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  1. #1
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    Walkie-Talkies (2-way civilian radios)

    This is a subject I cannot find advice on.

    I'm part of a small, family business. In the 1990s, we purchased a pair of old-fashioned GE walkie-talkies. Each ran on three AA-size batteries. Eventually, the talkies wore out. We had a minor problem storing them for transport in backpacks. The talkies would slosh around inside a pack, and accidentally switch "on", causing their batteries to run down while nobody noticed.

    Since they wore out, we bought some newer, used Motorola talkies that ran on three AAA-sized batteries. The talkies were poorly designed, with battery compartment covers that were difficult to remove. The radios didn't work well. We consider these units to be a failure.

    We want to shop around and seek out modern, new talkies that:

    • Are high quality
    • Are easy to use
    • Can be used by civilians without a license
    • Have a decent workable range
    • Have controls that will not allow the unit to be accidentally turned on
    • Will pack well in a backpack or other bag (no irregular shapes)
    • Weather resistant, including rain and cold
    • Tough, able to take a beating
    • Looking to buy either three or four of them.


    It would also be nice if the talkies either came with rechargeable batteries (and maybe a means to plug them into a cigarette lighter while on-the-road) or could accept Eneloops. We want good battery life as well.

    Any suggestions on what to look for, and where to look for them?

    Thanks in advance!

    MtnMan
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Registered User roarmouse's Avatar
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    Salutations!

    Found: buytwowayradios dot com. They look be well-organised and have a forum. Tried searching Google for FRS-compatible units.

    *disclaimer: I'm just a helpful nerd. No radio experience whatsoever.

    Peace!

  3. #3
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I'm curious about this thread, we have used non rechargeable Cobra ones that are now outdated and have been retired to our boys and recently we purchased a rechargeable set we liked for summer camp, and when we use our Travel Trailer, but since we don't use them throughout the year, this last set our batteries died. Otherwise we really liked them though, maybe we just need to invest in a replacement battery and pull the battery between uses, or use them throughout the year more?
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
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  4. #4
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    Visited buytwowayradios. Interesting site. Will continue my research.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  5. #5
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    If you will not become a Ham and be licensed then stick with the industrial manufacturers if you will spend the money?

    Motorola,Icom,Yaesu/Vertex.Kenwood,Alinco all make bulletproof radios that will last a long time and give better performance but I think only Motorola really offers Consumer frequency FMRS and GMRS radios of better quality than a typical Walkie-Talkie.

    So to make it simple,Buy Motorola!

    Personal Communication Services Chart
    Last edited by AVService; 11-18-2013 at 04:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    I have the FCC license for ham, but the other trails volunteer I was going to be communicating with during volunteer operations flunked the Technician-class FCC license test.

    I still want to get into hamming, (is that a word?) but it takes a back-burner to other things right now. In the meantime, I'm looking at non-ham radio communications, namely civvie talkies.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    I have the FCC license for ham, but the other trails volunteer I was going to be communicating with during volunteer operations flunked the Technician-class FCC license test.

    I still want to get into hamming, (is that a word?) but it takes a back-burner to other things right now. In the meantime, I'm looking at non-ham radio communications, namely civvie talkies.
    Yes I understood that which is exactly why I suggested Motorola?
    I think they are the only decent maker of cheap civilian HTs?

    All non licensed units will suffer the same limitations for power and range and features as they are limited by the requirements or limitations of the bands they operate on.
    If that is the case then looking for quality of build is the only thing that separates these units from the more pricey and flexible units so always go with Motorola if that makes a difference to you which from your OP it seems too.

    On the other hand,since you can also take the Ham tests online for free until you become proficient enough to pass the tests and since you can just keep trying until you pass........
    See what I mean?

    We have some members of our club who are under 10 and over 90 years old which I think is testament that ANYONE can now get the Ham ticket if they need one.

    Ed

  8. #8
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    Here is another easy to understand take on these systems.

    Public VHF/UHF "No License" Radio Services


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