Walkie Talkie 101: What is a Two Way Radio?

Walkie Talkie 101: What is a Two Way Radio?

What is a Two-Way Radio? 

With over 40 years of experience working with radio communication at Wall to Wall, the two-way radio has been a groundbreaking piece of technology since it’s development over eight decades ago. But what is a two way radio? 

Capable of transmitting and receiving radio signals, two-way radios make light work of often complex situations, including busy events, internal communications, security and crowd control to name a few. As previously mentioned, a handheld, two-way radio – later more commonly known as a ‘Walkie Talkie’ – is a portable radio device. It stands alone within its kind as it transmits and receives radio communications, but also as a popular method of quick communication. The term ‘Walkie-Talkie’ was adopted by journalists as the phenomenon was publicly on the rise.

Two Way Radio

When was the Technology Invented?

The two-way radio was invented in 1937 by Donald Hings, a UK born Canadian inventor. He initially named his invention the ‘PackSet’, with other handled radio devices of a similar (even identical) nature referred to as ‘Two-Way Field Radios’ and ‘Wireless Sets’. The earliest device was 17 inches long and weighed around 5 pounds. It was rumoured that the first two-way radio was invented in 1933, however, these devices only communicated in code.

When the war broke out, British and German soldiers made heavy use of the radios and Hings’ C-58 PackSet model became iconic. Thousands were manufactured and distributed around the world because of the host of needs that had added to the model. As the War progressed, walkie talks were used for tank units and field artillery. Commonly made from metal, the radios became increasingly more popular in recreational use, then onto enhancing public safety and ultimately establishing their place in the world of commercial and construction projects. 

What is a Walkie Talkie Used For?

two way radioMany large scale corporations and businesses use these handheld communication devices and depend on their features to maintain operational flow within day-to-day operations, while the concept of a ‘Walkie Talkie’ is also highly common within smaller businesses and even children’s recreational play. In order to successfully use a two-way radio, each user must ensure they are tuned into the correct radio channel. Two-way radios come with a range of channels so more than one line of communication can be made at one time. 

Walkie Talkies, if used correctly, can be crucial to your business or project, helping to support instantaneous communication and provide enhanced protection and security. In return, two-way radios will ensure you can depend on reliable battery life and resilient signals. 

As time and technology have developed these devices, it’s more than likely for you to come across two-way radios today with a heap of additional features like weather alerts, LED flashlights and SOS signals.

Learn more about two-way radios by reading How to Use a Walkie Talkie, and Which Radio is Best for your Business.

At Wall to Wall Communications we have been providing two-way radio rental in the UK for over 40 years. Because of this, we like to think of ourselves as ‘radio experts’. If you and your business are thinking about hiring walkie talkies to enhance the levels of communication between workers, then do not hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our experts.

How to use Motorola two way radios | Radio hire UK

How to use Motorola two way radios | Radio hire UK

All Purpose Radio Hire 

Wall to Wall Radio Communications offers short and long-term two way radio (walkie-talkie) equipment hire of base stations, repeaters, walkie-talkies (digital and analogue) along with two way radio accessories for many applications including; festivals, exhibitions, special events, conferences, construction sites, broadcast events, theatres, leisure, security, sports events, film, TV and production companies to name a few.

Two-way radio (walkie-talkie) equipment hire capabilities

We have the capacity to provide two-way radio (walkie-talkie) equipment hire to both large and small events or needs. For instance, we had recently hired out our two-way radio communications to events such as Latitude, Secret Garden Party, T in the Park, Glastonbury and more.

How to use the MOTOTRBO SL1600 Digital DMR Two-way Radio

One of our most popular two way radios by Motorola, MOTOTRBO SL1600 Digital DMR, uses a simple ‘push to talk’ function making it the most easy to use radio system. For someone having never used a radio before, this would prove efficient and easy to grasp. This Motorola radio would be ideal to use as a steward at an event or managing an outdoor car park as it has a rugged and shatterproof external shell. 

Other Features:

  • Ultra-slim profile – Only 22mm thick
  • Shatterproof active view display with hidden LED lighting
  • Enhanced range whilst maintaining a slim profile and long battery life
  • Rugged and reliable – IP54 rated
  • Simple operation – the ergonomics and functionalities of the two-way radio have all been designed for quick one-hand access
  • Analogue and digital capacity
  • Dual capacity direct mode – 2-slot TDMA DMR standard doubles the capacity of your 12.5 kHz channel, without the need for a repeater
  • Voice announcement – audible prompts confirm operations on your radio, allowing you to keep your eyes on the job
  • MicroUSB connectivity

How to use the MOTOTRBO DP2400/2401

This model is the non-display version of the DP2000 Series from Motorola. Because this radio is capable of switching automatically between Analogue and Digital modes with its Dynamic Mixed Mode Repeater Functionality it is perfect for migrating to a Digital Two Way Radio System. 

Other Features:

  • Intelligent Audio
  • Dynamic Mixed Mode Repeater Functionality
  • Limited Keypad
  • Optional Linked Capacity and Linked Capacity Plus
  • IP Site Connect
  • IP55 Standard of Protection
  • Changeable Antenna Bands for Easy Recognisability

How to use the Motorola DP4801EX ATEX

This digital two-way radio delivers unrivalled voice and data communications with integrated GPS, text messaging, full-colour display with day/night mode to make reading text messages easier and best-in-class audio that includes Intelligent Audio and customizable voice announcements. These functions make the Motorola DP4801EX ATEX an easy to use device with all the bells and whistles that you would need from working with a radio system at night, needing multiple channels of communication between you and your team. Due to the low power of this radio, the recommended industry is anything with explosive gases or materials. Such as oil rigs, petrol stations and mines.

Other Features

  • Intelligent Audio Feature: This automatically adjusts the radio volume according to the environment’s noise level.
  • Integrated GPS
  • Productivity-enhancing Data Applications
  • Text Messaging
  • Low Powered: Great for areas with explosive gases
  • Productivity-enhancing Data Applications
  • Capacity Plus with a signal-site digital trunking system.
  • IP Site Connect
  • Linked Capacity Plus with a multi-site digital trunking configuration
  • Rugged Design
  • Water submersible in up to one meter of water for 30 mins
  • Enhanced Privacy with built-in scrambling
  • Emergency Button
  • Radio Priority-Based Interruption
  • Day/Night Mode

Which Two Way Radio To Choose 

Benefits of a digital over analogue radio system include sophisticated call options, improved audio quality, greater structure penetration. Digital two way radio equipment can be programmed to work alongside existing analogue equipment for a smooth migration path, and the repeaters can be programmed to provide two channels working through a single antenna cutting down on infrastructure costs, this set up is available using the Motorola MOTOTRBO DP2400/2401 which has been specifically designed for migrations. 

With so many systems and brands available Wall to Wall Communications focus on the two leading manufacturers of two way radios – Motorola and Hytera. As we feel these brands are continually developing their products and that they offer the most cost effective and system orientated solutions for the industries we have most expertise in.

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