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News

This is a list of news and topical articles related to two way radios and radio communications.
  • The Two Way Radio Show is nominated for a podcast award!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Wouxun upgrades the KG-UV9P with more power

    The Wouxun KG-UV9P High Power Dual Band UHF/VHF Amateur Two Way RadioWhen Wouxun first introduced the KG-UV9P dual band handheld radio, it was already a high powered portable, with 5 watts on UHF and 7 watts on VHF. Now Wouxun has given it an upgrade, boosting the wattage to 7 watts UHF and up to 9 watts* on VHF! Simply put, Wouxun just upgraded the powerful KG-UV9P with even more power!

    If this model is new to you, here's the rundown. The KG-UV9P first arrived in March 2019. It's essentially the KG-UV9D Plus, but with more power, for up to 7 watts on VHF. With our latest shipment, Wouxun just cranked up the power even higher by adding another 2 watts on both bands, and there you go. A high end, feature rich Wouxun handheld with a plethora of power.

    There is one item to note with this upgrade. The KG-UV9P initially included both a standard and a stubby antenna in the package. Wouxun no longer offers a stubby antenna in this newer, higher power version. According to the manufacturer, "the short antenna is not workable with such a high power output. Therefore, we did not include the short antenna... at this time".

    Considering the power maxes out at nearly 9 watts*, this is understandable. As such, use of a stubby antenna on this radio at full power is not recommended.

    The new, more powerful Wouxun KG-UV9P dual band portable handheld amateur radio is now available at Buy Two Way Radios.

    Questions? Leave us a comment below, call us at 1-800-584-1445 or enter our live chat from 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays!

    *Update: in-house testing has shown an average of 8 watts on VHF, depending on the frequency, with a maximum potential power of 9 watts, and may vary between shipments of this model.

  • July 4th sale on amateur radios and accessories!

    July 4th Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Last chance for Motorola Buy and Multiply Free Rewards!

    Motorola Buy and Multiply Rewards Offer!The Motorola Buy and Multiply Free Rewards offer expires at Midnight Sunday, June 30, 2019. If you want to save big bucks on Motorola Onsite Business Radios, now's your last chance!

    Purchase at least six Motorola on-site business radios and choose one of three rewards: a free radio, a $95-$150 Prepaid Visa® card, or a free Multi-Unit Charger! Buy 48 radios or more and double the rewards! This rewards offer is valid on Motorola CLP, CLS, DLR, RD and RM series radios through the end of June. Remember: This offer expires June 30, 2019. Read our official announcement for details.

  • The Two Way Radio Forum gets a makeover

    Since its launch in 2007, the Two Way Radio Forum has served as an online, community based social and support resource for all types of radios and radio users. Now after 12 years, the forum is getting a complete upgrade and makeover!

    We've been planning to update the Two Way Radio Forum for awhile now and our first thought was to simply upgrade to the latest forum software, which in this case was vbulletin. However, to keep up with social media and the advances in web based community platforms, we began to consider other options. One of these is an open source discussion platform called Discourse. Danny did some research on it and we were very impressed with it. It offers many advantages and functionality over the previous forum software and a broader, more powerful arena for discussion between members of our forum community.

    Why switch platforms?

    We were running on a very old version of vBulletin (3.8) that no longer receives regular updates. vBulletin uses the PHP programming language and was built for a PHP version that is now out of date and no longer receives security patches. It is clear that sticking with our current forum version is just asking for trouble, and we need to either upgrade to the latest vBulletin (5.5) or switch to a new platform.

    Why not use vBulletin 5?

    Upgrading to the latest vBulletin was our first instinct. In fact, we initially purchased a license for it. However, as Danny was looking into the upgrade process he found out that going from 3.8 to version 5 is more of a migration than an upgrade. It would take some effort to get the data migrated correctly, and we would basically have to reconfigure the site and build a new theme. If we’re going to have to go through all of that work anyway it makes sense to see what other options are available.

    Sticking with vBulletin would have the advantage of a reduced learning curve for members, but there are definitely reasons to switch. vBulletin used to be a leader in forum software, but they seem to have really gone downhill. VB 5 itself is now 7 years old and doesn’t look like a modern platform. Also, it’s still not built to be mobile friendly. We considered that a big drawback.

    Why Discourse?

    While researching other options, Danny was repeatedly drawn to Discourse. He has a programming background and finds himself using Stack Overflow pretty often, so he likes the similar look and feel. It also helped that the co-founder of Discourse was also co-founder of Stack Overflow. That was good enough for him to consider it further.

    Here are a few things that we like about the new forum:

    • By default, the home page is a list of the latest updated threads. You don’t have to look at a list of forums that may not get new posts very frequently. There’s also a way for users to switch to category view if they prefer the old way.
    • Threads aren’t broken up into pages. Just keep scrolling and posts are dynamically loaded.
    • It is easy to use on phones and tablets
    • Users can earn badges as they use the site and the system is easy to setup.
    • The notification system is very in depth. You can receive notifications for a variety of things and it’s all configurable. You can also @ another user in a post
    • There’s an escalating trust system that helps prevent spam, but users automatically gain trust as they use the site.
    • We have the ability to turn on logging in with other services, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. This might simplify the registration process and encourage more users to sign up.
    • Automatically create a post by replying to an email notification.
    • Built-in support for a wiki could be a powerful tool for community driven content.
    • There’s a lot more, but why not experience it for yourself?

    Of course the Two Way Radio Forum community isn't here for us, it was created for you. We’re hopeful that you are as excited about Discourse as we are and it makes you want to spend more time there. We also hope it is more inviting for new users and helps grow the community. That said, we know change can be tough and there could be features that you want that aren’t here. That’s why we tested the platform first with a beta site and solicited feedback from our community members before we decided to jump in and make the move.

    We're excited about the new forum and we hope you like it too. We’d like to know if you see any formatting problems or other issues that look like bugs, but most importantly we want to know what you think of the platform. Is there anything about the forum we need to change or improve on? Is there anything missing that we need to include?

    If you currently have a Two Way Radio Forum account, your existing login credentials should work. You should also have the ability to login with your Facebook, Google or Twitter account. If you do have trouble logging in, please let us know, so we can fix it ASAP. If you don't have a forum account, we invite you to create one. The forum is free to use, and we encourage everyone with an interest or passion for radios to join the community.

    Feel free to check it out, "kick the tires" so to speak, and let us know what you think. Visit the all new Two Way Radio Forum now!

  • 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 new Wouxun KG-UV7D and KG-UV9P high powered portables are here!

    Wouxun KG-UV7D and KG-UV9PWouxun has a reputation for feature rich, well constructed handheld transceivers at great prices. Models such as the KG-UV8D and KG-UV9D Plus have long been favorites of many hams, particularly for their powerful features, cross-band repeat capability and, of course, the now legendary Wouxun color LCD display. Recently Wouxun announced it is taking two of its popular, classic models, refreshing them into new models and adding more power. These two new radios, Wouxun KG-UV7D and KG-UV9P, are high powered portables, with up to 5 watts on UHF and 7 watts on the VHF band. Now, the new Wouxun KG-UV7D and KG-UV9P high powered portables are here!

    Wouxun aimed each model at a specific user, although both can be used by amateur radio operators. According to Wouxun, both radios have the same FCC IDs as their predecessors and use the same programming software. The KG-UV6D accessories are also compatible with the KG-UV7D, and KG-UV9D Plus accessories will also work with the new KG-UV9P.

    Wouxun KG-UV7DKG-UV7D
    The Wouxun KG-UV7D is the successor to the KG-UV6D, a business grade workhorse of a radio that was Part 90 type accepted for business use. The 7D not only replaces the 6D, it is the same radio, with one exception. It now has 5 watts of power on UHF and 7 watts of power on VHF.

    This extra power only enhances the already powerful features carried over from the 6D, such as the 199 programmable memory channels with CTCSS and DSC Scan, priority channel scanning, and 1750 Hz burst tone. the selectable power feature allows the 7D more latitude as well, giving you the option to transmit at high, medium or low power instead of simply in high or low power mode.

    Other standard features include VOX support, SOS function, multi-scan mode, busy channel lockout, auto and manual keypad lock, customizable power on display message, English voice guide, FM radio, and a built-in flashlight. It's also quite rugged, as it is IP55 dust and waterproof. After all, it's primarily built for business use. Price- $109.99.

    Wouxun KG-UV9PKG-UV9P
    The KG-UV9P is the model that is more likely to appeal to hams. It is an amateur radio, and replaces the KG-UV9D Plus. In fact, it is a 9D Plus, with the addition of the same 5 watt UHF and 7 watt VHF power boost given to the KG-UV7D.

    Like the 9D Plus, the KG-UV9P has UHF/VHF dual band tranmit, 7 band reception, 999 programmable memory channels, QT/DQT encoding and decoding, DTMF encode/decode and 25KHz/12.5KHz wide/narrow bandwidth selection. It features simultaneous dual band reception and can transmit on one band at the same time it receives on the other!

    It also has the now legendary Wouxun color LCD display with five brightness levels and plenty of screen space to display two bands simultaneously. The display alone is a premium feature of this radio, and greatly enhances the overall operating experience.

    One of the biggest features of the 9D Plus was the cross-band repeater. The KG-UV9P includes it as well! Other features include multiple scan functionality, priority scan, CTCSS/DCS scan and the ability to scan two bands simultaneously.

    Of course, as we all know, hams like to talk. So, operating an amateur radio at higher transmit power for an extended period may require an power source that can adequately handle it, and without losing uptime. No worries. The KG-UV9P includes something really special, a high capacity 3200mAh battery pack! This super sized battery comes standard with the 9P package, which adds even more value to an already feature packed portable! Price- $139.99.

    The KG-UV7D and KG-UV9D may be made of the same stuff as their predecessors, but they do add something new to the mix - more power. Both models are now available to ship from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

  • FCC issues advisory against the import, sale and use of unauthorized UHF/VHF two way radios

    FCC Enforcement Advisory Banner

    The FCC issued an enforcement advisory today against the import, sale and use of unauthorized VHF/UHF two way radios effective immediately. The advisory reiterated that non-compliant radios can not be imported, sold, advertised or operated by anyone in the United States.

    The advisory was issued September 24, 2018 and implies that a crackdown on cheap, imported radios is imminent. The FCC warned that violators will be subject to penalties, including monetary fines up to $19,639 per day during the violation and up to $147,290 for an ongoing violation.

    The "crack-down" began in early August when the FCC went after an Amazon seller of a variant of the immensely popular Baofeng UV-5R, or more specifically, the UV-5R V2+. The FCC issued a cease and desist order to this seller, making it clear that they considered the UV-5R V2+ to be non-compliant. We discussed this at length in episode 126 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast.

    The latest FCC enforcement advisory points out several examples that would violate the commission's rules, most of which refer to use of these radios on business or Land Mobile frequencies. Specifically:

    - The ability to transmit on public safety and/or other unauthorized channels. Some radios have the ability to transmit on a wide range of frequencies, for example 400-512 MHz. Within this range are frequencies that are reserved for government and public safety use and the radio should prohibit transmission on these. It was absent from this advisory, but the cease and desist mentioned above points out that the UV-5R should not allow the programming of frequencies directly from the keypad by an end user.

    - The ability to transmit using wideband. Several years ago the FCC mandated that radios operating on land mobile frequencies must support a maximum of 12.5 kHz bandwidth. Devices that support 25 kHz were prohibited.

    - Radio devices modified after they are FCC approved. After a radio is approved by the FCC, if changes are made to the radio it generally needs to go through the approval process again.

    - Radio products marketed for Ham/Amateur use that are capable of transmitting outside Amateur frequency bands. Radios intended for use by Amateur Radio operators do not require the typical FCC approval process that business radios require. However, these radios must be locked down to only amateur bands. For example, an amateur radio cannot also transmit on business, GMRS or MURS frequencies.

    The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC noted a substantial number UHF/VHF radios marketed, sold and used in the United States that are not FCC certified or compliant with the rules. These radios are capable of operation on multiple bands across multiple radio services for which they are not certified, increasing the risk of interference to authorized or licensed entities and operations, such as federal government operations and private licensed users. Devices that do not meet the requirements and are not FCC certified for use on these radio services are in direct violation of the rules and should not be used by anyone, unless the user is an amateur radio operator.

    An amateur radio operator, or ham, is the only exception to this requirement, provided the radio is only capable of operating on frequencies reserved for amateur radio operation. However, the operator must have a valid amateur radio license to operate the radio and must only operate it according to the FCC rules.

    Our Plan of Action

    As we mentioned in our podcast, once the cease and desist was issued to the Baofeng seller, we started taking steps to ensure that all of the radios that we sell are compliant. The advisory issued today is actually helpful to us, as it provides specifics on what would be considered non-compliant.

    We currently carry several import radios and market them to Amateur Radio operators. We are now working with the manufacturers of these radios to have all models that we carry locked down to the ham bands only (144-148, 222-225, 420-450 MHz). Some radios will be able to be updated soon with firmware changes, others will be closed out and updated models ordered as they are made available.

    What is the Impact?

    Because we market these products to amateur radio operators, we are more in touch with how this will impact those users. There are certainly users who love the fact that they can have a single radio programmed for their work frequencies and also their ham repeaters. We've also heard of users programming these radios for use on the GMRS. If the FCC is successful, this will soon no longer be an option, although it technically never should have been one.

    Perhaps we'll see many popular radio models re-issued with the same hardware in ham or GMRS only versions. The digital models will likely also have a business radio edition.

    We may also see many of these import radios disappear altogether. Some radios are sold on Amazon at very low prices and they are clearly marketed to businesses, but they only support analog operation. Becoming FCC certified isn't going to be an option for these radios, since the FCC is now requiring most radios to essentially support digital operations in order to be granted approval.

    Read the complete FCC Enforcement Advisary 2018-03 for details.

     

     

  • Prepare for Hurricane Florence - get a weather radio!

    Hurricane Florence Tracking Map
    Map courtesy National Hurricane Center.

    Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast of the US, and is expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours. For those on or near the coastline, personal preparation for this monster storm should already be at or near completion. For those who are further inland, there is still some time to prepare, but the storm is closing in. Are you ready?

    If you don't have an emergency preparedness kit, build one now. You can find the list of the 13 most essential items needed for an emergency kit on The Department of Homeland Security's web site at https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. You can also download a printable version of the FEMA emergency checklist in pdf format to print out and carry with you or post in a convenient location.

    Of course, one of three most important items on this list is a Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.

    All of our handheld FRS and GMRS radios are battery powered, and many also feature NOAA weather channels with emergency and weather alerts. One model, the Midland EX37VP, is a complete FRS radio emergency kit with a flashlight and emergency whistle - two other items on the DHS emergency preparedness list. Choosing this model checks off multiple items on your list.

    Some of our portable weather radios, such as the ER210 and ER310, are multi-function devices equipped with built-in SOS beacons/flashlights, digital clocks, USB charging adapters, and multiple power options. These weather radios include a dynamo hand crank as recommended in the DHS emergency list, and even solar power!

    Some of our NOAA approved desktop weather radios, such as the Midland WR400, are not only equipped with S.A.M.E. Digital Technology, but also include other features such an emergency battery backup.

    We also have a weather radio that does it all in one unit. The Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio has almost everything you need for emergency communications. It's a 22 channel GMRS two way radio with NOAA all hazards alert weather alert radio, AM/FM radio, alarm clock, built-in flashlight, emergency hand crank, both AC and DC adapters, USB charging port, and hand microphone. The alert override automatically switches to emergency weather alert broadcasts while you listen to the AM/FM radio.

    There are many models to choose from, and the features vary. Which emergency radio is best for you? Our Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide lists some of our models and puts them all on one simple chart so you can compare their key features fast. The guide is FREE to download and print for your personal use.

    To learn more about emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • The FCC has a podcast!

    Just when you thought you've heard it all, The FCC has a podcast!

    Yes, you heard it right. The FCC. The Federal Communications Commission just launched a brand new podcast series all its own. Called "More Than Seven Dirty Words", the new series seeks to bring the FCC closer to the public ear. According the commission's official press release, More Than Seven Dirty Words will include interviews, untold stories, and policy discussions with FCC officials, staff and others in the realm of communications.

    From the press release: "One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place."

    The new podcast series is hosted by Evan Swarztrauber, FCC policy adviser. The introduction and first episode are now available to download and stream at www.FCC.gov/podcast, iTunes and Google Play (Google Podcasts).

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