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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WALKIE-TALKIES AND TWO-WAY RADIOS?
We get asked this question on a regular basis. There is a lot of doubt on the difference between the these 2 radio equipment so to briefly explain the difference we have decided to bang our heads together and come up with this little explanation.
A two-way radio as the name suggests is a radio that operates in two ways, transmitting and receiving. Some people make the mistake of putting a scanner and two-way radios in the same category which is incorrect as most scanners only can receive.
A walkie-talkie is a radio that is portable. This type of radio can be commonly referred to as a “hand portable”, “handheld radio”, “handheld transceiver” etc. In simple terms, it is a radio that allows you to talk and receive while walking around.
SO ARE THESE TWO RADIO COMMUNICATION DEVICES THE SAME THING?
A walkie-talkie is a portable two-way radio, but a two-way can be more than just a walkie-talkie.
A two-way radio can fit many applications for example:
Vehicle two-way radios that require 12 volts of power and an external aerial.
Two-way radios that are Atex approved for areas where dangerous gas or substance is present.
Two-way radios that have a lone worker facility that alarms if the radio goes into the horizontal position for a predetermined time.
Two-way radios that have tracking facilities that can give your GPS position.
So as you can see, there is a difference between the two, but most if not all the major manufacturers do not refer to their products as Walkie-Talkies but as Two Way Radios.
People also tend to associate them with children’s toys, but that is definitely not the case. Now, modern walkie-talkies are much more developed than those that you probably had in your childhood, and with a whole panoply of new abilities like the fact that they operate with a power of 0.5 to 5 Watts, have long battery life, have a clear Lcd display to keeps you informed of bandwidth and battery status and to make communicating simple and clear, have channel scan and a talk confirmation tone or Roger beep that tells you when it is your turn to speak.
They can also be complemented with many useful accessories like: rechargeable batteries, rapid chargers, multi-port chargers, remote lapel speaker microphones, headsets etc.
Extremely convenient, most weighing just 100–200g and small in size, robust, ergonomic and lightweight they are great for practical everyday use and outdoor activities.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ADVANTAGES TO USING WALKIE-TALKIES OVER CELLPHONES?
The convenience of the cell phone is irrefutable, especially regarding long-range communication because It allows you to send a video or a photo, text a message, or dial a number and speak to almost anyone, anywhere in the world.
While not as widely used as cellular telephones, the truth is that in many personal and business applications and situations, there are a lot of advantages to using push to talk devices over cell phones.
FEATURED WALKIE TALKIE PRODUCTS
Let’s see some of them:
Walkie-Talkies are robust, easy-to-use, simple to work with and free to use! They are particularly useful for activities in the great outdoors like Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Skiing or Hiking, where a lack of mobile signal can cut your connections with the rest of the world. A walkie-talkie will allow you to communicate with someone else using another one on the same frequency and with an open line of sight they can easily have a reach of between 3 to 5 km.
It provides you with a way of contacting someone in an emergency, especially when a mobile signal isn’t achievable.
They are also very useful in harsh work environments where mobile phones are too delicate or out of signal range. Construction Site Workers, Police Officers, Firefighters, Lifeguards, Hospital/Airport/Shopping/Warehouse Staff use them on a daily basis.
Another significant advantage is the cost. Even compared to the cost of obtaining the most expensive license to operate a GMRS or business radio, cell phones can cost a lot more to own and operate. Walkie-Talkies are cheaper to obtain and free to use, not requiring any contracts or incurring in costly monthly usage fees or roaming charges. You can make the “calls” you want, and know that you will never have to pay anything for them.
One of the most significant advantages of using them over cell phones in any environment is their ability to provide instant communication with no wait time. You simply pick up the device, turn it on and listen or press the PTT button to talk. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
COMMON WALKIE TALKIE USES/INDUSTRIES
Walkie-talkies are used in a wide range of different sectors helping business all around the world.
Their versatility and usefulness, enabling communication at all times have made them indispensable in many business environments.
Here are just a few of the businesses that find value in using portable two-way radio equipment:
DO YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WALKIE TALKIES? HERE ARE SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Walkie-talkies are highly versatile devices that can be used for a multitude of purposes. From business to leisure uses, there are many occasions where walkie-talkies are the perfect tool to have at your disposal.
In business, they are an excellent way for employees to communicate with one another. Jobs that involve coordination of tasks that are large distances apart are simplified by using walkie-talkies. Farms, construction sites, manufacturing plants, and security patrols are all examples of businesses that would benefit from utilising walkie-talkies in their operations.
Leisure uses are just as plentiful – Keeping tabs on the kids, camping trips, fishing trips, sporting events, boating, and hiking are just some of the circumstances where having a set of walkie-talkies can be of huge benefit.
We live in a time where just about everyone carries a smartphone. But there are still many advantages of using walkie-talkies.
First, there is the cost; buying walkie-talkies is a one-off purchase, there are no contracts or top-ups needed, and you will never run out of credit.
They also work anywhere, even if there is no mobile network coverage. This makes them a great option if you like camping or hiking in wilderness areas.
Walkie-talkies are also great as standalone tools when you need to concentrate on communication without being endlessly bombarded by emails and Facebook notifications.
Walkie-talkies come in all shapes, sizes, and performance levels. To find the perfect set of walkie-talkies to suit your needs, you should consider the following factors:
- Range of Transmission
- Frequency (VHF or UHF)
- Digital or Analogue
- Licensed or Unlicensed (see below for an explanation of the difference)
- Whether you need them to be shockproof (construction sites, farms, etc. may want to consider this)
- IP rating (how waterproof and dust-proof they are)
- Battery life and recharging times
- Push-to-talk (PTT) or VOX (as the name suggests PPT requires the speaker to push a button to talk, VOX is automatic)
Narrowing down the choice by considering the above factors is a great starting point in finding the right walkie-talkies. But the choice can still be bewildering. Choosing the right walkie-talkie is essential to get the full benefits of them.
Our helpful team is always on hand to make sure that the walkie-talkies you choose are the perfect ones for you. Spending a few minutes discussing your options can ensure that the walkie-talkies you buy now will serve you for years to come.
Walkie-talkies are handheld, battery-powered radio transceivers that are tuned to work on the same frequency. They are used to communicate over short distances of a few miles up to around twenty-five miles in ideal circumstances.
They are an ideal way for small teams to keep in touch over shorter distances, and because they are designed to communicate directly with each other, no network coverage is required for them to function.
The most common form of walkie-talkie is the PTT type. The method of operation is simple, press the transmit button to talk and release it to listen. There is no need to scroll through contacts and no need to worry about network coverage; it is as simple as pressing a button and talking.
This makes them ideal in situations where swift communication is required. Be it for business or personal use; everyone can benefit from the robust simplicity that a set of walkie-talkies provide.
There is no easy answer to this question. Walkie-talkie manufacturers will list the maximum range of the device in the product details. The maximum range is the theoretical range that the devices can communicate over in ideal circumstances.
However, ideal circumstances are not always available. Uneven terrain in the countryside and houses and office blocks in towns and cities can greatly hinder performance.
The best advice is to go for walkie-talkies that have a maximum range that is higher than you’re expecting to need. Our expert team is always on hand to advise on the best solution for you.
Digital walkie-talkies offer improved clarity, more features, future-proofing, and other benefits. However, these come at a cost; if your requirements are simpler, then analogue walkie-talkies are a great solution that will save you unnecessary expenses.
If you require greater range, audio quality, and more complexity, then digital walkie-talkies might be the best option. Once again, our team can help you decide which is the best option.
As the terms suggest, there are two distinct classifications of walkie-talkies.
Licensed walkie-talkies need a license to operate. They are more powerful than non-licensed walkie-talkies, and you get provided with a unique frequency on which you can operate your walkie-talkie. They also need to be specially programmed, which needs to be done by your walkie-talkie provider.
For most people who intend to use walkie-talkies in domestic or light-industrial uses, non-licensed walkies are the best solution.
Whether to go with UHF or VHF radios is one of the more important factors when choosing a walkie-talkie.
UHF radios work at the higher end of the frequency spectrum. This allows the radio waves to have greater penetration of solid structures, this comes at the expense of overall range, but it does make them a better option for urban or indoor use. They are also more compact than VHF radios, thanks to their shorter and stubbier antennas.
VHF operates at a longer wavelength; this allows them to communicate over longer distances but doesn’t offer the penetration of UHF. VHF can be great for marine use or farmers working in open fields.
This depends on the model of walkie-talkie you select. The crucial factor here is the IP rating; this number denotes the “Ingress Protection” of the walkie-talkies. As a guide, the first digit signifies the protection level against solid objects such as dust. The scale for the first digit runs from 0 to 6.
A rating of 0 means there is no protection, and a rating of 6 means it is dust-tight.
The second digit denotes water protection; the scale runs from 0 to 8. A zero rating means there is no protection, and an 8 rating means it is watertight at depths of over 1 metre.
Depending on how much you use the walkie-talkie and the model you are using on a single charge; a battery will last anywhere between 8 – 12 hrs.
License-free walkie-talkies can be used in most European countries. If you plan on taking licensed radios abroad, then you will need to hire a license from the country you intend to use it on. This can be time-consuming so ensure you leave at least three months to organise it.
At Lynn Communications, we have a massive range of walkie-talkies and accessories to cater to every need. From high-end licensed sets that are ideal for professional use to basic handsets that are perfect for keeping tabs on the kids playing in the garden, we can supply it.
Our range of accessories covers every eventuality from carry cases to Bluetooth microphones, from batteries to antennas; we have everything you could conceivably need in stock.
Yes, we can program licensed walkie-talkies as you can provide us with the details of your Comreg license (we can also help you obtain a license if required).
Our expert team can program most of the major brands and program details like:
- Caller ID
- Power levels
- Channel name