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Monthly Archives: February 2012

  • TWRS-29 - Camping With Radios

    We talk about taking two way radios on camping trips. We also review the Garmin Rino 655t two way radio with GPS.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:16

    Topic Discussion 1:30
    We talk about using two way radios while camping. We'll identify what features are important to have in a two way radio when out camping and make a few recommendations on the best radios for use on camping trips. Radios discussed include the Midland GXT1000VP4, Midland GXT5000, Cobra microTALK CXR925, Motorola TALKABOUT MR350R VP, Motorola TALKABOUT T9680R-SAME, Uniden GMR3689-2CK, Garmin Rino Two Way Radios with GPS, and the Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio. For more information about using two way radios on camping trips, read Two Way Radios For Camping and listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 3 - Radios In The Woods.

    Commercial Break 22:59
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 23:57
    Today we review the Garmin Rino 655t Two Way Radio With GPS.

    Questions and Answers 33:25
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 36:02
    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. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • 'Doomsday Prepper' Chooses Midland GXT1050VP4 Two Way Radio

    The National Geographic Channel has a new show called 'Doomsday Preppers' that airs on Tuesdays at 9:00pm EST. This show takes a closer look at people who are going to great lengths to prepare for hard times. Each episode features several 'preppers', and shows you how each is preparing for a specific crisis scenario. The show doesn't look at the more common disasters, but instead focuses on major to catastrophic events, as unlikely as they may be to occur. Examples of such events include an EMP detonation, a major oil crisis, hyperinflation, financial collapse, and more.

    Jason Charles - Doomsday PreppersIn this past Tuesday's episode one segment focuses on Jason Charles, a New York City fireman, and details his preparations for a supervolcano eruption. As he was demonstrating how he would prepare himself to go from his apartment to a storage facility for more supplies, he was shown carrying a Midland GXT1050VP4 two way radio. Is this radio a good choice for a crisis scenario?

    Advantages of the Midland GXT1050VP4
    There is no doubt that the Midland GXT1050 is a fantastic consumer grade GMRS radio. It has a lot of power and great range (typically 1-2 miles), is somewhat waterproof, (meets JIS4 specifications), will operate on standard AA batteries if you aren't able to recharge the included NiMH battery pack, and it will allow you to listen to NOAA weather channels. This is essentially the same radio as the very popular and very well reviewed Midland GXT1000VP4, only in camo.

    As you can see the GXT1050VP4 offers a lot of what a 'prepper' may be looking for, and it would be tough to make a case that it is a bad choice. As always seems to be the case, however, there is not a product that is completely perfect for this scenario so I'll point out a few other things that could be considered.

    Other Things To Consider
    First, while the GXT1050VP4 is packed with features, durability isn't really one of them. At $80/pair you really can't expect it to be, and this is going to be the case for any consumer grade radios. A business grade radio is going to be considerably more expensive, but far more durable. In a true disaster scenario, it would be difficult to find replacement radios so this has to be a consideration. Another option would be to purchase a backup set of the same or even lower cost consumer radios. This would provide a backup option and would still cost less than a typical single business radio.

    The Midland GXT-1050 operates on FRS and GMRS frequencies, which are very popular and are used by most consumer grade radios. A high powered GMRS radio can usually be counted on for a mile or so of communication range. GMRS, however, also allows for the use of repeaters. Repeaters are high powered devices that essentially re-broadcast a transmission at a much higher power and over a great distance. In a crisis situation it may be helpful to be able to communicate with others that are more than a mile from you, but to do this you would need a repeater in your area as well as a radio that supports the GMRS repeater frequencies.

    Unfortunately the GXT1050 does not support repeater frequencies. If you decide that you need this ability, Motorola has a couple of good options. The Motorola MR355R and MR356R are priced similarly to the Midland, but are repeater capable. The Motorola MS350R is repeater capable as well as fully waterproof. The Garmin Rino series is also repeater capable, but these devices are far more than just two way radios and that is reflective in the cost.

    Basic Emergency Kits
    Remember that we also offer some basic emergency kits. While these kits will get you nowhere close to the level of preparedness of those featured on the show, they are a small start and could make a big difference if you find yourself without power or clean water during a bad storm or other emergency.

  • Two Way Radios for the Manufacturing Industry

    It is no secret that two way radios are essential tools in the manufacturing industry. Whether you have a small warehouse or a huge manufacturing plant, two way radio communication will help your company operate more efficiently.

    Two way radios will give your employees a direct line of communication with other co-workers and/or supervisors. This will eliminate the need to leave a station unmanned to go find a fellow employee when something is needed. Studies have shown that two way radios typically pay for themselves with time savings in just a matter of months. In a manufacturing or assembly plant where an employee leaving a station could stop production, these savings are realized even more quickly.

    Recommended Radios
    We almost exclusively recommend UHF radios to manufacturers. UHF radios will tend to work better in most situations, as the radios will typically be used indoors. UHF frequencies penetrate thru solid objects such as steel and concrete better than VHF frequencies.

    Here are a couple of basic UHF business radios that would be ideal in smaller warehouses or plants:

    Motorola RDX RDU2020 (UHF) - One of our most popular models, the RDU2020 is a 2 watt, 2 channel UHF radio. It is built tough and is very durable. Comes standard with a lithium-ion battery, belt clip, and has a fixed antenna. As with all Motorola products, the RDU2020 has outstanding voice clarity. Also has the capability for accessories such as earpieces or speaker microphones for hands-free use. 1 year warranty from Motorola included.

    Kenwood TK-3300-U4P (UHF) - Another one of our popular business radios. As with the Motorola model, the TK3300 delivers 2 watts of output power, but with 4 channels. This would be the better choice, say, if you had multiple departments and wanted each department on a specific channel. Also comes with lithium-ion battery and belt clip. The antenna for this model will be quite a bit longer than the Motorola model, but since it is removable, you can switch it over to a stubby antenna if you prefer (this would reduce range). Also earpiece/speaker microphone capable. 2 year warranty from Kenwood included.

    For bigger warehouses or plants, you may want to go with a radio that has a little more "juice". Here are some more powerful radios:

    Motorola RDX RDU4100 (UHF) - This radio is in the same family as the RDX RDU2020, but will offer 4 watts of output power and 10 different channel selections. This model has a removable antenna and lithium-ion battery that come standard. Very tough, durable radio but still offers exceptional sound quality. The RDU4100 can be programmed to work with a repeater if even more range is needed. A 1 year warranty from Motorola is included.

    Vertex VX-351-AG (UHF) - The VX-351 will get you the maximum business radio output power of 5 watts with 16 channels. For exceptionally large buildings, this model would be a good choice. It is built to military standards for water, dust, and shock resistance and comes standard with a long lasting lithium-ion battery. An industry leading 3 year warranty from Vertex is included.

    Callboxes and Intercoms
    We also carry call boxes and intercom systems that will definitely come in handy for large warehouses that do a lot of shipping and receiving. These call boxes will mount on the outside of your building and are programmed to match the frequencies of your handheld radios, allowing the driver for any incoming shipments to press a button to alert someone inside the warehouse that they have arrived.

    This type of communication is necessary for many manufacturing facilities, but could also come in handy during those cold winter months and hot summer months when it may not be ideal to leave the warehouse bay doors open. Some Ritron callboxes even have options to automatically open a gate or activate other devices! Here are a couple of the call boxes that we suggest:

    Ritron RQX-451-XT Outpost 1 Series Callbox (UHF) - The 1 Series XT Callbox is built in a fiberglass and stainless steel case that is built to withstand outdoor conditions. Comes with tamper-resistant fasteners to ensure that no one will be able to access the callbox when your business is closed. Has the capability to run wirelessly with D batteries, or you can hook up an external wired AC power source. Ideal for most situations.

    Ritron RQX-451 Outpost 1 Series Basic Callbox (UHF) - This is the RQX-451-XT's little brother. Built in a weather resistant housing, this model can also run off of D batteries wirelessly or be connected to an AC power source. Can't be used exclusively outdoors in the weather without additional weatherproofing of the antenna.

    Intrinsically Safe Two Way Radios
    With manufacturing, we understand that sometimes there are special needs for two way radios. We run across quite a few facilities that work with chemicals or explosive gasses and need a radio that will never produce a spark that could ignite them. In these cases, an intrinsically-safe radio will be key. Intrinsically safe (IS) is a protection technique for safe operation of electronic equipment in explosive atmospheres. These radios will limit energy to prevent fire or explosions in areas with hazardous chemicals or gases. Here are a couple of intrinsically safe radios that we stock:

    Vertex VX-427 Intrinsically Safe (UHF) - The VX-427 delivers the full 5 watts of power, and would be ideal in large chemical plants or any other environment where intrinsically safe radios are needed. Also comes standard with an intrinsically safe lithium-ion battery, belt clip, removable antenna and rapid charger. As with all Vertex radios, it is built to military standards and is very durable. Also comes with the industry leading 3 year Vertex warranty.

    Icom IC-F60-81-DTC Intrinsically Safe (UHF) - Small but heavy duty radio that offers 4 watts of output power. Intrinsically safe radio as well as intrinsically safe lithium-ion battery. Comes with belt clip, removable whip antenna and direct trickle charger. Built to military standards and comes with the 2 year Icom warranty.

    No matter what your manufacturing plant produces, two way radios are excellent communication tools that can be used to help your company run more smoothly. If you have any questions about the radios listed above or any of our other products, please do not hesitate to contact us!

  • Two Way Radios for Schools and Universities

    Looking for ways to use two-way radio communication in your educational setting? Equipping your faculty with two-way radios can make your school much more efficient in a number of ways.

    Effective communication between administrators, teachers, security and custodial staff is very important to keep your school running smoothly. Two-way radios are an excellent alternative to cell phones, loud speaker systems, or trying to track down an individual in such a large building.

    Here are a number of ways that two-way radio communication can help you be effective:

    1. Two-way radios will ensure good communication between the front office and teachers within the classroom, or administrators within the school.

    2. Two-way radios can be used to help security and/or administrators communicate during the arrival and dismissal process. This can be one of the most hectic parts of the day for any school. Late buses, parents looking for their children, or any emergencies can be quickly and effectively communicated.

    3. Two-way radios can be used to alert custodial staff of any spills or maintenance issues so that they can be taken care of immediately.

    4. Two-way radios can be used to alert school security officers in case of any emergency situations, keeping the students and rest of the faculty safe.

    Typically, a high powered UHF radio will be ideal in a school setting. Since most schools are fairly large buildings made up of brick, steel and concrete, UHF frequencies will be your best bet because they will penetrate through these solid objects much better than VHF frequencies.

    The radios that we usually suggest to our customers looking for radio communication in a school setting are:

    The Kenwood ProTalk XLS (TK-3230) (UHF) - Offers 1.5 watts of power, which would be ideal for a smaller campus. A very small, very lightweight business grade radio. This radio comes standard with a lithium-ion battery, and a 2 year manufacturer warranty from Kenwood. Gives you a nice professional look without being very big and bulky. Also comes with the capability to use accessories such as an earpiece or speaker microphone for hands-free use.

    The Icom IC-F4011-41-RC (UHF)- Offers 4 watts of output power, which will equal great range within the building, as well as outside around the campus. This radio is also built to military specs for shock, dust and water resistance, and will be able withstand a pretty good beating without breaking. It also comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty from Icom. This radio comes standard with a lithium-ion battery that should make it thru a school day on a single charge with no problems. This radio has the capability to use accessories such as an earpiece or speaker microphone for hands-free use. Also gives you that professional radio look.

    The Vertex VX-231-AG7B (UHF) - Offers 5 watts of output power, which might be the better option if you have an exceptionally large campus that you need to cover. Built to the same military specs as the Icom model for shock, dust and water resistance. It also comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty from Vertex. This radio has the capability to use accessories such as an earpiece or speaker microphone for hands-free use. Also comes standard with the lithium-ion battery and nice professional look to it.

    Any and every school can benefit by having better communication within their staff, and there is no better way to do that than with a two-way radio system. If you have any questions about these radios, or any of our other products, please feel free to contact our sales staff and they will be glad to help you!

  • The Motorola MS350R is back in stock!

    Thumbnail image for B2B_Product_MS350_LG.jpgLast summer Motorola added a new high-performance entry to its line of FRS/GMRS radios, the Motorola TALKABOUT MS350R Two Way Radio. This model quickly became so popular and the demand was so high that, shortly after its debut, Motorola couldn't keep up with production - and we couldn't keep them in stock!.

    Today we are pleased to announce that the MS350R is back and Buy Two Way Radios has them in stock for immediate delivery to your door!

    The Motorola Talkabout MS350R is designed for use outdoors in inclement weather. It has 11 weather channels, a built-in flashlight, operates on either rechargeable or disposable alkaline batteries, is submersible and even floats. It is also repeater capable. The package includes two MS350R radios, two belt clips, two NiMH battery packs, a two-pocket drop in charger, an owner's manual and a handy Emergency Preparedness Checklist Sheet.

    An all-weather, repeater capable GMRS radio was bound to be popular; we just didn't know how popular it would be. We do now.

    If you're planning to get the Motorola Talkabout MS350R, now is the time - while they are back in stock.

  • TWRS-28 - The Facts About Mil-Spec

    We talk about the Mil-Spec and Mil-STD ratings on two way radios and what they mean. We also review the Icom IC-F3001 and IC-F4001 two way radios.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:18

    Topic Discussion 1:32
    We talk about Mil-Spec and Mil-STD. We discuss what they are, what tests are performed on the radios to meet these ratings and identify some radios that carry these designations. Radios discussed include Icom, Kenwood, Motorola and Vertex Standard business radios. For more information about Mil-Spec and Mil-STD, read the Military Standards Publications at The US Army Developmental Test Command.

    Commercial Break 16:05
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 17:03
    Today we review the Icom IC-F3001 and IC-F4001 business two way radios.

    Questions and Answers 24:12
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 31:30
    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. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • Midland's 2012 FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio Lineup

    Last month we told you about some exciting changes to Midland's 2012 lineup of FRS/GMRS two way radios. We now have more details and we're even more excited to pass them along to you. Early this year, Midland promised technical and cosmetic upgrades to its line of consumer radios, including new models. Midland has made many enhancements and performance improvements to its entire line of two way radios during the last few years, and they are taking it all to the next level in 2012.

    Feature Upgrades
    Among new products to be introduced this year is the new GXT2000 Series. According to Midland, the new GXT2000 and GXT2050 radios will each offer a large, easy to read LCD display. A fast charging, higher capacity lithium polymer battery will also be included to provide longer battery life. This battery can charge from 0-90% in about an hour and trickle charge the final 10% in less than another. The battery upgrade will be a welcome one for hikers, campers and others who love the outdoors and need a battery that charges faster and lasts longer out in the field.

    In addition to the new models, Midland's 2012 lineup includes two popular, tried and true standards, the GXT1000VP4 and the GXT1050VP4.

    All Midland two way radios include a 3 year warranty, proving their commitment to stand behind their products.

    2012 Model Specifications
    Here is a sneak peek at the lineup of new models with the manufacturer's suggested retail prices. We expect to have them in stock by mid-summer of 2012. Note that actual prices may vary on release.

    LXT118 Pair.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! LXT118 (MSRP $24.99) - 22 channels, channel scan, keypad lock, eVOX, call alert, auto squelch, dual power options, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, charges through the headset jack, battery life extender, water resistant.

    NOW AVAILABLE! LXT118VP (MSRP $34.99) - This is the LXT118 in a value pack with two radios, beltclips, rechargeable AAA batteries, AC adapter and owner's manual.

    LXT500VP3.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! LXT500VP3 (MSRP $39.99) - 22 channels, silent operation, HI/LO power settings, channel scan, keypad lock, call alert, auto squelch, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    LXT535VP3.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! LXT535VP3 (MSRP $49.99) - 22 channels, silent operation, HI/LO power settings, channel scan, keypad lock, call alert, auto squelch, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    NOW AVAILABLE! LXT560VP3 (MSRP $59.99) - 22 channels plus 14 extra channels, 121 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, silent operation, HI/LO power settings, channel scan, keypad lock, call alert, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    LXT600VP3.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! LXT600VP3 - (MSRP $69.99) - 22 channels plus 14 extra channels, 121 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, silent operation, HI/LO power settings, eVOX, channel scan, keypad lock, 5 call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    GXT860VP4.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! GXT860VP4 - (MSRP $79.99) - 22 channels plus 20 extra channels, 142 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX, channel scan, keypad lock, 10 call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    GXT895VP4.jpgNOW AVAILABLE! GXT895VP4 - (MSRP $89.99) - Camo shell, 22 channels plus 20 extra channels, 142 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX, channel scan, keypad lock, 15 call alerts, 5 animal call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant.

    GXT1000VP4.jpgGXT1000VP4 - (MSRP $89.99) - 22 channels plus 28 extra channels, 285 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, whisper mode, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX (9 levels), channel scan, keypad lock, group call, 10 call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant, JIS4 waterproof.

    GXT1050VP4.jpgGXT1050VP4 - (MSRP $99.99) - Camo shell, 22 channels plus 28 extra channels, 285 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, whisper mode, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX (9 levels), channel scan, keypad lock, group call, 10 call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual power options, roger beep, keystroke tones, mic and headphone jacks, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant, JIS4 waterproof.

    GXT2000VP4.jpg GXT2000VP4 - (MSRP $119.99) - 22 channels plus 28 extra channels, 142 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, whisper mode, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX (9 levels), channel scan, keypad lock, group call, 15 call alerts, 5 animal call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual watch, dual power options, SOS siren, roger beep, keystroke tones, HD dynamic audio, mic and headphone jacks, EXTREME Lithium-Polymer battery pack, ultra fast charge, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant, JIS4 waterproof.

    GXT2050VP4.jpgGXT2050VP4 - (MSRP $129.99) - Camo shell, 22 channels plus 28 extra channels, 142 privacy codes, NOAA weather alert radio with weather scan, LCD backlit display, vibrate alert, silent operation, whisper mode, HI/MED/LO power settings, eVOX (9 levels), channel scan, keypad lock, group call, 10 call alerts, 5 animal call alerts, auto squelch, monitor, dual watch, dual power options, SOS siren, roger beep, keystroke tones, HD dynamic audio, mic and headphone jacks, EXTREME Lithium-Polymer battery pack, ultra fast charge, drop-in charger capable, battery life extender, water resistant, JIS4 waterproof.

    We will keep you updated with more information as it becomes available.

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