Most children born from the year 2000 onwards might never have the pleasure of using a walkie-talkie. Our modern era is so flooded with smartphones that there isn’t much room for anything that cannot connect to Instagram. Despite this Android/iOS addiction, few vintage technologies still persist. One of the few devices to have survived then insurgence of smartphones is the walkie-talkie.
So how does the walkie-talkie work?
A conventional mobile phone has a transmitter and a receiver. This is the same case with walkie-talkies. The main difference between the two is that when it comes to walkie-talkies, they have to be connected to the same frequency thus only one person can talk at a time. Mobile phones do not have this limitation.
For a group of people with walkie-talkie headsets to communicate, they need to connect to the same band of frequency which is commonly referred to as a channel. Once they are all tuned in, all their radios are receiving and that is why walkie-talkies hiss with static. It more or less likes a situation where a radio is not tuned to any particular station. In order to communicate with the others, a person has to hold down a button on the radio so as to switch its speaker into a microphone.
BaoFeng Tech Ltd. is the leading producer of walkie-talkies in the world today due to their affordable and compact designs. This company is based in the USA and prides itself on preserving the integrity of two-way radios.
Walkie-talkies have several advantages and that’s why they are still widely used in the world today.
- They are robust and durable which makes them suitable for rough terrain.
- They are simple to use.
- They come in handy in areas where cell-phone network coverage is poor.
- They have a good range of about ten square kilometers.
- They are light.
- They have long-lasting rechargeable batteries.
- Users do not have to pay cellphone companies for airtime.
- Due to their analog nature, they are susceptible to interference.
- When a person figures out the channel that you are on they can easily eavesdrop.
- They do not have long ranges like cellphones.
- They lack the improved functionalities, such as internet connection, of modern phones.
Walkie-talkies can be fun to use especially outdoors. They are mostly used by rangers and people in construction sites for sending out alerts or giving instructions. Despite their simple functionality and convenience of use, walkie-talkies have been overtaken by mobile phones and may soon become obsolete due to the invention of private communication centers which are vastly better than walkie-talkies. However, before these private communication centers become affordable to the masses, walkie-talkies will remain the go-to device for short-range communication.
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