1.easy to use
If you’re new to two-way radios, or you have budget constraints, you may not need an advanced technical model. For less technical users, radios with pre-programmed channels will be the easiest way to begin radio communication. For these entry-level radios, we recommend one person on the team coordinate the radios and program them all to the same channels. This can be done easily with programming help available at www.retevis.com
2.Range of Coverage
Depending on the output power of the radio, you can expect anywhere from 1 mile to over 3 miles depending on wattage, antenna, weather conditions and surrounding environments.You’ll get more distance in your communication if you’re transmitting in a flat, open area, or from a high elevation area to a low elevation area. You’ll get less distance in communication if you’re transmitting in an urban environment, or forest, as the more barriers your signal gets deflected off of or has to penetrate through, the shorter your transmission will reach.To significantly increase your transmitting distance, the easiest way is to tap into repeaters. Repeaters are devices that pick up your signal and retransmit it at a higher power, pushing your signal farther along the radio horizon. Repeaters are common across the world, and a database can be found here.Repeaters can now be obtained in mobile or handheld units for convenience and affordability.
3.On the walkie-talkie channel
Channels are pre-programmed avenues for communication made up of frequencies with or without privacy codes. Most radios have 16 or more channels available. Once programmed, channels can be accessed easily by the channel selection feature available on all radios.Channels are useful in coordinating teams. For example, a restaurant uses channels to coordinate their staff. Valet uses channel 1, the hosts/hostesses use channel 2, the kitchen is on channel 3, the back of house management on channel 4. If the teams want to communicate internally, they stay on their channels. However, if the management has a need to contact the valet, they’ll turn to channel 1 and get their message across to all radios tuned to channel 1.
4. Bands and Use Restrictions
Without an Amateur Radio License from the FCC, you are limited to operating on the Family Radio Service (FRS) band for free or on the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) band (with a $90 family license from the FCC). Click here for a chart showing the bands, their frequencies, and the corresponding channels on FRS and GMRS.
5. Privacy Codes
If you would like to converse without interference, you may want to use Privacy Codes. Privacy codes, also called CTCSS or DCS are a method of splitting the channel or frequency, in order to get more use out of the frequency. Privacy codes can sometimes be programmed through the keypad on a walkie talkie, but can easily be programmed using the software and programming computer cable. Learn more about privacy codes HERE.
6. Calling and Paging Features
Digital Radios often feature more robust and advanced features other than the simple Push to Talk. Digital Radios are able to call a group of people, an individual person, or all radios on the timeslot. This can be very useful if you are working with private or sensitive information, or if you are interested in having a private conversation, inaccessible to those around your area.