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General

  • New GMRS antennas from Nagoya are now available!

    Nagoya NA-701G GMRS AntennaSince the FCC Part 95 reform of 2017, we've seen quite a surge in demand for GMRS radios, of both portable handheld walkie talkies and mobile/base station units. This isn't surprising to us at all. It was inevitable, and for several reasons. In response to this demand, high quality, commercial grade GMRS radios such as the Wouxun KG-805G are entering the market, and are quickly becoming quite popular. This new generation of transcievers also brings a demand for professional grade radio accessories such as high capacity batteries, earpieces, speaker mics, and antennas.

    However, while audio accessories are plentiful and power options are not much of a problem, it's the availability of detachable antennas that is at issue. More specially, antennas made and tuned for the GMRS.

    Before the Great Reform, the antennas on FRS/GMRS radios were not swappable. While the FCC did allow GMRS radios to have detachable aerials, it wasn't legal on FRS walkie talkies, so the combo units simply didn't have them. With few exceptions, serious GMRS operators had to settle for using antennas tuned to a wider range of UHF business frequencies in the 420-480Mhz range. While these antennas also worked on the GMRS, they weren't specifically tuned for it, limiting the overall performance of the radio to which it was connected.

    Not anymore.

    Buy Two Way Radios and Nagoya have teamed up to introduce a new series of antennas designed and built specifically for GMRS two way radios. These new GMRS antennas from Nagoya are now available for purchase, and exclusively at Buy Two Way Radios!

    There are currently three antennas in this series, two for the portable handeld walkie talkies, and one for mobiles. All three are made for the GMRS.

    Nagoya NA-701G
    Based on one of Nagoya's most popular antenna series for dual band portable radios, the NA-701G takes the venerable NA-701 directly to the General Mobile Radio Service, supporting 462MHz GMRS channels, plus 467MHz for fine tuning to GMRS repeaters.

    Nagoya NA-771G
    The NA-771G is based on another very popular, high performance antenna for handheld dual band amateur radios, the NA-771. It's also, at the time this article is written, probably the longest, at over 15 inches in length! This is a 1/2λ wave antenna with a maximum power rating of 10 Watts and is tuned to 462 MHz and 467 MHz GMRS frequencies.

    Nagoya NL-770G
    The NL-770G is a high gain linear mobile antenna tuned to 462MHz and 467MHz frequencies for GMRS. It has a PL-259 (UHF male) connector that fits any number of vehicle mounting kits that is equipped with an SO-239 (UHF female) connector or feed line, including the Nagoya RB-MJPL Mobile Mag Mount Base. At approximately 38 inches (97 cm) in length, the LN-770G has 6 dBi gain and V.S.W.R. 1.5:1.

    All three antennas are now available exclusively from Buy Two Way Radios.

    We have a long relationship with Nagoya and only buy direct from this manufacturer. When you purchase a Nagoya antenna from us, be assured that you are getting an authentic, genuine Nagoya product from an authorized Nagoya dealer - Buy Two Way Radios! Questions? Concerns? Contact us!

    Here is the Official List of Nagoya Authorized Dealers and Distributors Worldwide.

  • How many radio channels do you need?

    Motorola DTR600 ChannelsThere are many different types of business two way radios out there that offer many variations of channel options. Becoming familiar with how two-way radio channels work can help you decide which radio might be best for you. It could also prevent you from paying too much for a radio that may be overkill for your particular situation.

    A radio channel is best described as a separate, individual line of one or two way communication on a radio band. Think of it as an assigned and numbered channel on a television set and you have the idea.

    Most business radios will have anywhere from 1 to 32 different channels. Depending on the radio, these channels can be easily changed using either a knob on the top of the radio or by using the menu option on the LCD screen.

    For businesses that prefer all of their radio users to be able to hear and reply to every conversation, one single channel will work just fine. For businesses that want to separate the communications between departments or want supervisor communications separate from those with and between employees, a radio with multiple channels will be the way to go.

    Another benefit of having multiple channels is that you have options in the event of radio interference. Even if you only use or need one channel, having multiple channels to choose from will allow you to easily switch to a different frequency if the current channel you are on is already in use. For instance, if a neighboring business interferes with the channel you were using, simply change the channel.

    Of course, a radio with more channels often costs more money, but not always. There are some models with a large number of pre-programmed or user programmable channels that are priced competitively with radios that have fewer channels. The advice here is to shop around and check all the different brands and models.

    Deciding how many channels are ideal for your company can be a big money-saver, as well as a beneficial tool during day-to-day use. If you have any questions as to how many channels you may need, feel free to contact our sales department at 1-800-584-1445, and we will be happy to guide you based on your specific needs.

  • 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!

  • Improve your Curbside Pickup Efficiency with Two Way Radios

    Using a Radio for Curbside ServiceGreetings from the Buy Two Way Radios team. We hope everyone is staying safe during the ongoing pandemic, and would like to extend some ideas for using two-way radios to help streamline your business practices while keeping your employees and customers safe and healthy. During these unprecedented times, many essential businesses such as retail stores and restaurants have moved to curbside pickup only service, and two-way radios can be indispensable for this application!

    For example, many of you may want to ensure that your customers can remain in their car while their orders are being processed and personally delivered. Having a designated employee assigned to an outside pickup station is a great idea, and can be a better way to keep things organized and running smoothly. To ensure safety, minimizing this employee's need to walk back and forth to relay messages could be huge. This will help limit person-to-person exposure while speeding up your delivery process at the same time. For these short-range communications, a simple handheld solution could be utilized. Our recommendation would be the Cobra PX500-BG FRS Two Way Radios For Business. These radios are cost-effective, easy to use, and will not require any license from the FCC, even for business use.

    If you are looking for something a little more professional-grade and robust, you could go with a business radio such as the Motorola CLS1410 Two Way Radio. In addition to its immense popularity for use in on-site business applications, this radio has an antimicrobial housing to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria.

    To optimize your curbside communications, Audio accessories such as earpieces and headsets are also readily available for any of our handheld radio options.

    If an outdoor pickup station is not an option for your business, then we also have another solution in the form of an outdoor callbox, such as the Ritron Q1 Series 2-Way Radio Callbox. This model can be permanently mounted outside your business location for customers to use upon their arrival. All they would need to do is simply press the button and speak, and they would instantly reach an employee inside the building with a compatible handheld radio who could then deliver their order. These callboxes are also weatherproof and can quickly and easily be sanitized with disinfectant spray or wipes after each use.

    We hope that these solutions can provide some safety and peace of mind to your business and your employees, while helping to keep your business coordinated and operating more efficiently during these tough times. Like most of you, our sales staff is working remotely for the foreseeable future, but please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 if you have any questions or if you need other recommendations. We will be happy to assist!

    Thanks, and stay safe!

  • Choosing the right size power supply for your radio

    Power SuppliesMobile two way radios are built to install and operate in automobiles, pickups, commercial trucks, off-road or recreational vehicles and, for some models, even motorcycles. The power, advanced features and versatility of the typical mobile radio allows it to be easily converted into a base station. It can be placed on a table or desk without a mount or hardware, connected to a proper antenna, powered on, and it's ready to go on the air.

    Of course, there is a little matter of power. A mobile radio is specifically designed to operate on DC power from a vehicle. It has no internal power transformer or inverter of its own, so it isn't made to plug into the AC wall outlet of a home or office building. In that case, how do you power a mobile radio for use as a base station? That's easy. Get a power supply.

    We carry a selection of popular mobile two way radios for business, amateur, personal and marine use at Buy Two Way Radios. We also carry a full line of reliable AC to DC power supplies from several major, name brand manufacturers. But this isn't a cut and dry, one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Mobile radios have different power requirements, and power supplies have different power ratings. Choose the correct power supply for your radio, and you may have years of clean power with no noisy interference and uninterrupted service. Choose the wrong one, and your radio may not be able to transmit or even stay on from the start.

    So, how do you choose the right power supply for your radio?

    First, you will need to determine how much power your radio requires. A radio that is always on, but only listening, will use a minimum of power while idling in receive mode. However, the moment the Push-To-Talk (PTT) is pressed, the power needed to transmit will spike considerably. How much? That depends on several factors, not the least of which is the transmit power level set or programmed into the radio for a particular band or frequency.

    Second, you will need to consider how the power supply will be used. Will it power only one radio, or multiple transceivers at once? Will the radio sit next to or on top of the power supply, or will it be set somewhere else on the desk or bench a short distance away?

    Last but certainly not least, you will need to figure out what type of power supply will work best within your budget.

    Where do we begin? For starters, let's discuss how much power you will need for safe and stable operation. For this, you will need the operating specs of your radio. Since mobile radios are designed for use in a vehicle, they will typically need Direct Current (DC) between 12VDC and 13.8VDC operate. The wattage is also important, as it will fluctuate greatly depending on what state of operation the radio is in, i.e. whether it's receiving or transmitting a signal. This means the number of Amps it pulls while in each state of operation will also vary greatly.

    And yes, there is a formula to calculate how much power you will need for your particular radio.

    I=P/E
    E= Voltage or Volts (V)
    I= Current or Amps (A)
    P= Power or Watts (W)

    For example, let's calculate the amp draw of a 15W mobile radio on 12 volts. 15W / 12V = 1.25A. Simple, right? Well, not exactly. There are other variables to consider. For instance, there is an initial power surge or spike when the radio is first turned on, and again each time the PTT button is pressed to transmit. That surge will vary each time, and the power supply will need to be able to handle those momentary spikes in power draw.

    There is variance in how many peak amps a radio will consume, and there is variance in how many actual continuous amps a power supply can handle. Plus, you have to factor in the heat produced and average load a power supply is under. Considering all these variables, there is not an exact formula for figuring this out. A better, safer amp rating to use is the maximum current consumption or amp draw listed in the manufacturer's specifications or in the owner's manual for the radio.

    To the average layperson, all this sounds overly complicated. So to simplify the process, here are some general guidelines for choosing the right size power supply for your radio.

    • Use the manufacturer's amp rating of the radio as the rule.
    • Use the maximum, or peak load rating of the radio, not the standby or typical draw.
    • If connecting multiple radios, add up the total amps of all the radios during peak load combined.
    • Choose a power supply based on the continuous rating, NOT the maximum or surge rating
    • Choose a power supply with a maximum continuous amps rating considerably greater than the maximum amp draw of the radio
    • Consider the difference between a linear (regulated) and switching power supply
    • Choose a power supply with a built-in cooling fan
    • Stick with a power supply from a reliable, brand name manufacturer
    • Consider the warranty, as power supplies do have a life span
    • DO NOT buy a power supply based solely on price

    For example, let's say you have a 50 watt radio and the maximum draw is listed at 10 amps. Buying a power supply advertised with a peak load of 10 amps might still be a bad move. First, power supplies have two amp ratings: continuous and maximum. The continuous rating is usually the number that you want to look for. Also consider the load. If a power supply is under a constant load that is close to its maximum, you'll generate more heat, and that can shorten the life of the unit. For that reason, it's a best practice to buy one with a built-in cooling fan.

    Choosing a power supply isn't really that complicated, although at the outset it can seem that way. Simply put, to convert your mobile two way radio into a base station, we recommend that you buy a higher amp power supply than is absolutely needed. When it comes to power, you can't over buy. If in doubt, go bigger. At the end of the day, you'll be glad you did.

  • 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.

  • Great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R

    Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way RadioThere's no denying it. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular and prolific handheld two way radios in the world. It's no wonder, really. It's extremely compact, feature packed, and extremely affordable, or, to put it bluntly, it's really, really cheap. A power packed dual bander at a powerfully low price, the UV-5R is without a doubt the preferred choice of many radio operators across the globe.

    Of course, with high popularity comes high demand. With such demand comes the challenge of keeping the UV-5R in stock and available to ship same day to our customers. Usually this is not a problem, but the current worldwide pandemic has created an unusual situation for retailers in general, and it affects our warehouse operations as well.

    Due to the sudden interest in personal preparedness during the coronavirus emergency, we've experienced an uptick in demand for certain makes and models of two way radios by the general public. As such, some of our most popular radios may be in short supply or temporarily out of stock. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of those affected models.

    But there's absolutely no reason to panic, or panic buy. On the contrary, we have plenty of other radios in stock and available that fit the bill. While some may not be at the same price point as the UV-5R, they are certainly capable of powerful, reliable operation on the same bands and frequencies as the Baofeng. Not only that, these models are of equal or higher build specifications for greater ruggedness and better durability, adding greater value for the price!

    For instance, the TYT TH-UV88 is a dual band analog radio that matches the UV-5R in almost every respect, even down to the built-in LED flashlight. Some even call it a potential UV-5R killer. Sure, it costs just a little more than the UV-5R, but it has something the UV-5R doesn't, a more rugged and durable housing. It also has a real one year manufacturer warranty from TYT, something that Baofeng claims to offer, but in most cases makes it all but impossible for the end user to actually redeem.

    Then there's a great selection from Wouxun. These are powerful dual band radios with exceptional features and capabilities, some of which are not available at all on the Baofeng UV-5R. Does the UV-5R have a full color LCD display? No? Well, it's a standard feature on many Wouxun models. Can the bands be freely set in the UV-5R for VHF TX and UHF RX or UHF TX and VHF RX on the same channel? Well, you can do it on the Wouxun KG-UV6D. Does the UV-5R have cross band repeat capability? The Wouxun KG-UV8D does, and so do several other Wouxun models, including the KG-UV8E, and it's a tri-bander!

    Yes, the Baofeng UV-5R is Part 90 type accepted for business use, and some of the other models mentioned are not. But some of them are. And if you need a radio specifically for business use, why settle for a cheap little transceiver when you can get much more durability, and in turn, greater ROI with more rugged Part 90 type accepted radios specifically designed for business use? Icom, Motorola and other manufacturers offer many models that fit the bill. And, if you really need to buy on price alone, Why not consider the Olympia P324? This is a great little radio for business applications. It's Part 90 type accepted, and it's an incredibly inexpensive buy. Note: at the time this article was written, it's also on sale!

    We could go on and on, but you get the point. Why be disappointed that the UV-5R is out of stock, when there are so many other great radios to choose from that are also a bargain, and are better radios, to boot?

    So the UV-5R is out of stock? No problem. Just upgrade. Considering all this, when you upgrade your purchase from a UV-5R to another model, you aren't settling for less, you're getting something more. It's a win-win for you. And that's a smarter buy.

    Here are some great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R:

    Manufacturer Model Type Acceptance Bands Service
    Baofeng UV-82 Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    Icom F4001
    F3001
    Part 90 UHF
    VHF
    Business
    Motorola VX-261 Part 90 UHF or VHF Business
    Olympia P324 Part 90 UHF Business
    TYT TH-UV88 Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    Wouxun KG-UV6D Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV6D PRO Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV7D Part 90* UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV899 Part 15 UHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Plus Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8E Part 15B Tri-Band Amateur
    KG-UV9D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9D PLUS LE Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9P Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur

    *The 2M/70cm version has been approved by the FCC. Type accepted for Part 90, FCC ID WVTWOUXUN07. The 2M/1.25M and 2M/6M versions are for amateur use only.

    Want to learn more about the TYT-TH-UV88? Listen to an in-depth discussion about this powerful and inexpensive alternative to the UV-5R in Episode 149 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast!

  • Two Way Radio Holiday Gift Guide 2019

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

    Road Warriors

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

    Top Choice

    Uniden BearTracker 885 Hybrid CB Radio / Digital ScannerUniden BearTracker 885

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

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

    Buy Now$314.99

    Best Value

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

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

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

    Buy Now$99.99

    Outdoor Enthusiasts

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

    Top Choice

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

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

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

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

    Buy Now$99.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T605 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T605

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

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

    Buy Now$119.99

    Happy Hunters

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

    Top Choice

    Midland GXT1050VP4 Radios With Headsets and ChargerMidland GXT1050VP4

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

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

    Buy Now$74.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T265 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T265

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

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

    Buy Now$69.99

    Gadget Gurus

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

    Top Choice

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

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

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

    Buy Now $169.99

    Best Value

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

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

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

    Buy Now $29.99

    Family Fun

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

    Top Choice

    Cobra ACXT545 FRS Two Way RadiosCobra microTALK ACXT545

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

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

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

    Buy Now $69.99

    Best Value

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

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

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

    Buy Now $59.99
    -

    Generally Mobile Users

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

    Top Choice

    Midland GXT1000VP4 Radios With Headsets and ChargerMidland GXT1000VP4

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

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

    Buy Now $69.99

    Best Value

    Midland MXT275 MicroMobile GMRS 2-Way RadioMidland MXT275

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

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

    Buy Now $149.99

    Recreational Boaters

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

    Top Choice

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

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

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

    Buy Now $209.95

    Best Value

    Uniden Atlantis 275 Handheld Marine RadioUniden Atlantis 275

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

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

    Buy Now $109.99

    Offroad Enthusiasts

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

    Top Choice

    Midland MXT400VP3 MicroMobile GMRS 2-Way Radio Value PackMidland MXT400VP3

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

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

    Buy Now $299.99

    Best Value

    Midland MXT115 Mobile GMRS 2-Way RadioMidland MXT115

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

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

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

    Buy Now $149.99

    Weather Watchers

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

    Top Choice

    Midland ER310 Emergency Hand Crank Radio w/ FlashlightMidland ER310

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

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

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

    Buy Now $59.99

    Best Value

    Midland EX37VP Two Way Radio Emergency KitMidland EX37VP

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

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

    Buy Now $49.99

    Just for Kids

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

    Top Choice

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

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

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

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

    Buy Now $39.99

    Best Value

    Motorola TALKABOUT T107 Two Way RadiosMotorola Talkabout® T107

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

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

    Buy Now $29.99

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

  • The best two way radio for mountains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Terrain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Antenna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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