Recommendations/cautions on walky-talkies

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Dean & Linda Stock

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Mar 30, 2006
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Cypress, California
We need to buy a pair of walky-talkies to aid in parking, and I understand sometimes people use them in caravans.  Do all the people need to have the same brand, or is it just that you use the same channel?  Any brands pros and cons would be helpful.  Thanks!
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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USA
FRS radios will all talk to each other regardless of brand.  Just use the same channel and don't bother with the privacy codes.  They don't help at all and mask any other users on the same channel.

We have Cobras but Motorola makes good radios too.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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24,957
Location
Davison Michigan
Many companies make combination FRS GMRS radios, these are 20 some channel radios (FRS is 14) and usually have a HI/LO power setting as well (FRS might have hi/lo but it's hi is gmrs lo) they can have up to a five mile range under ideal conditions, sometimes farther.  FRS is closer to 1-2

License is $75.00 if memory serves, you get it via www.fcc.gov and follow the links, I happen to be a registered user of that site which makes it a bit easier but not much, to get a license (Fewer web pages to jump through)

Licensing is a matter of filling out a application and attaching the payment so long as you don't have any counterindicators (Like a bad FCC history) no test required.

The fine for unlicensed use of GMRS radios is serious.  I strongly recommend avoidance by getting licensed.

NOTE: Many folks at rallys and such may well have the radios.. I have the license I still have to train my wife in how to use the radios though... But that is another story
 

Betty Brewer

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Mar 10, 2005
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Dean & Linda Stock said:
We need to buy a pair of walky-talkies to aid in parking, and I understand sometimes people use them in caravans.? Do all the people need to have the same brand, or is it just that you use the same channel?? Any brands pros and cons would be helpful.? Thanks!

Hi Linda,

We have the Cobra's.  Got them at Wal mart,  I think and like them because they sit in a charging stand and don't require the changing of batteries so much.  We also have ones we got at Radio Shack  and it says Personal FM Transceiver on the front of it.  They are clearer sounding to us than the cobras but if we forget and leave one of the radios on, it  runs down the battery quickly. 
Lots of options are good.  In a caravan we usually all use an FRS radio of some sort and  decide what channel we will all use. This way we can communicate with those up front or who get lost!

Betty
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
Dean & Linda Stock said:
We need to buy a pair of walky-talkies to aid in parking, and I understand sometimes people use them in caravans.  Do all the people need to have the same brand, or is it just that you use the same channel?  Any brands pros and cons would be helpful.  Thanks!

Dean,

I purchased a couple of Uniden FRS 1400 units several years ago. They worked great but didn't have privacy codes or rechargeable batteries. We also got a set of Motorola T5410 FRS radios. The rechargeable/priority batteries didn't last at all and were very difficult to understand the conversations.

I keep going back to the Unidens and just change batteries as needed. You can also get AA rechargeables to use if desired. That model may not be available any longer but the point is the "best" name is always the best item. I also agree with Ned that privacy codes are overrated!
 
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