FAQ

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FAQ

Walkie-talkie channels vary depending on the brand and type of walkie talkies. Generally: 

Consumer or personal use walkie-talkies like FRS and GMRS walkie talkies typically have 22 channels and PMR446 walkie talkies have 16 channels 

Some brands offer up to 32 channels, but no receiver allows the simultaneous use of more than eight channels. 

Commercial grade walkie talkies can have 2 to 16 channels. 

Heavy-duty walkie talkies used by entities like fire and police departments may provide up to 256 channels. 

The range of walkie talkies depends on various factors, including transmitting output power, antenna efficiency, obstacles, and atmospheric conditions 

Transmitter power is a crucial factor affecting range. Walkie talkies typically have output power ranging from 0.5 watts to 5 watts. Generally, higher transmitting power output and better antenna result in longer ranges. However, obstacles (building, trees, etc.) and weather conditions (rain, cloudy skies) also affect a walkie talkie’s range. 

Walkie talkies are commonly categorized into three main range types: short-range, mid-range, and long-range, each serving different purposes. 

Short-Range Walkie Talkies: 

Short-range walkie talkies known as consumer grade or personal use license free walkie talkies with output power 500 milliwatts typically cover distances of up to one and half mile (2.4 kilometers) or less depending on environment. 

The walkie talkies are designed for recreational and business use such as camping, hiking, outdoor sports, and for business such as restaurant, retail, education, religion organization or small-scales events. 

Mid-Range Walkie Talkies: 

Mid-range or commercial grade walkie talkies with power within 0.5 watts to 5 watts offer a range of one and half to five miles (1.6 to 8 kilometers) or more in some situations.  

The walkie talkies are suitable for applications like security teams patrolling, construction site, larger outdoor events, golf course, hotel, racing, farming and agriculture, etc. 

Long-Range Walkie Talkies: 

Long-range or professional grade walkie talkies with power output 4W~5W with more powerful antennas and higher output power can cover distances of several miles, sometime can reaching 10 miles (16 kilometers) or more in some situations, but this range is can still be affected by obstacles, weather and interference.  

These walkie talkies are commonly used in scenarios such as search and rescue operations, mining, oil and gas industries, transportation & logistics, marine, professional working across vast open spaces etc. 

The stated range is just an estimate. Always testing your walkie talkies intended environment is essential to ensure they meet your communication needs. Consider specific needs and priorities when choosing walkie talkies. 

For instances where long-range communication is critical, prioritizing higher power output, selecting the appropriate frequency for your environment, and ensuring a high-quality antenna are key factors to consider. 

In professional settings where reliable and regulated communication is essential, licensed radio systems often provide more robust features and capabilities compared those of consumer-grade walkie talkies. These systems offer greater reliability and adherence to regulatory standards, making them suitable for critical communication needs. 

Lastly, it’s vital to use walkie talkies within legal and authorized frequencies and power levels as per the regulations in your region. Compliance with these regulations ensures smooth and interference-free communication while avoiding potential legal issues. 

When confronted with different types of water-resistant walkie talkies, it can be challenging to decide which one is best suited to your need, either waterproof or weatherproof models. 

Water-resistant walkie-talkies are ideal for anyone needing to communicate outdoors or in potentially wet conditions without risking damage from rain, splashes, or other exposure to water.  

Walkie-talkies that work in damp environments are considered weather-resistant, while weatherproof walkie-talkies can withstand more severe conditions. Water-resistant models will work in light rain conditions even if they get splashed. A walkie-talkie that withstands harsher rain and can be immersed in water for a while can be classified as waterproof. 

IP (Ingress Protection) ratings are used to classify the resistance of a device against the intrusion of dust and liquids. The IP code is composed of two numbers. In short, the higher the first digit, the better the resistance to dust; the higher the second digit, the better the resistance to liquids. 

Lower-end license free consumer walkie talkies might use AA or AAA batteries and the latest model, manufacturer is considered to use the Li-ion battery pack in their model. For commercial and professional walkie talkies are using the customized battery pack with casing.  

In general, most of the walkie talkies use these types of batteries: NiCad, NiMH or Li-Ion Battery. The strength of a walkie talkie battery determines the duration and efficiency of radio operation in transmit and receive broadcast. 

Generally, any two or more brands of walkie talkies can be made to work with each other if they are on the same frequency band and subcode. But they will not necessarily communicate together straight away, or “out of the box”, because the walkie talkie default setting might be different and unique features activated from manufacturer. 

Ciphersmesh offers different models of walkie talkies to suit your specific needs and priorities. Some models have additional features such as VOX, noise cancellation, analog scrambling, special code (Digital Quiet Talk), wireless cloning, longer battery life, parent guide for family and kids’ walkie talkie etc.  

Chipersmesh’s walkie talkies are compatible with other models except certain features vary from model basics. For further details, you may contact customer service. 

In general, Chipersmesh’s walkie talkies are also compatible to other brands for talk and listen, but they will not necessarily communicate together straight away, or “out of the box”, because the walkie talkie default setting might be different and unique features activated from manufacturer. 

No receiving voice messages from other walkie talkie. Check the walkie talkies settings and make sure they match on both devices.  

Most of the walkie talkies have an audio accessory port which can be connected to a headset or earpiece. However, not all headsets and earpieces are suitable for all walkie talkies. Ciphersmesh highly recommend using the headset or earpiece designated for the products. For a list of approved accessories for your walkie talkies model, you may visit to www.ciphersmesh.com for accessories. 

Absolutely! Walkie talkies are devices that communicate instantly without depending on cell phone signals. They are very helpful in places where there is little or no cell service, in urgent situations, or when fast and clear communication is needed.

  • To pair the walkie talkies, you need to follow these steps:
    • Make sure your walkie talkies are compatible and have enough battery power.
    • Turn on both devices and set them to the same channel (frequency band) and privacy code (CTCSS/DCS subcode). Make sure they match on group devices. You can use the channel selector knob or the button setting to do this. You can refer to the user guide of your walkie talkie model for more details.
    • Once the same channel and subcode is set. Press and hold the push-to-talk (PTT) button on one device and speak into the microphone. The other device should receive your voice message.
    • Release the PTT button and wait for the other person to respond.
    • Now walkie talkies are paired and can start communicating.
    • If you hear static noise or interference, try changing the channel or moving to a different location. You can also use the squelch function to reduce the background noise.

There are various methods to change the walkie talkie channels depending on the models. You can refer to the user guide of your walkie talkie model for more details. In general, to change the channels, you need to use either the channel selector knob or button setting to select the channel number depending on model.

 

There are a few ways to test if your walkie talkies are working properly. Here are some tips:

    • Unable to power on walkie talkies. Please charge the walkie talkies or replace it with a new battery. Clean the battery contact to ensure no dirt to provide proper electrical connection.
    • Cannot transmit. Check the battery level and make sure the device is fully charged or has enough power.
    • No receiving voice messages from other walkie talkie. Check the channel and frequency settings and make sure they match on both devices. You can use either the channel selector knob or button setting to select the channel number depending on model.
    • Receiving low volume or no audio. Make sure the walkie talkie is unmuted. Test the speaker volume by adjusting the volume knob or button and listening to the audio output. Additionally, you can also connect the headset or earpiece if your walkie talkie supports this feature. To reduce the risk of hearing damage, always use the lowest volume necessary to do your duty and turn up the volume only if you are in a noisy environment.
    • Buttons no function. To check if the button is locked or not, you can look for a lock icon on the display screen or listen for a beep sound when you press any button. If the button is locked, you will see the lock icon or hear the beep sound. To unlock the button, you need to locate the lock button and press it for a few seconds to unlock the button. You can refer to the user manual of your walkie talkie model for more details on how to use the button lock function.  
    • No receiving audio messages. Please ensure the walkie talkie is set to the same channel and privacy code (CTCSS/DCS subcode) and the walkie talkies are within coverage range.
    • If you hear static noise or interference, try changing the channel or moving to a different location. You can also use the squelch function to reduce the background noise if the model is equipped with it.
    • Test the other functions and features of your walkie talkie, such as the emergency button, the NOAA weather channels (depend on the country and model), the flashlight, the scanning, etc. Refer to the user guide for more information on how to use these functions.
    • The battery does not hold charge. There may be an issue with the battery. Please contact us at info@ciphersmesh.com for assistance or a replacement battery.

If you follow these steps and your walkie talkies are still not working properly, you may need to contact the manufacturer or after-sales service for repair or replacement. I hope this helps.

As devices that broadcast via radio waves, walkie talkies come under the same laws that govern regular radio broadcasts.  You may need to obtain a license from the agency before you can legally operate a walkie talkie in your area. Failure to do so may result in penalties or legal action. You may visit the relevant agency website or visit their office for more information. You also need to comply with certain regulations and restrictions on the frequency, power and range of your walkie talkie.

However, there is still a type of radio communication service that operates in a specific frequency band and low power output allows two-way voice communications over short distances and does not require an operator’s license, but all walkie talkie used in the country must be certified by government agency.

One of the most common questions that arise when using walkie-talkies is whether a license is required. In general, there are two main types of walkie talkie which are “licensed” and “license-free”.

Licensed:

United State:

  • The most popular types of personal radio services are Citizens Band Radio Service, Family Radio Service FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Low-Power Radio Service (LPRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS). Of these types of services, only General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) requires an FCC license to operate. [1]
  • General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a land-mobile radio service available for short-distance, two-way communications. A GMRS system may legally be operated only with an FCC license. The individual licensee is responsible for the proper operation of the GMRS system. A licensee may permit his or her immediate family members to operate the GMRS system. [1]
  • A GMRS system is made up of station operators and a mobile station consisting of one or more mobile units. It may also include one or more land stations. Some land stations operate as repeaters, thereby extending the range of GMRS mobile units.[1]
  • New GMRS licenses are granted only to individuals, but GMRS licenses granted to non-individuals (such as businesses) before July 31, 1987, can be renewed if certain conditions are met. You can apply for a GMRS license online, or by filing FCC Form 605. The FCC sets license filing fees annually, and licenses are granted for 10 years.[1]

All countries within the European Union, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and India:

  • For extra range and high output power >500mW, you may look at dedicated UHF or VHF walkie talkie with purchase license from government agency.

Australia & New Zealand

  • Any frequencies outside of Citizen’s Band (476–477 MHz range) are for commercial use only and all need to be licensed.

Malaysia

  • The Amateur Radio Service, also known as Ham Radio Service, required a license to operate and use the equipment that been approved by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

License-free:

United State:

  • Family Radio Service (FRS) allows two-way voice communications over short distances (generally less than one-half mile on the 0.5-watt channels and up to two miles on the 2-watt channels, depending on conditions). You can operate your FRS unit anywhere in the U.S. and its possessions.  [1]
  • Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is a private, two-way short-distance voice or data radio communications service.

The service operates on five VHF channels. MURS users must cooperate in using the five channels to reduce interference to other users. No user has priority over any other user, but all users must yield to emergency communications. A MURS station may not operate as a repeater station, including store-and-forward packet radio operation, or a signal booster.

The maximum allowable output power for a MURS unit is two watts. Transmission range between two hand-held units varies depending on the unit’s antenna height, terrain and weather.[1]

All countries within the European Union, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, India and Vietnam

PMR446 is a license free type of radio communication that does not require a license in the UK and most of the EU countries. PMR446 stands for Personal Mobile Radio, and it operates in the 446 MHz (UHF) frequency band. The PMR446 devices have a limited power output of 500 mW and use predefined channels according to the standard.

Australia, New Zealand

  • The UHF Citizen’s Band system in the 476–477 MHz range and a maximum power output of 5W are set for the public to use.

Malaysia

  • 27MHz Citizen Band 26.9650MHz to 27.4050MHz with maximum 4W is a license free for commercial and recreational use.
  • PMR446 is a license free type of radio communication that does not require a license however the walkie talkies used in Malaysia must be certified by MCMC.
  • Use of the frequency bands of 477.0125MHz to 477.4875MHz and 477.5250MHz to 477.9875MHz for PRS devices no longer permitted starting from 1 January 2023.

Using walkie talkies without a license is a criminal offense and may result in fines, imprisonment, or confiscation of your device.

Reference:

[1] Federal Communication Commission’s Consumer Guides/ Personal Radio Services

Walkie talkie regulations vary from country to country. Some countries may have specific frequency bands or power limits for walkie talkies, while others may have more flexible or open standards. If you travel with your walkie talkies, you need to make sure that they are compatible and legal in the destination country.

Walkie talkies use either Very High Frequency (VHF) or Ultra High Frequency (UHF) to communicate. VHF walkie talkies can reach farther in open areas, but they have trouble with buildings or foliage. UHF walkie talkies can go through obstacles better, but they have a shorter range.

The range also depends on the power output, which is usually between 0.5 and 5 watts. The higher the power output, the longer the range, but the faster the battery drains.

The antenna quality can also make a difference in the range. A longer or external antenna can improve the signal. The range and clarity can be affected by obstacles and interference, such as buildings, trees, terrain, and other devices.

To solve these problems, you can change the channel, move to a different place, or use the squelch function to reduce the noise.  

As conclusion, selecting the appropriate walkie talkie model and employing techniques to enhance range can help you achieve effective and dependable communication in various situations.

Walkie talkies can work over long distances, especially high output power models. However, the actual range may vary depending on factors like frequency, power output, antenna and the presence of obstacles.

Yes, Ciphersmesh has waterproof walkie talkies designed to withstand extreme conditions. These are suitable for activities such as boating, kayaking, or outdoor adventures or business operations in rainy environments.

Walkie talkies are devices that use radio waves in specific frequencies to communication. Hence, interference may occur if other devices are operating on the same frequency. Using different channels, frequencies and privacy code can help minimize interference.

Can other people listen to my conversations on these walkie talkies? Are there any encryption features?

Walkie talkies are devices that use radio waves in specific frequencies to communication. Hence, people can listen to your communications if other devices are operating on the same frequency & CTCSS/DCS code.

Encryption is a way to protect your walkie talkie conversations from being heard by others. It works by changing your voice data into a code that only your devices can understand. There are different kinds of encryption, such as analog scrambling, digital encryption, and special code (Digital Quiet Talk (DQT).

You need to make sure your walkie talkies have the same encryption type and key. You can find more information about encryption in your user manual or online.

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