Question Re: Neighborhood Walkie Talkies : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Just got the Motorola Two-way Radio TalkAbout 101 brand at Radio Shack. Before we crack open the packages, does anyone have experience with these? Are they a good quality product that really delivers the two mile range?

Package reads...

 Up to Two-Mile Range
 14 Channels, 38 Privacy Codes per Channel
 Back Lit Channel, Code, LCD, Battery Meter
 Crystal Clear Group Talk
 No License Required
 FRS - Family Radio Service Frequencies



-- Diane J. Squire (, September 11, 1999


Tried out a pair of these with a friend who bought 4 just last weekend. I didn't go 2 miles, but I walked at least a mile across our suburban neighborhood and the signal was clear and strong.

Probably would be useful for a number of purposes. I wish the range was greater - say 10 miles so I could use it from work - but they seem to all be limited to a 2 mile range.

-- Greg (, September 11, 1999.

We have a similar product made by Cobra. We lost signal at a distance close to two miles in a hilly forest area.

Is it normal for these things to spit static every few seconds when they're turned on but you're not talking? The squelch button doesn't eliminate the sound.

-- Jill D. (, September 11, 1999.

Hi Diane!

Excellant product, have used these radios for the past several years while on hunting trips with multiple hunting partners.The range is pretty close to 2 miles depending on terrain.

I would reccomend purcashing the headsets that go with the radios,this will give each person the stealth qualities as well as conserve battery life. BTW-they average 30 hrs. in-use time on 3 AA batteries.

I also use the small cell-phone protective cases to carry them in. I chose those cases over the accessory cases offered by Motorola due to price.

Also come in handy while on road trips with multiple vehicles traveling along the interstates. Saved alot of confusion when it came time to make scheduled as well as un-scheduled pit-stops.

By far the most valuable experience while using these radios occurred last Oct. during an elk hunting trip in Colorado. We had 4 people in our party and each person was equipped with the Talk-abouts. When we split up after passing the 12,000 ft. level, one of our fellow hunting partners suffered a severe heart attack. Thanks to being able to communicate with the rest of us we were able to locate him and get an emergency heli-vac to a local hospital. Another major item that we all carried was emergency flares. Without these 2 items I would have lost a long-time freind and hunting buddy.

Needless to say I'm a very satisfied customer when it comes to my Motorola's.And so is his wife and children!

Remember to lay in a supply of AA batteries, this deer season I'm going to try out my re-chargeable batteries and solar charger with them.

Take care!

-- Ex-Marine (Digging, September 11, 1999.


The 101's are the base unit, were as the 250's are the next level up the scale, which have the ability to plug in VOX with various styles of mikes and accessories. The 101's are good basic units, re: posts already mentioned , however the extra capability of 250 may or may not suit your taste. I bought a few recently with most of the extras offered hoping they would come in handy for things other than "you know". Sometimes I can justify buying things just because I think I will need them for "you know". Now, to the Hummer dealer.....

Oh, the 250's come in all the designer colors. If you don't need/want hands free operation, the 101 should be fine.

-- breakerbreaker (, September 12, 1999.

I recently bought a pair of Cobra Micro Talk 3's (CMT3). Price was comparable the Motorola's, but I think the "convenience" factors of the Cobra's are what convinced me to forgo the Motorolas. Among other things, the antenna folds down on the CMT3, its water resistant, has a backlit LCD screen, and the size is not much bigger than a "Startac" cel phone. They have a built in belt clip on the back (removable, replaceable), and these also come with "vibrate notification (can vibrate instead of ring) and voice scrambling (nothing sophisticated, but enough to keep other brand FRS from understanding what is said). They appear to be nice units, and tested range in our metro area is about 1.5 miles, going up over a large hill, and with a major Air Force base only 3 miles away (lots of radio signals floating around here!). They have all the standard accessories available, including a rechargeable NiMH battery pack, Vox mic, lapel microphone, and carrying case. At the time I bought, they came in Yellow or Black. I ordered yellow for visibility sake (so small they are easy to misplace), but black would be less conspicuous. I bought mine on-line via the Home Shopping network (cheapest source I could find at the time) but since then Ive seen them at comparable prices other places. About the only thing I dont like is they take 4-AAA batteries. Would have preferred something that uses AA. Worth looking at I think. I liked them better than the Motorolas, although Motorola has a great rep for reliability. I remember cobra from the CB radio days, but I hear they are also into cordless phones. Would like to find some carrying cases for them, but hate to pay the price they want for camo one that Cobra sells. Anyone have any alternative suggestions?


-- Eyell Makedo (, September 12, 1999.

Thanks so much for the responses!

Oh... BTW, goofed... got 'em at CostCo not Radio Shack.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 13, 1999.

I have had good results with my Motorolas. Use rechargeable Nicads and get a small solar battery charger.

The CTSS (coded tone squelch system) is not a real encryption. Mainly it helps keep channel clutter down. A good scanner can track the CTSS codes.

Similar in type and frequency, GMRS radios have more like a 5 mile range. These are usually expensive though, and require a mail-in type liscence

Handheld CB's use a lot more batteries but have a greater range. Get ones with telescoping antennas, these are better than the rubber duckies. You can switch antennas around on most of them.

-- Forrest Covington (, September 18, 1999.

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