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Old 06-02-02, 03:24 PM   #1
Dan Smith
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Walkie-talkies?

What's good, cheap, hands-free, no press-to-talk-nonsense walkie-talkie system that would be suitable for a couple of cyclists to wear when cycling casually, so they can conduct friendly conversation when not riding abreast (or when separated by a few hundred yards?)
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Old 06-02-02, 05:27 PM   #2
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Wow, I never thought of this, sounds like a great idea! I am very interested to hear suggestions too!
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Old 06-02-02, 05:50 PM   #3
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I would probably stick with Motorola since they are kind of the standard. Two way FRS (Family Radio Service) radios come in 3 types .

14 channel with no sub-channels (usually 38 sub-channels or privacy codes per channel). With these you both set your radios on the same channel, say, 8 or whatever. Nominal 2-mile range. I have seen Motorola's most basic model for 10 bucks on a special promotional sale at a local electronics store. That was unusual, but you can almost always pick them up for $15-20. With these you may be on the same channel as someone else in the area, and you only have 14 to choose from.

14 channel with 38 privacy codes per channel. With these you both have to set the same channel and sub-channel, say 8/24. Nominal 2-mile range. With these you have thousands of possible combinations so you don't have to worry about possibly sharing a channel. These cost a little more. $30-50

(Usually) 15 channels with 38 privacy codes, the first 8 channels are usually FRS (nominal 2-mile range) and the upper 7 are GMRS (nominal 5-mile range) The GMRS channels require an FCC license to use. Not that you can't use them without it, you just aren't supposed to. The license is just a matter of applying and sending in about $25. A local electronics store had the Motorola 6400 for $50 after rebate, regularly $75.

All of the brands offer hands free operation, but not necessarily every model does so you have to make sure. Another caveat - if you want to use an earphone/mic combo of some kind, which is really convenient for riding, only the ones that are like a headset, loop over the head with boom mike, offer hands-free, ie voice activated, operation. The earbud/in-line microphone type are all PTT, press to talk. I checked. At least Motorola, Kenwood, and Cobra when I was looking to buy. I really wanted the latter type with VOX but couldn't find one. Kenwood advertises that they are the choice of many pro teams. You sometimes see the pros holding their lapel when talking because they have to push a little button on the mic. I'm sure if there were hands free available they would all be using them. I have a pair of Cobras that seem to work well though I haven't had occasion to use them on a ride.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-02-02, 08:50 PM   #4
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Hey, Nike used to have some walkie-talkies right? I'm not sure but when I checked out the website, it is no longer there.

Is it still in production or is it having some serious problems with the walkie-talkies? Any consumers wanna share their views on the walkie-talkies made by Nike?
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Old 06-03-02, 07:15 AM   #5
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Actually I have been searching for the same thing. I have found a couple nice different pairs on ebay if you do not wear a helment (I do not condone NOT wearing a helment), but since my daughter and I wear helments the choice seems rather limited. I have a set of kenwwod FRS radios, and the VOC works OK, but not great. I use them when hunting and use the "push to talk" rather than the "voice activated" feature because it seems like you always miss the first word, or have to make some sound to activate them before starting to talk. However Radio Shack makes a TRC-500 that has a limited range (1/4 mile) and uses a 9 volt battery, has a actual headset (another problem with the kenwoods and their ear phone buds, they would not stay in while riding). The antenna curves along the head set band which is thin, there is only 1 ear piece (so 1 ear is "open"). I have not tried them, I am still looking to buy some for the same reasons.
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Old 06-03-02, 10:01 AM   #6
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http://commerce.motorola.com/consume...2way_comp.html

I have the T6220 - definitely not cheap, but I bought them when they had a rebate out (check motorola's site often - they have them a lot). Anyway, I love them. They work great and are nice and light. THey come in a AA model and a rechargeable NiMh Model.

Ebert says "two thumbs up."

btw, they work great between caravaning cars too
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Old 06-03-02, 05:43 PM   #7
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My wife bought me a pair at Radio shack that worked pretty well and weren't too expensive.

I used them for skiing. They were a bit fagile for that and all the travelling that came with it, so they became troublesome.

They did have a voice activated feature that was handy so you didn't have to push any buttons when sending the message.
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Old 06-04-02, 11:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike

They did have a voice activated feature that was handy so you didn't have to push any buttons when sending the message.
How did it work?
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Old 06-05-02, 03:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spire


How did it work?
You just talk into the microphone. It takes some getting used to because it takes a half-second of sound to activate the VOX. So you had to say "Uhm..." or something for a half second and then start talking. If you didn't do that, the first half of your first word would be cut out.

Once you get used to it, though, it works good.
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Old 07-27-02, 12:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by fofa
. However Radio Shack makes a TRC-500 that has a limited range (1/4 mile) .
Avoid this one like the plague. I work for the Shack and I've seen those come back WAAAAY too often. Go with the (can't remember the SKU) Yellow or Green 14ch / 38 Queit code Walkie Talkies I sell them very regularly and have never seen one come back to any of the 3 stores I've worked at during my indenture. It's a pity the Motorola T289 isn't offered by the Shack anymore. We were selling those for $29.99 and I was making a POINT to tell people about the $20 mail in rebate at Motorola. com (I bought 4 that way plus my discount I paid like $5 a radio)
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