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  • Severe Weather Alert - Tropical Depression Debby

    It is 2012 and hurricane season is here. Tropical Depression Debby is heading out to the Atlantic after hovering over the Florida coast for four days, flooding the peninsula with a seemingly endless barrage of rain. According to the National Weather Service, the flooding remains a threat. If you are located in or around these flood-prone areas, Are you ready?

    Have you put together your Hurricane Preparedness Kit? For those who haven't, now is the time to prepare. Get the official FEMA checklist of Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit or purchase one of the ready-made Survival /Emergency Kits from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Of course, basic necessities such as food and water are critical to have available and are top items on any emergency list. However, there are a other items on FEMA's list that are also extremely important. The third and fourth items listed in order of importance are a Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. The next item? Extra batteries for both radios.

    Below is a list of radios that meet the federal requirements suggested in FEMA's list:

    Two Way Radios
    Midland GXT1000VP4 Radios With Headsets and Charger - A powerful 5 watt all-weather radio. Durable and water resistant, the GXT1000 VP4 features NOAA weather channels, NOAA weather alerts and a 3 year manufacturer warranty. This is our most popular GMRS radio.

    Motorola TALKABOUT MS350R Two Way Radios - Built for performance and designed specifically for extreme weather conditions, this radio is ready. The MS350R has 11 weather channels, operates on either rechargeable or disposable batteries, is submersible and floats. It even includes a built-in flashlight! This pack also includes an Emergency Preparedness Checklist Sheet.

    Motorola TALKABOUT T9680R-SAME Two Way Radios - One of the most powerful FRS/GMRS two way radios from Motorola, the T9680R is designed as a Hazard Alert radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, a system adopted by the National Weather Service to warn citizens of emergency situations within their immediate area. SAME monitors the NOAA weather stations in your region for emergency situations and hazardous conditions. The T9680R can operate on either alkaline or rechargeable batteries.

    Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio - This powerful device is the "swiss army knife" of two way and emergency radios.It's an FRS/GMRS radio, AM/FM clock radio with an alarm, and NOAA weather radio with weather alerts. It's also a flashlight. The Midland XT511 has five power options: AC wall power, DC vehicle adapter, rechargeable battery pack, alkaline batteries and a Dynamo hand crank. The XT511 even has a built-in USB connector to charge a USB device such as a cell phone in the event of a power outage!

    NOAA Weather Radios (receive only)
    Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio - The ER102 has the key features of the XT511 without the built-in GMRS two-way radio, but with a temperature indicator and freeze warning alert.

    Midland WR-120 Weather Radio - An All Hazards Alert weather radio that monitors the Public Alert system and features SAME technology to alert you to weather or civil emergencies in your area. It also includes an alarm clock with snooze and a blue backlit display. A battery backup, color coded alert light and external antenna jack round out the features.

    Midland WR-300 Weather Radio - The WR-300 has all the features of the WR-120 - with an AM/FM radio and alarm clock with snooze to boot.

    Midland HH54VP2 SAME Handheld Weather Radio - This compact, portable handheld radio is a great travel companion. It has NWS all hazard alerts with S.A.M.E. technology and other emergency alerts such as Amber Alerts, biological hazard warnings, civil emergency messages, nuclear power plant warnings, fire warnings and landslide warnings. But that's not all. The HH54VP2 also features a bulit-in alarm clock with snooze, user selectable alerts, color coded alert indicators, a large, backlit display with continuous backlighting option and battery backup.

    Midland HH-50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio - The Midland HH-50 is a weather radio that is so compact it fits in your pocket. It instantly auto scans for emergency and weather alerts as soon as you turn it on. The HH-50 supports all hazard alerts, emergency alerts, messages and warnings. This is a great choice for the travel size emergency kit in the car.

    There is no doubt communication is critical in any emergency, but when severe weather strikes, you need to be kept up to date on current, constantly changing weather conditions in your area. During such emergencies, power can go out, landlines can be lost and cell service can lose signals. In such situations, a radio may be your only means of communication and important weather alerts.

    Don't wait for the next storm to hit before you prepare. Whether you buy it or make it yourself, get your Hurricane Preparedness Kit ready now.

    For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • The Midland LXT560 is here!

    LXT560VP pack.jpgWe promised we would keep you up to date on the new Midland two way radios for 2012 as each new model comes out. Well, we have great news. The Midland LXT560VP3 has arrived, and we not only have the scoop on this new Midland radio, Buy Two Way Radios is one of the first to have it in stock!

    The LXT560 features 22 FRS/GMRS channels, 14 extra channels, and 121 privacy codes. It's also a NOAA weather alert radio, which makes it a good choice for hiking, camping or your favorite family outdoor activity. It runs on 4 AAA alkaline batteries (not included) or rechargeable batteries (included) and is drop-in charge capable for quick and easy charging.

    It works with other FRS/GMRS radios and is water resistant for outdoor use. It comes in a solid case with a blue faceplate. In all, it is a rather attractive Midland radio.

    The Midland LXT560VP3 is here now and available to ship with your order.

  • Using A Business Radio For GMRS

    It's no big secret that most two way radios that are built specifically for the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) are not of the same quality as typical business radios. There's a good reason for this. Most people who are shopping for GMRS radios need a radio for occasional use, such as a camping trip, and simply prefer a lower priced radio that will get the job done. Occasionally, however, we have customers that need a business quality radio for use on GMRS.

    Who Needs A Business Quality Radio For GMRS
    These customers typically use their radios often - not just for an occasional hike with the family. They are sometimes looking to become members of a local radio or repeater club, or are radio enthusiasts in general. Perhaps they've purchased "bubble pack" GMRS radios (as typical 2-pack consumer grade radios are sometimes called) in the past and are just looking for better range, better audio quality, or more durability.

    There is a reason that business quality radios sell for 6-10 times more than consumer grade radios - they're better. Whatever the reason, we often hear from a potential customer who is looking for a high quality GMRS radio.

    Business Radios That Work On GMRS
    Most all programmable UHF business radios can be setup to work on the GMRS. This includes practically all 4 and 5 watt business radios that we sell, including models by Icom, Kenwood, Motorola, Olympia, and Vertex Standard. Business radios that are two watts and less typically wouldn't work, as they have a built-in list of frequencies that do not include GMRS.

    Is It Legal To Use A Business Radio For GMRS?
    It is not entirely clear if it is legal to use a business radio for GMRS. Business radios that would be programmable to GMRS are going to be Part 90 type accepted (certified). This basically means that the FCC has found them to conform to the "Part 90" rules, which relate to land mobile or business radios.

    The rules that apply to GMRS are in Part 95, and this is what "bubble pack" radios are type accepted for. While it is possible for business radio manufacturers to have their Part 90 radios also type accepted for Part 95, most do not. (Kenwood is the exception here and the TK3302 and TK3230 are certified for parts 90 and 95.)

    The following is the specific section of the law that applies to GMRS equipment:

    § 95.129 Station equipment.
    Every station in a GMRS system must use transmitters the FCC has certificated for use in the GMRS. Write to any FCC Field Office to find out if a particular transmitter has been certificated for the GMRS. All station equipment in a GMRS system must comply with the technical rules in part 95.

    Many interpret that last sentence (our emphasis) to mean that as long as the radio is technically compliant with part 95, it is OK to use even if it wasn't specifically type accepted for it. Under this interpretation, Part 90 accepted UHF business radios would be allowed. (One caveat is scrambling. Some business radios support it but it cannot legally be used on GMRS.)

    We Will Sell Business Radios For GMRS
    We have never been made aware of anyone having a legal issue using a Part 90 radio for GMRS, and we will program a business radio for GMRS at a customer's request. Please understand, however, that the operator of the radio is ultimately responsible for using the device in compliance with the FCC regulations.

    For an in-depth discussion on this topic, listen to The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-38 - Using Business Radios on the GMRS.

  • TWRS-36 - Common Features of FRS / GMRS Radios

    We talk about some of the standard features found on a typical consumer two way radio and what they do. We also review the Midland LXT118 two way radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:13

    Topic Discussion 1:32
    We'll talk about some common features found on FRS/GMRS two way radios. We'll discuss what some of these features are, what they do and discover some special features found on some higher end models. For more information about the basic operation of consumer two way radios, listen to TWRS-01 - An Introduction to Consumer Radios Radios and TWRS-08 - Talking Publicly About Privacy Codes. For more information about specific common features of two way radios, check out our Two Way Radio Feature Guide.

    Commercial Break 25:39
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 26:37
    Today we review the Midland LXT118 Two Way Radio and Midland LXT118VP Two Way Radios With Dual AC Wall Charger.

    Questions and Answers 32:08
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 43:44
    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. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • It's National Hurricane Preparedness Week - Get Ready!

    This week - May 27th through June 2nd - is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. With the coincidental arrival of Tropical Storm Beryl, we've already had a taste of what this 2012 hurricane season could be like. Beryl was not even a category one hurricane, yet this storm packed a considerable punch with wind and rain, causing power outages and cancelling Memorial Day events along the Florida and Georgia coasts.

    Tropical Storm Beryl is said to be the most powerful tropical storm in recorded history to hit the Atlantic coast of the US outside of hurricane season, which officially begins today, June 1. But it wasn't the first cyclone to jump the starting date. Tropical Storm Alberto, which formed off the coast of South Carolina, claimed that spot in mid May.

    The National Weather Service advises everyone to be prepared for hurricane season this week. Develop an emergency plan of action and/or evacuation in case of an emergency. Prepare an emergency disaster kit with basic provisions, including:

    Collecting everything you need to build an emergency kit can be time consuming and even a bit daunting, especially if you are someone who is always busy or on the go. For those who want to be prepared but don't have the time or patience to go on a scavenger hunt for emergency supplies, you can get one already prepared for you. Buy Two Way Radios now carries a complete line of emergency and survival kits, from the Basic Necessities Emergency Kit to the Four Person Survivor Kit.

    Of course, our specialty is radios. For the NWS Emergency Preparedness List posted above, we recommend the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio or the Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio. The XT511 is also an FRS/GMRS two way radio, which could come in handy if land line or cell phone communications are out.

    For a complete overview of these and other emergency/weather radios, read the Weather Radio Buyer's Guide. To help you choose the best weather radio for your situation, check out our Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide.

    So far we've had two storms in one month, before the hurricane season has even begun. Is this just an anomaly, or a shadow of things to come? Does it really matter? The National Weather Service advises us all to get ready, always be ready, because you just never know until the next storm comes.

    For more information on emergency weather radios, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide

    weather radios.png
    Hurricane Season is just around the corner and the National Weather Service has advised us all to be prepared. According to the NWS, one important item to have on your emergency preparedness list is an emergency weather radio.

    But which weather radio is right for you? There are a lot of radios available with a lot of features and options. Every radio may not be right for everyone or every situation. What is the best weather radio for your family or business? Which one should you choose?

    Not to worry. Buy Two Way Radios created the 2012 Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide to help you find the radio you need.

    This comparison chart includes all the current models we offer as an authorized Midland dealer, from the compact, easy to carry Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Alert Radio to the full-featured Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way/Emergency Crank Radio, considered by some as the "swiss army knife" of emergency radios. The radios and their features are organized into a simple chart so you can compare them all easily.

    The Emergency Weather Radio Comparison Guide 2012 is FREE for download and ready when you need it.

    Here is a quick overview of some key features included with these weather radios.

    Weather Radios
    Hazard Alerts
    SAME Clock AM/FM
    Midland HH50
    Midland HH54VP SAME
    Midland HH54VP2 SAME
    Midland WR-120
    Midland WR-300
    Midland ER102
    Midland XT511

    For more information about choosing an emergency weather radio, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 13 - Emergency and Weather Radios.

  • How to Clone a Motorola RDX Two Way Radio

    If you find yourself having to change radio settings every time a new radio is added to your fleet, you can probably save yourself a lot of time by learning how to clone your Motorola RDX radios. The cloning process simply copies the settings from one two way radio to another, and can be done in 3 ways.

    NOTE: For cloning to work successfully, the radios must be the same model number.

    Cloning Using a Multi-Charger
    If you already have a Motorola RLN6309 RDX multi-charger, then you're in great shape! The RLN6309 has built-in support for cloning, and the process couldn't be simpler.

    1. Be sure both the Source and Target radios have charged batteries. The multi-charger does not need to be connected to a power source.
    2. Place the Target radio (the radio that needs to have settings updated) in Pocket 1 on the charger and turn the radio ON. (Pocket 1 is on the far left when you are facing the Motorola logo).
    3. On the Source radio (the radio to copy from), hold down the PTT and SB2 buttons while turning on the radio. Continue to hold these buttons down until a tone is heard (around 3 seconds). (SB2 is the bottom button on the left side of the radio.)
    4. Place the Source radio in Pocket 2 of the multi-charger.
    5. Press and release SB1 on the Source radio to initiate cloning. A chirp sound confirms cloning was successful, a bonk sound is heard if cloning was not successful.
    6. Turn both radios OFF and then ON to exit cloning mode.

    Radio to Radio Cloning Using a Cloning Cable
    You can also clone two Motorola RDX series radios by purchasing a Motorola RLN6303 Cloning Cable. The RLN6303 allows you to connect two chargers together, and allows for radio to radio cloning.

    Before getting started, be sure that you have a fully charged battery in each radio. Also, please note that the chargers will not need to be connected to a power outlet.

    1. Unplug any power or USB cables from the chargers and connect them using the cloning cable.
    2. Place the Target radio (the radio that needs to have settings updated) in one of the chargers and turn the radio ON.
    3. On the Source radio (the radio to copy from), hold down the PTT and SB2 buttons while turning on the radio. Continue to hold these buttons down until a tone is heard (around 3 seconds). (SB2 is the bottom button on the left side of the radio.)
    4. Place the Source radio in the empty charger.
    5. Press and release SB1 on the Source radio to initiate cloning. A chirp sound confirms cloning was successful, a bonk sound is heard if cloning was not successful.
    6. Turn both radios OFF and then ON to exit cloning mode.

    Radio Cloning Using Programming Software
    You can also use the Motorola RDX programming software to essentially copy the settings from one radio to another.

    1. Download the Motorola CPS software and purchase a programming cable (instructions here).
    2. Connect a radio charger to the PC using the programming cable and launch the software.
    3. Turn Source radio (the radio to copy from) ON and place it in the charger.
    4. In the software, click the "Read Radio" button on the toolbar. This downloads the configuration from the radio.
    5. Turn Target radio (the radio that needs to have settings updated) ON and place it in the charger.
    6. In the software, click the "Write Radio" button on the toolbar. This uploads the configuration that was previously read to the new radio.

    These instructions apply to all two way radios that are part of the Motorola RDX series. Models include RDU2020, RDV2020, RDU2080d, RDV2080d, RDU4100, RDV5100, and the RDU4160d.

  • Motorola RDX Two Way Radio Programming Software

    If your business has a large fleet of Motorola RDX two way radios or has to adjust the radio settings every time a new radio is added, you can save a considerable amount of time by using the RDX series programming software. This software makes it incredibly easy to adjust the settings of a radio. You can also save a profile, and when you add a new two way radio you simply need to open the saved profile and click a toolbar button to write the profile to the new radio. Much simpler than using the radio's menu, especially on models without a display (such as the RDU2020, RDV2020, RDU4100, and RDV5100)! Even if your radio has a display (RDU2080d, RDV2080d, RDU4160d), the programming software still makes the process quicker and saves time.

    The software itself is free and the latest version can always be downloaded directly from Motorola's web site at http://www.motorolasolutions.com/rdx. You will, however, need a programming cable: the Motorola RKN4155. This cable connects to the port on the back of the radio charger, and then into a USB port on your PC. Unfortunately, this cable is proprietary, meaning a standard USB cable will not work.

  • TWRS-31 - Farming With Radios

    We discuss how two way radios are used for farming. We also review the Icom IC-F5021 and IC-F6021 Base Station Radios.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:17

    Topic Discussion 1:32
    We talk about two way radios for farmers. We'll learn how two way radios are used on farms, some of the advantages of using two way radios over cell phones, and recommend some radios for farms. Radios discussed include the Motorola RDU2020 and Motorola RDV2020, Icom IC-F50V and Icom IC-F60V, and Vertex Standard Business Radios.

    Commercial Break 16:04
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 17:03
    Today we review the Icom IC-F5021 and Icom IC-F6021 Base Station radios.

    Questions and Answers 22:01
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 29:02
    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. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Weather Radio Buyer's Guide

    With all of the unpredictable weather we have been experiencing lately, particularly the destructive tornados from last week, we have been receiving an uptick in interest in our weather radios. We thought it might be helpful to put together a quick guide to make it a little easier for those shopping for their first weather radio.

    What Is A Weather Radio?
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency that, among other things, is tasked with monitoring the weather (through the National Weather Service). NOAA has transmitting stations spread throughout the United States that constantly broadcast the current weather conditions for the surrounding area. Each station transmits a message on one of seven VHF frequencies (162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550). A looped recording is constantly played over these frequencies describing the current weather.

    A basic weather radio allows you to tune into these frequencies and instantly hear a weather report at any time. Very simple models are super easy to use, only requiring that you choose your local channel and press a button to start listening. Choosing a channel is often as simple as scrolling through stations 1-7 and listening for the one that is the clearest, but NOAA has a page on their web site that will allow you to find the station that is designated for your area.

    While a basic weather radio can be useful, a more advanced radio is really recommended.

    Proactive Alerts
    More advanced weather radios take things a step further, proactively alerting you when an emergency or dangerous weather situation occurs. When an emergency arises, a special tone is transmitted by the NOAA stations. Many weather radios can constantly monitor for these tones and turn themselves on when the tone is heard. This is critical, as it allows your weather radio to now alert you proactively to an emergency.

    One drawback of the weather radios that proactively alert is that a NOAA transmitting station covers a very large area, and you may find yourself being alerted to events that do not necessarily apply to your city or county. If this happens enough, you may find yourself paying less attention to the radio when it sounds an alert. The most advanced weather radios support "Specific Area Message Encoding," or SAME, which solves this problem. Weather radios using SAME technology allow you to enter a code that will focus the alerts on roughly a zip code sized area, ensuring that only warnings in your designated area will be alerted to you.

    Who Needs A Weather Radio?
    As a retailer, it is a little cliché to say that everyone needs our product. In the case of a weather radio, however, I offer no apologies. Year after year we see news stories about people who die in emergencies in which they just didn't have time to get to safety. Weather radios save lives year after year by waking people in the middle of the night or providing enough warning time for them to get to shelter. This is a product that sells for a range of $20-$60 that could make the all the difference in the world when an emergency occurs, so there is really no reason not to have one.

    Fortunately, it seems like weather radios are catching on in a big way. Local news channels have gotten the word out about the importance of having one and we see many businesses purchasing them to help keep their employees safe. Weather radios are also in use by almost all of the schools in the nation now, with the Midland WR-120 being the most popular model.

    What Is The Best Weather Radio?
    As with most products, the best weather radio really depends upon how you plan to use it and even how much you want to spend. Here I'll outline a few of our best sellers and give the pros and cons of each.

    Midland WR-120 Weather Radio - The Midland WR-120 is possibly the most popular weather radio in the world. It is a full featured desktop weather radio, supporting SAME technology and even allowing for the connection of (optional) external accessories such as a strobe light or antenna.

    Midland WR-400 Weather Radio - More advanced than the WR-120, the WR-400 also includes features such as an AM/FM radio, alarm clock, selectable alert settings, and color coded alert lights.

    Midland ER310 Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio with Flashlight - This is a full featured portable combo weather radio and flashlight with multiple power options, AM/FM radio, SOS signaling in Morse Code, a built-in USB charging port and even a dog whistle to alert rescue animals. The ER210 is the base model.

    Midland XT-511 Emergency Crank Radio - This is more of an all-around emergency device than simply a weather radio. It can be powered by AC, DC, battery, or by crank. It has a flashlight, AM/FM radio, weather radio, GMRS two way radio and USB port. It would be nice to have during a power outage or on a camping trip. Does not support SAME.

    Midland HH50B Weather Radio - This is a very small and inexpensive hand held All Hazards Alert radio. Does not support SAME.

    Weather Radio Accessories
    Midland 18-STR Strobe Light - This accessory is made to go with your Midland Weather Radios. This strobe light will plug directly into many weather radio models, giving you a visual alert in case of an alert. This would be great if you had a family member with hearing problems or simply wanted to keep the volume on your weather radio at a minimum.

    Midland 18-259W Weather Antenna - This antenna is will help if you are in an area or in a building where it is difficult to receive a strong signal. Great for cars, vans, homes, boats, RVs, and is specially designed to use for steel buildings and manufactured homes with metallic siding or construction.

    Whether you live in a region with unpredictable weather or you just want to be prepared in an emergency situation, we here at www.BuyTwoWayRadios.com have the tools to keep you and your loved ones safe and prepared. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to contact our sales staff at 1-800-584-1445!

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