Archive for August, 2016

Guide to Adding an External Antenna for a Two-Way Radio

If you add an external antenna for a two-way radio, can you increase the range of the radio? Yes! But not all walkie-talkie models have removable antennas or the ability to be used with a repeater. For those radios with removable antennas, a particular model is only compatible with a certain type of antenna. Another option is to buy a radio that is “repeater capable.” A repeater receives a signal and retransmits it at a higher wattage or a higher level and in doing that, broadcasts the signal over a longer distance, increasing the range of your two-way radios. Base stations can be connected to an external antenna, which will provide more power and a greater signal range. Note that radio base stations are not portable, so they’re meant for those that will be using the radio from a fixed location. They can, however, communicate with portable radios and with repeaters.

Two-Way Radios with Removable Antennas

Certain Motorola radio models come with a removable antenna-for example, the Motorola RDV5100 VHF radio and the Motorola DTR550 digital radio. It all has to do with the compatibility of the connector. If it doesn’t specifically say which radio the antenna is designed for, look at your radio’s antenna connector. Is it an SMA female, SMA male or J female? Note that Motorola/Vertex has their own standard of SMA connector. Using a long whip antenna will give you increased range when outdoors and if your radio features a removable antenna, you can change to a stubby antenna for more convenient and compact indoor use. However, you must make sure you use the correct antenna for your radio.

Adding a Two-Way Radio Repeater to Boost Signal Range

One effective way of adding an external antenna to a two-way radio is to use the radio with a repeater. This will significantly increase the range of your portable radios. The repeater, usually placed in a high location, receives the signals from the handheld radios and then repeats those signals at a much greater wattage and on a different frequency. It also receives signals and sends them back to the radios. Only certain walkie-talkies can use a repeater. Some of these radios include the Motorola RDV5100 VHF model, the Motorola RDU4160D, the RDU4100 model and Motorola CLP Series radios. The Vertex Two-Way Radio Repeater also serves as a base station and it communicates with your handheld radios.

Two-Way Radio Base Stations and External Antennas

A base station is a two-way radio that stays in a fixed location. It connects to an external antenna to provide far greater power and signal range than the average portable radio. They can connect to mobile handheld devices as well as repeaters to extend the range even more. An external antenna must be matched (or tuned) to the same frequency that your radio is broadcasting on.

1 comment August 30th, 2016

Improve Your Activism and Community Groups with Two-Way Radios

Robust two-way radios for activism and community groups will engage and inform your members for more effective campaigns. In today’s super-connected world, people are more powerful when they come together for a common cause, whether it’s to protest an unpopular court decision or engage in grassroots community policing for a safer neighborhood. Cell phones and the internet can take communications just so far. At times when cell phone towers may be overloaded with activity, a particular location has spotty coverage or if you need to get an urgent message out to your entire team, nothing beats community walkie-talkies!

Activism and Two-Way Radios

While you can do advance planning online, the situation while marching through city streets can quickly change. When people are spread across a wide area of many blocks, how can you quickly reorganize at a moment’s notice? Two-way radios make it easy to broadcast a directive to protest leaders so they can effectively organize large groups. They also come in handy if there’s suddenly a blockade or police activity. Does it appear that someone might get arrested or is someone being harassed on a company picket line? Broadcast that information to the team and have someone get a camera crew out.

There are different options for high-quality two-way radios, and at Tech Wholesale, we have radios for every budget and to fit any requirements. If you’re looking for something especially affordable so you can outfit several members of your activist team, consider the Motorola Talkabout Series. They’re designed for personal and family use and are made tough to withstand rugged use. They also broadcast on the Family Radio Service (FRS) band, which does not require an FCC license to operate. They also have built-in NOAA weather channels, so you can stay ahead of the weather and know if there’s a storm approaching.

Community Watchdog Groups and Walkie-Talkies

Many citizens living in the inner cities are becoming more active in working with law enforcement to patrol their streets to keep their community and their children safe. These community watchdog groups need to keep in close contact with each other for the monitoring to be at its most effective. For this activity also, two-way radios make perfect sense. If someone sees an individual behaving in a suspicious way or witnesses criminal activity, they can call for reinforcements or radio for someone to call the police. In addition to the Motorola Talkabout radios, the Motorola digital radios, operating on the 900 MHz frequency band, also do not require an FCC license. There are digital radio features that analog radios don’t have, such as the ability to talk to a single person privately, in addition to broadcasting to your group. They’re also extremely lightweight, built to military specifications and have a very long battery life of up to 14 hours.

Walkie-talkies keep community members and protestors in constant contact to keep everyone well informed and safe. Superior to cell phones in that they don’t require cell phone towers, these two-way radios will keep you talking even when coverage is spotty or when the towers are overloaded on a busy day. They’ll help give your community or your cause new energy, vitality and solidarity.

Add comment August 26th, 2016

Be Prepared with Emergency Disaster Essential Kits

With a household emergency disaster kit that includes family walkie-talkies for added safety, you and your loved ones will be able to comfortably weather a bad storm or just about any other kind of disaster. It’s a very smart practice to have everything you need before you need it, safely stored in a particular location in your home. This way, you won’t be scrambling around during the emergency to try to find the essentials, when store supplies may be low or impossible to get to. The Red Cross, experts in preparing for emergencies and dealing with their aftermath, publishes a list of emergency supplies that should be included in your emergency preparedness kit. Make sure you have a large carrying case (or a few, for multiple family members), in the event you need to evacuate to a safer facility. In that case, you will need to bring your supplies with you.

A little preparation can go a long way in the event of an emergency, in keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. And for the best quality family two-way radios, check out Tech Wholesale’s Motorola Talkabout Series radios. They’re designed for personal and family use.

Basic Supplies for an Emergency

  • Water – Per person: 1 gallon per day (evacuation: 3-day supply; at-home use: 2-week supply)
  • Food – Easy to prepare, non-perishable food items (evacuation: 3-day supply; at-home use: 2-week supply)
  • Flashlight
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio (NOAA Weather Radio is ideal – certain two-way radios, such as the Motorola Talkabout T460, include NOAA weather stations)
  • Extra batteries for electronic devices
  • First aid kit
  • Medical items and medications (7-day supply)
  • Multi-purpose tool (such as a Swiss Army knife)
  • Personal hygiene and sanitation products
  • Copies of personal documents (medical information and medication list, proof of address, deed to home or lease, birth certificates, passports, home and personal insurance policies)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Emergency contact information; family contact information
  • Cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of your general area

Emergency Supplies for Families with Children and/or Pets

  • Two-way radios – to keep family members connected over a large home, in transit or in an evacuation shelter. During emergency situations, cell phone towers may become overloaded, and coverage may not be ideal in other locations away from home.
  • Personal medical supplies such as contact lenses, glasses, hearing aids with batteries, blood sugar testing equipment, syringes
  • Babies supplies (baby food, formula, bottles, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (food, carrier, bowl, collar, leash, identification)
  • Extra sets of house keys and car keys
  • Activities and games for kids
  • Manual can opener

Additional Emergency Gear Based on Common Local Disasters

Make these items part of your survival kit or home emergency kit, depending upon the most common disasters in your location. For example, in low-lying areas prone to flooding, you should have heavy duty rain gear and waterproof clothing.

  • Matches, lighters
  • Portable lights, candles
  • Rain gear; waterproof clothes
  • Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, hat
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and scissors
  • Towels
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Work gloves
  • Liquid bleach
  • Supplies and tools for securing your home
  • Blankets, sleeping bags
  • Entertainment items, games

Keep your most important emergency supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice in an easy-to-carry shoulder bag or backpack. Stay safe and prepared!

1 comment August 23rd, 2016