also an ideal back-up or emergency radio.

    If you have any questions, give us a call 1-800-584-1445 or send an email.

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