How to Choose a Walkie Talkie
Staying in communication with your backcountry partners is imperative to safety and planning – no matter your outdoor activity. Sure, communication is easy as your follow each other up the trail at the same pace, but many situations dictate that separation is either a good idea or just happens naturally, and that physical separation should not get in the way of good communication. This article will walk you through the decision-making process of choosing your first, or next, walkie talkie (AKA two-way radio).
Do I Need a Two-Way Radio?
Have you ever had that sinking feeling as you stop and wait for your partner after you led a section of trail? They are taking a bit longer than expected and you are not sure if they fell off and are hurt or just taking it more cautiously than normal. Now you realize its been at least two miles since you saw them last and you need to decide if you should wait a bit longer or start heading back up towards them. How about backcountry skiing – you know enough to ski a slope one at a time, but the safe zones are pretty far apart. You drop in and see something unsafe right in the line your friend is planning to ski. You make it to the safe zone but have no way to warn your partner of your observation.
Large terrain means large distance between safe spots. Radios make communication in this terrain easy.
Credit: Caroline Miller
Have you ever ended up screaming into the wind on a multi-pitch rock climb? Your partner led the first pitch and you think they are on the next anchor, but you can’t discern the faint yells and possible rope tugs from above. Should you take them off belay or wait to be sure? Have you ever participated in a backcountry rescue of any kind? All situations are unique, but often it makes sense to keep someone with the injured party and send a team out to get help. Now your group is split in two, and you have no way to change plans if you don’t have communication with the other group. In all of these cases, radios turn a tough safety decision into an easy conversation. We can’t rely on our phones in many places we recreate, so we should find an alternative way to stay in touch. Plus, walkie talkies are often faster to use and transmit a message than a phone.
What Factors Should I Consider?
There are all sorts of radios out there – from basic ones for your kids to sneak around the backyard with, to professional ones that sit in the vehicles of our emergency services personnel. Radios are regulated in the US by the FCC, which has a lot of rules on how radios are used.
Most people using a radio to stay in touch with a recreational partner will likely be satisfied with the FRS (Family Radio Station) set of frequencies. Most of the radios we test only operate on FRS frequencies. They are limited to 2 watts of max power and operate between 462MHz and 467MHz, which falls into the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) range. Anybody can transmit on FRS channels at any time. The advantage of FRS is that it takes no licensing or training to be allowed to use. Its downside is that it is low powered compared to other options, and it has a lot of traffic in heavily populated areas. However, you can partially mitigate the competing traffic problem with privacy codes (more on that below).
Many radios offer FRS and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) capability. It is now illegal to sell radios with FRS and GMRS together in the United States, but many still are around and are legal if you already have it. GMRS is a bit more powerful than FRS (up to 5 watts) but requires the user to get a license from the FCC. The licensing process is quite easy and lasts for 10 years. GMRS would be a good option for the user that needs a bit more range than the FRS frequencies offer.
Professional grade UHF radios used by ski patrols require specific licensed channels and repeaters paid for by the ski resort.
Credit: Gray Grandy
Past the normal FRS and GMRS pre-programmed radios, there is a wide range of options that require a range of licenses and technical understanding by the user. For example, the BaoFeng BF-F8HP can be programmed to transmit and receive on both UHF and VHF (Very High Frequency), and it can transmit at up to 8 watts. These capabilities make it required to have a valid ham operator license to go outside of that range. Differentiating all of the licenses and rules surrounding these programmable and high powered radios is outside the scope of this article. If you really need the high power and different frequencies, we recommend looking into getting your ham radio operator license to understand how they operate. If this all is starting to confuse you, just stick with the FRS only radios, and you will be just fine!
When it comes to range and clarity, the capabilities of the Baofeng BF-F8HP are simply unmatched. That’s why it requires a license to operate in the US.
Credit: William Gray Grandy
From simple to complex, there are walkie talkies available that span the spectrum. Depending on how and where you plan to use your radios, a feature-laden model might be exactly what you need, or more complicated than it should be.
Channels and privacy codes
Many FRS radios will boast how many channels they come programmed with. There are 22 FRS channels, but only channels 1-7 and 15-22 operate at 2 watts and the rest are limited to 0.5 watts. The advantage of multiple channels is the ability to find a clear channel that doesn’t have another party using it.
Privacy codes are another way to differentiate your radio traffic from other people, but they do not really make your radio traffic private. They add an inaudible addition to each transmission, and any radio on that channel and privacy code will only receive the message if it picks up that inaudible addition. So you can have multiple parties on the same channel, but you will only hear traffic from the ones that have the same privacy code set. Privacy codes do have a downside. Since you are still sharing the same channel, you may interfere with other people transmitting at the same time as you. You will not hear the other person talking because they are on a different privacy code, but both of your transmissions will sound garbled because only one person can transmit on any one channel at a time.
The external microphone is a defining characteristic of the BCA radio. It keeps all the basic adjustments and indicators at your fingertips. It fits nicely in hand and the orange rubber PTT button is easy to find without looking. Volume and privacy channels are easy to access and manipulate as well.
Credit: Gray Grandy
In busy areas, many channels and privacy codes are useful to cut down on extraneous chatter. However, if you tend to play in more remote areas, you will not need to search to find a clear channel. We find that FRS 1 is commonly busy because it is the default on most radios, but we have been able to find silence on the other channels. We rarely had trouble finding clear channels during our testing in the mountains around Lake Tahoe, so more channels and privacy codes are nice but sometimes felt like unnecessary complexity.
VOX – Voice operated exchange is a feature that allows the radio to transmit any time you talk without you pressing the PTT button. We found this feature to be unreliable and sometimes annoying when it transmitted background sounds. We found that a well placed PTT button on an external microphone was always more user friendly than the VOX setting.
Weather Radio – Many radios have channels preset to receive the local NOAA weather stations in the US. This feature is quite useful, especially if you will be taking the radio on extended trips without other ways to check the weather.
Scanning – Some radios allow you to monitor multiple channels at once, called scanning. This is useful in larger operations with multiple independent teams operating at once but is rarely relevant for the recreational user. Unless you are operating in a larger group, or just curious as to what people are saying around you, a lack of a scanning feature should not deter you from purchasing a radio.
Squelch – There are always radio waves around you that your radio can pick up, but the radio has to make a decision if there is a clear enough message to be worth trying to broadcast to you via the speaker. A squelch adjustment changes the threshold of what is played through the speaker and what isn’t. Opening the squelch will allow you to hear more radio waves that will probably just sound like a fuzzy radio station, or closing it will only allow you to hear the clearest of transmissions. Most radios for public use don’t have a squelch adjustment, they just have one setting that works quite well. Either you get a good transmission or you don’t get anything. Some of the better-equipped radios do have a squelch adjustment that can be useful to hear that some radio traffic is happening even if you can’t make out the words. Keep in mind that Squelch doesn’t make a scratchy message clearer, it just allows you to hear more radio signals that the radio may deem incomprehensible.
Keypad Lock – For the vast majority of radios we have tested, the keypad lock works similarly. We do prefer models that have this feature (not all do, especially in low-priced models). The keypad lock usually only locks more advanced features, but keeps power button, volume and PTT open. They all work about the same, and have the same likelihood of having the lock button held down and unlocking inside a pack (it has happened to us, but unlikely), or having the volume turned down or inadvertent PTT button presses.
Durability and Waterproofing
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but when we take electronics into the field, we recommend the most durable options we can get. Even for the most careful users, the radio is bound to be dropped or smashed inside a backpack. While there is not a good universal assessment for durability, look for ones that don’t have small plastic parts or protrusions and do have a good thick casing.
The Motorolla T600 is rated IP 67, which makes it waterproof up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
Credit: Gray Grandy
Waterproofing does have standards, and we really liked the radios that listed IP ratings. IP (Ingress Protection) ratings come from an independent organization called the International Electrotechnical Commission. Only a few of the radios we tested had an IP number, and those radios certainly were the most waterproof. An IP rated product will have a label that lists IP followed by two numbers. The first digit represents dust protection on a scale of 0-6, and the second digit represents waterproofing on a scale of 0-9K. In both cases, a higher number represents better protection. Some manufacturers state that their radio is water-resistant, but an IP rating is a stamp of approval from an outside body that makes us much more confident in its actual protection from the elements.
If you read the specifications of most walkie talkies on the market, their manufacturer will claim range numbers somewhere near 30 miles or greater. This number is nowhere near what you can rely on in real life due to obstructions, weather, and electromagnetic interference. Actual numbers of the types of consumer radios we test and recommend to most users rarely break three miles in good conditions, and even less with vegetation and topography in the way. This makes range an issue for many hikers, bikers, skiers, and ATV riders, where separating by a mile or more can happen pretty quickly. We don’t recommend buying a radio with a power of less than 2 watts, as that will reduce the range even more. Also, a longer antenna will stretch that range, so consider a balance between small size and a larger antenna. Only in sports like rock climbing where the range is limited to a rope length would we consider saving weight and or money to have a lower-powered radio. That said, if your partner disappears around If you need more than a few miles of range for your uses, consider a higher-powered GMRS or other option that you will need a license to operate.
Obviously, longer battery life is generally going to be better. Past that, there are some nuances that will make your battery more hassle-free. If the radio charges with a cord, that can save the trouble of always buying new alkaline AA or AAA batteries to replace the ones that died and will reduce the cost of the radio through its life. However, if it just charges with a cord, it means you may need to carry some sort of charging solution like a solar panel or a portable power bank on longer trips rather than just pocketing a few extra batteries. (Check out our top picks of the best portable solar chargers.) We really like interchangeable radios that have a rechargeable battery pack that can be replaced by normal alkaline batteries. That gives us the best of both worlds. However, most people bring a larger battery pack or a solar charger on trips these days for all of their electronics, so the radios that just recharge work great as well. Our least favorite options only used regular alkaline batteries because that can get expensive and feels wasteful.
The Motorola T600 can operate with NiMH or three alkaline AA batteries, which provides some versatility.
Credit: Gray Grandy
Overall, the radio you are familiar with is the radio that you will use. If the interface or amount of features is difficult to navigate, you will likely shy away from using it to its full capacity. It is a good idea to have similar radios to your friends so you can help each other out and share radios in a group while being confident that all of them can communicate with each other. Have fun out there, and maintain communication.
Rocky Talkie Review | Tested by GearLab
These compact walkies do their job and hold up to wear and tear
Credit: Rocky Talkie
View at Rocky Talkie
Price: $110 List
By Clark Tate ⋅ Review Editor ⋅ May 1, 2023
#1 of 11
Range and Clarity – 30%
Ease of Use – 25%
Weather Resistance and Durability – 15%
Battery Life – 15%
Weight and Size – 15%
RELATED: Best Walkie Talkies of 2023
The small and sturdy Rocky Talkies slowly and steadily gained on the competition during our tests, posting strong and reliable performances across the board. Their range is solid, comparable to the top-performing Family Radio Service (FRS) options in the test. But their most outstanding feature is their clarity. They delivered clear, easy-to-understand calls every time. On the downside, they don’t access weather channels to give you backcountry updates. Still, with their simple, svelte, and rugged design and cold-tolerant lithium batteries, we don’t hesitate to toss them in our pack for a wide variety of adventures.
REASONS TO BUY
Great battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Does not include NOAA weather channels
On the quiet side
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Midland X-Talker T10
Motorola Talkabout T100
|Price||$110 List||$99. 00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Simple, sturdy, great battery life, impressive clarity, average range||Waterproof and floats, good range when there are not obstructions||Excellent range, has an extraordinary amount of features/settings, good battery life||Inexpensive, small and light, water resistant, has privacy codes||Small and lightweight, inexpensive|
|Cons||Does not include NOAA weather channels, on the quiet side||Expensive, bulky, challenging menu navigation||Difficult to set up and learn to use, has the capability to get you in trouble with the FCC||Poor range, inaccurate battery indicator||Not that easy to use, just adequate range|
|Bottom Line||These compact walkies do their job and hold up to wear and tear||Our top recommendation for water enthusiasts||This radio has amazing performance, but requires a ham operator’s license to be used legally||This radio is small, light, and packs plenty of battery life, but lacks the range of larger radios||Average performance across the board in a small package|
|Rating Categories||Rocky Talkie||Motorola T600||BaoFeng BF-F8HP||Midland X-Talker T10||Motorola Talkabout. ..|
|Range and Clarity (30%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Weather Resistance and Durability (15%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Weight and Size (15%)|
|Specs||Rocky Talkie||Motorola T600||BaoFeng BF-F8HP||Midland X-Talker T10||Motorola Talkabout…|
|Measured Weight (Single Radio, with Batteries)||6.7 oz||8.4 oz||7.8 oz||3.9 oz||4.0 oz|
|Dimensions Body Only||6.5 x 2.5 x 1.6″||2. 4 x 1.5 x 4.9″||2 x 1.2 x 3.7″||2 x 1 x 3.5″||2 x 1 x 3.5″|
|Battery Capacity||1550 mAh||800 mAh||2,000 mAh||1,000 mAh||1,000 mAh|
|Battery Type||Li-ion||NiMH, Alkaline AA||Lithium Ion||AAA||AAA|
|Rechargeable?||Yes||Yes, also can use normal AA batteries||Yes||No||No|
|Charge Via USB?||Yes||Not with supplied cable, yes with a different micro USB cable||No||n/a||n/a|
|Frequency Range||462 to 467 MHz||462.55 to 467.71 MHz||65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX)||462.55 to 467.71 MHz||462.55 to 467.71 MHz|
|Privacy Codes?||121 available||Yes, 121 available||Yes||Yes, 38 available||No|
|NOAA Weather Alerts?||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Clips to Pack?||Yes||Yes||No (mounts sold separately)||Yes||Yes|
Show full specification detailsHide full specification details
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rockys offer both a low power mode, shown here but the “L” in the upper right corner, and a high power mode, which transmits further.
Credit: Clark Tate
Range and Clarity
We tested the Rocky Talkies’ range and clarity on a winter mountaineering trip in Maine’s Baxter State Park and along a rolling and forested highway in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It kept pace with the best options in the test in terms of range, and their clarity is exceptionally crisp.
In Baxter, we used the Rockys to keep a summit team in communication with a valley base camp. The climbers circled Chimney Pond, topping out on Paloma, traversing the knife’s edge trail to Katadyn, and then hiking past Hamlin Peak before heading back to camp. The second team stayed at Chimney Pond, approximately a mile away, with a clear line of site. The Rocky Talkies maintained clear communication during this test whenever the climbers were on the near side of the ridge.
They were also the only option tested that worked well when our summit team, who were each using different walkie talkies, were clustered together, suggesting that it deals with interference well. In the second test among rolling hills, the Rocky Talkies also performed well, maintaining clear and easy-to-understand communication up to 1.6 miles away in undulating terrain, which was comparable to the other top FRS radios in the test.
When we tested these radios in the field, the Rockys were the only ones to consistently receive calls from basecamp when the climbers were clustered together.
Credit: Clark Tate
It’s important to note that radios are regulated. Family radio service (FRS) options can only use 2.0 watts of power. In contrast, General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) units can use up to 5.0 watts. Since they can transmit so much further, you have to obtain a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) license to make sure you use their power responsibly.
For both tests, we used the Rocky Talkies in their high setting, which uses a full 2 watts to send transmissions. This means that they travel further. Sending calls on this setting also uses your batteries more quickly. You can switch to a lower power setting (which uses 0.5 watts) if you are closer to your party to make your battery last longer. If your transmissions aren’t going through, you can switch back to the high setting.
The Rockys successfully communicated from our Chimney Pond base camp to a team of climbers crossing the knife’s ridge trail.Walkie talkies work best in conditions where there is nothing between them other than air.These climbers were about a mile away from basecamp and were able to carry on a conversation thanks to the two-way radios.
Ease of Use
These radios offer very little in the way of bells and whistles, making them relatively easy to use. Frankly, that works for us. While it’s nice to have options like setting your walkie talkies to transmit automatically anytime you talk, we don’t find ourselves taking advantage of the extra features in the field. Often we ended up confusing our climbing partners every time we muttered out a plan to get to the next hold.
The Rocky Mountain user manual is straightforward and available online since most will inevitably lose theirs. There is a power button, which also lets you check the battery level and which privacy code you are using (more on that in a second). There is a toggle to let you switch between channels, scan them, or lock your settings in place. The lock is a critical feature for anyone planning rough-and-tumble adventures where buttons could be pressed accidentally.
The volume up button also serves to switch between high and low power settings — simply depress it for two seconds. Depressing the volume down button for two seconds allows you to choose a privacy code, which we’ll explain below.
There aren’t many extras on these radios, so most of the buttons pull double duty. Here you see the push-to-talk (PTT) button, and the volume up and down buttons which also control the high and low power modes and privacy codes.
Credit: Clark Tate
There are 22 channels or radio frequencies available for FRS radios to use. If you’ve ever tried to use them in a crowded outdoor setting like a festival, you know those are quickly claimed. Thus, privacy codes; most walkie talkies today come with a range of them. They’re also known as subchannels and let you use the same channel as someone else without interfering with their conversation and vice versa. The Rocky Talkies come with 106 present channel/privacy code combinations, giving you 128 channels to choose from before you even have to futz with the 121 separate privacy codes.
The black toggle on top of the radio lets you flip though channels, scan them, or lock in your settings.
Credit: Clark Tate
While the streamlined interface is relatively easy to navigate, the Rocky Talkies’ simplicity does have some downsides. They don’t allow you to access the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) weather channels. When you’re in the backcountry for any length of time, having that information can make a big difference in your safety and comfort level.
The microphone on these radios also isn’t that loud, so you need to be sure to clip these closer to your ears. There is an optional waterproof hand microphone and speaker that attaches through a mic/sp port available as an additional purchase. We didn’t test it, but we think it would probably help.
A port allows you to detach an extendable, waterproof microphone that’s sold separately.
Credit: Clark Tate
Weather Resistance and Durability
The Rocky Talkies are rated as IP56 or as splash and snowproof but not submergible. We used them in snow storms and sprayed them with a shower head for five seconds, and they continued working perfectly. The units are simple, with little moving or isolated parts to break, and we expect them to last.
The only possible entry points for water are the charging and microphone/speaker ports, which both have substantial and fairly secure rubber flaps. These covers limit the amount of moisture that can enter the units. These radios also sport shatterproof LED screens. There’s no glass to break. And we agree with Rocky Talkie that using a carabiner to secure the radio to a pack works more consistently than the light-duty plastic clips of many of its competitors. The company also offers a leash to keep it more secure if you need to remove it from your pack to use it, which we often did.
We like using this carabiner instead of the flimsy plastic clips that come with many walkie talkies. The small hooks on end of these (a common carabiner feature) can easily snag on your shoulder strap though.
Credit: Clark Tate
The Rocky Talkies impressed us with their battery life early in our tests. During that five-day winter camping trip, these required a recharge much less often in the below-freezing temperatures. We thank their internal, rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries. We also accidentally left one unit turned on in our pack after the trip. A week later, it was still fully functional after hibernating in standby mode.
While the Rockys didn’t blow the competition away in our lab battery tests, their performance is comparable to the top options. In high power mode, while making 2 minutes’ worth of calls every hour, they ran through their power after about 26 hours and 20 minutes. In low mode, they lasted 32 hours and 40 minutes, among the longest run times in the test.
On the downside, the Rocky Talkies don’t give you the option of using replaceable batteries if you run out of charge. For longer trips, you need to bring along a portable power source or purchase an additional battery from the Rocky Talkie website.
To lock in your settings simply hold the channel toggle forward for two seconds.
Credit: Clark Tate
Weight and Size
Weighing 6.7 ounces and measuring 6.5 x 2.5 x 1.6 inches, these radios easily fit in the palm of your hand. These measurements showed that the Rocky Talkies are smaller and lighter than most of the other models in our review.
The Rocky Talkies are compact and light enough that we never feel tempted to leave them behind. The tightly connected carabiner adds to their size but is a secure connection point and provides the antenna with some protection. All told its lightweight and compact build makes it easier to use.
The Rocky Talky, shown here on the pack’s shoulder strap performed well and held a charge in below freezing temperatures.
Credit: Jacob Holmes
Should You Buy the Rocky Talkie?
Due to its solid range, excellent clarity, top-notch battery life, compact size, rough-and-tumble build, and simple setup – this is the best walkie-talkie for most people. The only reasons we wouldn’t recommend these radios are if you need a waterproof option for extremely wet climates or on-water operation, if you need access to NOAA weather channels, or if you consistently need a longer range than an FRS radio can provide. In the last case, you’d need to upgrade to a GMRS model and earn the FCC license it requires.
It’s not flashy, but it gets the job done and tucks away easily as shown here on the climber’s left shoulder strap.
Credit: Jacob Holmes
What Other Walkie Talkies Should You Consider?
If you need to save a little case, we recommend checking out the Midland X-Talker T10, which earned the best buy award in our test. While it doesn’t offer nearly the range and clarity of the Rocky Talkie, it works well when you’re closer to the other members of your group. It also accesses NOAA weather channels, and with the stark price difference, you’ll likely be able to afford more of them. If you do need a waterproof option, check out the Motorola T600. If you need a more powerful radio, check out the Baofeng BF-F8HP.
The Rocky Talkies are our favorite radio in the test.
Credit: Jacob Holmes
Walkie-talkies with a long range in the city. Video and test description
Walkie-talkies with a large range in the city. Video and description of the test
Walkie-talkies for ambulances and hospitals >>
Description of testing radio stations:
2. Fully charged batteries
3. The test site was chosen as straight as an arrow, Krasnoyarsky Rabochy Avenue
We agreed to evaluate the signal quality on a five-point scale:
5 – no noise (let’s say very little noise)
4 – small noise that does not interfere with the conversation
3 – big noise, legible 100-90% with great difficulty
2 – a lot of noise, almost unintelligible (maybe some words are distinguishable)
1 – illegible
0 – 0
Signal evaluation. The test result is calculated by summing the signal quality scores at each point and dividing by 2.
Rating of radios by range with comments:
1. RACIO R900 (54.5) – The undisputed leader in terms of communication range.
2. VOSTOK ST-101 (49) – High-quality modulation.
3. TEREK RK-301 (49) – The communication range is very good, the modulation quality is not impressive.
4. MOTOROLA DP1400 (47.5) – Quality receiver capable of working in conditions of strong interference and excellent sound quality
5. RACIO R800 (47.5) – Good radio with good performance and protection against moisture and dust IP67
6. VOSTOK ST-73 (47) – Compact, inexpensive radio station. Good range, excellent sound quality. Long range for little money!
7. VOSTOK ST-58 (45.5) – Inexpensive VHF / UHF radio with excellent performance!
8. TEREK RK-322D (44.5) – Mediocre quality of work, expectations were not met
9. ARGUT A-55 (43) – Normal, there are not enough stars from the sky, but quite a working version
10. GRIFFIN G6 (42) – Expected
11. RACIO R300 (41.5) – Reliable classic, with average range indicators
12. RACIO R210 (40.5) – Not bad at all
13. VOSTOK ST-52 (40.5) – Expected more
14. MOTOROLA VX-261 (39) – Sadness
15. TEREK RK-202 (38) – Sadness
16. VOSTOK ST-31 (33.5) – Normal, for the declared characteristics
17. RACIO R100 (29.5) – Normal
Laboratory measurements of power and sensitivity of the tested radios:
If you need advice or assistance with the choice of wearable radios, please contact our company. Free phone in Russia: 8 800 500 22 06. Phone in Krasnoyarsk: 8 (391) 206-0-206. Or email us at [email protected]. We will gladly advise you.
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factors of influence, increase the range of action
For any user of walkie-talkies – experienced or novice, its technical characteristics are important. Undoubtedly, for each individual task, you need to select gadgets with a certain functionality. However, such a parameter as the communication range of a walkie-talkie is important everywhere and for everyone: for fishing, hunting, truckers, taxi drivers or tourists.
What this parameter depends on, how to ensure the maximum possible communication range and under what conditions this can be done, we will try to find answers in this article.
Power is the most important aspect.
No matter how simple and trivial it may seem, but the “range” of your walkie-talkie, first of all, depends on its power. The stronger the transmitter, the more coverage you can expect. Here it is worth understanding that the communication range of portable and stationary walkie-talkies differs significantly in favor of the latter.
In addition, another parameter must be taken into account. For example, the connection between what types of walkie-talkies. After all, you can communicate with a portable radio with a stationary base, or with another stationary base. In the first case, it is possible to ensure the maximum communication range of the radio in 15 km. In the second, when communicating between two stationary bases equipped with antennas and amplifiers, a radio range of 100 km can be achieved. And, for example, car radios can provide a communication range with a stationary radio of 50 km. The radio range of 20 km is provided by communication between two automotive types of these devices.
However, not all so simple. Another important accessory that, together with power, has an equal effect on the communication range, is the antenna. More about it at the end of the article.
The world around us is diverse.
Look around – a variety of landscapes appear to your eyes. The city, with its skyscrapers and dense traffic, the countryside, with open spaces and fields. Delightful mountain peaks, and bewitching turns on long-distance routes. Smooth surface of the river water and the sound of the surf.
It is easy to guess that the range of the radio, among other reasons, is greatly influenced by the terrain. It is because of this that you should carefully consider the range of the radio you buy. For example, CB radios are great for a forest, road or highway. For mountains, hikers, cyclists – LPD or PMR range.
Another nuance – manufacturers note the maximum range of their walkie-talkies in ideal conditions. That is, when the tests were carried out, there was no interference in the form of skyscrapers, noise from the radio broadcast, other walkie-talkies, etc. Accordingly, even the most powerful radio station in adverse conditions can give a range much lower than that declared by the manufacturer.
As mentioned above, the greater the power, the greater the range of the radio. There is an unspoken rule – 1 watt is equal to approximately 1 kilometer. Although, this is all very conditional and the final figure will still depend on the terrain, power, antenna, amplifier and other conditions.
In order to organize a radio communication range of 100 km, you need to take care of purchasing power amplifiers and antennas. Remember that the relationship between amplifier power and communication range is not directly proportional. In other words, you can increase the power by 10 times, but the communication range will hardly double.
Antennas can be used for both stationary radio stations and car radios. In the second case, special attention should be paid to the method, as well as the place where the antenna is attached. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the length of the antenna must be equal to the wavelength, which is not always, of course, feasible. For example, in the CB-band, with its wavelength of 11 meters, it is difficult to imagine such a large antenna on the roof of a car.
Attention to detail is important.