"Can you hear me?" - silence..... "Are you there?" crackle crackle fuzzy indeterminate sound.... "Where are you?"... "What?"..... "Are you talking to me?".... "No, I'm ordering as pizza in the middle of nowhere, OF COURSE I am talking to you".... "What - I can't hear you...."
Let me explain. After several successful attempts at losing each other in the woods during our romantic summer hikes, we decided it would be a smart - if not brilliant - idea to invest in a couple of dollar store walkie talkies. The above conversation was the result of our fabulous $10 investment!
Stubborness Is A Virtue....
Never let it be said that we are ones to give up easily, especially when we know we have good use for something. Yes, we purchased yet another set of walkie talkies, this time from a local department store at the bargain price of $30! Upon opening the bomb proof packaging with no more than minor cuts and scrapes, we proceeded to test out our new toys PRIOR to venturing into no-mans land that following weekend - good job we did.....
"Can you hear me?"... "Yup, but I am only at the end of the driveway".... "Okay, go further" pause, silence, anticipation..... "Im at the corner of the..."...... "What?"" crackle, "ca...u....e....e?"......"What?......."ca....yo.........me?"
- okay, get the picture? You get what you pay for......
What Does This Have To Do With THIS Product ?
Calm down.... Cut to a few months ago. My husband is running a rather large construction project and has been handed a set of Motorola RDXU2020 walkie talkies. Now THESE are the REAL McCOY !!!
Probably best suited for business use due to the rather high price tag, these would never have been in our hands as we tripped and stumbled through the woods but we did decide to sneak them out on our last trip.... evil snickering!
Did You Lose Each Other?
Crisp and clear, we didn't miss a single word and only once had to change channels to pick up a better reception. I found them a little heavy and cumbersome at first, but once I realized that the long and rather oddly placed handle on the back was actually - wait for it - a clip, I became the intrepid wanna-be security guard with the radio hanging snuggly and securely out of the pocket on my jeans.... who'd have thought, eh? . Oh, and no, we didn't lose each other!
The ease of use was fantastic. We both turn the dial to a number between 1 and 8 - making sure we are both on the same digit, set the volume and off we went......
Did You Have To Yell?
Now as far as distance, we never truly got as far apart as maybe 1000 feet, but according to my hubby, he can be on the ground floor, inside a building, and communicate with a crew member on the 18th floor. No yelling involved.
He's never tried it at any greater distance, but inside a building and a clear communication through 18 floors sounds pretty good to me. He has had it exposed to rain, seen a crew member drop one in a bucket of paint thinner and heard of one being dropped inside a porta-potty (let's not delve into that one.... oh dear - no pun intended!) without any adverse effect.
As to the battery power .... On a full charge, the lithium ion battery will operate for approx 12 hours, although we have never seen it used off the charger for more than 9 hours per day . Having said that, it has never gone dead nor has lost it's power to any degree within that time frame, so the specs may be correct! The charger tray is quite compact and indicates a full charge with a simple green light, a red light indicating that the radio is still charging - couldn't be more simple. We normally pop it on the charger tray when he arrives home from work and it's ready to go in the morning!
Final Thought - thankfully...
As I stated previously, this was utterly out of our price range and is not something we would invest in for our walks, although it is something I would love to keep! I would strongly recommend this to anyone needing a 2 way radio for business purposes as the price tag of around $200 is acceptable when writing the purchase off as a business expense, however it is a little too "much of a much" for the regular "Joe".
Update On Jun 28, 2009: I just put a bid on a pair of these at e-bay! This may be the place to find a set that won't break your bank :-)