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Articles

  • How Radios and Callboxes can Enable Social Distancing in Schools

    Two Way Radios for SchoolsIt's the year 2020. Schools are opening soon, but this year things will be different. Every school that is planning to offer classes on campus has adopted considerable changes. Some are restricting students to classrooms only and some are prohibiting visitors from entering their buildings. Others are alternating students between at-home and on-campus classes to reduce class size. No matter the scenario, an instant, reliable and simple means of communication between everyone on school property is vital, and radios are the perfect solution for ensuring safe interaction. Here's how radios and callboxes can enable safe, productive social distancing in schools.

    Social distancing guidelines require a minimum of six feet between individuals. Since most classrooms are not built for this sort of distancing, many schools are forced to re-arrange classrooms to space out desks and limit the number of students allowed within a specific area. When each staff member is equipped with a walkie talkie, such partitioning is easier to organize and manage.

    One strategy that schools are taking to limit the spread of coronavirus is by restricting movement between classrooms, within the facility and across the campus. Some schools are not allowing students to leave the classroom. Some schools are not allowing parents or visitors to enter the building. In some situations, even the teachers, staff and administrators may all be confined within their designated work areas to minimize the possible spread of a contagion. These are all scenarios in which it may be essential for each staff member to have a radio.

    As an educator, you're probably already aware that every school is different, so there's not a one-size-fits-all solution for handling the current coronavirus crisis. Simply put, there are as many solutions for dealing with this pandemic as there are schools. Yet, if there is one thing that we keep hearing from our customers, it's that radios fit into the plan, and we're here to help with that. Here are a few products that are already popular with schools, and can help you meet your goals of providing a quality education in a safe, healthy environment.

    Motorola CP200d Two Way RadioMotorola CP200d
    The Motorola CP200d is one of Motorola's most popular models and is commonly used by educators. Currently there is an opportunity to save $40 per radio on the CP200d when you buy at least 10. Contact us for a quote, or for more details.

    The CP200d is a powerful 16 channel radio with superior audio quality and long battery life for extended periods on campus. The Motorola CP200d is available in either 4 watt UHF or 5 watt VHF models with 16 channels, superior audio and long battery life. Available in analog or analog/digital versions, both with repeater capability, the CP200d provides the coverage needed for reliable communications throughout your school.

    The CP200d features Dual Capacity Direct Mode, All Call/Group Call/Selective Call (Digital Mode), Auto-Range Transpond System (ARTS™) Alert, Basic Privacy, Monitor Channel, and Voice Announcement. It is rated IP54 dust and water resistant, with the ruggedness and durability needed in an educational facility or on-campus environment.

    Motorola VX-261 Two Way RadioMotorola VX-261
    The VX-261 is a 16 channel radio with enhanced audio and a battery system that is universally compatible with other models in the VX-Series. It has 2 programmable keys for a custom configuration and a loud 700mW internal speaker so you can hear and be heard in and around the classroom. Features include MDC1200® FleetSync® 2-Tone and 5-Tone encode/decode and DTMF signaling options, multiple scan options, Dual Watch, Emergency Alert, hands-free VOX capability (w/VOX accessory), lone work feature, and Auto-Range Transpond System (ARTS™) Alert.

    This is also a rugged radio. The VX-261 is IP55 water/dust resistant and meets MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F and G for durability. It comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty to boot.

    Icom IC-F4001 Two Way RadioIcom F4001
    If you need a tough walkie talkie that's built for day-to-day use in the classroom or outside around school grounds, the Icom IC-F4001 is one to consider. This radio is a good choice for educational facilities that need rugged, reliable Mil Spec and IP54 radios which are also easy on school budgets.

    The IC-F4001 a 4 watt UHF radio with 16 channels, CTCSS/DCS tones filtering, and powerful 800mW audio output for noisy classrooms and physical education activities in schoolyards. It features channel scan, 2-step power save, time-out timer, talk around function, lone worker function and hands-free VOX capability. The F4001 is also repeater capable and PC programmable. It comes with a battery pack that can power the Icom IC-F4001 for up to 20 hours on a single charge.

    Icom IC-F2000 Two Way RadioIcom F1000/F2000 Two Way Radio
    If you need a walkie talkie with the power, features and durability of a big radio but in slim, compact shell for easier handling and greater portability in the classroom, you need the Icom F1000/F2000 two way radio. This little transceiver can take the long hours and heavy workloads of the average school day, but is considerably lighter, smaller and easier to carry around the campus. This heavy duty radio is IP67 waterproof, which means it can even take a dunking in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

    The F1000 is the 5 watt VHF model and the F2000 is the 4 watt UHF version. Both have 16 channels.

    The F1000 / F2000 may be compact, but don't let its small size fool you. It's loaded with powerful features, such as built-in 2-Tone and 5-Tone, CTCSS and DCS signaling for group communications, selective calling, quiet stand-by, channel announcement and a built-in inversion voice scrambler for safe, secure conversations. It's also MDC 1200 compatible, allowing for additional programmable features such as PTT ID, RX radio check and Stun/Revive.

    The Icom F1000 and F2000 are especially designed with workplace safety in mind, so it's equipped with emergency features, such as programmable Lone Worker and Man Down features, an escalating alarm, a surveillance function, a built-in motion sensor to detect its position and state of motion, and an emergency signal that can be sent when there are extreme changes. These can be quite useful in an on-campus environment for both pandemic control and security reasons.

    Ritron XT Series Heavy Duty 2-Way Radio CallboxRitron XT Series Heavy Duty 2-Way Radio Callbox
    Ritron is a US manufacturer of solid, dependable callboxes for indoor and outdoor use, and their XT Series Callbox is top of the line. Managing visitor entry is crucial in this pandemic, and the Ritron XT is an excellent choice for any educational institution that needs to safely and securely control, limit or monitor access to school buildings or campus grounds from anyone on the outside.

    The Ritron XT Series 2-Way Radio Callbox extends access control and instant, PTT communications to even the most remote locations on campus! It installs virtually anywhere on school property without trenching or expensive installation of wiring. It works seamlessly with your existing two way radio system and is both field and PC programmable with user adjustable settings. It features a built-in relay control for remote control of gates and doors, and remote activation. You can also program custom, pre-recorded voice messages for playback on demand. An optional lighted entry keypad is available for programming features into the callbox, as well as relay control.

    The Ritron XT Series Callbox is available in analog models for UHF, VHF or license-free MURS radio systems. It is also available in digital models for NXDN® or DMR systems! Each callbox supports one channel, with a high-gain mic and a built-in speaker with loud audio output for noisy school environments. The XT can be powered by 6 alkaline "D" Cell batteries or an optional external 12VDC adapter, which is sold separately.

    The Ritron XT Series Callbox is built for outdoor operation in all-weather environments, with a fiberglass housing and stainless steel faceplate. It comes with tamper-resistant fasteners to discourage vandals. This callbox is built for safety and security, which is a high priority for schools.

    Ritron LM-600Analog LoudMouth Wireless Stand-Alone PA System (UHF/VHF/MURS/FRS/GMRS)Ritron LM-600Analog LoudMouth Wireless Stand-Alone PA System
    The LoudMouth is a public address system that allows you to broadcast announcements to a loudspeaker in and around the school property directly from your walkie talkie! it's an extremely flexible, yet cost-effective solution for campus alerts, announcements and notifications without the costly installation of a wired Public Address system.

    The Ritron LoudMouth PA is an easy add-on that integrates seamlessly with your existing two-way radio communication system. It can be installed almost anywhere, which means it is perfect for locations where a wired PA is not feasible to install. the LM-600Analog can receive and play emergency weather warnings from the National Weather Service that are broadcast on one of the seven NOAA weather frequencies in the US! It works with your existing two-way radios on UHF, VHF, or VHF MURS. The LoudMouth also supports Canada UHF, VHF and Part 95 GMRS/FRS frequencies. It is also available in a DMR digital version for schools that use digital radios.

    The Loudmouth PA consists of an industrial grade, dual band radio receiver connected to a powerful PA horn type speaker capable of —95dB [email protected] 50 ft. The unit is PC and field programmable for one channal with 156 digital and analog Privacy Codes and one of 10 selectable 2-Tone Codes. It also supports DTMF and Selcall Codes. It operates on 110VAC or an optional rechargeable back-up battery that can be purchased separately.

    The Loudmouth PA may not be necessary for schools with fancy intercoms and PAs, but may be extremely useful for schools that need to make announcements specific to certain locations if their main intercom isn't capable of that type of flexibility.

    Regardless of how your school is handling the pandemic this year, it's clear that radios are more necessary to its operation than ever before. Two-way radios and callboxes enable instant, safe and reliable communication at a distance, which is going to be an essential requirement for administrators, faculty, staff, and especially students this school year. Our staff is standing by if you need any further assistance. Contact us and we will be happy to help.

  • Wouxun KG-805G and KG-805M programming and menu options

    Wouxun KG-805 Series Two Way RadioThe Wouxun KG-805 Series consists of high end, professional grade radios at a consumer level price. The KG-805G is the 5 watt GMRS version and the KG-805M is the 2 watt MURS model. Although they operate on different bands, frequencies and services, both radios share the same core features and functions. Both are also user programmable. Here is an overview of the Wouxun KG-805G and KG-805M programming and menu options.

    The KG-805 radios share many of the same features as the popular and venerable KG-UVD1P, as well as many of the same physical characteristics. This is because the KG-805 series is directly based on that model.

    KG-805 Key Features

    • 22 GMRS Channels (GMRS Version)
    • 8 GMRS Repeater Channels (GMRS Version)
    • 5 MURS Channels (MURS Version)
    • 5W Maximum Transmit Power (GMRS Version)
    • 2W Maximum Transmit Power (MURS Version)
    • 128 Memory Channels
    • 155 CTCSS Tones/DCS Codes
    • Selectable 3 Color Backlit LCD Display
    • Multi-Display Modes
    • Backlit Front Panel Keys
    • 3 Scan Options
    • English Voice Prompts
    • VOX
    • Timeout Timer
    • Alarm Function
    • Priority Scan Function
    • FM Radio w/ Frequency Display
    • Busy Channel Lockout
    • Low Voltage Prompt
    • Key Lock
    • Power Save
    • PC Programmable
    • Reset
    • Roger Beep Enable/Disable
    • IP55 Waterproof

    Programming the KG-805
    Programming The Wouxun KG-805G and KG-805M is essentially the same. You can do it direct from the front panel keys of the radio or through a PC using the Wouxun KG-805 programming software.

    Direct from the radio
    Customizing the KG-805 directly from the radio itself is much like configuring most consumer grade FRS and GMRS walkie talkies, and is pretty straightforward. Press the MENU key on the radio, go through the various menu options, and choose the items you want to enable, change, disable or set. The only real difference is the feature set itself. There are the standard options you'll find on most other radios, and then there are a few fancier features that are unique to the 805 series.

    The KG-805 menu consists of 23 menu options. Default settings are bold.

    Menu # Menu Item Description Option
    01 SQL-LE Squelch level settings 0 (off)-9 (full)|5
    02 SAVE Power Save settings ON|OFF
    03 ROGER Transmission prompt settings BOT|EOT|BOTH|OFF
    04 TOT Timeout Timer 15-6000|60
    05 VOX VOX function 1-10OFF
    06 TOA Transmission overtime alarm 1-10 seconds|OFF|5
    07 VOICE voice prompt settings CHINESE|ENGLISH|OFF
    08 BEEP beep prompt settings ON|OFF
    09 PONMSG Power On Message OFF|BATT-V|MSG
    10* BCL Busy Channel Lockout ON|OFF
    11 AUTOLOCK Keypad auto lock ON|OFF
    12 R-CTC Receiving CTCSS 1-50|OFF
    13 T-CTC Transmitting CTCSS 1-50|OFF
    14 R-DCS Receiving DCS 1-105|OFF
    15 T-DCS Transmitting DCS 1-105|OFF
    16 SC-REV Scan Mode SE|TO|CO
    17 PF1 Side key setting RADIO|SCAN|LAMP
    18 PF2 Alarm button setting ALARM|OFF
    19 CH-MDF Display Setting Mode NAME|CH|FREQ
    20 WT-LED Standby backlight color PURPLE|OFF|BLUE|ORANGE
    21 RX-LED RX backlight color BLUE|ORANGE|PURPLE|OFF
    22 TX-LED TX backlight color ORANGE|PURPLE|OFF|BLUE
    23 CH-NAME Editing channel name Name***

    *Note: The menu item in red is available in the menu for display only. It can be modified through optional programming software.

    Wouxun KG-805 Series Radio Controls

    Programming with software
    The KG-805 uses the same standard USB programming cable used by many other popular Wouxun radios equipped with a Kenwood style (K1) connector port. In fact, if you already have a programming cable for an analog transciever such as a Baofeng UV-5R, TYT TH-UV88 or other Wouxun radio, chances are you're all set. If you don't, you will need the PCO-001 or XLT Painless Programming Cable. The XLT cable is highly recommended for ease of installation and peace of mind.

    Unlike the programming cable, the Wouxun KG-805 programming software is specific to the KG-805 radio series and is currently available for Windows PCs only. In addition to the software, code plugs are available for each model. These are the KG-805G software defaults code plug and KG-805M software defaults code plug, respectively. The software and code plugs are available as free downloads from Buy Two Way Radios.

    KG-805 Operation
    Working the KG-805G and KG-805M is exactly same, as both are essentially the same radio, only using different radio services.

    The audio accessory/programming cable jack is located on the right side of the radio on both models. The location of everything else is also the same, including the LCD display with a selectable three color backlight, channel knob, on/off volume knob and alarm button. The PTT (Push-To-Talk), PF1 and Monitor buttons are on the left side of the radio housing. Overall, all of the controls are where you would expect them to be.

    The controls and their primary functions are listed in the chart below:

    Control Operation
    Alarm/PF2 Activates alarm
    Channel Knob Changes channels and menu items
    On/Off Volume Knob Turns radio on and off - sets volume level
    PTT Push-To-Talk Transmit button
    PF1 Button Programmable button
    Monitor Button Opens squelch to monitor weak signals
    A/B Channel Scan - Hold 2 seconds
    MENU Enter program menu|choose/set menu option
    UP ARROW Select previous channel|Select menu option
    DOWN ARROW Select next channel|Select menu option
    EXIT Exit program menu/cancel

    As a portable handheld radio alone, the Wouxun KG-805G Series is a great value. As a GMRS or MURS radio, it can provide more power and versatility to the user experience at a more reasonable price.

  • Programming Motorola DLR Series Radios

    Motorola DLR Series Radio WIth AccessoriesOne of the questions we get asked most often is "How hard is it to program the settings I need into the Motorola DLR radios?" While we realize this can seem confusing to novice radio users, Motorola does offer a free CPS (customer programming software) that will make this process much easier. In this article, we will be giving you some tips on how to use this software to meet your needs. These same steps apply for both the DLR1020 and DLR1060 models.

    First, you will need to download the programming software from the DLR page at MotorolaSolutions.com. As already mentioned, this is a free download. Second, you will need to purchase the Motorola DLR series programming cable. Once you have these two things, you are ready to begin programming your Motorola DLR radios!

    Motorola DLR Series Programming SetupThe programming cable will communicate with your radio via the drop-in charger tray. Plug one end of the cable into your USB port on your computer, and the other end into the power connector on the back your charger. Make sure the radio is secure in the charger tray and turned ON. Also, be sure that the switch on the programming cable is set to the position marked Digital.

    Motorola DLR Series Programming Read RadioAt this point you should be able to access your programming software. Run the application, choose RADIO in the top column and select "DLR" as your radio type. If you would like to view the current settings of  your radio, click the option Read Radio. This will upload the current settings of the radio to the application. If you would like to begin customizing your radio based on the default settings, you can click New Profile.

    Motorola DLR Series Programming Basic SettingsThe screen that comes up will now give you the options to change your basic settings. These settings include options for setting the microphone gain, turning voice prompts on or off, setting volume levels, audible beeps, and selecting your "home" channel, just to name a few. This screen also has several options that you can choose to become part of your Advanced Settings, discussed in the next two paragraphs.

    Motorola DLR Series Programming Profile IDIn the top center of your screen, you will see a button labeled Switch to ADVANCED. These advanced settings offer several options, but the most commonly used is the Direct Call feature. This will give you the option to select and call an individual radio in your fleet, instead of transmitting to an entire group.

    This feature comes in handy when you want to have private conversations. For instance, if two supervisors need to discuss something privately, without employees hearing them, they would use Direct Call. In order to enable the Direct Call feature in your Basic Menu options, you need to first upload the unique “private” identification (12 digit) number of each radio. Click on the Switch to ADVANCED button. Under Privates (Advanced) tab, click Add for CPS to upload the radio ID. You can customize the radio ID name under the Name column. Once a radio ID is uploaded, the CPS will give the option to enable Direct Call. Customize your PROFILE ID Number for any 4 digit number different from “0000” to differentiate your radios in a radio fleet.

    Motorola DLR Series Programming Profile Save AsOnce you have changed all the settings, click Write to radio in order to program your radio with the new settings. The CPS will display a window confirming the writing (programming of your radio) is successful. You can also save your profile at any time in order to use the same settings when programming other radios by clicking on Save to profile. This will save the profile to the current default path in your computer. To specify a different path to save the profile, click on the Save As button.

    Your DLR radios are now programmed to your preferred settings, and you are ready to use them as needed! If you have any questions concerning the programming, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-584-1445, and one of our experts will be happy to assist. We thank you for choosing Buy Two Way Radios!

  • Receive Coronavirus alerts on your radio

    Midland GXT1050 Weather ChannelWe often stress the importance of having an emergency weather radio for your personal safety and preparedness. These devices are proven to be invaluable in case of a severe weather event such as a hurricane, tornado or flood. But did you know they can alert you to other types of local and national civil emergencies as well? They can! Emergency radios can receive alerts for a number of non-weather related events, including pandemics such as the Coronavirus or COVID-19 emergency currently gripping much of the world in the year 2020.

    The NOAA Weather All Hazards system extends nationwide across the US through a network of over 1000 radio transmitters operated by the National Weather Service. It exists primarily to broadcast weather warnings, but is also capable of sending out warnings through the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, related to public safety and national security. The list ranges from AMBER Alerts to tsunamis, and many others in between. The list also includes, of course, a pandemic alert. (It does not, however, include a zombie alert.)

    The NOAA Weather Radio, or NWR system covers all 50 United States, US coastal areas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. It broadcasts on seven frequencies in the VHF public service band.

    • 162.400 MHz
    • 162.425 MHz
    • 162.450 MHz
    • 162.475 MHz
    • 162.500 MHz
    • 162.525 MHz
    • 162.550 MHz

    A NOAA All Hazards weather radio is capable of receiving weather and other emergency alerts on these frequencies, including Local Area Emergency (LAE) alerts, Civil Emergency Message (CEM) alerts, and Civil Danger Warning (CDW) alerts. Some weather radios such as the Midland WR-120 and WR-400 also feature Specific Area Messaging Encoding technology, or SAME, so some of these alerts can be targeted for your specific local area.

    A NOAA weather radio can receive more than just weather related warnings, but that's not the end of the story. This isn't limited to just emergency weather radios. Any base, mobile or handheld walkie talkie equipped with NOAA weather channels and weather alerts can also receive pandemic alerts. This includes business, CB, FRS/GMRS, amateur (ham), airband and marine two way radios. Yes, scanners can receive them too! If your radio can pick up weather alerts, it can also pick up a pandemic alert.

    Some popular two way transcievers with NOAA weather channels and alerts include the Motorola RMV2080 business radio, Uniden BearTracker 885 CB radio, the Motorola Talkabout T280 FRS radio, Midland GXT1000 GMRS radio, the Cobra ACXT545 FRS radio, the Icom IC-M36 and Cobra MR-HH350-FLT marine radios, and the Icom A16 Air Band Radio.

    That's not the entire list, either. Not even close. You can find a plethora of walkie talkies and other radios equipped with built-in NOAA weather channels and weather alerts at Buy Two Way Radios. Don't wait for the next emergency or pandemic to prepare. Be sure your next two way radio includes NOAA emergency weather channels and alerts.

  • Using radios to minimize employee contact and enable social distancing

    Warehouse Employee With RadioIt's no secret that two way radios are great for managing the social distancing of your business or organization with customers and the public. From curbside service to managing visitor entry, business radios enable you to service your customers more efficiently while protecting both parties and abiding by the new social distancing rules of engagement. This isn't limited to front-facing transactions, either. A fleet of business radios can also benefit your internal operations, because they reduce direct, close contact between your employees or staff.

    Radios can reduce employee contact considerably. For example, fewer face-to-face meetings are required between managers and other staff members, as radios provide instant communications at a distance. A clerk at the front desk can instantly call for assistance or report an incident at the push of button, without interacting in person. Shift changes can be coordinated without face-to-face contact and staff breaks can be handled safely with remote communications. There's no need for close interaction during much of the work shift. With radios, over-the-air contacts can help your operation remain contagion free.

    This method of wireless communication provides another important benefit. In addition to enabling the recommended social distancing, business two way radios empower your workers to respond and react more quickly.

    Instead of walking to the back of the stockroom to find that size 9 sneaker, a shoe store clerk can call to check for its availability while serving the next customer. The cart attendant at the local supermarket can immediately be called back inside the building without the manager spending ten minutes in the parking lot on a search. As a result, you'll likely see improved efficiency by using radios. Greater operating efficiency translates into lower operating costs, adding to the bottom line. Tasks take time, and time is money. Radios can save you both. Considering this, radio communications may be practically indispensible for both the profitability and safety of your entire operation.

    But before you jump onto an international, online mass marketplace and order a pack of cheap, generic walkie talkies, it is important to understand that a radio is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many different types of radios out there, and many, many models from which to choose. They may operate on different radio bands and radio services, some of which may or may not be feasible or even allowed in your area for your particular business operation.

    Every company is different, and your business may have needs that require a more customized solution. This is where our Business Radio Buyer's Guide can help.

    The Buy Two Way Radios Buyer's Guide is an excellent resource for business owners who need an optimized solution for wireless communications, but don't have the time, resources or inclination to research everything about radio technology (time is money, right?). The guide is easy to use, and quickly narrows your search based on your type of business, as well as your requirements, budget and needs.

    Professional two way radios are often designed and manufactured for specific types of businesses or industries. Here are some examples, along with a few recommended radios made for use in those niches. These general recommendations may help lead you to the right radio for your situation.

    Dining, shopping and marketplaces
    Restaurants, retail stores, mom-and-pop shops and many other localized, on-site businesses may only need a small, lightweight radio for light duty use indoors. The Kenwood ProTalk LT PKT-23, Motorola CLS1410 or Motorola DLR1020 are perfect choices for these types of businesses. The Motorola radios even have antimicrobial housings to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold, a nice feature to have in a restaurant or diner.

    Big box businesses with a small box budget
    For larger facilities that need easy to manage, general purpose radios with high power at a low price, the Olympia P324 and Midland MB400 will give you solid performance without breaking the bank. These are medium duty transceivers with standard features that are also repeater capable.

    Larger facilities
    If you have a large facility with many floors or lots of walls, a high power 4-5 watt radio would probably be the best choice. Many radios in this category, such as the Motorola VX-261 or Icom F2000 also support repeaters. That means if you need to increase your range in the future with a repeater, you don't have to replace your radios.

    Hotel security, malls or commercial sites
    Larger commercial operations with multiple departments may need more than just simple on-site communications. Commercial tier radios such as the Motorola CP200d or SL300 provide advanced features and functionality for more expanded operations.

    Industrial, manufacturing and warehouse operations
    If your company needs heavy duty radios with great clarity for high noise environments, the Kenwood TK-3400-U16P or Motorola RMU2080d may be what you need.

    License Free radios
    Many of the radios listed above require an FCC radio license to operate business radios on assigned frequencies, but there are certain business class radios that are "license free" or, more officially, licensed by rule, meaning that you don't need a license at all to use them on their designated services. These radios are lower powered, but are nonetheless quite capable for use in many business environments and situations. The Motorola DTR600 is a digital model with great coverage indoors and a lot of powerful features. The Wouxun KG-805M is a 2 watt radio MURS radio that operates on 5 VHF frequencies and works very well for large retailers and big box stores. It's also quite rugged and is compatible with a large assortment of audio accessories from name brand manufacturers.

    Between buildings, locations, or extended distances
    If your company has a computer network with wireless connectivity and multiple buildings or locations, the Icom IP100H Two Way Radio for Wireless Networks (WiFI) may be exactly what you need. The IP100H connects over the air and directly to your network through a wireless controller for end-to-end voice communications without the use of repeaters. If wifi is available throughout facility, range concerns are totally eliminated. The IP100H also has advanced digital features and high quality, full duplex audio. IP radios are not traditional radios, so there is not much of a learning curve for support if your company has an IT department. The IP100H is also license free!

    Clearly, two-way radios are quite useful to minimize employee contact and enable social distancing. The challenge is choosing the right radios for your business or organization.  Our Business Radio Buyer's Guide at Buy Two Way Radios can make the choice a lot easier. If your business is even more specialize or has very specific requirements, no problem! Just give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 and we will be happy to help find a solution for your radio needs.

    Download this pdf and learn how Motorola CLS and DLR radios plus callboxes can increase efficiency and enable social distancing in your business!

  • How walkie talkies can help when you're quarantined with an illness

    Bedside Walkie TalkieWhile we certainly hope this scenario isn't the case for you, it is an important one to address. In the event that someone in your family contracts the virus and needs to be isolated within the home, you will need a way to communicate back and forth and monitor the situation while maintaining the necessary protocols of quarantine. This is a situation in which walkie talkies could prove to be an absolute necessity.

    Isolating one or more family members within the confines of a home is not as simple as it sounds. It puts the entire family at risk. Recent studies have shown that a simple cough can eject micro droplets so small and light, they can hang around in a room with little or no cross-ventilation for hours, or even days, as illustrated in this video. Even normal speech can distribute such micro droplets within a short distance from the speaker.

    Considering this, the international recommendation for social distancing at a minimum of six feet or more makes perfect sense when in a public space. The problem is, the practice isn't always practical in a home environment. Since it is common for someone with an illness to be confined to bed in a room inside their apartment or home, the air in that room will fill with those micro droplets quickly, and unless there is plenty of cross-ventilation, those particles won't go away for a long, long awhile. While you should obviously provide care for the afflicted individual, it is also important to minimize unnecessary contact at the same time. You really don't want to go in there just to chat.

    Staying at home to distance yourself from the rest of the world is one thing. Isolating someone from the rest of the household is a more complicated matter. Obviously, the less direct contact you have with this person, the better, but how can you do this and still communicate with one another?

    The simple solution is to use radios. Using walkie talkies to communicate with an isolated individual can help everyone cope with the situation. Here are five ways walkie talkies can help when you're quarantined with an illness.

    Radios can help the quarantined patient communicate with you.
    The first and most obvious way to use these walkie talkies is to simply set one at the bedside of the patient in quarantine, and keep the other one for use by the caregiver(s) outside the quarantined area. When one party wants to talk with the other, just press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button and, well, talk. Pretty simple stuff. And you can expand your communications from there. You can provide radios to everyone in every area of the home, so they can all practice proper social distancing and assist with the home quarantine operations as needed.

    Radios such as the Midland T31VP and Cobra ACXT145 have a Call Alert or Call Tone feature that allows the patient to signal when he or she wants to talk. When the call button is pressed, the radio sends an audible alert tone to the other radios within range, much like when a phone rings to indicate a call is received and is waiting to be answered. Some radios have a single tone, while other models such as the Midland LXT633 may have 5 or more. The Midland X-Talker T75 has 10 selectable call tones, five of which are animal sounds. The Motorola T265 has as many as 20!

    Models like the Midland GXT1000 even have a whisper feature, which can give the quarantined patient the ability to call for assistance without having to raise their voice. This could be crucial, and can make deliveries of their food, water, and medical needs more efficient.

    Walkie Talkies can assist with monitoring the quarantined patient.
    If the patient is too sick or weak to physically operate a transceiver on their own, that patient will need to be monitored. This is anther area where walkie talkies may be able to help. The Midland T51VP3, Motorola Talkabout T402, Cobra ACXT345 and many other radios include a feature called Voice Activated Transmit, or VOX. When VOX is activated, the radio will be in a "listen mode" and automatically transmit any sound picked up by the microphone to the other radios. For instance, if the patient calls out for assistance, it can activate the radio to transmit. In this way the radio can be used hands-free.

    There are some caveats to this. VOX doesn't just activate by voice. It can be activated by any noise it picks up, any noise at all. If the patient is in a very quiet room, it may not be an issue. However, if there is anything else in the room that can generate noise, such as a TV, cell phone, or fan, it could be problematic, as the noise generated by any of those devices could also trigger the radio to transmit. This can sometimes be mitigated by adjusting the sensitivity settings for VOX in the radio, but will require quite a bit of trial and error.

    Also, there is usually a delay between the moment the sound is emitted and the time it takes for the radio to hear the sound and begin to transmit. This could be up to several seconds, depending on the radio, the VOX circuitry, and its setting. The delay can result in the first part of a transmission being clipped and not heard by the recipient. This is normal and can sometimes be minimized somewhat by playing around with the VOX sensitivity settings, but not entirely eliminated. It's not a perfect science, but it is possible to use VOX to monitor the audio in a room in certain circumstances and under the right conditions.

    Radios can help you communicate with everyone else inside and outside the quarantined area.
    Walkie Talkies allow everyone in the home to be separated and keep it all together at the same time, both figuratively and literally speaking. When one person or group is required to remain separated from another, walkie talkies keep everyone in both groups communicating in order to co-ordinate and maintain the necessary parameters for distancing within the domicile. This is especially important, as it can help to avoid cross contamination between the assigned spaces of those who are ill and those who are not.

    Radios can transmit fast, instant alerts to the entire household.
    Need to send an urgent message or alert to others in the home while avoiding direct contact with them? Walkie talkies can do that, too. The Motorola T480  and T600 are equipped with an emergency alert feature that allows you to signal everyone within range of an urgent matter or situation that requires their immediate attention. This can be especially useful if the quarantined patient takes a turn for the worse and needs medical attention or a trip to the hospital. It is important to understand that the emergency alert feature is not a substitute for calling 9-1-1 and it should not be misconstrued as such. It is not connected to any emergency system. It is merely intended for sending an alert to other family members in the household who are monitoring the patient that he or she may be in some distress or in urgent need of assistance.

    Radios can provide a measure of comfort and security for the patient.
    Let's face it, when someone is sick, they aren't just physically ill. The effects of quarantine and confinement is also an emotional and mental strain. The isolation can bring on feelings of loneliness and depression, which only adds to the physical discomfort or pain. Simply having a radio by the bedside can actually be psychologically beneficial, because they know can can call instantly, at the mere push of a button, and someone else in the household is likely to respond in kind. It symbolizes that even though no one can be in the same room, next to them, someone is nearby, monitoring them, and they are not truly alone. That is a very powerful and positive message, transmitted by the mere presence of a radio, without even pushing a button.

    It is our hope that this pandemic ends soon for everyone's sake, and everyone currently stuck at home or quarantined with the virus recovers completely and quickly so we can all resume our normal activities of life. However, if you do find yourself or your family in isolation, there are ways to help ease the stress of confinement, improve the quality of caregiving, and mitigate the risk to others by using reliable and efficient two way radio communications. Buy Two Way Radios can provide you with the guidance and recommendations needed to do this safely, effectively and at minimal cost.

  • How walkie talkies can help when you're stuck at home

    Four FRS Walkie Talkies For Stay at Home  QuarantineThere are many different ways you can use two-way radios or walkie talkies to make life easier and less stressful, especially during an emergency such as the 2020 pandemic. With much of the country under a stay-at-home order, we would like to share some of the ways you can use two-way radios to make your quarantine safer, more efficient, and maybe even a little bit more enjoyable. Here are three ways walkie talkies can help when you're stuck at home.

    Two-way radios can provide quick and easy communication between family members throughout the house. Maybe you are WFH or working from home in a secluded area of your domicile for privacy, and your spouse wants to let you know that lunch will be ready in a few minutes. A pair of handheld FRS radios such as the Midland X-Talker T31VP can quickly and easily accomplish this feat with minimal interruption, and without having to take anyone's eyes off the kids. Perhaps mom and dad need a break, so they send the kids outside to play in the yard to enjoy a day of no school and beautiful spring weather. When play time is over, calling them back inside for their studies or for a meal is a breeze with a small walkie talkie like the Cobra ACXT145 or Motorola T100 in tow!

    Midland X-Talker T20 Four PackWalkie talkies can be used as a source of entertainment for both children and parents alike! For most kids right now, the quarantine life is getting really old, and cabin fever is setting in. Many are missing their neighborhood pals and play dates. With social distancing regulations and stay-at-home orders still active for most states, a set of FRS radios such as the Midland T20 may help kids stay in touch with their friends nearby. The T20 radios are also available in a convenient and economical four pack, each with a different color, so each kid can be assigned their own color coded radio. We realize that there are many different technologies out there to keep kids connected, but one of the advantages of using such a radio system is that it won't bog down the bandwidth while mom and dad are working remotely. Plus, the radio airwaves are free to use! Ultimately, it's a win/win for both sides!

    Even though FRS radios may be license-free, easy to use, and cost-effective, they aren't mere toys, and they aren't just for kids. Take the Motorola TALKABOUT T280, for instance. This general purpose radio is also designed for emergency use, with 11 weather channels and NOAA weather alerts. The ease of instant push-to-talk communications over free airwaves make these and other FRS walkie talkies very efficient and cost effective for entire families to communicate with neighbors down the street at anytime, for just about anything. And it does all of this while maintaining the mandated protocol of proper social distancing!

    Buy Two Way Radios is here to help with your quarantine needs, and even though our sales staff is also working remotely, our warehouse is still up and running with no delays on shipments. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-584-1445, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thanks, and stay safe!

  • Pros and Cons of the Motorola DLR Series Radios

    Motorola DLR Series Two Way RadiosAs we've mentioned in previous articles, podcasts and videos, the Motorola DLR1020 and DLR1060 radios can be great assets for many different types of businesses. In this article, we will note some of the many pros, as well as the few cons, that these radios have.

    One of the biggest pros of the Motorola DLR series radios is that they operate on 900 MHz digital frequencies. This feature is beneficial in several ways. First, consider the level of privacy that these frequencies offer. The 900 MHz frequencies are much less common than standard UHF or VHF frequencies, and the FHSS "frequency hopping" method used by these radios allows you to completely eliminate any chance of unwanted interference from neighboring two-way radio users.

    Second, these 900 MHz radios do not require any type of FCC licensing. This saves you hundreds of dollars in licensing fees and allows you to use the radios as-is, "out of the box", with minimal, if any, programming required.

    Third, because the DLR series radios are digital, the sound quality is impeccable. You will find that there is no background static or "white noise" like you may experience with normal analog radios.

    Another major plus is the ultra-compact size of the Motorola DLR radios. They are very small and incredibly lightweight, making them practical for use in almost any situation. Even with their small size and light weight, these units offer military-grade specs for durability and resistance against dust, water, vibration, shock, and extreme temperature variations. Like many of the other Motorola onsite business radios, the DLR radios have antimicrobial housings to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria.

    With all the  pros, there are also a few cons. One disadvantage of the Motorola DLR radios is their low power. The transmit power of radios that operate on this 900 MHz band is limited to 1 watt by the FCC. This means they are not practical for very large industrial job sites. Also, the FHSS frequency hopping technology will not work with typical repeaters, limiting the possibility of extending their range.

    Perhaps the biggest con would be the lack of cross-compatibility with an existing fleet of two-way radios operating on standard business frequencies. Based on their rather unique frequency hopping capabilites and the fact that they operate on 900 MHz frequencies instead of the UHF or VHF business bands, they are not universally compatible with other digital radios. Also, most companies still tend to use analog radios, which these digital units will not communicate with at all. The Motorola DLR technology is cross-compatible with only one other line of radios, the Motorola DTR series.

    On the plus side, if you happen to already have Motorola DTR series radios such as the DTR600 or DTR700, the DLR line will work with them and will be a much sleeker, smaller, more affordable option.

    With all this being said, the pros of the Motorola DLR1020 and DLR1060 radios far outweigh the cons, and tend to be an excellent option for almost any on-site business use!

  • Differences Between the Motorola DLR1020 and DLR1060 Radios

    Motorola DLR Series Two Way RadiosThe Motorola DLR series radios are an excellent choice for businesses that want a high-quality digital radio with excellent privacy features. These radios also operate on 900 MHz digital frequencies, which means they can be used legally without applying for an FCC license!

    The DLR series radios are ultra-compact, lightweight, and offer crystal-clear communication. They also use FHSS "frequency hopping" technology, which gives you a much higher degree of privacy from outside interference generated by neighboring businesses that may also be using these radios. Built to military-grade specifications for shock, dust, and water resistance, the Motorola DLR series radios are very versatile, and a great addition for almost any type of business.

    If you've decided the DLR series is right for you, your next task is to decide on a model. This series offers two options: the DLR1020 and the DLR1060. What are the differences between these two radios? Well, there are really only two, and for the most part, the model you choose depends on how many channels you need.

    The DLR1020 is the base model in the DLR series, and offers 2 channels. For most small, single location retailers and mom-and-pop type stores with simple operations and just a few employees, this is likely all you really need. The DLR1020 is priced at $209.00.

    For larger restaurants, retail operations, and businesses that need more channel groups, the DLR1060 model supports up to 6 channels. This allows you to assign a dedicated channel to different departments, such as front clerks, stock clerks, managers and maintenance personnel. The DLR1060 is priced $10 more than the DLR1020, at $219.00.

    Other than the number of channels and the price, there is no difference between these models.

    Need more than 6 channels? Move up to the Motorola DTR series!

  • Best MURS Two Way Radios of 2020

    The Best MURS Two Way Radios for 2020When searching for a two way radio to fit a particular terrestrial activity or application, it generally comes down to a choice between either a business or consumer grade model. Each category is intended for use on a specific radio service, and each has its own advantages and limitations. Fortunately, there is one category that has all the best qualities of both. We're talking about the MURS.

    The Multi-Use Radio Service, or MURS, is a rather unique radio service that is usually overlooked, quite underused and greatly underrated. There are five MURS frequencies, all reserved on the VHF band for business, personal or recreational use at up to two watts of power, and without a license. MURS is license-by-rule, meaning that simply owning and operating an FCC type accepted MURS radio gives you the license to use it.

    Now, two watts may not seem like a big deal, but it's actually a fair amount of power when applied to the VHF band. And as any seasoned radio operator knows, when it comes to maximizing range, wattage is not what really counts anyway. It's the antenna and where it's positioned within line-of-sight that makes all the difference. This is an important point to consider, because MURS allows for detachable and external mount antennas. You can hear All About MURS on our podcast, The Two Way Radio Show.

    If MURS is so great, where are all the MURS radios? Good question. As mentioned before, MURS is often overlooked for a multitude of reasons, and most are market driven. But that doesn't mean they aren't out there. On the contrary, a number of MURS radios do exist, and in several different forms. There are handheld models, base stations, Intercoms and Callboxes and even a PA System available for MURS. With this eclectic selection, the question now becomes, which is the best MURS radio?

    Of course, the best form factor largely depends on your application, but as far as portable handhelds go, it's really no contest. Here are our picks for best MURS radio.

    Best Value MURS Radio
    Wouxun KG-805The Wouxun KG-805M is our winner for the best value MURS radio on the market. Introduced in 2019, it's also a fairly new model. It has five channels programmed with all five MURS frequencies and transmits at a full 2 watts, the maximum for the MURS. It sports a backit LCD display with an option to choose one of three backlight colors, which can be customized for transmit, receive or standby modes. The keys are also backlit for operation at night or in poorly lit areas.

    The KG-805M features 155 CTCSS tones and DCS privacy codes, channel scan, a built-in FM radio, channel name edit and display, and VOX. The 805M can also be programmed from a PC to receive NOAA weather channels and for other advanced customization. It's rated IP55 for dust and water, which means it's a fairly tough little radio for use in the field.

    As an added bonus, the antenna is also removable! This is a powerful advantage over other handheld MURS radios with fixed antennas, as it allows the operator to swap out with the stock antenna for another to optimize range or possibly even to attach an external antenna to considerably increase it.

    Overall, the Wouxun KG-805M is a solid MURS radio, and it's packed with features at a cost that is both advantageous for businesses and affordable for the average consumer. For these reasons, we consider the KG-805M to be the best overall value MURS radio out there. Price: $79.99

    Best Overall MURS Radio
    Motorola RMM2050 MURS Two Way RadioThe Motorola RMM2050 gets the award for best overall MURS radio currently available. Designed specifically for on-site business operations, the RMM2050 offers great audio and excellent range on VHF. It has five channels and the maximum 2 watts of power, a multi-color LED indicator, and two programmable buttons. It features three audible call tones, hands-free VOX mode, three voice-inversion scramble codes, and channel announcement with voice alias.

    The RMM2050 is programmable and can be easily cloned with an optional cloning cable connected to the charger. It's also one of the toughest MURS radios around, with an IP54/55 rating and built to meet MilSpec 810 standards for shock, rain, humidity, salt fog, vibration, sand, dust, and temperature. As with many other radios in the Motorola RM Series, the RMM2050 also includes antimicrobial protection. Want a closer look at this model? Watch our Motorola RMM2050 unboxing video!

    If it looks somewhat familiar to longtime MURS users, that's because it is. The RMM2050 is the successor to the classic RDM2020. While a bit pricier than the Wouxun model, Its tough exterior and excellent quality sound is well worth the investment. Price: $189.00

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