With the growing popularity of two-way radios for both commercial and personal use, it seems they’re everywhere. They’re particularly popular for both staff and visitors at vacation resorts. Since the FCC approved the Family Radio Service (FRS) band in 1996 and later allowed for integrated GMRS and FRS for a small licensing fee, the power and the number of channels available to two-way radio users increased significantly. Ever improving two-way radio technology and efforts to make radios smaller, lightweight and ergonomic has made them a top choice over cell phones for staying connected with coworkers, friends and family.
Ski slopes, hiking trails and vacation resorts are examples of environments where two-way radios are prevalent. Most offer 22 channels and up to 121 privacy (or interference elimination) codes for each main channel. While that sounds like an awful lot, available frequencies can fill up fast in busy areas. So, TwoWayRadiosFor.com offers these tips on locating a clear channel for your two-way radios.
• Switch off your radio’s Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS).
• Choose a channel and listen for activity. Skip Channel 1. Since many users don’t bother to change channels when they take their new radios out of the box, Channel 1 is usually busy.)
• Listen for a minute or two. If conversations are ongoing, try Channel 2, then Channel 3 and so on until an unused main channel is found.
• If you are in a high-traffic area and main channels are filled, choose the main channel with the least amount of chatter, switch your radio’s CTCSS back on and choose a privacy/interference elimination code that provides suitable communication.
Remember that others who happen to dial up the same channel and code can hear your conversation, so avoid sharing sensitive information – like the fact that your lodge room is empty while your whole family is on the slopes.
For more helpful tips on programming and using your new two-way radios, including downloadable owner manuals for Motorola RDX, CLS, DTR and XTN series models, visit TwoWayRadiosFor.com’s online Knowledge Base.