Our Family Walkie Talkie Communication Solution
In A Family, Communication Is Key
Our family takes regular daytrips to really cool places on weekends. We like to go exploring in local forests and parks. Sometimes we head to the Zoo. Other times we go up to large malls to do a bit of shopping. Regardless of where we go as a family, every family member has their own walkie talkie. We’ve found that having personal communication devices such as walkie talkies are great for communication with the whole family.
We didn’t want to have to spend money on monthly phone service for the three younger ones — they don’t need phones… yet.
Having the walkie talkies has made life when we’re out really simple. There’s no more guesswork in trying to find family members. You just need to “key up” the 2 way and ask them. Last year we took a weeklong trip to Disney World. During the four days we were actually on grounds, the walkie talkies allowed us to keep tabs on where we all were. Sometimes the boys and I would break off and go do our own thing, other times mom would take a kid or two off to some attraction. Our radios were a life saver when it came to meeting up for lunch or dinner!
The radios also are used when we go exploring in parks or around lakes. We don’t need to stay together if mom wants to hang back and take photos (she’s a photographer) while the kids and I have fun exploring or get lost in a make believe world.
Walkie Talkies For Family Use
When you’re shopping for Walkie Talkies, you will want to find ones that run on the Family Radio Service bands. While we don’t need to go into the nuts and bolts of what FRS is, understand that it’s the only frequencies that you and your kids can use without getting a licence to use. Most over the counter walkie talkies run on the FRS bands, allowing them to be sold to anyone.
Family radios operate on 14 main frequencies per FCC regulations. Channels 1-7 on your radio are shared with the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which does require a licence if you use any channel other than these seven channels.
According to the FCC, a radio that can broadcast on both FRS and GMRS frequencies can be used without a license ONLY if you stick to the FRS bands.
“If you operate a radio that has been approved under the GMRS rules, you must have a GMRS license. GMRS transmitters generally transmit at higher power levels than is allowed in the FRS and may have detachable antennas. (Note that some dual-service radios transmit with higher power on FRS channels 1 through 7; these radios can be used without a license only on FRS channels 8 through 14.)”
Our Family Uses The Motorola TALKABOUT MH230R Walkie Talkies
We chose to get the MR230R walkie talkies for all of the family. We chose them because they’re easy to use and can be powered by the Ni-MH rechargeable battery (12 hours) or 3 AAA batteries (14 hours).
The radios have 22 channels and 121 privacy codes making it easy for us to find an empty channel, even in crowded areas. Even if there isn’t a free channel, Motorola has a quiet talk feature that when activated, filters out all non-motorola communication as well.
The MH230R’s are also weather resistant, and have worked reliably even in moderate rain.
The only other accessory that we purchased was the Motorola push to talk (PTT) earbud so that you can transmit without having to pull the radio out.
We’ve found that having the radios makes life easier when we’re out and about. While they’re not carried all the time, they are good for day trips and at amusement parks, local parks and other places where your family might potentially split up to go and do things.