How a Walkie Talkie Works

use of a walkie talkie

Do you want to know how a Walkie Talkie works? A Walkie Talkie is nothing more than a radio device that can be used both as a transmitter and as a receiver (that is why they are also known as “two-way radio” ).

In many ways, a walkie works in a very similar way to a mobile phone, but there are significant differences.

All the keys to using a walkie talkie

First of all, communication between two Walkie Talkies can only be carried out simultaneously, contrary to what happens with mobiles, where both parties can speak at the same time.

On radios, however, you have to wait for the transmitter to finish speaking and then press the side button ( push to talk ) to transmit your message.

Second, professional radios have much more autonomy and independence compared to telephones, since the latter always need the signal from a nearby tower.

Meanwhile, walkie talkies are autonomous and independent radios that transmit and receive signals by themselves, so as long as there is another device nearby transmitting on the same frequency and from the same channel, communication will be possible.


Types of Walkie Talkies

Different types of walkie talkies differ by the type of technology, but also by the use that is going to give them.

Analog Walkie Talkies: Less and less are manufactured due to the better performance and quality of digital models. Still, many digital models are compatible with analogue.

Digital Walkie Talkies: Better sound quality than analogue, greater privacy, coverage or advanced call control; also, they have longer battery life.

Atex Walkie Talkies: Mandatory for communications in explosive environments such as air mixtures with fog, vapours, gases.

Tetra Walkie Talkies: It is the most advanced telecommunications system. It ensures the highest quality and security in its transmissions, with more advanced encryption and protection systems—walkies designed for security and emergency bodies.

Batteries for Walkie Talkies

Another element that gives greater autonomy are the batteries for walkies since their duration is greater than that of mobile phones.

Indeed, a two-way radio can last much longer without recharging than a mobile.

Channels of a Walkie Talkie

The two walkie talkies used for communication must be configured on the same channel, so before speaking, you must look for the channel through which you want to communicate.

Ideally, use one channel for each department of your company.

For example, if you work in a nightclub, one channel can be used to speak safely, another for bar waiters, another for table waiters …

The PMR446 Walkie Talkies (unlicensed) has 8 channels.

But the most professional also have subchannels, which exponentially increases the number of people and groups with whom to communicate.

how to use a walkie talkie

Range of a Walkie Talkie

There are Walkie Talkies whose signal is capable of reaching several kilometers around.

However, these are maximums achievable only in rural and flat areas, with no obstacles in sight.

Differences between UHF and VHF

UHF and VHF are two types of frequencies that walkie talkies use for very different situations.

The wave type of UHF makes it suitable for indoors or small spaces with some obstacles between them, such as mountains, walls or buildings.

However, VHF is used for more open spaces , open air (in the field) without obstacles and for transmissions that need a long range. It is usually the most suitable type of frequency to use in large outdoor events.


How to increase the coverage of a Walkie Talkie

With a walkie talkie repeater, preferably located in strategic areas, at high altitudes and without interference or obstacles, a walkie talkie can broadcast much farther.

There are different types, but the most used is duplex.

In this type of repeater, there are two different frequencies for the same band. The input (the one that the walkie emits to the repeater) and the output (the one that the repeater emits to the walkie receiver).

Top 5 PMR446 walkie talkies

Are you interested in a walkie without a license for personal use? The PMR446 walkie talkies are the perfect option since you can be in communication without the need for a license in the vast majority of countries.

Whether it is to organize an activity in the mountains or for professional areas, it is essential to have the best communication system: with PMR devices we can always be in contact without the need for coverage.

In this post, we tell you what this technology consists of and which are the 5 best PMR446 walkies on the market so that you can choose the one that best suits your activities.

What is a PMR446 walkie talkie?

The audio equipment used in tents and mountain activities is usually devices with Personal Mobile Radiofrequency (446 MHz), which have different channels and sub-channels for free.

To better understand what this frequency consists of, we put you a bit in context: radio transmitters are regulated by law, by transmission power and by frequency.

One of those frequency bands is free to use, so the radio license is not mandatory and is what we know as PMR 446.

There are two types of sub-channels or codes: CTCSS (Continuous Tone Controlled Squelch System) codes or sub-tones and DCS (Digital Coded Squelch) codes or sub-tones.

The CTCSS undertones use a low-frequency tone (between 67 and 250 Hz) together with the voice signal and allow us to select the Squelch (noise silencer) to avoid discomfort during conversations.

DCS is similar to CTCSS, but instead of emitting a continuous tone on the selected frequency, digital transmission of data is added to the radio signal.

List of the best PMR walkie talkie on the market

There are hundreds of differences between PMR and professional walkies (coverage, power, etc.), so let’s see some of the best models available on the market and what advantages each one has.

Motorola, the technological brand par excellence, offers communication devices for users with high audio quality and privacy.

1. Motorola XT420 PMR Walkie


The XT400 Professional series is the perfect option, both for personal and professional use, due to its sound quality and security in its communications (between 8 and 219 channels).

It offers the possibility of a hands-free VOX and PTT function, which makes it possible to facilitate and even optimize tasks in the workplace by improving communication between employees.

In addition to being very resistant, the Motorola XT420 PMR walkie (IP55 standard certified), has a 2150 lithium battery and a cover with clip to hang it and carry it comfortably with us.

2. Motorola CLP446 Bluetooth walkie talkie


Do you want to have more comfortable and simple communications? The walkie Motorola CLP446, thanks to its Bluetooth connection to connect a wireless headset and communicate freely from anywhere.

What I like most about this device is its compact and light format:  its size is so discreet that you will forget that you are carrying it.

It is perfect for work environments such as hospitality or surveillance since it has eight communication channels and is compatible with other PMR446 walkies.

If we talk about distances, it does not exceed 7,400 m2 of reach, so it is not the model with the most capacity of the brand. Even so, its antenna integrated into the device ensures the best coverage even in difficult places.

3. Motorola XT460 walkie talkie


If you are looking for a PMR device with a long-range, you will love the Motorola XT460 for its optimal conditions even over long distances.

The Motorola XT-460 walkie for free use PMR446 has military standards such as MIL810 to guarantee maximum security between channels, as well as VOX function and be compatible with other radios of the same brand.

This model is liked for being practical and efficient. It has a range of 10 kilometres and its battery can last up to 20 hours. Can you ask for more?

4. Kenwood PKT-23E


Kenwood offers us a simple, easy to use and very light equipment. The PKT-23 walkie is ideal for those looking for easy-to-use professional PMR walkies.

With only 110 grams, the PKT-23E radio is the smallest and lightest Kenwood PMR446 radio on the market, so you can carry it on your belt or pocket without being disturbed.

One of the best advantages? In addition to meeting the IP54 standard (resistant to dust and water), it has a standard micro USB port to charge the device’s battery from anywhere.

5. Kenwood ProTalk TK-3501


For efficient equipment, the Kenwood ProTalk Tk-3501 delivers the best audio quality even in the harshest environments.

In addition to being robust, it has a 1.5 W BTL amplifier and an internal speaker that guarantees clear sound without interference.

Like almost all models of this brand, this device complies with the military standard MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F & G. It includes 16 communication channels and built-in VOX. Safety and power guaranteed!

We hope that this post has helped you understand what Personal Mobile Radio is and know which are the five best PMR446 walkies in the current market.

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