Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hillsborough, New Jersey
There were five of us who went down to LOG together. We all had with walkie talkies and they proved to be a good addition to the gear that we had brought along. Though we had different brands and models, they worked well for our needs.
You have to keep in mind their two biggest limitations; Line of sight and only one person can talk at a time. We all had headsets to go with the radios which I believe was a big plus. The PTT option, where it may be somewhat cumbersome while driving becomes an advantage with background noise, allowing us to us converse with tops on or off. As we drove through the Pisgah Mountains, it became evident where the "line of sight" limitation becomes an issue. One of our guys made a wrong turn and communications was cut off almost immediately because of the geography. But as long as we stayed relatively close together there were no issues.
I personally had a pair of cheap Radio Shack walkie talkies that ended up having some problems and Ted was kind enough to lend me his (thanks again Ted!!) which were Motorolas and the quality compared to the Radio Shack ones was pretty obvious. That prompted me to buy a trio of Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios and using them on a couple of drives so far, have found them to be excellent (with the headsets of course).
But recently, one of our group told us of a free "app" called Zello. Zello allows you to make your smart phone into a walkie talkie but with a few nifty alternatives. You can actually create "groups" where you can invite people into this group and nobody else can listen or hear this "group". Line of sight is no longer an issue as well. Ed was in Brooklyn and I was in New Jersey when we both downloaded Zello and were able to talk to each other. Though we haven't had a chance to check it out on a run yet, so far it seems to be a good alternative to walkie talkies. The first chance we get, we will put Zello to the test.
I do think I personally may have some issues using Zello. Since I have Bluetooth in my Lotus, the Zello will work through my car's radio which means no music while I am talking or listening to somebody. I liked the use of the headset with the walkie talkie because I could hear my music as well as use the walkie talkie. Believe it or not, music is a big thing for me when I drive. This may not be an issue for anybody else, just for me 'cause I am strange though everybody already knows that. lol
Well, sorry for the novelette I just wrote but you asked and I shared. If you're interested in Zello, download it and we can connect so you can see how it works.
O LEE O
2011 Persian Blue Elise RS