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Consumer 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • How to clean and disinfect your two way radios

    Cleaning and Disinfecting RadiosThe two way radio is an important tool for both business and personal short range communications, particularly during a national emergency such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. From curbside service to personal home care, radios can keep us in constant, instant communication with one another while we practice social distancing and protect our personal space to minimize the spread of germs.

    But what about the radios? Don't they need to be cleaned and disinfected as well?

    Absolutely! Your radios should be cleaned regularly for general maintenance. They should be disinfected as well, especially when used in environments and situations involving possible contagions. This becomes even more critical when the radios are shared between users, or handled and operated directly by the user close to the face or mouth.

    Think about it for a moment. Like any portable personal device, a handheld radio or walkie talkie can pick up and carry germs at the very first touch. When you hold and or carry it around in the palm of your hand, press the buttons, bring it up to your face, and speak into the microphone, you are transmitting any germs you carry directly to your radio, both on the surface and into any crevice that can catch them. Pass the same radio around to others, and, well, you get the idea.

    In such cases, the radios should be thoroughly disinfected immediately after each shift or use. This applies to any type of operating environment, business or personal. Germs don't discriminate, and neither should you. Keep your radios clean and sanitized for your personal protection and the safety of those around you.

    But you can't just dump your radio in the water and give it a twenty second washing like you would with your hands. As with any electronic device, cleaning and disinfecting a two way radio requires some care. There are some specific things you can do but there are also some things that you shouldn't do, primarily because they could be harmful to you and/or the radio itself.

    While not all radio manufacturers have specific instructions for such maintenance, some manufacturers including Motorola, Kenwood and Midland do have guidelines and recommendations about how to properly clean and disinfect their radios. With a few slight differences and variations, the instructions are pretty much the same. It is important to note, however, that all radios are not the same. Some are rather basic in design, with few buttons, no displays, simple speaker grilles and non-detachable antennas. Others have full keypads, large displays, large, deeply penetrable audio jacks, external battery contacts or terminals, rotating knobs and various other physical features that can make a thorough cleaning session a little more involved.

    Also, the materials used for the radio housings may vary. Consumer grade radios often use lighter, lower grade plastics that may not withstand a lot of stress and strenuous cleaning or liquid solutions. Business grade radios tend to use heavier duty materials capable of withstanding external elements and stress. The housings of most quality business and marine radios are often designed to be more water resistant, and may even repel some liquids. Many Motorola on-site business radios even have antimicrobial properties. While these antimicrobial housings do not protect against viruses, they can help slow the growth of bacteria and make the radios easier to clean and disinfect.

    So, how do you clean and disinfect your two way radios?

    Before you start, let's talk about what not to do. Especially the don'ts.

    Don't

    • Do not immerse the radio in water.
    • Do not clean the radio while it is turned on or charging.
    • Do not pour or spray any cleaning solution or liquid directly to the surface of the radio.
    • Don't use anything abrasive. Do not use metallic or heavy duty brushes. Do not use any rough or abrasive cloths. Don't use any abrasive cleansers.
    • Do not use bleach or solvents or cleaning sprays or anything like that to clean or disinfect the device. At the very least these chemicals can discolor the surface of the radio, and at worst they may melt the plastics or eat away at the surface of the radio. They can also scratch or damage the displays, so you really don't want to do that sort of thing.

    Do

    • Be sure the radio is turned off.
    • Remove the batteries or battery pack before cleaning.
    • Clean a battery pack housing separately, and only the outer facing plastic shell or housing.
    • Remove the belt clip if possible and clean it separately.
    • Remove any externally connected accessories such as earpieces, headsets or hand microphones before cleaning.
    • Clean your radios in a well ventilated area and away from heat sources.
      Avoid breathing vapors or fumes from approved cleaning solutions.

    General Cleaning of your radio

    • Removing heavy dust, soil, mud, grime, stains, etc.
    • Prepare a solution of a non-abrasive dish detergent and water, with no more than 0.5% detergent in the solution. Some manufacturers recommend using distilled water.
    • Apply the solution to the surface of the radio with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Note: do not apply any liquid directly to the surface of the radio. Apply it to the cloth first, then to the radio from the cloth.
    • Use a stiff, non-metallic and short bristled brush to loosen and remove the dirt from the surface and crevices of the radio.
    • Wipe the debris and moisture from the radio with a dry, soft, lintless, absorbent cloth.
    • Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including any metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks and crevices.
    • Allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery(ies), charge or use the device.

    Disinfecting your radio

    • Wipe down the radio using isopropyl alcohol with a 70%-80% concentration. Below 70% will not be effective.
    • Apply the isopropyl alcohol to the surface of the radio with a soft, non-abrasive cloth first, then to the radio from the cloth. Do not apply it directly to the radio.
    • Be sure wipe down into the cracks and crevices in the radio to effectively disinfect from germs.
    • Some manufacturers allow the use of an antibacterial wipe, but excess liquid must be squeezed out of the wipe before use so that it is merely damp, not wet, to avoid over saturating the radio with fluid.
    • Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including any metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks and crevices.
    • Allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery(ies), charge or use the device.

    Your radio is a powerful tool for communication, but as with any object, it can also be a germ magnet. Whether they are used in a dental office, medical facility, warehouse, retail store, restaurant, on the water, in a cockpit, on the trail, at home with the family or out in the field, clean and disinfect your radios regularly to ensure maximum personal protection and health.

    For an in-depth discussion on cleaning and disinfecting two way radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Podcast TWRS-148 - The COVID-19 Pandemic and Two Way Radios.

  • Radio 101 - How to choose a NOAA weather channel for your radio

    Many consumer walkie talkies are equipped with weather channels and weather alerts. But how do you use them? How can you find the correct NOAA weather channel for use in your area?

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick from Buy Two Way Radios and The Two Way Radio Show Podcast explains NOAA weather channels, shows you how to find the right NOAA weather station for your area and how to assign it to your radio.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • Introducing the Wouxun KG-805 Professional GMRS and MURS Radios

    Retailing consumer FRS and GMRS radios is how we got our start in this business. Over the years, we've heard more than our share of gripes from customers who are looking for something better than the typical "bubble pack" FRS/GMRS radios. Those radios get the job done for most people, but they often don't cut it for advanced users. Anyone that uses a GMRS radio frequently, or needs advanced features (like repeater support) is left frustrated: none of the major manufacturers offer a product that meets their needs, and the few import radios that have been modded for GMRS have considerable drawbacks. Well, after years of asking the major manufacturers to address this need, we've decided to take matters into our own hands.

    We've been working directly with Wouxun to design a radio that considers all of the needs of advanced users. It's been a long process, but we're really proud of the result. We hope you like it.

    Introducing the Wouxun KG-805G

    Today, we're introducing the Wouxun KG-805G Professional GMRS Radio. The following is a list of goals that we had for our GMRS radio when we started this process, and thanks to Wouxun we were able to achieve all of this with the KG-805G.

    • Legal for GMRS. GMRS users looking for the best often resort to buying a business radio and reprogramming it for GMRS. This is pretty common, but it isn't legal. We needed a radio that was approved for GMRS use by the FCC (Part 95 type accepted).
    • Business Quality. The radio had to have a high level of durability and "feel" like a professional radio.
    • Repeater support. The GMRS allows for repeaters. If you're buying a professional GMRS radio, you should be able to use them. You should also be able to configure the radio to use a repeater without connecting it to a computer.
    • Ability to change common functions from the keypad. In particular, CTCSS/DCS codes should be adjustable via the menu.
    • High power. Almost all radios using FRS/GMRS frequencies are well under 2 watts. We wanted at least 4.
    • Single Band. There are a couple of dual band import radios that have been retrofitted for GMRS, and we felt like this was a compromise we didn't want to make. GMRS frequencies are all between 462 and 468 MHz. We felt like quality would be better if the radio and antenna were built specifically for this frequency range.
    • "Classic" Radio Circuitry. One of the big reasons that there are so many low priced radios available is that there single microchips available that control almost all radio features. This is great if you're looking to keep costs down, but there's a reason that popular business radio brands don't use them: they compromise quality for price. If we were going to call our radio "Business Quality" it needed to be built like a business radio - inside and out.
    • Good Accessory Selection. We didn't want anything proprietary or unusual when it came to accessories.
    • Optional PC Programming. PC programming should be available for advanced users, but absolutely not be a requirement to use the radio.
    • Priced below $100. We felt like the product needed to retail for less than $100, and we beat it by $10. Regular price for the KG-805 will be $89.99.

    The KG-805G has 30 channels: 22 standard simplex channels and 8 repeater channels. It is compatible with any other 22 channel FRS or GMRS radio right out of the box. If you need to add a PL tone, you can do it directly from the keypad using the menu.

    The KG-805G is built using the same "chassis" as the popular KG-UVD1P and KG-UV6D, which have been around for a long time. Replacement batteries for those models work with the KG-805G. The radio uses a standard "K1" style audio accessory connector, so two-pin audio accessories that work with a Kenwood, Wouxun, or Baofeng radio will work with this one.

    The display supports three colors, and you can choose a different color for transmit, receive and standby. Channel scan is available by holding the A/B button for 2 seconds. An FM radio is built-in.

    Optional programming software is available as a free download. The software allows you to add or remove channels and configure channel settings in an easier way than using the menu. You also have more options than the menu provides, as you can configure options like channel power and bandwidth. You can also add receive-only channels for frequencies outside of the GMRS band. Using the software requires a programming cable.

    Why not build a MURS radio too?

    While our focus was primarily on the GMRS product, we knew that there were customers also looking for a similar radio that operated on MURS. The Multi-Use Radio Service is a license-free service that allows for operation on 5 VHF frequencies at up to 2 watts of power. MURS is great for consumers that often use radios outdoors and don't want to get a license. It is also popular with businesses (even Walmart uses MURS frequencies).

    MURS has a similar situation to GMRS, but with an even more limited selection of available products: current radios are either great quality and quite expensive, or they're cheap retrofitted Baofengs. We thought a high quality but reasonably priced radio was needed, so we helped design the Wouxun KG-805M Professional MURS Radio.

    The KG-805M is essentially the same radio as the KG-805G, except it is designed to operate on VHF frequencies and we have customized the programming to the MURS service. The KG-805M also retails for $89.99.

    Only need the basics?

    Because things can't ever be simple, we also have a version of each radio with a simpler feature set for a few bucks less.

    The Wouxun KG-805G Basic and Wouxun KG-805M Basic are available at a retail price of $69.99. The difference? These models don't support adjusting CTCSS/DCS codes via the keypad, so they're more appropriate for use in non-congested areas or when you're commonly using radios with the same group of people.

    The CTCSS/DCS tones can be adjusted in the optional programming software, so if you're OK with using a PC for programming these Basic versions are a good way to save money!

    Your feedback is important!

    This is the most involved we've ever been in bringing a product to market and we definitely want this to be a success. We are very interested in hearing your thoughts on what we got right, or what we got wrong with the KG-805 series. Comment below, or send us a message!

  • 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.

  • The Motorola Talkabout T800 radio video

    A new era of portable radio communication is upon us, and Motorola is leading the way with the new Motorola Talkabout T800 FRS Two Way Radio with app support. This license-free radio features messaging, location sharing and a unique, futuristic style display. Plus, it connects to its own app, available for iPhone and Android smartphones!

    How does it pair with a smartphone? How do you change settings through the app? In this video, Danny introduces the new T800 and shows off some of its impressive features. The Motorola Talkabout T800 is available now from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • Using two way radios on your fall or winter vacation

    Vacation. Just that one word brings to mind a multitude of emotions and kick starts the good endorphins in your brain. Summer's just come to an end, schools started and the cool weather has already arrived. You're ready to start planning that fall/winter vacation; skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing or specialty hunting trip. No matter where you dream trip takes you this season Buy Two Way Radios is here to handle your communications needs.

    Whether you are snowmobiling, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, fishing or hiking and hunting in the back woods we've got you covered. We all know the higher you climb into the mountains or the further you trek into the wilderness the trickier your cell phone coverage becomes. We offer a range of radios to fit your price and your specific needs.

    Most consumer two way radios will allow you to keep up to date on current and changing weather conditions via the NOAA channels. Stay in contact with family and friends from the lodge or base camp. Two way radios are incredibly affordable and can provide you a sense of security and safety when your family and friends are out of sight.

    If you are looking for an exceptional and affordable consumer radio that works great for any of the above mentioned scenarios, offers FRS/GMRS UHF frequencies at five watts of power, is water resistant and has a 3 years manufacturer warranty, then the Midland GXT1000VP4 is the radio for you. Priced for any budget at 69.99 plus shipping, you will receive a set of radios, 2 rechargeable battery packs a dual drop-in charger that can be used desktop or on the move in your car with the included
    car plug adapter. Each set of radios also includes 2 Midland AVP-1 headsets.

    Have questions or need more information? Please visit our web site or call our toll free customer service line at 800-584-1445 and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales reps. Hope your fall/winter vacation is everything you dreamed it to be.

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