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Monthly Archives: July 2019

  • TWRS-139 - Two Way Radios in the Mountains

    Two Way Radio Show
    We talk about using two way radios in the mountains. We’ll also take comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:11

    Discussion Topic 1:30
    We talk about using two way radios in the mountains. We’ll discuss the unique challenges when using two way radios in mountainous regions of the world, the types of radios best suited for use in these environments, and what to consider when using radios in the mountain areas of other countries. For more information, read The Best Two Way Radios for Mountains. The Leixen VV-898SP UHF/VHF Dual Band Mobile Backpack Two Way Radio is suited for mountain hikes. Watch our Leixen VV-898P and VV-898SP Backpack Radio video for an overview of this unique product.

    Questions and Answers 42:26
    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!

    Nominate us for the Podcast Awards 47:57
    Nominate The Two Way Radio Show Podcast for the People's Choice Podcast Awards! We are listed in the Tech and People's Choice categories. Nominations close July 31, 2019. You can nominate the show at the Podcast Awards website.

    Wrap up and Close 49:59
    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!

    © 2019 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Final Days for Kenwood Rebates - $125-$200 Cash Back!

    Kenwood Rebates - Earn $125-$200 with every six radios purchased May 1 - July 31, 2019.The Kenwood rebate offer expires in just a few days. Don't miss this opportunity to save! Earn $125-$200 for every six radios purchased through July 31, 2019! The following models qualify:

    Please note that this offer also applies to the factory refurbished TK-2400V16P and factory refurbished NX-340U16P. With the rebate, the factory refurbished versions are heavily discounted off the regular price and still include the full two year manufacturer's warranty. What a deal!

    NOTE: we only have a few of these factory refurbished units left, and the rebate ends July 31, 2019, so if you want to take advantage of this offer, you will need to hurry.

  • The best two way radio for mountains

    Two Way Radio on MountainWe get a lot of questions from customers that start with "what is the best radio" and end with a general description of a certain type of environment, scenario or application. Sometimes the question is specific enough to answer it with a short list of products that may fit the bill, or even a specific recommendation. More often than not, it's not. For example, what are the best two way radios for use in the mountains? This question covers a such a broad spectrum of variables and conditions, that the answer requires more than a just brand name or model number. It requires a basic understanding of the principles behind radio technology and the specific scenario in which it will be used.

    Recently, this question popped up in our Two Way Radio Forum. A new member needed a set of two way radios for use in the Himalayas with a priority on maximum range and battery life. His question was simple. He wanted long range two way radios for use in the mountains.

    Of course, he came to the right place to ask. We have several resources that specifically address the use of two way radios in mountainous regions. Many of them can be easily discovered in our forum. Had he simply searched the term "mountain", he would have quickly found numerous discussions on the topic, with helpful advice, explanations and recommendations from other members of the community. That is only the start.

    Within the forum, there are links to numerous articles from our blog that specifically address radio range and explain how to calculate the range in different environments and situations. There are video tutorials and product overviews embedded throughout the forum to provide a visual perspective on the options and choices available when considering a radio for use in such an environment. Then there is The Two Way Radio Show, one of the longest running podcasts about two way radios, highly rated and popular with two way radio users worldwide. Several episodes specifically discuss the use of radios in mountains and hilly terrain, presented in simple layman terms and in great detail.

    We even have a Buyer's Guide to help choose a radio for a specific application, such as camping, hunting or skiing in the mountains.

    With all of these resources available to address the question, one may think the solution is simple, with the recommendation of a single product. But it isn't. There are several factors to consider, and it would only be redundant to create a very long and involved mashup of all the other resources already in existence on this topic to address them. Instead, here is a brief list of the key points to consider, along with links to related resources for further explanation.

    When choosing the best two way radios for use in mountain regions, consider the following:

    The Terrain

    A radio operates by line-of-sight, which means that the radio signal needs a clear path with minimal obstructions in order to traverse the airwaves from one radio to another. buildings, trees, and other obstructions can potentially slow, diminish, deflect or block radio waves completely. Simply put, if the radio can't see it, you won't hear it.

    This is particularly true when it comes to something as large and dense as a mountain. Radio frequencies, especially when generated by a low power handheld, cannot penetrate through a mountain. The make and model you buy doesn't matter. Your handheld radio won't cut through a mile plus high, thick and wide pile of earth and rock with a few watts radiated power. Your signal will need to go around or over the mountain. It's the second thing to understand and one of the most important things to consider when choosing any radio for use in very hilly or mountainous areas.

    The Environment
    Weather conditions and other environmental elements also affect range. The weather conditions in mountainous areas can be somewhat extreme, and in some regions of the world, they can be particularly harsh. Extreme weather can negatively affect the transmission and reception of radio signals, and can also take its toll on the radios themselves.

    Extreme heat and cold can be brutal to electronic radio equipment, and can directly affect operation or performance. Batteries are particularly be sensitive to extreme temperatures, and can fail to charge or power the radio when exposed to temps outside their level of tolerance.

    The Location and position of the radio stations
    In mountainous regions, range will vary greatly depending on where you are. Remember, radio frequencies work on line of sight, and mountains can completely block radio signals. The range can be great between mountaintop to mountaintop, but will be quite limited valley to valley.

    If you are at the top of Mount Everest, you can get excellent range with a basic, low power FRS radio, provided the other station is positioned either on another peak or in a valley surrounding the great mountain.

    However, your high power base station won't get far at all if you are down in the valley and you are trying to communicate to a station in another valley. Even if both stations are on the same mountain, communication will be extremely difficult if the stations are on opposite sides. The radio signal may simply not be able to penetrate the mountain to reach the other side. As with the real estate business, the same is true with using radios in the mountains. It's about location, location, location.

    The Antenna

    The antenna is a critical component of any radio, and its placement is key to the successful transmission and reception of radio signals. This is especially when using radios in and around mountains, and is why antenna towers for cell phones and radio repeaters are often placed on mountain peaks. The higher the antenna, greater the line of site and the better the range. If you can see the tower, chances are good you can hit it with a signal from your radio, and vice versa.

    When using handheld radios in remote mountain ranges, your antenna needs to be positioned as high as possible to maximize line of site. This means you need to be elevated to a position high enough so that your antenna can acquire the signal and communicate with the other station.

    The Power Requirements
    Although location is key,  the wattage capability of the radio cannot be discounted. Handheld radios are designed for short range communications, and will have limited power. A typical handheld business or amateur walkie talkie operates at up to 5 watts or less, and most consumer models are a lot less. Most mobile radios are capable of up to 50 watts of power, often depending on the band they transmit on.

    Unfortunately, unless you are operating from a vehicle or permanent structure such as a cabin with ample power, the mobile or base station radio may not be practical for use in mountainous areas, especially in remote locations.

    When traversing the mountains on foot, handheld radios may be the only option, but they come with their own set of of challenges to keep them powered up.

    The Type of Radio
    The type of radio you choose does have some bearing on performance, and there are many options available, so you will need to research them to find the best fit for your needs in the high country. VHF radios work well outdoors in hilly terrain with relatively few unobstructions . UHF radios are typically preferred for use indoors and outdoors in areas with a lot obstructions. FRS, GMRS and MURS radios are the logical choices. If you have an amateur radio license, you will have even more bands available from which to choose, and a great selection of handheld ham radios to match.

    The Durability Requirements
    If you will be camping, hiking, hunting or other engaging in other outdoor activities in the mountains, you will want to consider the durability of the radio as well. Build quality, water resistance, dust protection and general ruggedness will be important, and vary greatly depending on the make and model of radio.

    Some low end consumer FRS and GMRS radios are not built to withstand a rain shower or a any sort of excessive drop. Many higher end radios can take serious exposure to the elements, shocks, drops and sometimes more. While it isn't likely any radio would survive a one-mile plummet from a mountaintop, there are many models specifically built for hiking, camping and other extreme outdoor activities that can handle necessary roughness. Tip: Look for radios that are rated IP54 or higher for dust and water protection, or are Mil-STD rated for dust, shock and water resistance.

    The Rules
    The rules or laws regarding the use of specific types of radios, bands and frequencies are different for each country, so research them for your area of operation before making a purchase. If you live in the US, the agency that governs the airwaves is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    If you purchase radios in the US for use in another country, it is very important to check to be sure your radios can be used legally in that country. If you are planning to take your radios on a trip to a mountain range such as the Himalayas, your radios may or may not be legal for use, depending on the country in which you will be using them. For instance, Mount Everest is located on the border between China and Nepal. The Himalayas border or cover a number of other countries as well, including India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Each has their own laws and rules regarding the use of radios, and it is wise to be aware of them before taking your two ways on such a trip.

    So, what is the best two way radio for mountains? The short answer is, there is no fast and easy answer to the question. It's going to depend on your specific location within the mountain range, what you will be doing, and how you plan to use the radios for your application. There is a lot to consider, and the question is too broad for a simple answer. You will need to invest some time and do some research based on your specific scenario before you buy a pair of two way radios.

  • July 4th sale on amateur radios and accessories!

    July 4th Sale

    NOTE: This promotion expired July 9, 2019 and is no longer available.

    Celebrate and save with our July 4th sale on amateur radios and accessories at Buy Two Way Radios! We have bundles, BOGOs and specials on handheld ham radios and other items for anyone in amateur radio. Whether your an old ham or new to the hobby, we are sure to have something on special to advance your hobby and enhance your shack.

    Here is a list of all our July 4th specials:

    Buy a TYT MD-UV380 For only $99.99 plus FREE SHIPPING!
    Searching for a dual band DMR with solid styling and performance? The TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio is it! Plus, now you can take an extra $10 off our already low price during our July 4th Sale!

    The MD-UV380 regularly sells for $129, and we've already discounted it to $109.99, but for one week only, you can get it for only $99.99! FREE SHIPPING! No promo or discount code is needed. Simply add your radio to your cart and the savings will be applied automatically! This offer expires July 9, 2019 so take advantage of it while you can!

    FREE speaker mic with the purchase of a Wouxun KG-UV8D Plus!
    Buy a Wouxun KG-UV8D Plus Dual Band Two Way Radio and get a Wouxun SMO-001 Speaker Microphone ($17 value) FREE! The Wouxun SMO-001 is a genuine OEM speaker microphone for Wouxun portable handheld two way radios. The 22.5" coiled cord extends up to 5.5 ft. and the belt clip swivels 360 degrees. This speaker mic also works with other radios equipped with a two pin Kenwood (K1) style connector. No promo code is necessary. Your free speaker mic will automatically be added to your order at time of purchase. FREE SHIPPING!! Offer valid until July 9, 2019 while supplies last. No rain checks.

    Get a FREE speaker mic & Bonus Pack with a Wouxun KG-UVN1!
    Buy a Wouxun KG-UVN1 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio during our July 4th Sale and get a Wouxun SMO-001 speaker microphone plus a Wouxun DMR BONUS PACK! This pack includes some fun extras, including a T-shirt, Amateur Radio Reference Card, DMR audio CD, string backsack, and more! the speaker mic and Bonus bag combined are over $50 in value, but are included FREE with your purchase of a Wouxun KG-UVN1!

    The Wouxun KG-UVN1 is is a 2 meter/70cm amateur radio with 3072 channels, a whopping 160,000 contacts and Wouxun's signature full color LCD display. It can operate in analog or digital mode. It has a 2600mAh battery pack for hours of operation and a solid, rugged construction that puts it in the same league for durability as many business class radios. There are too many features to list in this email. but you can find them all here. Best of all is the price. It's only $159.99! FREE SHIPPING!! Offer valid until July 9, 2019 or while supplies last.

    Plus, for a limited time, buy a KG-UVN1 and get the programming cable with software, FREE! You can buy your new Wouxun KG-UVN1 here.

    FREE Bonus Pack with a ham radio license study guide!
    Buy an ARRL or Gordon West Amateur Radio License Study Guide and get a FREE Ham Study Bonus Pack with your purchase! The BTWR Bonus Study Pack features the Amateur Radio Quick Reference Card. This handy guide for ham operators includes charts on amateur radio bands, frequency ranges, wavelength/frequency conversion formulas, the phonetic alphabet and common ham radio Q signals. It's a great study tool for new and aspiring hams and a valuable reference for seasoned amateur operators as well.

    The BTWR Bonus Study Pack also contains the Getting Started in Amateur Radio audio CD from The Two Way Radio Show Podcast. In this information packed episode, you will learn the basic steps to becoming an Amateur radio operator. You will hear what it takes to prepare for the Technician level amateur license exam, what to expect when taking the exam and what to do after you get your license to start off right as a licensed ham radio operator.

    Your FREE BTWR Bonus Study Pack will automatically be added to your order at time of purchase. Offer valid through July 9, 2019 or while supplies last.

    Get 25% off an XLT HS-250 Headset with Boom Mic!
    XLT Medium Duty Lightweight Headset w/ PTT and Boom MicrophoneThe XLT Medium Duty Lightweight Headset w/ PTT and Boom Microphone features a comfortable over the head design. The boom mic is flexible, and the headset also has a PTT switch. It features a plastic frame with padded speaker, has a lapel clip, and works with most amateur handheld radios using a two pin Kenwood (K1) style connector. During our July 4th Sale, you can buy the HS250 for 25% off our regular price - regularly $39.99, now only $29.99!

    Also available with a Motorola Talkabout (M1) connector! Offer valid until July 9, 2019 or while supply lasts.

    BOGO offer - Buy one EB210 earpiece, get one FREE!
    XLT EB210 Earpiece with PTT MicrophoneThe XLT EB210 Earpiece with PTT Microphone is lightweight and comfortable and remains in a stable position even while the user is mobile. Great for individuals who are constantly on the move, or where an earpiece is needed for long stretches of time. It works in the left or right ear, and is available in your choice of two-pin Kenwood (K1), Motorola Talkabout (M6) or Icom connector types. Regularly priced at $24.99 each, you can buy one, get one FREE during our July 4th sale!

    Offer valid until July 9, 2019 or while supply lasts.

    Power Buys on Battery Packs!
    Battery PacksStock up on extra batteries during our July 4th Sale at Buy Two Way Radios! Be prepared with spares for power outages, field days and extra hours when longer uptime is needed. These specials are only available from July 2 to July 9, 2019 or while supplies last, whichever comes first.

    These promotions and specials are valid from July 2 through July 9, 2019 or while supplies last. Void where prohibited.

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