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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Two Way Radios

On my way to LOG 34 I traveled with a fellow enthusiasts and we used a 2 way radio to communicate with each other. Two way radios are often used in group drives as well. I can think of a myriad of other situations that they may come in handy as well.

Anyone have advice on what brand and model to get and what features are needed and what optional features would be helpful.

Christmas is coming up and I am hoping to drop a hint to the wife.

Kyle Kaulback '56 Mark VI '71 Type61mX '71 Type69 FF '71 Type 69 F2 '77 Super 907 '91 M100 Elan '91 Omega LotusSport 110 '05 Elise(custodian) '13 Evora S

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 10:37 AM
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Two Way Radios

We have used Radio Shack's 18 mile GMRS/FRS on road and fishing trips. There are now many other newer choices available.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 01:00 PM
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Kyle - try doing a Search (Google) on "Bike to bike communication" or "Bike to bike Intercom". You can find duplexed systems that allow all parties to speak/listen at the same time. GMRS/FRS are walkie-talkies where only one person can talk at a time and typically PTT (Push-To-Talk). But, the motorcycle systems are 2-3X more expensive.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 02:40 PM
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To be legal, you need to get a license, but I have found that these radios are about X2 in price and X10 in usefulness.



These have more power, better quality and are still cheap $$

most GMRS/FRS are inexpensive toys and in reality you should replace miles with yards in their advertised range.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 03:55 AM
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Have tried the inexpensive Motorola FRS two way radios and found the range to be unacceptable for car to car communications. They may be ok for open air transmission but car to car you obviously are transmitting and receiving between two enclosed objects which also contain inherent additional radio interference
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 05:30 AM
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Kyle,

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

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 06:15 PM
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Two Way Radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by O LEE O View Post
Kyle,



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

For a recent road trip, my wife and I got some Midland GXT1000 radios ($60 for radios, headsets, car charger(!), and clips Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001WMFYH4..._119Eub1HAHF1N). A phone app wouldn't work because cell coverage is so spotty in the mountains, especially with T-mobile which is the worst provider ever. The radios have a 36 mile range in optimal conditions, but we had zero problems with them. Jess would let me run ahead by a couple miles through the twisties and we never lost contact.





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Last edited by cyow5; 11-30-2014 at 06:20 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input.

It was Ted and his radios (that Lee mentioned) that I referenced in the trip to LOG.

I am not really looking for anything super high tech - I envision my 5 year old son will want to play with them.

Correct me if I am wrong. It appears as though different brands and models can talk to each other by properly setting the frequency/channel.

It also looks like some models come with in car chargers and hands free set ups as well. Both of those featured are worthwhile.

Kyle Kaulback '56 Mark VI '71 Type61mX '71 Type69 FF '71 Type 69 F2 '77 Super 907 '91 M100 Elan '91 Omega LotusSport 110 '05 Elise(custodian) '13 Evora S

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 10:51 AM
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Leading brands are Cobra, Midlands and Motorola. All FRS/GMRS radios use the same frequency and can communicate with one another.

For radios that are rechargeable, look for USB charging, it is convenient as it allows in car charging as well as non-docked charging.

The headsets are nice, just keep in mind that VOX may be useless in a noisy cockpit so PTT even with a headset may be necessary.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 11:08 AM
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The Midland GXT-1000VP4 radio set as described in post #7 above will be available as Prime Early Access Deal on Amazon beginning at 12pm today.



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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O LEE O View Post
Kyle,

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.

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.

That would be me (in both comments)...I personally think that Zello is a good thing to have...BUT I think the major limitation is that you need to be connected to a cellular service...And considering the drives that the 5 of us in that group in NC were blasting backroads as a group, and 75% of the drive we had no cell service, IMO would render Zello useless. Nifty app to have if you're driving in a group and in an area with constant cell coverage, though...

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Last edited by Shoof; 12-13-2014 at 08:34 PM.
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