Walkie talkies are useful devices that allow people to communicate other relatively long distances. These devices can be invaluable when you’re skiing with your friends, exploring the wilderness, or out on your boat. If you’re new to the walkie talkie world, you might be wondering how to choose the best channel for your walkie talkie.
In this guide, we will demystify walkie talkie frequencies and their connection to walkie talkie channels. We hope the information we present helps you choose the best channel for your walkie talkie in different applications.
What are Walkie Talkie Channels?
You might have heard people talk about walkie talkie channels before without understanding what exactly they are. A walkie talkie channel is a special frequency band preset that the device can tune into.
These bands serve as partitions between frequencies. They are chosen so that people can tune to specific channels without talking over one another.
Such partitions can be viewed as similar to phone numbers where a person can dial or “tune in” to a particular frequency to communicate with someone set to the same frequency. You should note that while there are millions of phone numbers out there, there are far less frequency channels. For this reason, you might need to make some adjustments to how you use frequencies.
How Do You Choose Walkie Talkie Channels?
Walkie talkies have thousands of frequencies they can tune into. So how do you know if a particular frequency matches a set channel? The answer is usually given in the device’s user manual. For example, if you have purchased a 4-channel walkie talkie, the device’s user manual will specify 4 possible channel frequencies you can tune into.
Having multiple channels can be useful in some situations. For example, if you manage a hotel and have purchased a 4-channel walkie talkie set with five devices, you can set each one to a particular channel. You can then tune your device to a particular channel to communicate with the staff member whose device is also set to the same channel.
This arrangement allows you to communicate with the right person as needed. It also allows other people who have tuned to the same channel to listen in to the conversation.
Most walkie talkies are tuned to a particular channel when they are manufactured and set up in the factory. For this reason, you will need to manually set the channel for a new device once you unbox it.
Some devices such as an Onn walkie talkie have a whopping 22 channels. This gives you more than enough channels to connect multiple devices and still have many channels left to spare.
Can You Make Walkie Talkie Channels Private?
Having thousands of walkie talkie frequencies you can tune into might make it seem as though it’s impossible for someone to discover your chosen frequency and eavesdrop on your conversations. However, there is a small chance that this can occur.
If someone finds out your chosen channel frequency, they won’t have any trouble tuning into the same one and picking up on your sensitive communications. While this may seem like an obvious downside of using walkie talkies instead of cell phones, you should note that there is a simple workaround for such issues.
Walkie talkies can utilize special “privacy codes” to make it more difficult for unauthorized users to listen in. For example, you and a friend can set your channel frequency to 462.5625 MHz and the privacy code to 2. This way, someone that has scrolled through the entire 2 way radio frequency chart for your device won’t be able to hear your conversations unless they have found the right channel and privacy code. However, this is incredibly difficult to do given that most two-way radios have between 38 and a whopping 121 privacy codes.
What is the Best Channel for Your Walkie Talkie?
Based on the information given above, you might be wondering “What is the best channel for walkie talkies”?. There is no simple answer to this question as the best channel will depend on many factors.
For example, if you are using an FRS walkie talkie, you will be limited to using channels 1 to 15. If you own a GMRS walkie talkie, you must use channels 15 to 22. However, you must acquire a license from the FCC before attempting to use these GMRS channels.
Once you know which channels are appropriate for you to use, you start working on finding the channels that offer a strong and clear signal between devices. We recommend going through each channel and discovering which ones are unused.
For example, most FRS walkie talkie users use channel 1. This means you are likely to hear communications from other walkie talkies in the area setting your channel to one. For this reason, you should consider scrolling through various frequencies until you discover one without communications from other devices.
Many walkie talkies have a dedicated scan feature that allows you to scroll through various channels quickly. Once you have found a clear channel, set both your devices to it and begin your communications.
You might be wondering about the best walkie walkie frequency for long distance. The truth is that there is no single channel or frequency for long distance. However, if your walkie talkie can tap into VHF frequencies, you can achieve a relatively long range.
Choosing the Right Walkie Talkie Channel
As you can see, walkie talkie channels are useful in a number of ways. Consider using the strategy described above to find the perfect one for your walkie talkies. If you would like to learn more about walkie talkie frequencies, consider checking the other articles over on our website.