What is a walkie talkie and what are its uses?
A walkie talkie is a great alternative to mobile phones in a wide variety of scenarios. You can not only communicate with multiple people immediately, but you can also communicate with ease in areas without a reliable mobile network. Whether you’re a construction worker or an outdoor enthusiast, you’re sure to find a two-way radio a great choice for you.
However, it isn’t always as simple as you’d imagine purchasing the best walkie talkie to suit your needs. There are lots of different types of two-way radio on the market today, all differing wildly in their functions, capabilities and prices. So, how do you go about picking the right one for you? Read on to learn more.
Leisure or work use?
The most important factor to consider when choosing a walkie talkie is what kind of environment, you’ll be using it in. If you’re using it at work, you’ll need a handset that is more professional and powerful with a longer range and battery life and more channels to allow you to easily communicate with several groups of workers at the same time.
According to Radio Solutions if you’re a leisure user, you may need a handset that is more affordable but which still has a good battery life and decent range. Weatherproofing is also something you may wish to consider if you’ll be using your device while camping or hiking in inclement weather.
UHF or VHF?
You need to know which radiofrequency you require – UHF (or ultra-high frequency) or VHF (or very-high frequency). VHF-enabled walkie talkies can cover a greater distance and use less power. They’re best for use on terrain that is free of obstructions, and this makes them perfect for use in the outdoor security, maritime or aviation sectors, or for leisure purposes on golf courses or open fields.
UHF-enabled walkie talkies are more popular since they use shorter wavelengths that are capable of penetrating through obstacles indoors, for example, steel structures or concrete walls.
Range and distance
You’ll probably find that there is a difference between the range that is advertised for your chosen two-way radio and its actual range. This is due to the many factors which have an impact on your walkie talkie’s range including radio interference from woodland, buildings, cars and other users.
You’ll find the best ranges from digital walkie talkies, and as an advantage, these devices also scramble their frequency a thousand times per minute for greater privacy.
How much power do I require?
In general, each watt of power equates to a mile of coverage for your walkie talkie. Therefore, a higher wattage means a higher range. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that weather conditions and obstructions can affect the range, so the range advertised could be greater than the actual range you experience in practical use.
You should also consider the kind of batteries your walkie talkie uses. The majority of modern devices use Li-ion batteries since their high capacity makes them ideal for daily use. There are some models that use NiMH batteries though, and these are more impact-resistant and durable, while also being capable of charging more quickly. On the downside, NiMH batteries are heat sensitive and this may reduce their charge capacity with time.
Will I need a licence?
If you buy a licence you can operate under a secure frequency with little outside interruption. However, if you wish to operate a licensed radio you need to comply with the law which requires you to buy a licence from the British communications regulatory body, OFCOM.
Which walkie talkie should I choose?
Considering the above factors should help you to make a well-informed decision about which walkie talkie would best meet your needs. You’ll find an extensive selection in our impression range to suit your requirements.