Buyer’s Guide for Two Way Radio: What you should know before buying a long-range walkie talkie
A long-range two-way radio is a radio designed to give you a wide transmission range and reception. Most people often misunderstand the term “long range” when looking for a radio. They may buy one with up to 37 miles thinking that it is long range radio but later get disappointed when it covers up to 3 or 4 miles.
In most communication set up, a 3-mile two-way radio may be good if it covers up to 37 miles. If a two-way radio is said, for example, to cover up to 35 miles then it only applies to open areas with no obstructions such as trees or buildings. The range is reduced in suburban or urban areas due to buildings.
Features to Check when Purchasing a Long-Range Two-way Radio
☑ Where to use long-range radios
For urban areas or areas with many trees, then the stated mile will reduce. If you intend to use in such areas, then pick one with a longer antenna in order to boost power and signal.
☑ Range to expect
For an open area, the two-way radio will cover the said range but in areas, with obstructions, we recommend that you research what reception other people get in the same settings. Always be realistic in your expectations.
☑ Number of channels you will need
If you intend to use it in areas where many people are using walkie talkies make sure to pick one with private channels to avoid interference.
☑ Length of antenna
A long antenna means that your reception will be better. In case the radio you like has a shorter antenna, then you should consider buying a longer antenna separately to boost your range. For a review of the best kids walkie talkie, read this comprehensive article here.
☑ NOAA weather channels
A two-way radio does not only help you in communication but also in helping you be safe in case of emergencies. NOAA weather channels are ideal if you are traveling to alert you of severe weather conditions in advance so that you can be able to evacuate or plan well.
☑ VOX function
VOX allows a hands-free operation to enable you to activate the radio by using your voice. It is perfect if you are at work and need to communicate with employees or colleagues. It is also good for hiking, camping, and many outdoor activities.
There are some radios which enable you to increase wattage in order to boost the signal to get a longer range. The downside with a higher wattage is that the battery will be so much drained but one with manual setting enables you to reduce wattage for battery conservation.
Depending on the use, make sure the battery will serve you. For long hours outdoor activities far from a source of power to charge, make sure to pick one with a long life.
Two-way radios that are compact and lightweight are often portable and easy to use making it good for heavy work.
☑ Out of range alert
This is important to let you know if you are out or within a range. If you were out of range and the radio picks up a range at some point, it will alert you so that you can be able to continue with your communication.
☑ Digital compass
Most long range walkie talkies are used in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or hunting. In such scenarios, a two-way radio with a digital compass is the best to help you find direction if you get lost. You will also be able to know where you are to tell the person you are talking with.
Once you get to know the limitations of a two-way radio for long range, you will know what to expect. It is important to put in mind where and how you intend to use it and go through reviews to see the range they achieved with the radio in the same environment like the one you intend to use. We recommend that you purchase an antenna to boost the reception for clear communication.