Radios

I’m pulling together information about the walkie-talkies and figuring out which ones work; here’s what there is so far.

On the Land, there should be: (2) Motorola Talkabout, (2) Radio Shack, and (2) Audiovox.
Mugwort has at home, as of Beltane 2014: (4) Midland LXT276, (2) Motorola Talkabout T6500.

Loose ends:

  • Some of these have rechargeable batteries, and can be set into their charger bases. Others have regular alkaline batteries that should not be put into a charger. We need a way to mark and distinguish these.
  • Is low power enough to be heard around the land? That would save batteries.

Things to know:
Radios need to be on the same channel to hear each other. But there’s another, confusing feature: coded squelch. This lets different users share a channel without hearing each other. If I’m set for code #4, my speaker only turns on when someone transmits using that code. (Can be handy: some people can listen to all traffic, while others only hear when they’re specifically needed.) Trouble is, this can get very confusing. If I’m set for code #4 and you have coded squelch turned off, you can hear me but I can’t hear you! So I generally suggest leaving this feature off, at least til we’re more familiar with the radios. And not all radios have it.

If a radio’s going to be left on all the time, it needs a power source. Batteries are fine for occasional use, but if a radio is on them every day, we’ll burn through batteries. (This can be done if necessary; just be prepared to recharge lots of AAA’s.)

Suggested settings:

All Radios: ………… Optional features:
Channel 6 Roger beep off
Coded Squelch off Silent off
Tx power high Keypad lock yes

Midland radios (LXT276):
Display should show: (big channel #), HL, (optionally a lock icon).
There is no coded squelch.
Battery-icon means low battery.

To power on/off, hold Power for 3 seconds.
Talk button is on the side; hold it in while speaking.
Arrows control volume (you’ll see a little number 1 thru 8 for volume while doing this).
Call button sends a tone.

To change channel, press Menu once, select with arrows, press Talk button.
To lock keypad, press Call button 4 seconds; same to unlock. This keeps the channel from accidentally being changed; even the volume control is locked, however.
See manual for Tx power, roger beep.

Remove the belt clip to get at the batteries.
Batteries are 4xAAA or Midland pack (BATT6R).
Charger base lights red when charging or charged (no indication when done); it takes 12 hours for a full charge.

Motorola radios (T6500)
Display should show: (big channel #), (small 0)
A small number other than 0 means Coded squelch is set. = “Interference Eliminator”

Battery-icon shows battery level.

To power on/off, rotate the volume knob.
Talk button is on the left side; hold it in while speaking.
Musical-note button sends a call tone.

To change channel, press Menu once, select with +/- buttons, press Talk button.

These are the only radios that should not be turned on when in the charger base. Do not store them in the charger.
Batteries are 3xAA or Motorola pack.

Audiovox radios:
There should not be a smaller number beside the large channel #. (Coded squelch)
There’s a button on the left side below Talk; this turns the speaker on constantly, giving a blast of noise and static. Press once to turn this off.

Reference info:
Audiovox GMRS122-2ch: Controls and FunctionsUser’s ManualRadio Shack 21-1902: Quick Start, User’s Manual
Midland LXT276 (GMRS/FRS): Owner’s Manual
Motorola T6500 Talkabout (GMRS/FRS, 10-mile) User’s Manual

Edited by mugwort on May 8, 2014 10:32 pm