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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Which FRS and GMRS radios are license free?

    In May 2017 the FCC ruled on Part 95 reform. Starting today, September 28, 2017 the new rules are now in effect. There were many changes, but here's the big one. Consumer FRS/GMRS two way radios 2 watts or less are now considered FRS radios and are license free!

    Technically speaking, the radios are now licensed by rule, which means that you are no longer required to apply for a GMRS license from the FCC to use these lower powered models with 22 channels, even on those previously considered the 8 GMRS frequencies. The simple act of purchasing the radios gives you a license to use them on all 22 channels.

    Since most of the models, particularly those sold in retail 2-packs or "bubble packs" do not include actual power ratings or wattage on the packaging or the product marketing spec sheets, only one question remains. Which FRS/GMRS radios are within the 2 watt power limit and are now considered FRS?

    The truth is, most of the FRS/GMRS combo radios currently on the market are under 2 watts and follow the new rules as FRS only radios. In addition to the wattage requirement, any models that are capable of operating on GMRS repeater frequencies are considered GMRS radios and require a GMRS license to operate. Only two handheld models currently available are repeater capable and fall squarely in the category of GMRS.

    Rather than creating a long list of radios that do fall under the Family Radio Service (FRS), perhaps the easiest thing to do is list the models that don't, and are now considered GMRS only. It's a short list.

    GMRS Handheld Two Way Radios

    Make Model Power
    Cobra CXR925 2.8W No
    Cobra MR-HH450 DUAL 2.24W (GMRS)
    6.2W (Marine)
    Midland GXT1000VP4 3.07W (high power) No
    Midland GXT1050VP4 3.07W (high power) No
    Motorola MR355R 1.32W Yes
    Olympia R500 .973W Yes

    We will continue to update this list as models are introduced. Bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog for the latest information.

  • Why upgrade to digital radios?

    Vertex-Standard-S24-2.jpgThere is a lot of talk these days about moving from analog to digital two way radios. Although It's not a new concept, these migrations are starting to pick up steam. Manufacturers are constantly adding new digital models, and these new radios are gaining more serious attention and popularity among business users who are in the market for additions or upgrades to their radio fleets.

    Some companies and organizations have moved their operations to either mixed or full digital radio communications, but many have not, opting to stick with analog models only.

    There are several reasons for this, of course. For many businesses, particularly small scale on-site operations, short range analog radios meet their current needs and expectations of performance. In short, they seem to do the job. Digital two way radios are different, and for many businesses, an unknown or little understood technology perceived to be too advanced or upscale for their current needs.

    But let's be honest. For many businesses, the primary reason is usually the cost. When they were first introduced to the marketplace, digital radios were notoriously expensive. They called into question the ROI of such a migration, as most companies considered them too pricey to seriously consider.

    However, the past few years have seen a significant drop in pricing, down to a point that now brings some digital models almost right in line with the price points of their analog cousins. These radios are now within reach of more companies and organizations, and perception is beginning change.

    Financials aside, there are still the perceived costs of time and effort to move everyone to a new system and new tech. Simple analog radio communications are still an industry standard, and companies still rely on them every day. So if the radios work and business is getting done, why change now?

    What's the point of upgrading to digital?
    There are a many advantages to using digital radios over their analog counterparts. For now, let's consider the following four:

    - Audio quality - Digital radios sound better. It's hard to describe the sound quality difference in an article, but a good comparison is HD television compared to SD television. Once you start using digital radios, you really will wish you had made the move sooner. Not only is the quality always clear (it doesn't degrade with distance), more processing can take place to eliminate background noise.

    - Security - Digital radios are also more secure than analog radios, as it's easier to add encryption and your conversation can't be heard by common handheld scanners. Although not a perfect solution for all situations, such encryption does add an extra layer of privacy and security that are a step or two above standard analog voice scrambling.

    - Call Management - Digital technology gives you the ability to manage your calls. Digital radios allow you to direct-call a single contact from your list, instead of always calling an entire group. Of course, if you want to call a group or go all out and call everyone, you can do that as well. Digital gives you control. When it comes to digital, it really is your call.

    - Text Messaging - Digital radios support text messaging. There are times when verbal communication just won't get it done, yet you still need to get the message across. Digital radios can provide pre-set or full free-form text messaging capabilities as needed, giving you more options for communicating with other members of your group or team.

    But wait, there's more.
    If you'd like to hear about more features, check out this Guide to Digital from Vertex Standard. Also, watch this video to see and hear a side by side comparison of analog to digital.

    Will you have to eventually upgrade to digital? Most likely. In 2015 the FCC stopped approving conventional analog-only radios that are 2 watts and up. All new 2+ watt radios approved by the FCC must be digital. As manufacturers discontinue old radios, their only option is to replace them with digital models. For this reason, eventually most businesses will likely find themselves using digital radios for lack of other options. At this point there is no indication that the FCC is going to force end-users to upgrade to digital.

    What's the best approach to switching to digital? There are two options: all at once, or gradually. Since replacing all of your radios at once can be an expensive undertaking, most businesses choose to do it gradually. As you add new radios to your fleet or replace older or broken radios, simply start buying digital radios instead of analog. Fortunately, all digital radios are also backwards compatible to analog radios. We can program analog channels to be compatible with your old radios, and separate digital channels for groups that are all-digital.

    We offer free basic programming for the life of any radio that you buy from us, so when you reach a high number of digital radios and want to add some advanced functionality just send the radios back to us and we'll update your programming (or you can buy a programming cable and do it yourself!)

    Do you have more questions? Migrating your radios from analog to digital feels like a hassle and is something that most people would just rather not deal with. We understand that and we try to make the process as simple as possible. Contact our sales department today and we'll quickly get you on the right track.

  • Motorola Buy 6 Get a Free Multi-Charger Plus Prepaid Card Promo


    It's that time of year again. A new Motorola promotion just started, and we thought you might like to hear about it!

    For every six Motorola on-site business radios that you buy, you qualify for a FREE multi-unit charger PLUS a credit card preloaded with cash. The cash amount varies based on the series of radio that you purchased, but it ranges from $55 (CLS series) to $175 (DTR series). Keep in mind, that cash amount is for every six radios purchased. The free multi-charger is a great value as well - the chargers sell separately for between $139 (CLS series) and $349 (DLR series)! They also are very convenient to have and help you keep your radio fleet organized. This is a fantastic offer, and it is available on purchases made from Buy Two Way Radios from now through the end of 2017.

    The promo is valid on Motorola CLS, CLP, DLR, DTR, MU and RD Series on-site business two way radios. Every six radios purchased earns a FREE multi-charger and prepaid card for a maximum of 10 multi-chargers and 10 prepaid cards on a maximum purchase of 60 radios.

    This is a Motorola promotion, so to qualify you will need to register a claim on their promo web site. As usual there are some terms and conditions that apply, so please check the promotion flyer and the product pages on our web site for more details. Of course, if you have any questions we're here to help.

  • TWRS-115 - Motorola Talkabout T-Series Two Way Radios

    Two Way Radio Show
    We discuss the Motorola TALKABOUT T-Series Two Way Radios and compare them with the old M-Series models. We also review the Motorola TALKABOUT T605 Two Way Radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:19

    Discussion Topic 1:37
    We talk about the Motorola TALKABOUT T-Series Two Way Radios. We explain the reasons for the complete makeover of the Talkabout line, find out which of the old models are still available, and tell you how to match your old Talkabout radios with the models in the current series.

    Commercial Break 17:40
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 18:36
    We review the Motorola TALKABOUT T605 Two Way Radio.

    Questions and Answers 33:15
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Update on the TYT MD-9600 Dual Band DMR Digital Mobile Radio 45:09
    The MD-9600 is finally here!

    Wrap up and Close 49:49
    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!

    © 2017 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Buy 6 Midland BizTalk BR200 business radios and get 2 FREE!


    Midland began a new promotion this month that is sure to save your business more on your radio purchase. Buy six Midland BizTalk™ BR200 business two way radios and you get TWO additional BR200 radios FREE! Every six radios purchased earns you not one, but two additional BR200 radios - with a potential maximum of 20 FREE radios (on a maximum purchase of 60 radios)! This is an incredible deal from Midland and is available from now until the end of 2017.

    This special offer is fulfilled by Midland directly, so the free radios will be shipped to you after Midland receives your online submission form.

    the offer is valid on up to 60 radios per customer or company purchased from September 1 through December 31, 2017. Download the promotion flyer for details. A minimum of 6 BR200 radios must be purchased to qualify. Midland's rebate terms and conditions apply.

    NOTE: All claims must be entered by 11:59pm CST on Monday, January 15, 2018 to qualify. Redemption submissions received after that date will NOT be eligible regardless of purchase date. All transactions are subject to validation. Offer is good to U.S. residents only and is void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law.

  • 0% Financing Offer For Education Users on Vertex Standard Radios

    This promotion expired September 29, 2017 and is no longer available.


    Vertex Standard launched a promotion to educators offering 0% financing on their two way radios!

    This promotion is only for educators and educational institutions. If you are in the education industry, you may qualify for 12, 18 or 24 months of interest-free financing on your radio purchase. Alternative financing structures such as annual payments and extended term options are also available. Hurry, this promotion ends on September 29th, 2017!

    Read the promotion flyer for details.

  • Vertex Standard Trade Up To Digital Promotion Extended

    This promotion expired September 8, 2017 and is no longer available.


    Last week we launched a trade-in promotion incentive in partnership with Vertex Standard. Thanks to the level of interest, they agreed to extend this promotion another week and now it is valid through next Friday (September 8th, 2017). This promotion allows you to trade in your old business radios (even non-working radios that you're no longer using) for a credit towards new digital models.

    You can save $25 per radio on the entry level EVX-261, or $35 each on the small and lightweight EVX-S24. Most business radio brands qualify for the trade-in, but unfortunately we're not able to include Motorola products. Again, the trade-in radios do not have to be working!

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