Top facts about Walkie Talkie Radios

A walkie-talkie (more formally known as a handheld transceiver, or HT) is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald L. Hings, radio engineer Alfred J. Gross, and engineering teams at Motorola. First used for infantry, similar designs were created for field artillery and tank units, and after the war, walkie-talkies spread to public safety and eventually commercial and jobsite work.

Typical walkie-talkies resemble a telephone handset, with a speaker built into one end and a microphone in the other (in some devices the speaker also is used as the microphone) and an antenna mounted on the top of the unit. They are held up to the face to talk. A walkie-talkie is a half-duplex communication device; multiple walkie-talkies use a single radio channel, and only one radio on the channel can transmit at a time, although any number can listen. The transceiver is normally in receive mode; when the user wants to talk he presses a “push-to-talk” (PTT) button that turns off the receiver and turns on the transmitter.

Walkie talkies keep you connected when mobile service isn’t available.

How do you use a walkie-talkie?

A group of people who are using walkie-talkies to talk to one another have to tune in to the same frequency band, which is called a channel. Their radios are all “receiving,” so their microphone/loudspeaker units are working as loudspeakers and probably hissing with static, a bit like a conventional radio that’s not tuned into any particular station. When someone wants to to talk to the others, they hold the push-to-talk button on their handset. Their radio goes quiet as their loudspeaker switches over to a microphone. As they talk into it, their words are converted into radio waves and beamed out on the prearranged channel (typically at a frequency around 460 MHz). Since radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, they travel at the speed of light (300,000 km/second or 186,000 miles/second), so the waves are picked up almost instantaneously by the other handsets. The radio waves are converted back into fluctuating electric currents and the loudspeakers use those to reproduce the sound of the talker’s voice. When the talker has finished, he or she says “over” (meaning my bit of talking is finished) and releases the push-to-talk button. The radio now switches back into listening mode and someone else can talk.

Who named the walkie talkie?

Canadian inventor Donald Hings is also credited with the invention of the walkie-talkie: he created a portable radio signaling system for his employer CM&S in 1937. He called the system a “packset”, but it later became known as the “walkie-talkie”.

How does a walkie talkie works?

Unlike a normal radio, which will only pick up broadcast voices or music from a radio station, a walkie-talkie is a two-way radio: you can both talk and listen (send and receive). The main drawback is that the same frequency channel is used for both things, so only one person can talk at a time.

What is a two way radio?

A two way radio is also commonly called a transceiver, because it can both transmit and receive radio communications. In either case, the radio operates two ways; it can send and it can receive. A walkie talkie is a portable two way radio, particularly one that can be held in the hand.

What is the difference between walkie talkies and two way radios?

Recently we received a comment from a customer who took issue with our use of the terms two way radio and walkie talkie in one of our older posts. Apparently the customer was searching for a two way radio but after locating radios listed as walkie talkies, considered it a misdirection to another line of products, presumably perceiving that an item labeled as a walkie talkie was inferior to another item labeled as a two way radio. According to the customer, walkie talkies and two way radios are not the same.

Knowing the difference between a two way radio and a walkie talkie is pretty important. With them being different, you need to know just how they work. That way you can be using the right one in the right situation. The most important thing to know would in fact be that a ‘walkie talkie is a two way radio, but a two way radio is not always a walkie talkie’.

In reality, the terms walkie talkie and two way radio are often considered interchangeable, at least here in the US, and are sometimes even used together in the same conversation to reference the same thing. As a US based company, our use of these terms is based on their common accepted usage within our country. These terms may be used differently in other countries, so it is, by no means, an absolute.

What is the range of a walkie talkie?

All walkie talkies list a maximum effective coverage area. These range anywhere from 20 to 50 miles, but certain conditions must be met for you to reach these ranges. In actuality, your environment may shorten this range to a mile or less. Look for a walkie talkie with both FRS and GMRS frequencies.

Why Buy a Walkie Talkie?

Whether you’re going on a backpacking trip or taking your family to a campground for a weekend, a set of walkie talkies can make it easier to keep in touch where cellphones don’t get service. The best two-way radios give you a variety of tools, including weather alerts, flashlights and SOS signals. Modern walkie talkies have actual ranges of around two miles and most weigh less than half a pound, so they won’t weigh you down. Many businesses need walkie talkies for their work.

What is walkie talkie video?

With just a simple button press, you can wirelessly communicate with your friends with video and audio for up to 160 feet! No Wifi or 3G mobile network required. A foldable design allows for compact storage and screen protection! A Spy Gear Video Walkie Talkie is just the tool you need to accomplish your mission!