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  • Radio 101 - How to set a Call Tone on a Motorola T-Series Radio

    Some Motorola Talkabout FRS radios have a Call Tone feature. When enabled, the radio can transmit a call tone to other radios to let them know that you want to talk.​ But how do you activate and use it?

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to activate the Call Tone feature on a Motorola Talkabout T-Series radio quickly and easily. He also shows you how easy it is to use.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • The Motorola Talkabout T800 radio video

    A new era of portable radio communication is upon us, and Motorola is leading the way with the new Motorola Talkabout T800 FRS Two Way Radio with app support. This license-free radio features messaging, location sharing and a unique, futuristic style display. Plus, it connects to its own app, available for iPhone and Android smartphones!

    How does it pair with a smartphone? How do you change settings through the app? In this video, Danny introduces the new T800 and shows off some of its impressive features. The Motorola Talkabout T800 is available now from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

  • Introducing the Motorola Talkabout T800 FRS two way radio!

    Motorola Talkabout T800 FrontIf you watch our videos or listen to our podcast, you probably hear us comment from time to time on the lack of innovation when it comes to FRS or GMRS radios. If you rewind the clock 10 years, you would find the radios that were for sale then were really similar to the radios that are for sale now. With the introduction of the new Motorola Talkabout T800, there is finally some new and original functionality with FRS radios for us to talk about.

    The T800 is a very different FRS radio. Although it is similar in function to the Motorola TalkAbout T460, it adds bluetooth app support and a visually impressive design that is a completely new look for the Talkabout line. However, the most notable aesthetic feature is the display.

    The T800 display is uniquely different. Motorola calls it a hidden display, and with good reason. This is the same display concept used for the Motorola SL300 commercial radio, but with more graphics. Simply put, it's just plain cool. This new display is invisible when the T800 is off, undetectable behind the one piece T800 faceplate. Turn the radio on, and the blue LCD display appears, viewable through the now translucent faceplate!

    Sure, the T800 display looks great and is easy to read when the radio is on, but that's not the only new upgrade to the design of this radio. The front panel buttons are now raised icons, which should be easier to find and identify when the radio is out of site, such as when it’s clipped to your belt. Towards the bottom, the radio narrows and turns into a loop. This appears to be intended for a carabiner clip, and is quite different from the traditional loops found on other Motorola Talkabout series radios. While this larger loop can be useful for connecting a clip or lanyard, it also makes the radio a little harder to balance on a flat surface.

    Motorola Talkabout T800 RightThe rest of the buttons are lined on one side of the radio for easy, instant access. These controls include a button to active the built-in flashlight, high and low power push-to-talk (PTT) buttons, a bluetooth pairing button, and an emergency alert. On the other side of the radio is a micro USB charging port.

    The T800 connects to a smartphone via bluetooth and will integrate with Motorola's new TalkAbout app, which is available as a free download for iphone and android mobile devices. The app basically uses the radio as a modem, to enable and manage features such as message and location sharing. These features even work when you're off the grid, as long as the radios are connected and in range.

    Motorola Talkabout AppWhen you launch the app for the first time, you'll be asked to pair it with the radio. This is very simple and doesn't even require you to press the Bluetooth® button on the radio. Just make sure the only radio that is on is the one that you want to pair. The final step of the setup process is the creation of an account that is linked to your phone number. You can skip this, but it does make a few of the features on the app work better if you are linked.

    Most of the Motorola Talkabout App is centered around maps and location sharing. You can download maps offline and share your location, or view the location of your group members even if you don't have cell phone service. The app allows you to add members to your group using their username or phone number, if they created an account during setup. Once you have your group, an easy pairing option is available which sets all radios to match the channel and sub code of the leader radio.

    The radio settings option is a nice feature of the app. The screens are kind of limited on most FRS radios, so navigating the menu is usually a guessing game of which icon matches what setting. Having all options laid out in a way that is easy to navigate is fantastic. When you change a setting or activate a feature in the app, it immediately updates the radio!

    The T800 is definitely a step forward for FRS radios and its a positive direction for Motorola. There is nothing specific to the T800 model in the Motorola Talkabout App, so it would come as no surprise if app support is added to other Talkabout models in the future. The Motorola Talkabout T800 is now available for purchase from our web site at buytwowayradios.com.

    UPDATE: Watch our video and see the Motorola Talkabout T800 in action!

  • A Closer Look at the Upcoming Motorola Talkabout MU350R Radio with Bluetooth

    Motorola Talkabout MU350R RadioLast week I briefly talked about Motorola's new Talkabout radios for 2013. As I said in that post, the new Motorola MU350R is deserving of more than just a passing mention as one of several new models. This radio is expected to do something we don't see a lot of with consumer grade radios - move technology forward. We're expecting big things out of this model, so I think you'll agree it needs its own first look.

    The super mega headline grabbing feature of the Motorola MU350R is definitely its built-in support for Bluetooth, so it makes sense to start there. How will it work? Is it easy to setup? Where's the push-to-talk button? Is the Bluetooth feature really better than using standard accessories? Since we're still six months away from the target release date of July, 2013, I'm sorry to say that I don't have all of the answers. I do, however, have some information from our friends at Giant International (manufacturers of the Motorola Talkabout series) and I am more than happy to share what I know.

    Bluetooth Support
    The MU350 is the first FRS/GMRS radio to have built-in support for Bluetooth. This means that you will be able to pair an MU350 with a standard Bluetooth earpiece - just like you would use with your cell phone - and communicate without having to pull the radio off of your belt. What's the big deal, you ask? There's already a ton of headsets and earpieces for Talkabout radios, you say? The problem for many is that all of those earpieces right now have a wire that runs from the earpiece and plugs into the radio. Some people hate this wire. It's always too long or too short; always in the way or always catching on something. Eliminating the need for a wire has been a big feature request for a long time.

    One difference that people will need to adjust to when using the MU350R with a Bluetooth earpiece is the lack of an in-line push-to-talk (PTT) button. If you're using an earpiece today, you're probably used to having a PTT/microphone somewhere along the wire that you click and speak into. If you're using a standard Bluetooth earpiece you will have to press the PTT on the side of the radio in order to transmit. This sure beats having a wire hanging across your body, so I don't expect that we'll hear too many complaints. Motorola has also mentioned that they may be working on a wireless Bluetooth PTT that you can attach anywhere that is convenient, so if you really don't like to use the radio's PTT there may be an option for you.

    The biggest questions I have can't really be answered until the product hits the shelves. I would really like to know how good the audio quality is when paired with a Bluetooth headset, and I would also like to know how difficult it is to pair a radio and a headset. There are a few aftermarket products that Bluetooth-enable your two way radio, but they are notoriously difficult to pair and sync.

    Improved Audio Performance
    If the Bluetooth isn't enough for you, the Motorola MU350R adds a few other goodies, The most interesting of which is "improved audio". Audio quality is passable on most consumer grade radios, but is generally lacking when compared to business radios. Hey, what do you expect for 1/6th of the price? Motorola claims that they have added a Class D amplifier and DSP filter to this model, so I'm curious and excited to see how much closer they get to "business quality" sound.

    Batteries and Charging
    While there's not a lot that is completely new per se, there are a few things related to charging and the battery that should be pointed out. The MU350R will ship with 1300 mAH battery packs which are expected to deliver around twice the life of the battery pack that ships with most Talkabouts. This battery is also included with the MT352R so it isn't completely new, but most people are probably not aware of it.

    As is the latest trend with the Talkabout line, the MU350R will not come with a dual pocket charging cradle, although one may be sold separately in the future. The Talkabout line seems to be moving to plug-in style charging, like you are already used to with your cell phone. Even though it kind of feels like something is missing, I actually like this move - especially considering the fact that they're using standard mini-USB connectors. Cables that can charge these radios are easy to find and cheap, so that's always a good thing.

    They do claim to have improved the charge time with the MU350R. They claim the mini-USB charging port has "fast charge capabilities" and can fully charge a battery in 7 hours. I think some may argue that 7 hours isn't exactly fast, but I guess it's an improvement.

    What Else Is New
    NOAA weather scan is also a new feature. I don't have any extended info on this feature, but I can speculate that it works like the one for the new Midland GXT2000. It honestly seems like a pointless feature to me, so I would guess they added it just so it wouldn't seem like Midland was getting ahead. In weather scan mode, the radio will cycle through all of the NOAA weather channels until it finds one with a signal. It will stay on that channel until the signal goes away and then continue to scan. I don't recommend you use this; just choose the NOAA channel closest to you instead (usually the one with the best signal) and stay on that channel.

    Dual watch is also new and allows you to monitor two channels at once. This is rarely needed, but can definitely be useful in some circumstances.

    Is It Waterproof?
    The waterproof level of radios seems to be a topic we're hearing more and more about now as manufacturers are releasing radios that heavily promote their resistance level. The MU350R is not fully waterproof (submersible) like the MS350R, but it does meet the standards for IP54 - the same level met by many business grade radios. Motorola is marketing the radio as "Weather Proof" and this rating means it should hold up to a heavy rain without a problem.

    Price and Availability
    I'm told that Motorola is targeting a July, 2013 release for the MU350R. Since we're still six months away and we're dealing with some new technology it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were August before they start shipping. The MSRP (suggested price) is going to be $149.99 for a set, but I expect that we'll be selling them for around $120.

    Bottom Line
    If you have to use an earpiece with your radio and you despise wires then I expect that you will want to give strong consideration to the MU350R. It's the only FRS/GMRS radio that is going to work with a standard Bluetooth earpiece and I can see that being a major selling point for a lot of people.

    The biggest drawback is the price. At $120 a set (estimated) you're looking at spending twice what a set of Motorola MR350Rs would cost you and that's not even considering the price of a bluetooth headset (usually $20-$40 each). Don't forget you're getting improved audio as well, but the price will definitely be an obstacle for many. Is it worth it? Check back with us in July for the answer.

  • Motorola Announces New Talkabout Radios for 2013

    The new year is here and the new product announcements are starting to roll in! We recently received information on some additions to the Motorola Talkabout line of FRS/GMRS walkie talkies that will be available later in the year and thought our loyal blog readers might be interested in the details.

    There are only four new radios this year and two of them are basic, entry level models. They more than make up for it though with the MU350R - the first consumer grade FRS/GMRS radio with built-in Bluetooth support! Read on for more details.

    What is Going Away
    Usually when something new is released, something old is discontinued. Before I get into the new stuff, let's cover what's going away. First on the list is the Motorola T9680R-SAME. Even though this model has been around since 2008, I really hate to see it go. While it was never really a big seller, it is the only GMRS radio available that supports S.A.M.E. technology for proactive area-based weather alerts. Also going away is the MB140R, which is a very low cost radio with little range and just the basic features.

    New Entry Level Models
    Motorola Talkabout MG160AReplacing the MB140R are two models, the MG160A and the MG167A. Like their predecessor, these are very basic entry level radios that will have an MSRP of $29.99 for a set of two. Unlike the MB140R, however, both of these models will ship absent rechargeable batteries and a charger. They will operate using standard AAA batteries, which are not included.

    Motorola Talkabout MG167A Two Way RadiosThe most interesting thing about these new models is the color. The MG167A is hot pink from the bottom of the radio to the tip of the antenna! This is very unique and I wouldn't be surprised if it makes this set of radios a hot seller! The MG160A is identical to the MG167A except it is dark blue. Both of these models are expected to start shipping in May, 2013.

    Expanding the MD Series
    Motorola Talkabout MD207RLast year Motorola introduced the MD200R. This radio is black with almost-obnoxious green buttons and a large PTT, but people seem to love the look. It's a low priced radio with a basic feature set, but with decent range/performance.

    This year, Motorola is introducing the MD207R. They're keeping the same look as the MD200 except they're switching the obnoxious-green buttons with obnoxious-orange ones. More importantly, they're adding two of the most popular features: privacy codes and weather channels! I expect that the addition of these features will quickly make the Motorola MD207R one of the most popular radios in the line. The MSRP is $54.99 and they are expected to launch in June, 2013.

    Bluetooth Support in a Consumer Grade Radio
    Motorola Talkabout MU350R Two Way RadiosI have saved the best for last! The Motorola MU350R will be the new flagship radio in the Talkabout line and adds several new features over current models. I'll be doing a special post taking an in-depth look at the Motorola MU350R, so we're just going to scratch the surface here.

    This model will not ship with Bluetooth headsets, but will be able to pair with the same type of headsets that you use with your cell phone. This is a big deal and is something people have requested for a long time. You see this type of functionality on a business radio like the Motorola CLP1060 for 5 times the cost.

    The MU350R also adds the ability to scan NOAA weather radio channels and claims to have achieved improved audio performance by adding a Class D amplifier and DSP filter. It also adds Dual Watch, which is the ability to monitor two channels at once. This model also comes with two high capacity rechargeable battery packs (NiMH), charges through a mini-USB port, and has "fast charge capabilities". The MU350R has an MSRP of $149.99 and is currently expected to ship in July, 2013.

  • Radio 101 - How to remove the faceplate on a Motorola Talkabout radio

    Removing or swapping a faceplate on a Motorola Talkabout two way radio is very easy if you know the trick. In this episode of Radio 101, Anthony at Buy Two Way Radios shows you how to do it in two simple steps.

  • TWRS-48 - 2012: The Year in Review

    We take a look back at the year 2012 in the world of two way radio communications and technology. We also review the Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB CB Radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:17

    Topic Discussion 1:34
    We discuss some of the news and events of 2012 that shaped two way radio history, some of the new products launched during the year and products that were retired or discontinued in 2012. Radios discussed include the Midland GXT2000, Midland GXT5000, a new lineup of Midland GMRS two way radios, the Cobra CXT135, Cobra CXT235, Motorola TALKABOUT MT350R, MT352R, MD200R, and new Uniden Two Way Radios. The deadline for narrowband compliance and DSC requirements is January 1, 2013. For tips on using your FRS/GMRS two way radios, watch our new Radio 101 video series hosted by Anthony.

    Commercial Break 17:04
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 18:02
    Today we review the Uniden Bearcat 980 CB Radio.

    Questions and Answers 23:29
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Helpful links for Q&A include the Blu-Comm Wireless Bluetooth Headset Kit (M1) and Radio 101 - Resolving Midland and Motorola Privacy Codes.

    Wrap up and Close 28:34
    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.

  • TWRS-47 - Hunting With Radios

    We talk about using two way radios for hunting. We also review the Motorola RDM2080d MURS two way radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:13

    Topic Discussion 1:32
    We'll talk about using two way radios for hunting. We'll identify what features are important to have in a two way radio when out hunting and make a few recommendations on the best radios for use on hunting trips. Some recommended radios include the Midland GXT1050VP4, Motorola Talkabout MS355R, Midland GXT895VP4, Motorola Talkabout MR355R, Uniden GMR5099-2CKHS, the Uniden GMR4099-2CKHS, and the Midland XT511 Base Camp Two Way / Emergency Crank Radio. For tips on using your two way radios, watch our new Radio 101 video series hosted by Anthony.

    Commercial Break 13:51
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 14:50
    Today we review the Motorola RDM2080d MURS Two Way Radio.

    Questions and Answers 20:45
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 23:15
    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.

  • 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
    buytwowayradios.com 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]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.

  • Radio 101 - Privacy Code Issues on GMRS Radios

    If you are having trouble getting your FRS/GMRS two way radios to talk to each other, it may be due to an issue with interference eliminator or privacy codes. If so, it's an easy fix. In this episode of Radio 101, Anthony at Buy Two Way Radios uses a Motorola Talkabout and a Midland two way radio to show you how to resolve a simple privacy code issue.

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