advice on buying 2-way radios please

  sunnystaines 13:11 21 Jan 2011

We have been in maplins looking at 2-way radios but lost on on the jargon.

the need is to communicate with each other while out in large town/shopping centres or in large cruise ships etc.

must be able to transmit say from basement level to high level in a large shopping complex. max range outside not too much of an issue.

any recommendations or tips on what to look for please.

  uk-wizard 13:40 21 Jan 2011

VHF is better than 27Mz but on a ship both may not work well. I would go for the click here but you may then have trouble if you get stopped abroad or here if you dont have a licence. The next best is the click here

  sunnystaines 14:21 21 Jan 2011

thanks for the links, the first link is not an option we dont want a licence, but the 2nd link we are considering.

do you think mapilins are the best prices.

  uk-wizard 15:05 21 Jan 2011

Seems the same price as Amazon and elseware.

  spuds 15:17 21 Jan 2011

Maplins prices can be bettered by other retailers. Try Argos, CPC or eBay for a comparison.

Using two-way radios in shopping complexes will most certainly bring suspicion, especially with security. The same would apply on cruise ships and other forms of transport areas, like airports and docks. Using radios in these areas might need special permission, or a licence.

You would also need to consider the lay-out of the shopping complex,town area,or hills and hollows because distance quoted with some of the cheaper models is usually a direct line and not through a jumble of walls, ironwork, concrete and other possible interference barriers.

Next time you are in somewhere like WH Smiths, look for a copy of Amateur Radio or similar magazine.

  sunnystaines 15:35 21 Jan 2011

thanks for the reply, we did a recent cruise and saw two different couples using them on the ship.
never spoke to them, but we thought it was a good idea to avoid the sky high price of a mobilephone on a cruise ship. also handy when going shopping saving on mobile use too.

do not use ebay, but might look at the other options.

uk-wizard we googled that one you put up and only amazon and maplins came up both same price.

  namtas 16:00 21 Jan 2011

You need to go for VHF and the more power the greatest transmit distance. VHF transmits line of sight and the signal only occasionally bends where it bounces off a reflector.
You will find that especially with handhelds you generally get what you pay for so therefore paying a bit more will get a better quality item with better audio and reception
I would recommend Motorola look atMR350R Talkabout Rechargeable Two-Way radio.

Suggest that you do a google search on Motorola two way radios

Some radios have the facility of voice activated microphone and also separate earpiece which obviously can make use invisible. But you need to ask if this option is available if you require it as it is not available to all, I know that Motorola do it.

  sunnystaines 19:18 21 Jan 2011

thanks everyone gone for the binatone 900.

  v1asco 12:07 22 Jan 2011

A word of caution.

As a navigator I am all to aware of how using the most innocent things can really mess up sensitive equipment. If you are using these on a cruise ship please check if it is safe to do so. You may have to check which channel you can use as you could interfere with the ships internal communications, which is not a problem if somebody wants a G & T, but will be if there is an emergency.

Things have improved greatly as regards interference in the last few years but a while back it was different.

A ship I was on used to slow down ocassionally and speed up by itself. It was fully automated, which meant the Engines were controlled by the Bridge Team, and not via the old Telegeaph to the Engine Room, which only signalled to the Engineers what speed we wanted. This went on for months. Finally, over a beer in the Bar the Radio Officer mentioned to no-one in particular the trouble he was having sending messages and he had to use a high frequency he rarely used. The Chief Engineer asked when this was and it was the exact time the engine slowed down. Problem solved!

Of course, his power output is way higher than yours would be (they used to have a bulb taped (not connected) to the transmitting aerial which glowed when transmitting.

A fortune was spent looking for the fault and it was found out over a can of beer. Wouldn't happen now, not allowed to drink.

I hope your radios work well.

  sunnystaines 12:19 22 Jan 2011

thanks for the info

  sunnystaines 12:22 22 Jan 2011

our last cruise the boat struggled at 10-15 knots instead of 20-25, i thought it because the boat was so clapped out and in need of scrapping, wondering now was it passengers using radios? lol

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