Two Way Radio Options

So to carry on my run of content on this website, I’ve decided to share one of my favourite content pieces this week. I used to be cautious to add it to this website as I really did not want to offend the initial writer, but I trust he/she is happy that I loved reading their article and planned to share it with my readers.

Two way radios are used for communication purposes. They let a user send as well as receive signals over different channels. These radios find use in variety of applications. They use radio waves for communication and these radio waves have different frequencies. Therefore, Two Way Radios operate on different frequencies. These frequencies may differ from one place to another. Also the transmission rate depends upon the frequency that the radio uses. When low frequencies are used, data transmission can take place over a short distance. In case a high frequency is used, data transmission takes place over a larger distance.

The CB (citizens band) radio is an option with both mobile and handheld styles that provide 40-channels and have an output of 4 watts. They are generally sold as an individual radio and you would need to buy one for each person. The CB radio tends to be a little larger and bulkier than the other radio options.

It is common to find that a Two Way Radios covering the Family Radio Service (FRS) channels will cover the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) channels as well. FRS radios have a maximum power of 1/2 watt, so you don’t want to roam too far from each other and hope to communicate. If you purchase a radio with both FRS and GMRS capability, you can operate on the FRS channels without a license, however, to operate on the GMRS channels you will need to obtain an FCC license, but not everyone in the family needs one. The FCC license is issued to facilitate the activities of an adult individual AND his or her immediate family members. Family members include a spouse, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and in-laws. One license can cover the whole family, but the licensee is responsible for everyone operating under their license and will need to insure all users follow the rules. GMRS radios operate in the UHF band so the radios are compact and light weight. The power of these radios is generally from 1 to 5 watts, and they are most often sold in pairs for about the price of one handheld CB radio.

One of the latest and little known new services is the extreme radio service (eXRS) that uses new technology referred to as “Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum” technology and operates in the 900 MHz band. The eXRS two way radio boasts of being able to provide superior communications over a greater range when compared, under the same conditions, to the FRS and GMRS radios, plus they require no license like the GMRS does. When sold in pairs they are about the same price range as the FRS/GMRS Two Way Radios.

Finally, the marine VHF band radios are another option. The FCC eliminated the individual licensing requirement for voluntary ships operating domestically which are not required by law to carry a radio. So your personal, non-commercial, watercraft is exempt from a licensing requirement. Portable, handheld versions are generally found in the power range of 1 to 5 watts. They are sold as individual radios like the CB handhelds. The Cost of these radios is higher than the others, but if you are a fisherman, there is a price you are willing to pay for your safety through communication. Not only are these radios capable of land to water communications, but land to land as well. This is often an overlooked capability of “marine” radios.

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