How to Choose Two-Way Radios

Are you buddies with someone who hikes or skis in another location? Are you interested in contacting them? Since they are lightweight, portable, and rugged, two-way radios are an effective solution in these situations. We’ll tell you how to pick the right model.

What two-way radios have to offer

When buying trekking gear, look for smaller, lighter models, especially when backpacking. Your best bet is to choose lightweight and bulk-free clothing. You should always look for equipment with an ergonomic shape so that you can use it with gloves on. If you would like the most power in the smallest package, you might consider a model with an antenna that is similar to the size of the device.

Two-way radios, which are mostly found in outdoor recreation, have 22 channels, especially FM (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radio bands.

According to many manufacturers, a typical two-way radio can reach a range of 25 miles under optimal circumstances. Radios have an actual range of less than 2 miles when realistic conditions are not ideal.

Using NX1300 style=”font-weight: 400;”>, the range can be as far as 5 to 6 miles with a power output of half a watt. Although GMRS can output 50 watts at the base station (used by antennas), most handheld devices transmit only 1 or 2 watts in order to reduce weight and size. A typical range is between eight and twenty-five miles.

By filling in the coverage dropouts behind hills or buildings (for example) that often occur in line of sight of a radio user (with higher-power radios of 1 and 2 watts), coverage dropouts can be better filled. The quality of the signal tends to improve as power increases.

High-watt radios use expensive batteries that consume more power, so determine whether you need a longer range or a longer battery life based on your usage. In order to primarily track your family on the trail, an FRS device with a low power output could work.

There can be an overabundance of 22 channels in busy areas such as ski resorts. Continually tone coded squelch system (CTCSS) and continuous digital code squelch system (CDCSS) are frequently used on radios to block main channels that are overcrowded. Instead of only communicating with a friend through channel 5 or code 3, a privacy code enables you to communicate with them through channel and code as well.

CTCSS and CDCSS “codes” may be used to reduce (but not eliminate) unwanted chatter on the main channel.

The use of a “privacy code” does not make your communication private. Manufacturers sometimes refer to “interference-elimination codes” instead of “safeguard codes.”.

You can use pre-set “calling” tones to attract the attention of your party members before you begin speaking. Some models make an audible tone instead of vibrating.

Your group’s channel can be determined by scanning channels. Additionally, you can use this feature to locate an empty channel your group can use.

If you lock the keypad and leave it outdoor, you will prevent accidental changes to your settings.

Signals will be clearer and range will be greater after a noise filter is applied.

You can check the weather for free online at NOAA’s weather station. Backcountry adventurers may find this feature necessary, but anyone can benefit from it.

A headset/microphone combination can be used in conjunction with an audio jack for hands-free operation. When you engage in active sports, such as skiing, kayaking, and cycling, you may not be able to answer your phone.

A text/GPS unit is a so-called “nontraditional radio” that does not allow you to talk, but you can link your phone with it and exchange texts with another user who has set up their unit in the same way. Also possible is the transmission of GPS coordinates.

Radios often use AA or AAA batteries. In general, radios operate with alkaline batteries as well as rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH). Rechargeable batteries are available in other models.

The batteries of radios with more power output are generally drained more quickly. You should use low-power, battery-saving models when there is some time between broadcasts. Rechargeable batteries can be topped up using solar chargers on-site.

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