How Do Walkie Talkies Work?

Have You Ever Wondered How Do Walkie Talkies Work?

Walkie Talkies, or Walkie Talkie radios, employ a radio band to transmit audio signals between radios.  The Family Radio Service, commonly known as the FRS, makes available 14 channels in the 462-467 MHz range, for use by two way radios. This range is set by the Federal Communications Commission or FCC.

What Are FRS Walkie Talkies?

Independent of the brand you use, these are the wavelengths you will be using.  In essence, FRS is a singular radio service that utilizes frequencies in the UHF band and therefore has nothing to do with phones, baby monitors or CB radios.  They employ FM instead of AM and you don’t need a license.

A wide range of brand names are available: Midland, Cobra, Audiovox, Sylvania, Motorola and Cherokee to name a few.  They do not require a lot of power and are useful in any situation where you want to keep in touch.  They are very popular with hunters, campers, people with big gardens who want to stay in touch with the kids, bikers, construction workers, walkers and so on.  Range can be anything up to two miles.

What Are GMRS Walkie Talkies?

Alternately, GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios utilize specific frequencies in the 462 MHz range provided by the FCC.   These radios are larger, have a greater range, (up to 5 miles) and do require a license from the FCC, so are slightly more serious and are generally used for serious communications like those in a business environment.

As regards power, FRS radios have a limit of 0.5 watts and GMRS radios are usually limited to 2 watts.   Rechargeable 2 way Walkie Talkies are available so you don’t always have to rely on batteries.  Some Walkie Talkie headsets have a scrambler so that you can keep conversations private.

Why Use a Walkie Talkie When You Have a Cell Phone?

We are all familiar with phone ‘black spots’ where you can’t get a good signal.  Two way Walkie Talkies will work in situations where your cell phone can’t get a signal.  Unlike cell phones, there are no ongoing costs once you have purchased your 2 way radio.  They are also useful if you need to communicate with a group of people at the same time.  All you need to do is make sure that the settings on your radios are the same and you can contact your entire group simultaneously.  If the signal is strong enough, there is no limit to the number of your group.

In reality the Walkie Talkie represents a serious alternative to the cell phone in certain situations.  They are cheap, convenient, fun and very simple to use.

Modern Walkie Talkie Radio

Modern Walkie Talkie Radio

Photograph by kylemay


Related Articles:

Who Invented the Walkie Talkie Radio The invention of the Walkie Talkie also known as a 2 way radio or two way Walkie Talkie has been attributed to several people The inventors were 1 Al Goss who came to the attention of the OSS soon to be the CIA in 1938 He was a high-school student...


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