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Recently in CB Radios Category

Recently in CB Radios Category

December 19, 2014

Two Way Radios vs. Cell Phones

The convenience of the typical cell phone is irrefutable. It allows you to send a photo, text a message, or dial a number and speak to almost anyone, almost, anytime, almost anywhere in the world.

While not as widely used by the public as cellular telephones, it is not uncommon to find many people using two way radios for both personal and business applications. Consumer FRS/GMRS walkie talkies are widely used for home and recreational uses. Business radios are used extensively in many commercial, industrial, municipal and government agency operations, and in some cases are used exclusively.

But wait. If cell phones are as powerful, popular and easily accessible as they are, why not just use a phone instead of a radio? For that matter, why use two way radio at all?

The truth is, there are many advantages to using two way radios over cell phones in many applications and situations. In fact, considering the options, it is rather astonishing how many businesses, particularly smaller companies, don't consider using radios at all and instead opt to use cell phones for one-to-one short range communications between employees.

To find out which option you should choose, let's compare the two.

Cell Phones:
  • are best for long distance communications
  • are in use almost everywhere; Almost everyone has a one
  • are expensive require a service subscription with a monthly service fee
  • cannot operate without active cell towers and service within range of the phone.
  • do not require a license to operate
  • typically require a one or two year contract for service
  • may incur additional fees when monthly usage is exceeded
  • incur roaming charges when out of the home area of service
  • are generally not impact resistant, waterproof or otherwise sufficiently durable for many business uses
  • may not work well or at all in some rural or remote areas
  • include text message capabilities
  • require you must dial a number and wait for the call to connect, which can take thirty seconds or longer
  • feature group calls which involve dialing multiple numbers and establishing multiple connections.

Two Way Radios
  • are best for short range communications
  • are not as commonly used as cell phones, but very easy to obtain and use
  • are typically more rugged and durable than cell phones and many are fully waterproof, submersible and even float!
  • usually cost much less than cell phones
  • do not require contracts
  • do not incur monthly usage fees
  • do not have over limit usage fees
  • do not have roaming charges
  • Airwaves are free
  • may require an FCC license to operate on some frequencies or bands. Some are "licensed by rule" and do not require the purchase of a license. Read Types of Two Way Radios for details.
  • only requires a one-time purchase of the radio (and a license, if required)
  • require line-of-site transmission and reception
  • work well within a limited line-of-sight range in rural or remote areas
  • Some digital radios have text message capabilities
  • provide instant communcation with no wait time. Press the PTT button and transmit instantly. Simply turn the radio on to listen.
  • group calls are simple. Turn on the radio to listen. Simply press the PTT button to talk to the group.

Comparing the two, it isn't difficult to determine two distinct advantages two way radios have over cell phones for many recreational activities and commercial applications. One huge difference is the cost. Even considering the cost of obtaining the most expensive license to operate a GMRS or business radio, cell phones can cost more to own and operate, a lot more.

For instance, consider the family that takes frequent hiking trips out of their home cell service area. Roaming charges can add up fast, even on a family plan, and there is no guarantee of service in the area of their hiking excursion. Taking a couple of $200 to $400 cell phones out on the trail and into the elements is also a risky proposition, unless of course, money is no object.

However, a GMRS license currently costs $85 and covers the entire family. A pair of high end Midland GXT1000 radios cost considerably less than one $200 cell phone. These radios are also a lot more durable and can take more punishment from the outdoors. Their chances of survival are considerably higher than the phone. If the hikers are using FRS frequencies, the cost is even lower, because no license is required to operate on the Family Radio Service. In this scenario, using two way radios for short range communications between members of a group just makes more sense.

This is particularly true in a commercial environment. In fact, based on the comparison above, businesses and organizations that require employees to use cell phones for localized, short range two way communications within relatively close proximity to one another instead of business radios can actually reduce or impede the efficiency of their operations very quickly, ultimately wasting time, resources, and, of course, money.

One of the greatest advantages of using two way radios over cell phones in any environment is the ability for simple, instant communication. Instant means just that. You simply pick up the device, press one button and talk, or even simpler, just listen. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

There is an old axiom about using the right tool for the right job. In the case of cell phones and two way radios, this is especially true. Each has their place, to be sure.

However, while a cell phone is useful for one-to-one, full duplex conversations across great distances, It isn't usually the best choice for instant, "always on" group, team or one-to-one communications over short distances or within a limited, confined area. In such situations, the two way radio is usually a more efficient, economical and overall practical choice.

October 4, 2014

TWRS-81 - National CB Radio Day

We celebrate National CB Radio Day 2014! We also review the Cobra 29 LX BT LCD CB Radio with Bluetooth.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:17

Discussion Topic 1:35
We talk about National CB Radio Day. What is CB Radio Day? We'll tell you. We'll tell you what it is, how it started, and pass along a few fun facts and trivia about CB Radio.

Commercial Break 13:24 1:00

Product Review 14:20
We review the Cobra 29 LX BT LCD CB Radio with Bluetooth.

Questions and Answers 22:46
Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

Wrap up and Close 28:30
Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at] Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at!

© 2014 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

[ Download MP3 ]

October 4, 2013

It's National CB Radio Day!

National-CB-Radio-Day-2017.jpgToday is a special day for Citizens Band enthusiasts. It's National CB Radio Day!

On October 2, 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a statement proclaiming October 4 (10-4) as National CB Radio Day. He acknowledged the use of CB radio for emergency communications both on and off the road and noted that the use of radio enabled citizens to actively participate in the enhancement of public safety.

Carter said, "While CB is primarily for emergency use, the nonemergency channels bring enjoyment and companionship to millions of Americans" Carter said, "including my own family."

Carter's family was not the "first" First Family exposed to the Citizens Band craze of that era. First Lady Betty Ford was also reportedly an avid CB radio operator. Her CB "handle" was "First Mama".

In honor of National CB Radio Day (or "10-4" Day as it is also known), Buy Two Way Radios is giving away a FREE T-Shirt and CB Radio Quick Reference Card with the purchase of select Galaxy and Uniden CB radios! No promo code needed. Your free items will automatically be shipped with your order.

But that's not all. As an extra bonus, use promo code CBDAY17 at checkout and save an extra 5% on your order! This promo code is valid on select Galaxy and Uniden CB radios and accessories in our store, so you can save on your CB gear!

The CB Radio Day promotion is valid from October 4 through midnight October 9, 2017. If you are looking for a new CB radio, antenna, hand microphone or other accessory, now may be a great time to pick one up!

For the complete presidential statement, read Jimmy Carter: 10-4 Day Statement by the President, October 2, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

January 28, 2013

Radio 101 - The facts about squelch

A common term heard among two way radio operators is squelch. It is a standard feature of consumer, business, amateur, air band, marine, and CB radios. But what is it? What does it do? In this episode of Radio 101, Anthony from Buy Two Way Radios explains what squelch is and how it works.

November 20, 2012

TWRS-46 - Hot Radio Gift Ideas

We suggest some two way radios and accessories that make great gifts for the holidays. We'll also review the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:08

Topic Discussion 1:26
We'll talk about giving two way radios and radio accessories for the holidays and how they can be excellent holiday gifts. Some recommended gift ideas include the Midland GXT1000VP4, Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radio Three Packs, CB radios, VHF marine radios, emergency and weather radios, the Blackbox Buzz Listen-Only Radio, the Midland SZ1B Sub Zero Black Ear Warmer Stereo Headset and books about two way radios such as Two Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies and Ham Radios For Dummies. For tips on using your two way radios, watch our new Radio 101 video series hosted by Anthony.

Commercial Break 27:06 1:00

Product Review 28:04
Today we review the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio.

Questions and Answers 34:54
Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

Wrap up and Close 40:52
Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at] Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at!

© 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

[ Download MP3 ]

November 15, 2012

We now have books about two way radios!

books.pngWhen it comes to choosing and using your two way radios, we want you to be informed. There are informative blogs, articles, podcasts and videos available with tips, tricks and reviews to help you navigate the world of radio technology and keep you ahead of the curve. We have a number of resources at Buy Two Way Radios to help you get the most out of your radios. To make them even better, Here's one more. We now carry books about two way radios!

Our new premium selection of books covers every type of two way radio available, including FRS and GMRS radios, marine radios, UHF/VHF business radios, CB and Ham. They're all listed right here on our web site and available now.

Need a basic book for beginners? Two Way Radios and Scanners for Dummies is the perfect choice. It's easy to read, easy to understand, humorous and just a little technical without being boring.

If you want to get into amateur radio, Ham Radio For Dummies is also a great choice. This book how to understand Ham jargon, prepare for your amateur license and how to set up a station. Getting acquainted with amateur radio has never been easier!

Need a technical book for the serious amateur? The ARRL Handbook is a must read for you. Recognized as the standard reference for amateur radio operators everywhere, this handbook covers nearly every aspect of radio communication and is now available in a hard cover 90th edition for 2013.

The ARRL Repeater Directory is a handy resource for locating repeaters across America. The directory lists 21,800 repeaters across the country in a spiral bound 2012-2013 desktop edition.

These are just a sampling of the publications now available to provide you with the knowledge you need maximize the potential of your radios and put you in control of your communications. Whether you are new to two way radios, or you're a seasoned pro, There's a radio book waiting for you.

If the publication you need is not listed on our site, please contact us and let us know.