TWO WAY RADIOs

Anyone use them?

Any complaints with current top models?motorola, uniden, cobra, etc

As designers and users, what would be the primary concerns?

First off, they all look the same…

Cap’n,

Are you talking about vehicle-mounted two-way FM equipment, Citizen Band Radios, or 4 watt, short RANGE (10 mile), handheld, “FSR” style products?

About a year ago I bought a set of AudioVOX radios to use while the wife and I were ferrying my mother’s car across country. I didn’t want to go to the expense of buying two CB sets, and have to go to the trouble of mounting radios, antennas; The set was only $90 or so, and solved the com problem.

Little did I know that the ‘features’ on most of these radios are so troublesome to access, that it seriously detracts from their usefulness. Multiple featues per key; cumbersome menus, physically small buttons, etc.

To make matters even more difficult; now a year later I discover that I misplaced the damned Instruction Manual and am having a helluva time trying to re-learn the thing.

:bulb: I went on line and found the manual @ audiovox website … D’oh! :unamused:

Regardless… product is still too “complex.” Too many features is my complaint; keep it simple; turn it on, press to talk, with analog volume control. Period. I find the LCD is too small to understand the icons used to denote functions. One last bitch; the earbud sucks… at least on this particular model (GMRS9010-2CH) … I thought we might be able to use it as an ‘intercom’ while we ride our BMW, but the thing keeps falling out of my ear because it has no “ear loop” to keep it in.

awesome feedback.

Good stuff.

What are your feelings on weatherproofness? I’ve heard of them being dropped into puddles.

Also, any views on the antenna? Does it have to be 3 inches and pointing up off center? It has jabbed people and bruised ribs during skiing accidents. Every model out there has the same stereotypical look with the fat black antenna.

RF isn’t a science, it’s some conglomeration of black magic and luck…and at the root of its power is the need for protruding antennas! I wish it weren’t the case, but no one has found a antenna-free solution from what I’ve seen…except for those pesky cell phone thingies…

me again…

If you’re worried about water-proof-ness then you should be looking at marine VHF sets … but it ain’t gonna be cheap. And you can’t legally use VHF equipment on-shore.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/10001/-1/10001/241005/10001/542/64/3

A folding antenna might be a consideration. Constituting a very minor improvement to the product, it would add to the part count, decrease reliability (from breakage), and certainly drive the price up.

keep it simple; turn it on, press to talk, with analog volume control. Period. I find the LCD is too small to understand the icons used to denote functions.

I have checked out some marine radios. Yes, all very much more expensive.

I was more interested in the snow ski/snowboard/patrol. I have a friend who works at a ski lodge, he says he goes through a set of $100-150 motorola top models every 6 or so months. Snow gets into the holes (speaker, battery comp) and destroys it. Also falling on the fat antennas is an often dangerous issue.

For something like a ski-patrol person I would be thinking along the lines of a police radio. We’ve all seen them on “Cops.” The radio is worn in a holster, and the “mike” is worn on a shoulder epaulet.

Take this a little further. In a specialized situtation, such as ski-patrol, consider replacing the external shoulder attached mike with a voice-activated boom-mike (affixed to the wearers’ helmet), or a throat-band type. The trans/ceiver is protected by the holster.

Look Ma, no hands!!

The voice-activated mike is WWII technology … a flexible antenna isn’t anything new either.

Interesting thoughts.
Kinda reminds me of Nike’s CommVest:

Having shoulder harnesses and separate unit and mouthpiece seems to be going away from the general look and function of the 2-way radio. Yes, maybe OK for the ski patrol.

I’ve been still researching… the only waterproof 2 way are marine grade ones that are $300+. Nothing for the snow environment.


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Cap’n,

Garmin, leader in GPS devices, manufactures a series of GPS/2-way WATERPROOF radios called Rino. They are FRS/GMRS capable so they will communicate with any other manufacturers comparable two-way “family” radio products.

http://www.garmin.com/pressroom/outdoor/010802.html

Rino 110, 120, 130
waterproof, 2 mile range, Starting @ $200SRP
http://www.garmin.com/products/rino/#

Rino 520, 530
GPS/2-way; waterproof, 14 mile range, electronic flux-gate compass, barometric altimeter; $535 SRP
http://www.garmin.com/products/rino530/

110

p.s. these are all equipped with VOX (voice activated mike)