questionswhat's the best deal on two-way radios?

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Are you talking real radios or those cheap thingies sold in 2packs from most retailers that are on the FRS/BRS/GMRS frequenciesand put out less than a watt of power?

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@theoneill555: Why not just give your opinion on what you feel is a good two way radio. Let the OP decide if your recommendation is what he is looking for.

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@wadekind: I can answer that one. The OP seems to be asking an open ended question that suggests that they are motivated by the leaderboard recommendation, and rather than use the search to LOOK on the site for the best deal, are asking here, to satisfy that magic "ask some questions" suggestion. The thing is, when someone really makes the effort in their description as to what they hope to have help with, and answers the request for further information when asked, it's a lot more inviting to actually help them.

Out of curiosity, wouldn't it be more helpful to have offered suggestions to the OP than to pick at @theoneill555, who asked a perfectly reasonable question for more details (and which I note has gone unanswered for seven hours)?

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@shrdlu: The OP actually asked a question I am interested in which is why I had nothing for the OP. But like 75% of the questions asked on these boards no one wants to just say "here is what I think is good and why". Either they don't know and just post to keep their count high or they are trying to look like some expert. Unless it is absolutely necessary, answering a question with another question(s) comes off as pretentious especially when we are talking about 2 way radios. The "are you talking about real radios" line was BS. I stand by my 1st post.

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@shrdlu: since I'm not staring at my screen repeatedly refreshing it hoping for a sarcastic answer to my question (e.g. see theoniell555) 8-12 hours isn't that long to respond...

What, are you guys like the WOOT bullies??? The gatekeepers??? Get a life.

If no one wants to answer they won't...but you should keep your rude and snide comments to yourselves...

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@elraphbo: Ease back some, please. Can you give any more details on price range or brand names you prefer? Are you just looking for the best deal?

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@elraphbo: It's fairly silly to ask an open-ended, question expecting people to do your research for you, without at least offering some basic information about what you really want to know. If you're merely curious about radios in general, google and bing have thousands of databits for you. If you want experience-based or knowledge-based information, as a courtesy please narrow your parameters a bit in the future.

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@wadekind: I know that I generally will not offer a response if the question is so foggy that I can't tell if the asker wants a broad over-view (which seems to be the situation in the question at hand) or info on a specific category (whether that's price-based, expected range, particular manufacturer, or other descriptor). I just generally don't have sufficient free time or even interest in offering assistance only to be told "that's not what I was asking about."

For a really great example of how to seek opinions and get useful information, check out this question "Would you help me choose an Android-powered phone?" also on the Fresh board. Notice the high helpfulness-quotient of the answers?

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Considering that there are hundreds if not thousands and maybe tens of thousands of people reading questions posted here, one might post a "silly", "foggy" or "open ended" question (like mine) with the hope that it will reach someone who has recently purchased or seen a good deal on the item mentioned and that they will respond.

I'm not asking anyone to "do research" for me, in fact, I've already done quite a bit... at this point I'm just looking for deal (which I have not been able to find.)

Instead I get the thought police monitoring my post, judging my intent and discouraging anyone who might feel inclined to post their own questions, no matter how simple, in the future.

I'm sure there is a word for "forum people" who think of themselves as some kind of "superior beings" but where I come from, we just don't talk like that.

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@elraphbo: and @wadekind: There was no need to go off on me as I asked a legitimate question asking for amplifying information.

I am a Two-Way radio technician. If you want cheap walkie talkies, I really don't have any experience to offer; however, if you want real two-way radios, I can offer some advice. I deal with Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, Vertex, and assorted other manufacturers. I can tell you which one break the most and which ones are the hardiest. I can tell you what features they offer as I have dealt with police and fire depts, military, construction and various assorted customers.

THAT is why, I requested amplifying info and checked back all day yesterday to see if I could offer some help.

AND I am a radio snob and believe the little FRS radios are toys and not real radios.

Thank you @shrdlu, @faughtey, and @magic cave

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@theoneill555: you got one thing right you're a radio snob...WHATEVER!

Thankfully there's a market for "real" TWO-WAY RADIOS and it's not based on your OPINION, as to their legitimacy....

http://www.amazon.com/Two-Way-Radios-Accessories-Audio-Video/b?ie=UTF8&node=172654

You should save your snobbery for some other message board.

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@theoneill555: I did not go off on you and I stand by my fist post. The OP's question still has not been answered while all the "experts" on this board debate on how OP should have framed his question. 10 posts so far and not one opinion on what anyone feels is a good 2 way radio and why.
It is not that complicated give your opinion-- I like "x" brand because "why" and they usually cost around "$" and I bought mine "here" Let the OP research further to see if this fits his need.

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Since the OP has not answered any direct questions on what they are looking for, and others are bickering over this, maybe we could let this die of natural causes. This is not helpful to anyone.

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I've never quite understood the tendency some folks have to insult the people from whom they're asking assistance. In the face of repeated requests for a little more information about what he's looking for, the OP has yet to provide further details. The only conclusion I can reach (and evidently I'm not alone in this) is he's currently more interested in snarking than he is getting useful opinions.

Asking about the "best deal" on anything has so many variants that a dozen different answers could still not tell him anything helpful.

At any rate, I'm out of this particular note-stream. There are many more fun ways to spend a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon than, as they say, trying to teach a pig to sing.

@faughty: Sorry; I was apparently writing and editing this when your "die a natural death" comment got posted.

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Does dirt cheap, remanufactured, off-brand, and most likely to break a minute after the warranty expires for under $25 sound good?
http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/6169f37d-25d5-44cf-81d1-ceef8fa30cc3/midland-lxt326-2-way-radio-pair-remanufactured

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@faughtey: really??? what direct question was asked? NOT ONE. I ask a VERY SIMPLE question (that requires no further explanation) and the responses ranged from snide and haughty to irrelevant and useless.

The only thing close to a question was the first one, which turned out only to reflect and serve that commentator's personal feelings and stance about the manner in which the marketing of two-way radios is performed.

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@elraphbo: From my earlier post: Can you give any more details on price range or brand names you prefer? Are you just looking for the best deal?

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@magic cave: up until 10 minutes ago this was not the group of people I intended to be asking for "assistance from...

The reason you feel insulted is because you have a guilty conscience. You crept out of your cave and decided to try to belittle and abuse someone else in a public forum for no good reason... Didn't anyone ever teach you "if you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all....

I think this question was hijacked by a few bullies that never had any friends growing up. I don't like bullies...

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@qbranch: thanks but I've never much trusted Re-ferb do you??...it is cheap though

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@faughtey: just looking for a good deal....I can imagine spending 150 bucks or higher if it was a good deal... but that's the question right? Is it a good deal? The question was not "is it a two-way radio?"

I'm not looking for military/CIA satellite phones/radios (or "walkie-talkie/children's toys either) just a two-way radio :-)

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@elraphbo: We use these (they are pretty hard to break):

http://www.twowayradiosfor.com/store/Vertex-Radios/Portables/Vertex_Standard_VX-231_VHF_p191.html

But we get a better deal from our supplier but they don't advertise price on the web.

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@elraphbo: Once in a while, I see some cheap Midlands or such come up on Woot. They're good for that they do, but as you likely well know, don't trust their 'range' statements. A 25-mile range walkie talkie for $50 is okay to have in some smaller malls, or on a cruise ship if you're not really any decks apart, or in a construction area that's still mostly frame. They work okay in situations like that, and you can usually find that sort of thing under that price.

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT760VP4-36-Mile-42-Channel-Two-Way/dp/B0039YON6Q/

These, for instance, would be similarly powered and work for similar situations (keep in mind, to use the higher-powered band on any of those, you're technically required to pay the FCC for a license (which no one polices unless you're being a nuisance)).

I guess the real question is what applications do you have in mind to use these radios for? Might help narrow down info for anyone who might know a deal or two (I, alas, don't atm).

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@squirtle456: Soooooo, you're getting a good deal on those...can I ask what you pay and for how many?

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@eneref: those look decent for my purposes. Thanks, I'll keep it all in mind.

I noticed (just from the pic.) that the batteries are in a rechargeable "pack" I'll have to check if alkalines will work in it too... Thanks again.

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@elraphbo: We get them for about $140 each. We can use them in the older buildings (about 15 floors) but in the newer buildings with the metallic coated windows, the radios only go at most 5-6 floors.

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@elraphbo: The old Midlands I have (I THINK they're midlands) use proprietary packs. Likely just rechargeables inside the packs, though, if you're willing to hack them apart. But that might not make for an easy quick changeout in the field.

Edit: and there's the answer.

"Midland's Dual Power Option allows the use of the included rechargeable batteries or 4 "AA" batteries (Not included)"

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@wadekind: "The OP actually asked a question I am interested in [...] answering a question with another question(s) comes off as pretentious especially when we are talking about 2 way radios. The "are you talking about real radios" line was BS. I stand by my 1st post."

Nope, not BS. Which should be interesting to you, given your first line.

You know those chinese knockoff MP3 players? The ones that look so much like iPod touches, but absolutely are NOT iPod touches? Those are those $40 two packs sold in clamshells in retail outlets. Now, it's consumer grade stuff, but that's fine if that's all you're in the market for - but if you want the real thing, the knock off look alike isn't ever going to cut it.

So the first part of the answer to the open-ended question is - there is a difference. Which are you asking about?

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@elraphbo: "The only thing close to a question was the first one, which turned out only to reflect and serve that commentator's personal feelings and stance about the manner in which the marketing of two-way radios is performed."

Not at all. "What's the best deal on a truck?" cannot be answered until you tell us if you're looking for a used Ford Ranger or a brand new Kenworth. Both are trucks, but very very different. But that's the question you asked about radios.

WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU IN THE MARKET FOR? It makes a difference in the advice you get in return.

I don't know why I care, a day late and you acting an ass, but maybe the clue will stick for next time.

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@dosquatch: I am interested in people’s opinion/personal experience with 2way radios. If someone has had experience with knock off or refurb I would be interested in their experience just as much as someone’s opinion as to what makes a "real" radio. When I saw the OPs question I thought that I would be seeing a range of opinions as to what is a good 2 way radio. I would then use those opinions to narrow my choices. Instead everyone is more concerned with forcing OP into narrowing the scope of what he is looking for. I have a non specific need, no real knowledge and no real price point so I may be willing to spend extra for certain features I was not aware, may realize I can spend more and be able to use the radios for things I never thought of or based on peoples experience may be steered away from features I thought I needed. I don’t know what I want or what all I may use the 2 way for.
I am still standing by my first post.

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@wadekind: "If someone has had experience with knock off or refurb I would be interested in their experience just as much as someone’s opinion as to what makes a "real" radio."

Okay. First thing, professionals often view consumer grave versions of professional tools as garbage, because in comparison and for thier needs, it is.

"Instead everyone is more concerned with forcing OP into narrowing the scope of what he is looking for."

For his benefit and for theirs. "Which is the best car to buy?" can't be answered without scope. If I'm thinking family minivan and you're thinking SCCA, my advice doesn't help you. Ditto for radios. There's more to it than an antenna and a speaker.

"I am still standing by my first post."

Then my advice is to look for a ham fest in your area, where you will find a plethora of choices and knowledgeable people to help you narrow down your needs, your budget, and your hardware.

... and they lloovvee to talk, ask questions and sit back :o)

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@dosquatch: this is a shopping website... not a radio experts website....

the scope of asking for opinions on the best truck vs the best "radio" would be a better analogy. but I specified a 2-way radio....

and like I've said before..... the definition of 2-way radio is enough unless ALL YOU WANT TO DO is argue the nuances of technology.....

EVERYBODY in the normal waking world KNOWS what a 2-way radio is......

but you're right you really shouldn't care and just let this thread die.

It looks like the usefulness of the "questions section" of this website is about as useful as a one legged chicken with a venereal disease....

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@elraphbo: I know. I know you specified a 2-way radio. I do. You're not listening to the answers.

I have a Motorola Radius CP200 that I carry. It has survived a fall from a 3-story roof and being run over by a truck. It still works flawlessly. It is low-end professional grade 2-way radio. It'll set you back about $400-500 per unit, and that's before you pay the technicians to program your channels for you.

It's a fantastic radio that will give years of reliable service in demanding environments. It is entirely a better piece of equipment than a $40 pair of Midlands, and is completely worth the money. But - maybe not to you, but you WON'T SAY WHAT YOU'RE IN THE MARKET FOR, so that adivce is probably useless.

Ask a useful question, get a useful answer.

And I think you're using that chicken wrong.

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@dosquatch: finally somone is giving an opinion on a radio instead of how OP asked his question.

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@wadekind: "I stand by my first post." Then I can't help you. I can't advise if you're willfully refusing to aid in receiving that adivce. Good luck to you.

"finally someone is giving an opinion [...]" but I doubt it's a useful opinion to the OP. Despite his insisting that "a 2 way radio is a 2 way radio," it just ain't so. UHF or VHF? Professional? Ruggedized consumer grade? el-cheapo consumer grade? Programmable? With or without security features? Range? And is that range open field or through obstruction?

Etcetera etcetera etcetera. But "2-way radio" is enough of a question. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

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@dosquatch: No, you see, you gave a perfectly useful answer, no more information is needed as to what I'm in the market for when I posted.

I'll decide what I want based on the feed back received.

Maybe I think it's better to buy a $40 unit and replace it ten times, over the course of a couple of years, instead of buying one for $400.

but that is for me to think about. If I told you I only wanted to spend $200 I'd never know there was one, as the one you described, because then you would not have mentioned it.

To you it's a good deal, with your circumstances, to spend $400 on that piece of equipment; but, if I told you I could get the same unit for $350 THAT would be "the best deal" until a better one came along. How do you know you're getting the best deal, that was the purpose of this post?

My original post opened the forum for people to explain what they think is the "best deal on two-way radios."

I'm curious, is your radio sold as a "two-way radio" or something different?

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@elraphbo: "No, you see, you gave a perfectly useful answer, no more information is needed as to what I'm in the market for when I posted."

Then you're not in the market for anything in particular, you're just fishing for a long chat thread, and @shrdlu pegged you a lot earlier than I did, bless her heart.

You and wade have a nice day now, ya hear? :o)

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@dosquatch: "Then my advice is to look for a ham fest in your area, where you will find a plethora of choices and knowledgeable people to help you narrow down your needs, your budget, and your hardware."

Judging by the "professionals" comments to the OP's question and their desire to show how much they know rather than provide an informed opinion I would be very hesitant to seek out the advice of a whole convention center full of these same type of “professionals”.

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http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Two-Way+Radios+and+Pagers+-+Business/Portable+Radios/On-Site+Small+Business/CP200_US-EN

"The CP200TM portable two-way radio"

It seems maybe Motorola thinks this is a two-way radio too...

and I guess some people can't see the forest for the trees....

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@dosquatch: no smart-alec I really am looking for the best deal... I'll leave the leaderboard stats to...whoever????

go wipe your feet cause you're stepping in it...

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@elraphbo: "It seems maybe Motorola thinks this is a two-way radio too..."

Because it is, but it probably isn't what I'd suggest if all you're looking for is a way for people to keep track of each other 2 or 3 times a year on a camping trip. It's total overkill for that. YOUR desired purpose influences MY advice.

You and wade keep dodging that point.

"2 way radio" is a big category. The "professionals" to whom you are showing such disdain have many years of experience, from which they know there is no "Bestest radio EVAR for everything possible". They will guide you to a piece of equipment that will serve you well at a reasonable price if you'll actually consent to answering a few of their professionally-influenced questions.

Go to the ham fest, answer their questions, and they'll answer yours. Believe it or not, the vendors there kinda really want you to go away happy with the price and quality of whatever you end up with, because they'd like the repeat business.

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@elraphbo: "I really am looking for the best deal"

Then my answer is that there is no correct answer to your question. It's just too broad. I and others have tried to explain that, and you're just being idiotically rude in response.

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@dosquatch: "you're just being idiotically rude"

pot meet kettle.....

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@elraphbo: As you wish, as long as you realize that makes you the kettle and that you pulled the rude card first. You're polite, I'm polite. And you still haven't acknowledged that better detail from you as to your intended purpose would get better answers from us as to a quote-unquote "best deal" on appropriate hardware.

... and I'm not the one who wants help. Good luck, again :o)

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@dosquatch: "You and wade keep dodging that point."...."And you still haven't acknowledged that better detail from you as to your intended purpose would get better answers from us as to a quote-unquote "best deal" on appropriate hardware."

And you cannot seem to comprehend that there are others who disagree with your viewpoint on what is required to get an answer to a question. You already gave your opinion or did you recommend something you thought would spark even more debate or lead the OP in the wrong direction? As for myself, please keep all of your super secret special knowledge for those who are only willing to submit questions in the format you approve. I am looking elsewhere.

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@wadekind: "And you cannot seem to comprehend that there are others who disagree with your viewpoint on what is required to get an answer to a question."

Dude. Seriously. Asking for more detail in the way of giving an answer is not rude, out of line, unexpected, bad form, or whatever it is you're trying to make it out to be. If the question is, "How do I bake a cake?", it is NOT a huge unexpected supersecret professional dodge to ask in response, "what kind of cake?"

That's ALL that's going on here. I don't think anyone that has offered to help guide you is an ass for making the effort, though you and elraph do inspire after a bit. If you want to be a little more specific, then so can we. That's all. No more, no less.

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@dosquatch: the reason this post took a turn toward the asinine is due to the 1st and 3rd responses.... you, dosquatch have only perpetuated this foolishness by your sanctimonious obstinance to accept the fact that your ilk are wrong.

I would love to let this thread die, but I have the inability to let your kind have their way. (although I may grow bored of your illogical doublespeak sooner rather than later...)

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You want recommendations without giving any specific information that any salesperson would ask before showing you anything, here you go:

New digital technology without paying the Motorola price -

http://www.wholesaletwowayradios.com/kenwood-nx200.htm

Cheap but sturdy and with a 3 year warranty, conventional analog (stole the link from squirtle456) -

http://www.twowayradiosfor.com/store/Vertex-Radios/Portables/Vertex_Standard_VX-231_VHF_p191.html

Motorola CP200 convention analog for when you just have to have Motorola (good radios bu be care of the jacks) -

http://www.radiotwoway.com/cart/index.php?target=products&product_id=91

Small, compact and water resistant conventional -

http://www.buytwowayradios.com/products/icom/ic-f60v.aspx?source=googlebase

Do you want to have two conversations on one frequency at the same time? You will have to go with a Mtorola TRBO system.

cont.

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LOLZ, you got me! It's awful clever of you to see through all of the "depends on the purpose" smoke and shuffle, that throws most people off :)

Okay, this is an industry secret, you can't tell anyone, promise? Good! The bestest radios ever ever are hidden in the toy section at walmart - you're looking for the "batman walkie talkies". Best radios you can buy, you don't think batman would endorse just any piece of junk, do you?

I'M obstinate??
My ilk, indeed. Good day, sir.