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  • Two Way Radio Holiday Gift Guide 2019

    GiftsThe holidays are upon us once again, and with it comes the hassle of trying to find the perfect gifts for those you care about, and without busting your budget. Of course, walkie talkies make great gifts for young and old alike. But with so many different types and options to choose from, how do you find the right radio that fits? No worries. At Buy Two Way Radios, we specialize in matching the right radio for your needs. To help you get started, here are our recommended picks of two way radios that make great holiday gifts for 2019!

    Road Warriors

    CB Radios are the natural choice for professional drivers such as long haulers, emergency road service operators and other who traverse the roads and highways for business or pleasure. They are also great for recreational vehicles and those who use them for snowbirding or sightseeing across the continent.

    Top Choice

    Uniden BearTracker 885 Hybrid CB Radio / Digital ScannerUniden BearTracker 885

    Part CB radio, part digital scanner, the Beartracker 885 does both very well. It has the legal maximum 4 watts of RF power, all 40 CB channels, NOAA weather channels, weather alerts, and a 7 color LCD display. It is also a digital trunktracking scanner with the capability to receive public safety traffic within range where ever you are located in the US and Canada!

    The 885 is equipped with the BearTracker Warning System, a legal alternative for drivers when a radar detector is not an option. The 885 also includes GPS so it can automatically select scanner channels to monitor in your immediate area.

    Buy Now$314.99

    Best Value

    Midland 75-822 Portable / Mobile 2 in 1 CB Radio
    Midland 75-822

    The 75-822 is a 2-in-1 plug and play two way radio that's a lightweight handheld and a mobile CB all in one powerful package! The 75-822 has 4 watts of transmit power, the maximum allowed for Citizen's Band, and covers all 40 CB channels. It also has 10 NOAA weather channels for all hazards weather information 24/7, to keep you informed of weather conditions while out in the field or on the road. the Midland 75-822 also has 5 memory channels, plus instant channel access for emergency channels 9 and 19. But that's not all.

    The Midland 75-822 also features a large channel display, Hi/Lo power settings, channel scan, dual watch, auto battery save and an external jack for headsets. All together, these features make the 75-822 a great companion for your next road trip.

    Buy Now$99.99

    Outdoor Enthusiasts

    Popular outdoor activities include camping, hiking, climbing, skiing, biking and various recreational sports. Two way radios are commonly used in many outdoor activities for instant calling and group communications.

    Top Choice

    Motorola Talkabout T800 Two Way Radio w/ App SupportMotorola Talkabout T800

    The T800 is an FRS walkie talkie and with a Bluetooth® connection to your smartphone! This allows you to instantly share locations, messages and and more through the Motorola Talkabout app while you go off-grid with your group.

    The T800 has all 22 FRS channels, with 121 privacy codes, 11 weather channels and NOAA weather alerts. It is also fully compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios.

    The T800 also features an amazing, hidden blue display that's easy to read when the radio is on, and virtually disappears when the radio is turned off. Add raised front panel buttons, an emergency alert button and a built-in flashlight, and you have a radio for use almost anywhere adventure takes you.

    Buy Now$99.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T605 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T605

    The T605 H20 is an FRS radio designed and built specifically for the outdoors. it has 22 GMRS channels and 121 privacy codes, 11 NOAA weather channels and weather alerts. It features an LCD display, 20 call tones, Dual Watch, hands-free VOX operation, channel scan, PTT power boost, a built-in flashlight, and VibraCall® vibrating alert.

    The T605 is also IP67 waterproof, submersible and floats! Plus. the belt clip doubles as a whistle! The value pack includes two radios, AC charging adapter, 12V DC vehicle power adapter, carry case and a one year warranty.

    Buy Now$119.99

    Happy Hunters

    Radios are commonly used during hunting season for instant communications, along with accessories such as earpieces to keep them quiet and discreet. Here are our prime picks of popular two way radios for hunters.

    Top Choice

    Midland GXT1050VP4 Radios With Headsets and ChargerMidland GXT1050VP4

    The GXT1050 is a camo version of the popular GXT1000, specifically designed for hunters. In has 22 GMRS channels, 142 privacy codes , 28 extra channels with the pre-set privacy codes, and 10 NOAA weather channels. In addition to all the other standard features of the GXT1000, it also has a "Mossy Oak" camouflage coloring and 5 animal call alerts. The GXT-1050 is also JIS4 water resistant for those dank, wet outings during duck season or those dewy, early mornings sitting in a tree stand.

    The GXT1050VP4 value pack has everything you need in one complete package, including a pair of headsets with boom microphones, a dual pocket desktop charger, two rechargeable batteries, two belt clips, and both home and vehicle charging adapters.

    Buy Now$74.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T265 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T265

    The T265 is Motorola's answer to license free communications for hunters, hikers, campers and other activities in the wild. It has 22 GMRS channels and 121 privacy codes, 11 weather channels, and weather alerts. It also has channels scan, 20 call tones, and a backlit LCD display, all wrapped up in a camo shell.

    The T265 can operate on rechargeable batteries or alkalines. It comes with two radios, belt clips, rechargeable batteries, AC charging adapter, a pair of earpieces with boom microphones, and a camo carry case.

    Buy Now$69.99

    Gadget Gurus

    Amateur hobbyists, techies and those who experiment with radios have a myriad of options from which to choose in both analog and digital communications. Based on popularity, performance and price, here are our picks for best gifts in this category.

    Top Choice

    TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio with GPSTYT MD-2017

    The TYT-MD-2017 is a dual band DMR digital two way radios with GPS. It features a large, color LCD display, DTMF keypad and programmable side keys. It also has a rather unique feature for a two way radio, a trackball!

    The TYT MD-2017 is capable of both analog and digital operation on UHF and 136-174MHz VHF at up to 5 watts of power using Time-Division Multiple-Access (TDMA) digital technology. It has 3000 channels, 10000 contacts, built-in CTCSS/DCS (analog mode only), single call, group call and all call, remote kill/stun/activate, transmit interrupt, VOX, and lone worker function. It is MOTOTRBO™ compatible, DMR Tier I and II compatible, is firmware upgradeable and is IP67 waterproof.

    Buy Now $169.99

    Best Value

    Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band UHF/VHF RadioBaofeng UV-5R

    The UV-5R is probably one of the most iconic and inexpensive dual band two way radios in the world. The Baofeng UV-5R is an economical Dual Band UHF/VHF Amateur Radio that's extremely compact. It has 128 programmable channels with priority channel scanning, dual watch, built-in 65-108Mhz FM radio, UHF/VHF Dual Standby, Ani code, DTMF code, Dual display switch and CTCSS manual input. The UV-5R also supports VOX hands-free operation. Plus, it has a built-in flashlight.

    The Baofeng UV 5R can transmit at up to 4W of power and includes a 1800mAh Li-Ion battery pack for up to 12 hours (approx.) of operation. Used by amateur radios hobbyists and professionals around the world, the Baofeng UV-5R provides reliable communications at a very low cost.

    Buy Now $29.99

    Family Fun

    Radios are handy for family and personal use anytime, anywhere! They can be used around the neighborhood, at an amusement park, shopping at the mall, family day trips, bird watching, and model railroad clubs.

    Top Choice

    Cobra ACXT545 FRS Two Way RadiosCobra microTALK ACXT545

    The ACXT545 is an all-around general purpose radio with 22 license-free FRS channels plus 10 weather channels. It has rubberized side moldings for a comfortable grip and a weather resistant exterior for use outdoors.

    The ACXT545 has 121 CTCSS and DCS codes, 10 selectable call alert tones, and hands-free VOX operation. It has front panel push buttons, a backlit LCD screen, and a built-in LED flashlight. It also features Channel scan, maximum range extender and Cobra's VibrAlert® silent paging. The ACXT 545 is also lead free.

    The Cobra ACXT545 operates on 3 AA alkaline batteries or AA rechargeable batteries. It also has a Micro-USB charging port for use with any standard Micro-USB charger.

    Buy Now $69.99

    Best Value

    Midland X-Talker T31X3VP Two Way Radio - 3 PackMidland X-Talker T31X3VP

    The Midland T31 is a license-free FRS radio with 22 channels, NOAA weather channels, weather alert, and 38 privacy codes. It is fully compatible with other FRS and GMRS radios. Features include dual power options and e-Vox hands-free voice activation when used with optional VOX capable earpieces.

    The T31X3VP is a value pack with three Midland T31 two way radios, belt clips, rechargeable batteries, and micro-USB charging cables. These radios also accept AAA alkaline batteries.

    Buy Now $59.99

    Generally Mobile Users

    Want something for the more serious GMRS radio operator? These radios are great for activities such as neighborhood watches, paintballers, clubs, and extended family use.

    Top Choice

    Midland GXT1000VP4 Radios With Headsets and ChargerMidland GXT1000VP4

    The GXT1000 is one of Midland's most popular GMRS radios. it has 22 GMRS channels and 142 privacy codes plus 28 additional channels with pre-set privacy codes. It also has 10 NOAA weather channels and Midland's Weather Scan + Alert technology. It has hands-free VOX operation, 10 call alerts, vibrating alert, selectable high, medium and low power modes, and channel scan.

    The GXT-1000 is also JIS4 water resistant for use in inclement weather and has a 3 year warranty. The value pack includes two radios, headsets, a desktop charger, and vehicle charging adapter!

    Buy Now $69.99

    Best Value

    Midland MXT275 MicroMobile GMRS 2-Way RadioMidland MXT275

    The MXT275 is a MicroMobile radio for discreet mounting in your vehicle. It has a full 15 watts of power and detachable external magnetic mount mobile antenna for several times the wattage and range of a handheld GMRS unit! It supports 15 GMRS channels, 8 GMRS repeater channels and 142 privacy codes for full coverage on all available frequencies of the General Mobile Radio Service. It also supports NOAA weather channels with weather alert and weather scan. It's compatible with all handheld GMRS radios.

    The Midland MXT275 features 5 selectable tones, tone alert, channel scan, monitor mode, keypad lock, keystroke tones and silent operation. It has the 7 color backlit LCD display, large built-in speaker and hand microphone with integrated controls, so all functions can be handled from the hand mic and the unit can be mounted in a vehicle completely out of sight!

    Buy Now $149.99

    Recreational Boaters

    Marine radios aren't just handy to have when you're on the water, they are vital for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications. They make great gifts for any recreational boater.

    Top Choice

    Cobra MR F77B / MR F77W Class-D Fixed Mount Marine Radio w/GPSCobra MR F77

    This installed marine radio combines short and long range communication with GPS reception for maximum marine radio operation! The MR77 is a Class-D (DSC) fixed mount VHF marine radio with U.S., Canada and international channels plus pre-programmed NOAA weather channels. It has a built-in GPS receiver, a large LCD display, channel scan, channel names, Triwatch, automatic radio check, signal strength meter, and Cobra's Rewind-Say-Again® feature for up to 20 seconds of audio replay.

    The MR77 is built specifically for maritime use on the open water. It is waterproof, submersible and duable. It comes with a noise-cancelling microphone and a flush mount kit for easy installation in your vessel. Available in black (MR F77B) or white (MR F77W).

    Buy Now $209.95

    Best Value

    Uniden Atlantis 275 Handheld Marine RadioUniden Atlantis 275

    The Atlantis 275 is a 6 watt portable handheld capable of operation on all VHF marine radio channels. It has NOAA weather channels and weather alert which is vital for any boater on the water. It features a large LCD display and backlit keypad, an LED flashlight/emergency strobe light, Dual and Triple Watch, weather channel watch, memory scan mode, and a battery save feature.

    The 275 is JISX8 waterproof, submersible, and even floats! To ensure trust in its durability, Uniden includes a 3 year limited warranty.

    Buy Now $109.99

    Offroad Enthusiasts

    Off-roading is a popular recreational activity enjoyed for fun and sport. whether exploring country back roads for the weekend, dune bashing for the day or engaged in professional racing competitions, off-roading is an intense actitivy that often requires reliable, off-grid communications. Here are our picks for popular two way radios used for off-road activities.

    Top Choice

    Midland MXT400VP3 MicroMobile GMRS 2-Way Radio Value PackMidland MXT400VP3

    The MXT400 is the most powerful FCC approved GMRS MicroMobile radio available today. With a maximum of 40 watts, the MXZT400 operates on 15 GMRS channels and 142 privacy codes plus 8 repeater channels for full coverage of the General Mobile Radio Service. It features a crisp backlit LCD display, high quality hand microphone and a built-in internal speaker for clear audio communications for noisy, off-road conditions.

    The radio is great, but there's more. This version is the MXT400VP3 value pack, with everything you need to install in your vehicle and get on the air. It includes the Midland MicroMobile MXTA11 stainless steel NMO 6dB gain antenna to quadruple the signal strength of your MXT400, the Midland MicroMobile MXTA6 Mounting Bracket with mounting screws and bolts, and a Midland MicroMobile MXTA8 RG174 antenna cable with PL-259 (UHF Male) connectors.

    Buy Now $299.99

    Best Value

    Midland MXT115 Mobile GMRS 2-Way RadioMidland MXT115

    The Midland MXT115 is a MicroMobile™ GMRS 2-way radio with three times the wattage of a typical handheld. It provides 15 watts of power and an external magnetic mount mobile antenna that can be attached to your ATV, 4x4 or other off-road vehicle for maximum coverage outdoors.

    The MXT115 supports 15 GMRS channels and 142 privacy codes plus 8 repeater channels for instant communication with other radios on the General Mobile Radio Service. It also supports NOAA weather channels, weather alert and weather scan to keep you on top of weather conditions off-road.

    The MXT115 features a high quality hand microphone, backlit LCD display with 8 selectable colors, internal speaker, 5 selectable tones, tone alert, channel scan, monitor mode, silent operation, keypad lock, keystroke tones. It also has a 3.5mm external audio jack to connect an external speaker if needed.

    Buy Now $149.99

    Weather Watchers

    Weather radios make great gifts for anyone. Be ready for weather warnings and other emergencies with an emergency weather radio. Here are our favorite weather radios.

    Top Choice

    Midland ER310 Emergency Hand Crank Radio w/ FlashlightMidland ER310

    The Midland ER310 is a digital emergency crank radio that has it all! It combines an AM/FM radio, NOAA weather alert radio, LED flashlight, dog whistle and multiple portable power options into a single multi-tool that's your companion for emergency preparedness.

    The ER310 is equipped with a powerful Cree® LED flashlight that's also an emergency beacon programmed to signal SOS in Morse Code at the press of a button. It features a powerful 2600 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery with the option to charge it through the built-in USB port, the built-in dynamo hand crank or the solar panel built into the top of the unit. It also accepts AA alkaline batteries.

    The Midland ER310 also includes a USB output port, for charging cell phones, tablets or other devices when the power is out.

    Buy Now $59.99

    Best Value

    Midland EX37VP Two Way Radio Emergency KitMidland EX37VP

    The EX37VP is a full featured emergency radio kit. It contains two T31 FRS two way radios with 22 channels, NOAA weather channels, weather alert, and 38 privacy codes. These radios feature e-Vox voice activation for hands free operation and are fully compatible with other FRS and GMRS radios.

    The EX37VP kit also has a 9 LED emergency flashlight, a multi-function emergency whistle with built-in compass, thermometer and magnifier. They are all neatly packed into a softshell case that fits in a backpack or glove compartment of a vehicle.

    Buy Now $49.99

    Just for Kids

    Like bicycles, Barbie dolls and board games, walkie talkies are popular holiday gifts for kids. They are fun and practical for many play activities. But with so many to choose from, which radios offer the best value for the dollar? Here are our picks for best radios for the kids.

    Top Choice

    Cobra Kids Series CX396A FRS Two Way Radios (Police Badge)Cobra CX396A

    The CX396A is part of the Cobra Kids Series of FRS Two Way Radios. Although designed for kids, it's not really a toy. This is a real working radio for use in both playful and practical applications. The CX396A can keep everyone in your family or group connected with one another around the home or while playing outdoors.

    The CX396A transmits and receives on all 22 FRS channels. It also has 10 weather channels. It features 121 CTCSS and DCS codes, front panel push buttons, 5 selectable call alert tones, a backlit LCD screen, battery saver and a low battery indicator. The CX396A is a lead free product, so it's safe for young and old alike. The packaging is eco-friendly. Best of all, it's license-free, so practically anyone can use it!

    The Cobra CX396A operates on 3 AA alkaline batteries or rechargeable batteries and has a Micro-USB charging port so you can charge it with almost any standard Micro-USB charger. A toy police badge is included for even more kid-friendly fun.

    Buy Now $39.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T107 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T107

    The Motorola Talkabout T107 is a fun way to keep all the kids connected while in the park, at the playground, in the house or out in the yard. This a real, 22 channel FRS radio compatible with all open FRS and GMRS two way radios within range. It features 1 call tone, keypad tone, talk confirmation tone, auto squelch, keypad lock and timeout timer. It operates on 3 AAA alkaline batteries (not included).

    The T107 is easy to hold, easy to carry and easy to use by kids of all ages. Simply press the PTT button to talk, and release it to listen. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

    Buy Now $29.99

    Of course, if you're still confused about what to buy, no problem. We're open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM Eastern, throughout the holiday shopping season. Just give us a call toll free at 1-800-584-1445 or enter our live chat online at buytwowayradios.com, and we'll be happy to help.

  • The Two Way Radio Show is nominated for a podcast award!

    The Two Way Radio Show Podcast Album ArtWe have some exciting news! Our podcast, The Two Way Radio Show is nominated for the 2019 People's Choice Podcast Awards!

    Hosted by our company President Danny Feemster, Chief Operations Officer Anthony Roque and Product Manager Rick Savoia, The Two Way Radio Show educates and entertains listeners with news, information, reviews and lively discussion about two way radios and radio related technology.

    The Two Way Radio Show first premiered on February 21, 2011, and was warmly received with positive reviews from the start. When we first launched the podcast, we had no idea how far it would go, or if it would go anywhere at all. Eight years later, we still have plenty to talk about, and the show continues to grow. The Two Way Radio Show has subscribers and dedicated listeners from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and many other countries around the world.

    This year, The Two Way Radio Show was nominated for The 14th annual People's Choice Podcast Awards in the Technology category. Founded in 2005 by RawVoice CEO Todd Cochrane, The People's Choice Podcast Awards is the oldest and most respected awards event in podcasting. This is a worldwide event, and The Two Way Radio Show is competing with nine of the most prestigious tech podcasts in the world for an award in this category.

    International Podcast DayThe winners of The Podcast Awards will be announced during the Podcast Awards Ceremony, which will be streamed live around the world on September 29th, 2019 at 8 PM Eastern time. The ceremony will be held in conjuction with International Podcast Day. Founded in 2014, International Podcast Day is a 24 hour event celebrated annually worldwide on September 30th.

    Buy Two Way Radios as well as the producers and hosts of The Two Way Radio Show would like to thank all of our listeners for being a part of the show, with a special thank you to those who nominated our podcast for this award. Whether we win the award or not, the fact that our listeners consider us worthy to be considered for nomination is greatly appreciated. We are truly humbled by this honor. Thank you!

    If you haven't yet heard The Two Way Radio Show, give it a listen. It's also a great opportunity to catch up and binge listen to all our past episodes! It's available from Apple Podcasts, Blubrry, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn, and other venues. You can download and listen to all episodes of The Two Way Radio Show on demand at www.twowayradioshow.com. You can also subscribe to the podcast to hear the latest episodes on demand on your mobile device anytime, anywhere.

    The Two Way Radio Show is produced by Cricket Ventures, LLC, the parent company of Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Differences between the Motorola CP200 and Motorola CP200d

    Motorola CP200 vs. CP200dThe Motorola CP200 was a very popular business two way radio for many years, and one of Motorola's best selling models. In 2017, Motorola discontinued the CP200 and replaced it with an updated model, the CP200d.

    On the outside, they are essentially the same radio. On the inside, there's more to the story.

    The CP200 is an analog only radio. The CP200d adds digital functionality. This digital difference alone gives the CP200d an obvious edge over its predecessor. But is that the only advantage? Let's compare the differences and similarities between these two radios.

    The Motorola CP200d is a combination analog and digital radio, so it is backwards compatible with the older CP200 in analog mode. The dual analog and digital mode capability allows you to upgrade to digital gracefully through normal attrition instead of ditching analog entirely and going digital all at once. This makes the move to digital much more affordable, and much easier to manage.

    Audio Quality
    It goes without saying that digital radios tend to have a greater clarity than analog models, and the CP200d is no exception. Digital audio is cleaner, without a lot of the background noise and artifacts typically heard on an analog transmission. This helps minimize requests for re-transmissions of garbled or lost dialogue, thus decreasing response time and improving efficiency of communications between everyone in your group. As a digital radio, the CP200d improves on the CP200 with crisp, clear audio for higher quality sound.

    Both models support up to 16 channels, and both share the same physical characteristics, such as the rotary channel selector knob, tri-color LED, accessory connector, large push-to-talk (PTT) button and two programmable buttons on the side.

    Inside, both models include many of the standard features typically found on many analog business two way radios, but the CP200d includes a few more, such as analog scrambling, a password lock, vote scan, and Auto Range Transponder System (ARTS™). The CP200d also has voice announcements.

    The CP200d is a DMR digital radio, so it adds some unique features not available in an analog radio such as the CP200, such as Dual Capacity Direct Mode, private calling, and transmit interrupt (decode only). These digital features, combined with the added features in analog mode, give the CP200d a significant upgrade over the old CP200.

    The table below compares the features of both models.

    Motorola CP200 vs. CP200d Features
    Feature CP200 CP200d
    Adjustable Gain
    Adjustable Power
    All Call
    ARTS™ Alert - -
    Call Alert
    Channels 16 16 16
    Channel Scan
    DMR - -
    Dual Capacity Direct Mode - -
    Emergency Alert - -
    Group Call -
    Low Battery Alert
    Monitor Channel -
    Nuisance Channel Delete
    One Touch Access - -
    Password Lock -
    Power Selectable
    Privacy - -
    Private Call - -
    Repeater Capable
    Scrambling - -
    Selective Call -
    Squelch -
    Talk Around
    TDMA - -
    Transmit Interrupt - -
    Trill Enhancement -
    Voice Announcement -
    Vote Scan - -

    Battery Life
    The CP200d offers slightly longer battery life in analog mode than the CP200, and much longer uptime in digital mode. The CP200d consumes less power in digital mode than analog, and it's another advantage to going all digital.

    Motorola CP200 vs. CP200d Battery Life
    Model Power 1400 mAh
    1600 mAh
    Slim Li-ion
    2200 mAh
    2250 mAh
    CP200 (UHF) 4W 10 Hours 12 Hours - 14 Hours
    CP200 (VHF) 5W 10 Hours 12 Hours - 14 Hours
    CP200d (UHF)
    4W 9 Hours 10.5 Hours 14.5 Hours -
    CP200d (UHF)
    4W 11.5 Hours 13.5 Hours 18.5 Hours -
    CP200d (VHF)
    5W 9 Hours 10.5 Hours 14.5 Hours -
    CP200d (VHF)
    5W 11.5 Hours 13.5 Hours 18.5 Hours -

    Both radios are roughly the same size, but the CP200d is slightly lighter in weight, by about an ounce. Of course, this depends on the battery used, but in every case, with the same battery on both models, the CP200d comes out ahead.

    The Motorola CP200 and CP200d are comparable in durability, with solid construction. These radios are built with a rugged, die-cast chassis to withstand harsh environments. Both models are rated IP54 for dust and water intrusion. They are also compliant to Portable Military Standards (MIL-STD) 810C, D, E, and F. In addition, the CP200d is MIL-STD 810G. The CP200d includes a two year warranty from Motorola.

    The CP200 and CP200d share the same form factor, so the batteries, chargers, antennas and other accessories are fully cross-compatible. If you already have a fleet of CP200 radios and want to migrate to digital, going with the CP200d is ideal, since you can use all the accessories in your existing fleet to mix and match with both models. This is a real money saving value and is another reason consider the CP200d.

    Although they have important differences, the Motorola CP200 and CP200d are also very similar in the sense that they are compatible with one another in analog mode. If you already use CP200 radios in your work environment and need to replace a few or want to go digital, the Motorola CP200d is the logical choice.

  • 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.

  • The Wouxun KG-UVN1 is a DMR Dual Bander for the serious ham

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way RadioA few years ago, Wouxun entered the digital radio market with the KG-D901 DMR radio. Now the company is adding a new, improved DMR model to its product line. It's the Wouxun KG-UNV1, and it could just be the next disrupter in the DMR radio world.

    This isn't a dinky little digital transceiver on a chip. It's a real, professional grade radio designed for business use, with the power and features to match.

    At first glance, the KG-UVN1 looks like a cross between the KG-D901 and a KG-UV9D, with a little of the KG-UV899 keypad thrown in. On closer inspection, it's definitely different from all three. It lacks the bulging curvature of the D901, has a wider horizontal display than the 9D, and is considerably larger than the 899. That's not to say it isn't aesthetically pleasing. On the contrary, it is quite a handsome radio. It just has its own style, and considering its intended functionality, it fits in well.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 Left SideThe KG-UVN1 is a powerful dual band handheld, with a powerful set of features to match. What we have is a 4 watt UHF, 5 watt VHF radio capable of operating in both digital and analog modes. It supports 3,072 channels, 250 zones, 255 receive groups, and 1,024 contacts. it has a full DTMF keypad, programmable buttons, and Wouxun's signature full color LCD display. It features Private Call, Group Call and All Call, Direct Mode and Repeater Mode, Text Messaging in Digital Mode, an ARTS function, and digital voice encryption. It has CTCSS and DCS in analog mode, remote monitor, remote check and remote enable/disable functions.

    And, like many import radios, it also has a built-in FM radio and a flashlight. Apparently Wouxun considers these last two as standard features for a commercial grade business radio, because they make it a point to build them into many of their models.

    The biggest feature, however, is the number of contacts. It's a huge number. The TYT MD-2017, the TYT UV380, and Anytone AT-D878UV are popular dual band DMR digital radios, each capable of storing over 100,000 contacts. The KG-UVN1 supports one hundred and sixty thousand contacts. This is the most of any radio on the market to date, including the Anytone and TYT models. This is the single greatest advantage of the KG-UVN1 for hams and is why we think this radio could cause some disruption in the amateur arena.

    Now, Wouxun did not particularly build the KG-UVN1 for the amateur. This radio was intended for business users. It was designed as a commercial radio, and if you look at Wouxun's web site, you're going to find it advertised with 1,024 contacts and an eight hour recording function.

    But not our KG-UVN1. At our request, Wouxun modified the firmware to create an amateur version of this radio with 160,000 contacts, just for hams. To do so, they had to make some room in the radio by eliminating the recording feature. So you don't get the eight hour record time, but that space is dedicated now to contacts.

    Why is that important? If you're using the radio for amateur operation, you're going to want to load in all of the contacts for the area or region in which you are using the radios. If you're hitting a wide network of DMR repeaters, you will see the call sign of anyone who is transmitting, right on the radio. There is a global database of contacts online at radioid.net, there are over 130,000 contacts worldwide listed in their database. The kicker? You can load every contact from that database into the KG-UVN1.

    But it gets even better. As a bonus, Wouxun has preloaded the radio with these contacts. Yep, that's right. The KG-UVN1 comes pre-loaded with every contact listed in the RadioID.net database. At last count, that was nearly 130,00 contacts, or 128,948 contacts, to be exact.

    So, right out of the box, if you buy the amateur edition of the Wouxun KG-UVN1 from Buy Two Way Radios, you're going to have all the contacts in the system, and quite possibly, all the contacts in the world preloaded into the radio, at the time the radio was loaded!

    Now, as mentioned, this is a dedicated amateur version of the KG-UVN1. At the time this article was written, this radio is not Part 90 type accepted or approved by the FCC for business use. So if you buy this radio now, what you're going to get is a radio that's locked to the amateur frequencies.

    The amateur version of the KG-UVN1 operates on 420 MHz to 450 MHZ UHF and 144 MHz to 148 MHz VHF. Once the radio receives its commercial approval and its FCC ID number, it can be updated for a wider frequency range within the approved specs. So, if you buy it now, you won't be getting a radio that's going to be obsolete in awhile, you're getting a radio that can be updated in the future to open it up to commercial frequencies. At the moment, it will work just fine on the amateur frequencies only.

    But then, if you're a licensed amateur radio operator, and you're buying this for amateur use, you really shouldn't need it to operate outside the ham bands anyway. Just sayin'.

    Some of the less prominent features are also somewhat interesting. These are all security related. Wouxun considers security and privacy important for business communications, so it added a few extra features to ensure the radio itself is secure for use in the field. These include the ability to set a security password for programming the radio and the ability to hide the menu or selected menu items from the end user. Wouxun also lists a feature called Menu Encryption, although at the time this article was written, it did not seem to actually exist in the list of menu options. It's no deal breaker, and probably not anything most hams would use anyway, but since Wouxun printed it in their manual and on the box, it's worth noting.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 with battery packThe Wouxun KG-UVN1 is powered by a high capacity 2600mAh (19.24Wh) Lithium-ion battery pack. It is similar to the optional high capacity battery pack available for the KG-UV8D, although taller and heavier in weight. It weighs in at 4.41 ounces, compared to the 4.23 ounce battery for the 8D. It does make the radio seem heftier, but it also provides the N1 with substantial uptime on a full charge.

    Although the batteries and chargers are different, the KG-UVN1 is still easy to accessorize. it uses an SMA Male antenna connector, so, there are a plethora of OEM and third party antennas available that will work for it. Unlike the MD-2017, which uses a multi-pin connector, The KG-UVN1 uses the Kenwood two pin (K1) style connector commonly found on most import handheld radios such as the Baofeng UV-5R, Wouxun KG-UV8D, and TYT-MD-380. If you already have audio accessories for one or more of these radios, chances are they have this connector and they'll work with this Wouxun. That's definitely a plus for the KG-UVN1.

    Durability has never been an issue with Wouxun. This manufacturer produces high quality, business grade radios, and the KG-UVN1 is no exception. This isn't your twenty dollar disposable dual bander. The UVN1 is a professional grade two way radio with the solid, stout look and feel expected of such a device.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 in chargerWouxun does understate the weight of this radio. According to the specs in their manual, it's 300 grams, or 10.58 ounces. It's actually over 11 ounces, or 11.71 ounces, to be exact, and that's including the high capacity battery. It may be a stout dual band DMR radio, but it's certainly not a full pounder.

    Then there is the price, and that's the best part. For all that's packed into this radio, the Wouxun KG-UVN1 is priced at only $159.99. That's a heck of a deal. It's the same price point as the MD-2017, and significantly less than the Anytone AT-D878UV. All things considered, it's a great price for this radio.

    In fact, this radio matches up very well to the MD-2017, but the UVN1 has some advantages that put it on top of the TYT and all the other amateur DMR radios on currently the market. The number of contacts, solid construction, high capacity battery, powerful feature set, compatibility with existing audio accessories and budget friendly price all combine to make the Wouxun KG-UVN1 a DMR Dual Bander for the serious ham.

    Want to learn more about the Wouxun KG-UVN1? Listen to an in-depth discussion about this new dual band DMR radio in Episode 137 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast!

  • Midland introduces new T290 and T295 GMRS radios

    Midland T290VP4 GMRS Two Way RadiosWhen the FCC re-wrote the rules for Part 95 in 2017, there was some expectation that the market would become inundated with higher powered FRS radios aimed specifically at small, on-site business users as well as consumers. As expected, radio manufactures have indeed added more FRS radios to their product lines, and the license free Family Radio Service, now allowing more powerful radios, continues to be popular among business and personal users alike. Up until now, the GMRS has largely been ignored. That may be starting to change. With the introduction of the new T290 and T295, Midland seems to be shifting focus back to the GMRS.

    The T290VP4 and T295VP4 are two new additions to the Midland X-Talker line. The family resemblance is quite apparent. In fact, they are reminiscent of several other radios in the T70 series, although not as contoured, as an LXT633. They have the same general features and operate on the same frequencies as their T70 cousins. The difference, then? it's all about power. The T71, T75 and T77VP5 are all FRS radios, operating at well below 2 watts. The T290 and T295 are GMRS models, capable of transmitting at nearly 3 watts.

    Midland T290VP4 GMRS Two Way RadioT290VP4
    The Midland T290 is most like the T77 in features and function. It has the 22 GMRS channels plus 14 extra channels pre-programmed with privacy codes, which at first glances seems somewhat gimmicky in terms of "more channels", but can actually be convenient for those who want to filter out unwanted chatter from others but don't want to take the time or effort to set manually a CTCSS or DCS code to a channel themselves. As for the choice of codes, the T290 has 121 available, which can be very helpful if you are in an area where the airwaves are clogged.

    In addition to the GMRS channels, the T290 also has 10 NOAA weather channels with weather alert. It includes a weather scan feature to maximize its benefits as an emergency weather radio. It features 9 level e-Vox, silent operation, channel scan, and 5 call tones. It also has adjustable high, medium and low power settings.

    The T290 is cosmetically pleasing, with an attractive black and silver two tone color scheme. It's fully compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios, but as a higher power radio, it does require a GMRS license to operate. The X-Talker T290VP4 Value Pack comes with two radios, a dual pocket desktop charger, AC adapter, two C-ring style earpieces with in-line PTT, two belt clips, and two 700mAh battery packs. Price- $89.99.

    Midland T295VP4 GMRS Two Way RadioT295VP4
    The Midland T295 is the same radio as the T290, with two important differences. The first one obviously cosmetic. It's camo, using the same Mossy Oak® camouflage design used by the T75VP3 known as Break-Up Country. If you're a fan of camo, this may be quite appealing. If not, stick with the T290.

    The other difference with the T295 is audible. The T290 has 5 call tones. The T295 replaces those with 5 animal calls. These include Cougar, Duck, Crow, Wolf, and Turkey. Like the GXT1050, T65VP3 and T75, This is clearly a radio designed with hunting and other outdoor activities in mind.

    As with the T290, the T295 requires a GMRS license to operate. The X-Talker T295VP4 Value Pack includes two radios, a dual pocket desktop charger, AC adapter, two C-ring style earpieces with in-line PTT, two belt clips, and two 700mAh battery packs. Price- $99.99.

    While part of the X-Talker line, the T290 and T290 lack a couple of features that are standard with the other T-Series radios. Most notable is the USB port. Simply put, there isn't one. Most, if not all of the other models in the series allow drop-in and USB plug-in charging. The T290 and T295 allow plug-in charging, but through a dual purpose two-pin audio/charge port only. Also, Many other X-Talker radios provide for multiple power options for greater versatility, most notably the option to switch from rechargeable batteries to alkalines, and vice-versa. The T290 and T295 do not offer this option. They operate on NiMH rechargeable battery packs only. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but something to consider when shopping around.

    Some GMRS operators may note the lack of certain features expected of a dedicated GMRS radio. The first is a detachable antenna. It isn't an option with these radios. The second is a higher capacity lithium-ion battery, a preferred choice for some GMRS users who transmit on higher duty cycles. Also, these radios are not repeater capable.

    General Mobile Radio Service operators who need a radio with a heavier duty cycle or repeater capability for use on the GMRS may want to opt for something like an MXT115, MXT275 or MXT400 MicroMobile radio. However, if you just need a consumer grade GMRS radio for recreational use or on the go, the T290 and T295 are pretty good buys that may fit the bill.

  • Motorola enhances their digital DTR Series with the new DTR600 and DTR700

    Motorola DTR600 and DTR700 Digital Two Way RadiosWhen Motorola debuted the original DTR Series, the concept of a low license free digital radio for business use was somewhat of a novel idea. It didn't take long, however, for the DTR410, DTR550 and DTR650 to become niche favorites with certain businesses and even some consumers. Recently, the company introduced two new models to their DTR line. The Motorola DTR600 and DTR700 enhances an already popular digital series.

    Motorola's DTR products are different from most of the other business radios that we carry at Buy Two Way Radios. Instead of operating on a single selectable frequency, DTR series radios constantly hop from one frequency to another in the 900 MHz wavelength. This provides several advantages over typical radios. 900 MHz frequencies offer greater range than traditional UHF radios and the ones used by the DTR series don't require a license. The frequency hopping technology makes it very difficult to eavesdrop on a transmission using common receiver technology, such as scanners. The DTR series also has clear, digital sound and advanced features, such as one to one calling.

    Now, with these two new models, Motorola brings the DTR series into the next generation of license-free digital communication.

    Motorola DTR600 Digital Two Way RadioDTR600
    The DTR600 is the newest edition to the DTR series and replaces both the DTR410 and the DTR550. It is compatible with all other DTR series radios as well as Motorola's DLR series radios. The DTR600 is physically a big improvement over the previous series. It's thinner by around a third of an inch, but more noticeable is the larger, full color screen.
    The DTR600 will work right out of the box with support for up to 30 license free channels. Many customers choose to use the radio without any additional configuration, and this is fine - an out of the box DTR600 will work like a typical radio and you will still get the great digital sound and great range. If you're willing to do a little configuration, however, you can really unlock the power of the DTR series. By building a contact list of each radio in your fleet and defining private radio groups, you can make it simple for your employees or coworkers to get in touch with exactly who they need. A programmable side button can be set to allow for private replies, a direct call to a frequent contact, all call, or even to page all units.

    The DTR600 includes a 2500 mAh lithium battery, good for 16.5 hours of operation, an antenna, a charger, and a holster. Price - $319.00

    Motorola DTR700 Digital Two Way RadioDTR700
    The DTR700 is essentially the same radio as the DTR600, with all of the same functionality and features. The only difference between these two models is the number of channels. The DTR700 has support for an additional 20 channels for a total of 50 channels. Both radios support up to 200 contacts, and are fully compatible with one another, as well as previous DTR series and DLR series radios, such as the DLR1020 and DLR1060. Price - $349.00

    Instead of the traditional belt clip, the DTR600 and DTR700 include a holster. This allows you to securely attach and remove the radio quickly and easily. The holster includes a nice feature. The belt clip portion of the holster has an area that is specifically designed for you to wind any extra cord from your earpiece, so it's not dangling and in your way!

    By purchasing an optional programming cable (HKKN4027A), the DTR600 and DTR700 can be customized using PC software freely available for download from Motorola. Other optional accessories include a 6 radio multi-charger and a wide variety of earpieces and other accessories. Both models are in available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

    Watch our video programming tutorial! How to program the Motorola DTR600 and DTR700 digital radios will show you how to do it yourself!

  • Motorola CLS1110 and CLS1410 Supported Frequencies

    CLS1410 In Programming ModeIf you're changing the frequency on your Motorola CLS series radio, you're going to quickly realize that the radio doesn't show you the actual frequency. Instead, it allows you to select a number between 1 and 56 that relates to a frequency. For example, if you need frequency 467.900, you'll want to select frequency number 7.

    To save you from having to dig through the CLS owner's manual, we've listed the frequencies along with their reference number in the chart below. This chart was intended for the Motorola CLS1110 and CLS1410, but it also applies to other radios, including the Spirit M, GT, and S-Series. You may also want to view the default frequencies for Motorola CLS series radios.

    Number Frequency
    1 464.5000
    2 464.5500
    3 467.7625
    4 467.8125
    5 467.8500
    6 467.8750
    7 467.9000
    8 467.9250
    9 461.0375
    10 461.0625
    11 461.0875
    12 461.1125
    13 461.1375
    14 461.1625
    15 461.1875
    16 461.2125
    17 461.2375
    18 461.2625
    19 461.2875
    20 461.3125
    21 461.3375
    22 461.3625
    23 462.7625
    24 462.7875
    25 462.8125
    26 462.8375
    27 462.8625
    28 462.8875
    29 462.9125
    30 464.4875
    31 464.5125
    32 464.5375
    33 464.5625
    34 466.0375
    35 466.0625
    36 466.0875
    37 466.1125
    38 466.1375
    39 466.1625
    40 466.1875
    41 466.2125
    42 466.2375
    43 466.2625
    44 466.2875
    45 466.3125
    46 466.3375
    47 466.3625
    48 467.7875
    49 467.8375
    50 467.8625
    51 467.8875
    52 467.9125
    53 469.4875
    54 469.5125
    55 469.5375
    56 469.5625
  • Why the Motorola CLS1110 and CLS1410 are popular radios for retail

    Motorola CLS1110 and CLS1410 radios for retailEnter the door of a local retailer these days and you are likely to see the staff using two way radios. From small mom-and-pop shops to big box stores, from the front register to the back storeroom, two way radios are used by merchants every working day, and it's easy to understand why. Communication is vital to any business operation, and radios provide instant communications between management and staff for lower cost of ownership and increased ROI. The faster response time improves efficiency, productivity, security and the overall customer experience. A two way radio system is a much more efficient way to communicate than using cell phones, and at a fraction of the cost. When it comes down to the bottom line, choosing two way radios for a retail operation simply makes good business sense.

    Motorola CLS1410Radios are a perfect fit for a retail store, and work very well in such an environment, but there is one model series that overshadows the others and is particularly popular with merchants.

    The next time you visit your favorite retailer, take a close look at the radios worn around the store. It is quite likely the radios they are using were made by Motorola. But they may not be just any Motorola. Chances are, you will find that the clerk behind the counter will be using a Motorola CLS1110 or CLS1410 on-site business radio.

    Motorola CLS Series radios are the de facto favorites among retail merchants and their staff. The CLS1110 and CLS1410 seem to be a sort of standard among both small and large retailers, and for a number of very good reasons.

    They have great range indoors.
    Although quite small, the CLS1110 and CLS1410 provide considerable coverage in retail environments. The CLS radios operate on licensed UHF frequencies, which are good for indoor applications, especially in small retail stores with multiple aisles of obstructions such as shelving and inventory. They are good indoor radios, and are specifically designed for that environment.

    They are small and discreet.
    These are two of the most compact and ergonomic business radios on the market, which makes the Motorola CLS Series perfect for retail use. Employees tend to move around a lot within the confines of a store and such mobility requires them to carry a radio that is extremely compact, light weight and unobtrusive to the customer. Since many shops don't need a lot of range, it makes sense to go with the smallest radio possible. The CLS1110 and CLS1410 fit the bill perfectly.

    They are comfortable to wear.
    Motorola CLS radios are designed for efficiency and comfort. A typical retail operation requires staff to carry or wear their radios for the duration of their shifts. A full-sized handheld business two way radio can be heavy, bulky and cumbersome to carry around for long periods. Not so with the CLS series. Motorola designed these radios for retailers with ergonomic portability in mind. According to reviews, Motorola hit the mark, as merchants and their employees find them comfortable to carry, hold and wear.

    They are easy to configure.
    The CLS1110 and CLS1410 operate on 56 business frequencies. These are preset in the radios, which makes programming a breeze. The radios are front panel programmable, and features can be configured or customized in a few simple steps. The CLS radios can also be easily cloned using the optional multi-unit charger, making the process of configuring a whole fleet of them easier and very fast.

    They are easy to use.
    The CLS1110 and CLS1410 are designed for simplicity, so an employee can instinctively operate them with little to no training. The Large PTT (Push-To-Talk) button is located on the front face of the radio at the top, allowing the operator to quickly and easily find and press it by feel, without having to look. The front panel has only four other buttons and a simple LCD display with icons that are easy to recognize and understand, even for the layperson. The CLS radios are much simpler to use than a cell phone and provide instant communications at the push of one button. The CLS radio also comes with a holster, and is designed to slip in and out of it quickly, securely and with ease.

    They are built for daily use.
    Motorola CLS radios are made to withstand the rigors of daily operation in a typical retail environment. While not impervious to abuse, these units can take a modicum of wear and tear during a long shift under normal working conditions. They meet Military Standards C,D,E,F, and G for shock, dust and vibration. They are also rated IP5X to handle up to a 5 foot drop onto concrete. The CLS1110 and CLS1410 are made to last awhile, and come with a two year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

    There is a huge selection of accessories available for them.
    Although these radios can be used with the built-in microphone and speaker, many retailers prefer to use them with earpieces or headsets for greater privacy and more discreet communications between employees, especially when used on the floor around customers. Fortunately, there is a plethora of OEM and after market accessories available for the CLS1110 and CLS140. Such a wide selection gives the merchant and their employees greater flexibility to communicate, increasing efficiency and productivity in their entire retail operation.

    The Motorola CLS Series radio fits any retail workplace and integrating naturally into the workflow to provide instant continuous communications for on-site retailers, with no monthly fees, no service charges, and no contracts. After all, the faster the better the communications, the more cost-effective, efficient and profitable the operation. Considering all this, it's no wonder the Motorola CLS1110 and CLS1410 are a such popular choice for retailers. It's not trendy, it's just good business.

  • How to set up repeater channels on the Midland MXT400

    Midland MXT400 Micromobile GMRS Two Way RadioThe Midland MXT400 Micromobile radio is quite popular for several reasons. It's a high wattage GMRS radio, it has NOAA weather channels, and it's mobile. One feature stands out from all the rest. This GMRS radio is also repeater capable.

    The support for repeater channels is important, because there are few radios around today with repeater capability that are also FCC Part 95 type accepted for the GMRS. In fact, at the time this article was published, there are only three, and all of them are manufactured by Midland.

    So, now you have a new Midland MXT400, and you want to connect to local GMRS repeaters. Only one question remains. How do you set up repeater channels on the Midland MXT400?

    It's actually quite simple and can be done very quickly, once you know how to access the repeater channels. The trick is how to find and activate them.

    The General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS, consists of 30 frequencies that include 22 GMRS and 8 GMRS repeater frequencies. As a general rule, these frequencies are pre-programmed to specific channels by the manufacturer, which are standard across the industry. The frequencies on repeater channels RP15-RP22 are preset, as they are pre-assigned frequencies for all repeaters operating on the GMRS. To put it simply, they are already programmed into the the MXT400. All you need to do is activate them.

    How to activate the repeater channels

    • Step 1. Press and hold [Menu] for 3 seconds to enter Menu Mode.
    • Step 2. Press [Call] or [Plvl] to navigate the menu options until REP appears on the display.
    • Step 3. Turn the Channel Knob to choose REP--ON.
    • Step 4. Press [Select] to confirm.
    • Step 5. Press [Scn/Mon] to exit the Repeater Channel option.

    Some GMRS repeaters are open, and do not require Tone Squelch (T/SQ) codes to access them. However, others do. If you need to enter CTCSS/DCS codes used by individual repeater systems, these can be easily set by assigning the specific code to each repeater channel on the MXT400. Simply go to the channel and assign the code according to the instructions in the MXT400 user manual. GMRS repeaters generally use the same CTCSS code for both RX and TX frequencies, so you should be able to assign just one code to the channel. The user manual includes a table of the CTCSS codes along with the corresponding code frequency in Hz for each. For instance, Code 12 is 100.0 Hz, so if the repeater is Output 462.6750 MHz, Input 467.6750, MHz 100.0 Hz, set code 12 into the channel RP 20 to access the repeater.

    You can set a different CTCSS/DCS code for each channel on the radio, including the repeater channels.

    How to set a CTCSS code for a repeater channel

    • Step 1. Turn the Channel Knob to the desired repeater channel.
    • Step 2. Press [TS/DCS] once to access the CTCSS Privacy Code settings.
    • Step 3. Turn the Channel Knob to until the desired CTCSS code appears on the display.
    • Step 4. Press [Select] to confirm.
      The T/SQ icon will appear on the display to confirm your selection.
    • Step 5. Press [Scn/Mon] to exit the Privacy Code option.

    How to set a DCS code for a repeater channel

    • Step 1. Turn the Channel Knob to the desired repeater channel.
    • Step 2. Press [TS/DCS] twice to access the DCS Privacy Code settings.
    • Step 3. Turn the Channel Knob to until the desired DCS code appears on the display.
    • Step 4. Press [Select] to confirm.
      The DCS icon will appear on the display to confirm your selection.
    • Step 5. Press [Scn/Mon] to exit the Privacy Code option.

    There you have it! That's all you need to do to set up repeater channels on the Midland MXT400. For reference, a chart of GMRS repeater channels and frequencies is listed below.

    GMRS Repeater Channels and Frequencies

    GMRS Repeater Channels and Frequencies
    Channel Type RX Frequency TX Frequency
    RPT15 GMRS 462.5500 467.5500
    RPT16 GMRS 462.5750 467.5750
    RPT17 GMRS 462.6000 467.6000
    RPT18 GMRS 462.6250 467.6250
    RPT19 GMRS 462.6500 467.6500
    RPT20 GMRS 462.6750 467.6750
    PRT21 GMRS 462.7000 467.7000
    RPT22 GMRS 462.7250 467.7250

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