Two-way radios, more commonly known as walkie talkies, have been popular among children for years as they bring out active imaginations and great fun.  They also offer an affordable and easy way for families to keep in touch with one another.  More importantly, these devices give you a way to make sure your children are safe.

Two-way Radio Terminology

Upon purchasing any electronic device you are sure to come across a load of technical jargon that makes the decision much more challenging; the same goes for two-way radios.  We have listed some of the most common terms and provided a few tips so you know what to look for.

Batteries: If you expect moderate to heavy usage, we suggest going with a set of two-way radios that use regular alkaline batteries and nickel cadmium batteries as well.  Nickel cadmium batteries are rechargeable and will allow you to get much better usage out of the devices.  Be sure to find out about the estimated battery life, keeping in mind that manufacturers give a rating assuming that the two-way radio will be on standby for approximately 90% of its usage.  You should also make sure the unit comes equipped with batteries and a charger.

Channels: Different two-way radios come with a different number of channels.  The amount you will need all depends on where you intend to use the devices.  If you plan to use them in congested areas, we recommend going with a higher number of channels as they will give you more available frequencies.  The average models generally offer 2 channels while more advanced versions give you 14 channels or more.  Of course you will pay more for having more channels.

Channel Savers: Channel savers have become a standard feature in two-way radios, helping you save time by storing the channels used the most frequently.  Some devices have an automatic save function while others are manual.

Hands-free: Just like mobile phone technology, some two-way radios come included with a microphone jack and headset, enabling easy hands-free communications.

License-free: Some companies manufacturer radios that don’t require licensing from Ofcom (Office of Communications).  These units function on PMR446, the radio frequency for personal mobile users.  Keep in mind that you must purchase an appropriate license to use other UHF or VHF two-way radios.

Privacy Codes: Because radio channels are open, it may be possible for other people to listen in on your conversations - even the kids.  Privacy codes will keep your conversations discreet by scrambling the communication.

Range: Range is very important as it refers to the maximum distance of which two radios are able to communicate.  Take note that the advertised range may vary based on conditions in buildings, woods and other obstructive environments.

Scanning: The scanning feature gives you the ability to quickly find all available channels.  Depending on the model, scanning can either be a manual or automatic feature.

As you can see, walkie talkies have certainly come along way, and they are no longer restricted to child's play. In fact, two-way radios now offer extensive range, convenience and robust technology which make them ideal for keeping your children safe. At the shopping center, when traveling, hiking, skiing or any other time where distance may seperate you, two-way radios bridge the gap.