Do All Walkie Talkies Work Together
One of the questions that we are asked frequently is do All Walkie Talkies Work Together, if a new
two way radio that a customer is considering purchasing will becompatible with older radios that
they already have. This compatibility question is best answered based on the type of radio (consumer
vs. business), as the answer is very different.
Consumer radios operate on a standard set of frequencies, either the GMRS or FRS services or a
combination of both. Most newer consumer radios are "dual service" radios that support both FRS
and GMRS. These radios will typically have 22 channels. Older consumer radios may only have 14
channels, operating only on FRS.
Regardless, all of these radios that support FRS and/or GMRS use the same frequencies and are
compatible with one another. Simply set all radios to the same channel number and privacy code,
and you will be able to communicate. Popular manufacturers of consumer radios are Audiovox,
Cobra, Garmin, Midland, Motorola (Talkabout series), and Uniden. Kenwood used to make GMRS
models (the TK3101 and TK3131, for example), but have moved away from consumer radios and no
longer produce them.
Compatibility is not nearly as straightforward when it comes to business radios. First of all, there are
several types of frequencies that business radios are made to support: VHF, UHF, and 800/900 Mhz
frequencies, for example. The first step in finding a compatible radio is choosing a model that
supports the same frequency type as your existing radios.
These frequency types refer to an entire range of actual frequencies, and just choosing the same
frequency type does not guarantee compatibility. If you purchased your existing radios from a true
two way radio dealer, there is a possibility that the dealer could have programmed special custom
frequencies into the radio. If this were the case, your radios may not be compatible with a new radio
even if you purchased the exact same model.
Usually most compatibility issues arise with 4 or 5 watt radios, which are much more likely to
support custom programming. With one or two watt business radios, it is a little easier to ensure
compatibility. The Motorola CLS series of radios and the two watt RDX series models will always be
compatible, and two watt Kenwood radios that are marked with a ProTalk label will always be
compatible, provided you purchase the same model.
If you have any questions or concerns about business radio compatibility, the easiest option is to
simply contact us and we can recommend a compatible solution. For older radios or radios that
could have been custom programmed, we may ask that you send in the radio so that we can read the
actual frequencies from the radio before making a recommendation.