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.

We Are Distributed Antenna System Installers

We Are Distributed Antenna System Installers

A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is a series of multiple antennas that are distributed over a certain area that are all connected to a common source with the goal of boosting signal and creating a seamless and reliable network coverage. The installation of a DAS can vary greatly, both in costs and what is required for your particular area, coverage and existing signal strength. Read on for more information. 

For more information on DAS, you can read our previous post ‘What is a Distributed Antenna System (DAS)’.

Benefits of Distributed Antenna System Installation

There are several benefits to employing a DAS vendor to install a signal booster. These include:

  • A DAS can be used in a situation where other communication technologies are not compatible due to zoning or terrain challenges
  • Having multiple antennas improves the reliability of signal coverage
  • Whilst a DAS provides the same signal coverage as a signal antenna, each antenna working in a  DAS works at a reduced total power. As a result, less power is consumed when overcoming shadowing and penetration losses. 
  • With a DAS having a line-of-site channel this also results in a reduction in delay speed and reduced fade depths. 

Distributed Antenna System Cost

The cost of Distributed Antenna System installation can vary greatly, with multiple factors having an impact on the final price. Firstly, it depends on the type of DAS you wish to install. Passive DAS, which densifies coverage of all cellular carriers simultaneously will be at the lower end cost wise. On the other hand, Active DAS which typically targets in-building coverage of one or more mobile service provider networks is at a higher price point. 

These Distributed Antenna System installation costs are also directly proportional to the square footage of the area in which you require boosted signal. The larger the area, the higher the cost will be. In addition to this, the Distributed Antenna System cost will also be dependent on the existing signal strength in that area. If the signal is weaker, you may need an active or powered signal booster to see a major difference in signal strength. Whereas if the signal outside is already relatively strong, you may be able to just have a passive signal booster or repeater to see improvements in signal strength.

If you would like a run down of costs for your particular DAS requirements, please do call us on 0208 770 1007, email us at info@charlotter5.sg-host.com or fill out the form below. 

Distributed Antenna System Vendors

If you are looking for a Distributed Antenna System vendor then look no further than Wall to Wall Communications. With over 40 years of experience in the communications industry, we will be able to fit and service your DAS to ensure it is functioning at maximum efficiency.

We will be happy to give you a full consultation, covering your needs and requirements. The team of communications experts at Wall to Wall will devise the best possible solution for your particular location and scale to provide seamless communication. Once agreed, our team of experts of Distributed Antenna System installers will put in place the necessary equipment and infrastructure to meet your needs and budget.

Covid Safe Schools With Two Way Radios

Covid Safe Schools With Two Way Radios

As September approaches many schools will be returning to the new version of normality to commence the 2020/2021 school year. However, with the recent pandemic in mind, schools will not simply be able to operate as they did before. There will be multiple changes to the day to day running of schools to ensure staff and pupils remain Covid safe in an active school environment. 

Two way radios and social distancing in schools

To prevent the further spread of the virus, one of the vital measures that should be put in place is social distancing. This is where two way radios come in. The use of two way radios is supported by the Government as a viable solution to social distancing. For example, if each teacher were equipped with a two way radio, they will be able to seamlessly communicate without having to move through communal areas or visit other classrooms. This will allow teachers and pupils to stay within their ‘bubble’, thus minimising the opportunity for the virus to spread to other pupils, teachers and staff.

Find out how two way radios can be used to aid with social distancing within families, the community and business in our blog ‘Radios For Social Distancing’ here. 

Advantages of using two way radios:

  • Minimise face-to-face communication
  • Communicate in densely populated areas without the unreliability of mobile signals
  • Emergency communication 
  • On-site security and management of students, visitors, staff, assets and buildings
  • Health and safety of staff, students and visitors
  • Coordination of activities and management of events and excursions
  • Incident reporting

Covid Safe Radios

As with all areas and surfaces that are frequently touched, two way radios should be regularly disinfected and cleaned to minimise the risk for cross contamination and the spread of the virus. 

  1. If it is possible, assign a personal radio to each individual that won’t be used by anyone else to minimise the risk of cross contamination.
  2. Where possible, use single charging stations to keep personal radios separate. Alternatively, if you are using a multi-charging port, assign each radio to an individual port. 
  3. A vital step in minimising the spread of Coronavirus in schools is to always disinfect radios and their charging stations regularly! To do this:
    • Turn off the radio, remove from the charging station and unplug the charger
    • Remove the battery
    • Using at least 70% concentration of rubbing alcohol, wipe down the radios, screen, case, buttons, control knobs, antenna and charging station
    • Once the alcohol has air dried, replace the battery and wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds 

For more detailed information on how to keep your two way radios Covid safe, read our blog ‘How to Effectively Clean and Disinfect Your Radio’ here.

Two way radios for sale and for hire

With health and safety at schools a top priority, here at Wall to Wall Communications we have a wide range of two way radios for sale and hire to suit all needs and price points. From Digital Radios, to Analogue and POC radios all needs and specifications can be met. For more information on the benefits of each radio you can read our blog post ‘Which Radio is Best For You?’. Alternatively you can contact our team of experts using the form below to discuss your needs and budget. 

Wall to wall offer

To help your schools stay Covid safe, here at Wall to Wall Communications we are offering a service that will keep your radios functioning at maximum efficiency, so you can focus on the important task at hand. With the start of the school year approaching, our team of experts will collect and carry out inspections of your school’s radios free of charge. With over 40 years of experience, our team will ensure your radios are in working order and offer a free report on functionality with recommended repairs and updates.

Body-Worn Cameras Now Available at Wall to Wall

Body-Worn Cameras Now Available at Wall to Wall

For 2020 Wall to Wall Communications are launching some exciting new products on the website! One of the launches this 2020 is body cameras. With over 40 years of experience in two way radios, we like to think of ourselves as experts in communication and technology. With the rise in popularity of body cameras, not just in the public sector but for private business as well, we are now bringing them to you!

body-worn cameras

What are body-worn cameras?

Body cameras, also known as ‘body-worn cameras’ are video recording devices worn on the body. Body-worn cameras can be left running for the duration of an employees shift, recording any interactions they encounter in a clear and reliable way. 

How could body cameras help you

The rise in popularity of body cameras is stemming from industries that have a high risk of confrontations with the public, e.g. healthcare workers, traffic wardens, railway workers, prison staff, police and security. Body cameras can benefit you and your business in many ways, including:

  1. Body camera recordings provide admissible evidence for courts: Video recordings of interactions and confrontations can provide admissible evidence in court where only eye-witness accounts would be used otherwise. This makes court cases shorter and more reliable.
  2. Used for training and review purposes: Having recordings of day to day challenges that are experienced by employees can be used to train and improve employees and the running of your business.
  3. Decreases likelihood of incidences: The presence of a body camera acts as a deterrent in itself. Where a confrontation might have occurred, they are less likely to happen with the knowledge that interactions are being recorded. 
  4. Reduction in false accusations: False accusations can be difficult to dismiss. With the presence of body-worn cameras, false accusations are less likely to be made with true recordings of interactions. 


body camerasWho does Wall to Wall recommend body-worn cameras to?

Any number of businesses can benefit from the use of body-worn cameras. Their use for safety, security and training purposes can aid in a multitude of industries. If members of staff experience any hostility, false accusations or risk of assault, body cameras can provide employees with a sense of security at work. Additionally, body-worn cameras can add a sense of safety to the members of the public, with body cameras providing admissible evidence in court if an incident was to occur. 

Body cameras at Wall to Wall

At Wall to Wall we supply a range of Hyter body cameras. They are light, small and sophisticated. Hytera body cameras can now support features including; infrared, GPS, ability to live stream, integration with wearable equipment, full HD video quality and night vision. The models available are the VM780, VM685, VM550D and the VM550. Browse our selection of body cameras here to find the perfect one for you and your business. 

Read about our other new launch for 2020: POC radios.

How You Can Benefit From Two Way Radios

How You Can Benefit From Two Way Radios

Two way radios have been in circulation and benefiting organisations for over 100 years. To this day, two way radios are still benefiting organisations from all industries from both the public and private sector in a number of ways. With their robust design, easy to use functions and useful features, there are many advantages to using two way radios. We’ve listed some of the benefits below:

  • Instantaneous communication

Two way radios allow you to communicate with other members of your team instantaneously and without delay. These fast working devices allow you to similarly make fast and effective decisions, particularly useful when communicating during an emergency situation. Each radio design is unique, but commonly there is a large PTT (push to talk) button on one side. This allows the radio users to communicate at a single touch. If your staff are required to wear PPE kit, small and fiddly buttons can be tricky to navigate. With two way radios, regardless of the equipment being worn, communication is fast and easy.

hospital radio

  • Robust two way radios

Two way radios are built with a robust casing to keep up with you and your team. Two way radios are rigorously tested to ensure that they can withstand water, dust, heat, drops and shock. This allows your team to function in even the toughest environments, knowing their communication technology will still keep them connected.

For particularly hazardous environments, there are also ATEX radios which stand for ATmosphere EXplosibles. These radios are specifically designed to be used in environments where explosive and flammable substances are present. These radios are particularly robust to ensure no spark is produced and the highest safety standards are met. You can read our blog ‘What Are ATEX Radios and do I Need Them’ here to find out more. 

atex radios

  • Protection and security

Two way radios can significantly increase the safety of both your staff and visitors. In addition to opening a line of reliable communication, two way radios can also come with additional safety features which include the Lone Worker function and Man Down function. The Lone Worker function sends out automated alarms at regular intervals, and if a worker does not respond within a certain time frame an alarm is activated to signal for assistance. The Man Down function on two way radios, on the other hand, monitors for irregular movements such as vigorous movement or no movement at all. 

To learn more about how the Lone Work and Man Down functions can benefit your organisation you can read our blog post ‘Lone Worker and Man Down Function: How Can They Help You’.

radio earpiece

  • Reliable battery

Two way radios have reliable intelligent battery technology that ensures your radios will last your full shift. Without having to recharge your radio batteries throughout the day, your communication between team members will be constant and uninterrupted.

two way radio

  • Resilient signal

Where mobile signal fails, radio signal prevails. In built up areas or at busy events such as festivals and concerts, the mobile network can become overwhelmed and signal lost. This presents problems if you are working in such conditions and you need to communicate. However, two way radio signals will remain operational during these busy events, in emergencies and at major incidents.


  • Secure communication

Two way radio communications can be encrypted end to end, providing your team with a secure line of communication. The quality of voice and data transmissions will remain high, with clear audio messages whilst still protecting the content of your messages.

security two way radio hire

  • Collaborative environment

Members of your team can remain connected even when they are separated by rooms, floors or even site locations (learn about Multi-site Connectivity here). Two way radios can even be connected to tablets, mobile phones, PC’s and alarm systems for complete visibility. This open communication builds the perfect foundation for collaboration and teamwork.

intrinsically safe radio

If you feel that your organisation can benefit from the advantages of two way radios, please do get in contact via our email address info@walltowallcomm.co.uk, phone number 0208 770 1007 or by filling out the form below.

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