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  • How To Prevent Eavesdropping When Using Two Way Radios

    XLT HS200 HeadsetOne of the most frequent concerns from our business customers is whether or not their radio communication will be private from eavesdroppers. It is important to be discreet when using two way radios, especially with sensitive information. When it comes to company communications, even with regular conversation, privacy is always a top priority.

    With normal analog radios, creating a true private channel can be very tricky and expensive. Analog radios typically have a default list of programmable privacy codes or PL tones that can be set to each channel. Enabling these tones will definitely help prevent outsiders from cutting in on your conversation, but it is important to note that they do not prevent them from hearing you.

    Another option is voice scrambling, but on analog radios this typically requires additional hardware, such as scrambling/encryption cards, which greatly increases the overall cost of the radios. Considering this, your best line of defense to prevent against eavesdropping is to go with a digital radio.

    Digital radios such as the Motorola EVX-S24, Motorola EVX-261 and the Kenwood TK-D340U would all be excellent choices. These are DMR radios using TDMA or Time-Division Multiple-Access, a popular technology with enhanced privacy.

    The fact that FDMA or Frequency-Division Multiple-Access digital technology is much less common and not readily supported by scanners makes the Kenwood NX series radios such as the NX-340U16P a great option. An added bonus on these units is that they also have the ability to operate in analog mode, and they can be programmed to be compatible with your existing analog radios. This helps make for a smooth transition if you want to make the jump from analog to digital without replacing your entire fleet of radios all at once.

    The Motorola DTR600 and Motorola DLR1060 both use 900 mHz frequencies, which are rarely used to begin with. Additionally, these radios use FHSS or Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology, which means that the radios change frequencies every few seconds, all while staying synced up with one another. These features combined makes it nearly impossible for anyone to pick up your transmission for more than a second or two.

    Privacy is a valid concern for business owners, but there are options. Going digital is one of them. If you have any questions or concerns on which digital radio may be right for you, give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 and we will be happy to help.

  • TWRS-149 - Is the TYT TH-UV88 a Baofeng UV-5R Killer?

    Two Way Radio Show
    We discuss the rising popularity of the TYT TH-UV88 dual band amateur radio and provide an update on the Wouxun GK-805G GMRS radio. Plus CB and ham radios, power supplies and China shipping delays. We also take some of your comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:28

    Is the TYT-TH-UV88 a Baofeng UV-5R Killer? 1:47
    We discuss the rising profile of the TYT TH-UV88 dual band analog two way radio and whether or not it really is a top contender to replace the Baofeng UV-5R as the world's most popular portable.

    KG-805G Update 27:28
    We provide an update on the Wouxun KG-805G GMRS radio.

    President CB and Ham Radios 40:55
    We tell you about the entire line of President CB and amateur radios.

    Power Supplies 46:47
    We look at power supplies from Pyramid and Samlex. Read about Choosing the right size power supply for your radio!

    China Shipping Issue 50:26
    We discuss the China shipping situation and why products from China are costing more
    .
    Questions and Answers 52:27
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Check out and join the new and improved forum! It's free!

    Wrap up and Close 59:31
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. If we read your comment about this episode on a future episode, we may send you a free Two Way Radio Show t-shirt! Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2020 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Programming Motorola DLR Series Radios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Receive Coronavirus alerts on your radio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Using radios to minimize employee contact and enable social distancing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • TYT TH-UV88 Firmware Update

    A few weeks ago we were excited about the release of the TYT TH-UV88 radio. This "Baofeng killer" has taken the ham radio community by storm. With new radios, bugs are ALWAYS expected and the TH-UV88 is no different.

    A few days ago a customer pointed out that they were having trouble with scan not receiving. We tested this with several radios and were able to confirm that there was indeed a problem. We made TYT aware of this and they immediately jumped in to action and had a solution within 24 hours!

    The turnaround time was impressive, but maybe even more impressive is that a radio in this price range has upgradeable firmware!  

    A programming cable and a PC running Windows is needed for installation. The only change in this update is the scan fix, so if scan is not something you need or use, you do not need to install the update.

    Installing the Firmware

    TYT Firmware Update Tool

    1. Download the firmware update and extract the contents of the .zip file into a folder.
    2. Connect the radio to your PC using the programming cable.
    3. With the radio OFF, hold down the PTT button AND the top programmable side key (P1) while turning on the radio. Depending on your radio version the indicator light will be steady green or red to indicate the firmware is ready to update.
    4. Double-click the file named UV88_98_UpData.exe to launch the TYT firmware update tool.
    5. In the update tool, choose UV88 for the Model and 57600 for the Baud Rate. Also select the Port that corresponds to your programming cable.
    6. Click Open and select the file UV88_Eng_BQ1_25_20200430.hex, which was included in the .zip file.
    7. Be sure that you have plenty of battery life before starting the update, and do not power off the radio during the update!
    8. Click the Updata button to perform the firmware update. 
    9. If an error occurs during the update, do not turn off the radio. Instead, close and restart the software, then click the Reset! button in the software. After the reset, try the update again.

  • President CB Radio Rebate Offer!

    President CB Radio $20 Rebate Offer!Purchase a President Taylor FCC or Walker II FCC CB Radio from Buy Two Way Radios and you can get a $20 Manufacturer Rebate! This is a great deal from President and is available for a limited time only!

    This offer is fulfilled by President directly, so your $20 rebate check will be mailed to you after President receives your signed Taylor FCC Mail-in Rebate Coupon or Walker II FCC Mail-in Rebate Coupon. Be sure to download, sign and return the correct coupon for the product you purchase, along with your receipt or invoice from Buy Two Way Radios and the serial number of your new President CB radio to qualify. Offer limited to one (1) rebate per product, per person, household, family or address. Radio must be purchased new from an authorized dealer between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

    NOTE: Rebate coupon must be postmarked within 30 days of purchase to qualify. Redemption submissions received after that date will NOT be eligible regardless of purchase date. All transactions are subject to validation. Offer is good to U.S. residents only and is void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law.

    Learn more about our full line of President CB and 10 Meter radios in our blog!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Pros and Cons of the Motorola DLR Series Radios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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