Radio Buyer Education For Long Range Two Way Radios, Rentals & More

What should I know when buying a two-way radio?

There are a lot of rules and regulations governing short- and long-range radio two way radios and their communications and as an authorized Motorola two-way radio dealer in New York, it is our duty to keep radio buyers educated on these Motorola two-way radio purchasing rules.

One thing you should know is whether or not you’re buying a radio, or getting a two-way radio rental from an authorized manufacturer’s dealer. If you’re buying from an unauthorized dealer, you should know that most manufacturers do not warranty products sold by these types of two-way radio dealers. Motorola radio sales, and walkie talkie rentals at Altech that are covered under warranty, are sent back at no additional charge.

Not all Motorola two-way radio dealers are created equal; you want to make sure you’re buying from a trusted Motorola authorized two-way radio dealer. We have an extensive inventory of Motorola digital police radios for sale, and a staff of experts. We are a Motorola distributor that you can trust.

What are grey market radios? How do I know if I bought one?

Grey market radios are manufactured out of the United States and are sold in the US illegally. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved devices will have an FCC label on them. People who are caught using non-approved or counterfeit electronics devices may be subject to a large fine and in some cases, imprisonment. Read the official FCC statement here.

Expert tip: Check the device’s condition.
Make sure what you’re buying is actually new and not just refurbished. Many online retailers will change an electronic device’s housing and then try to sell them as “New Old Stock”, “B stock” or “New Out of the Box”. If you encounter these descriptions on an online seller’s site, be wary.

FCC approved devices should have an FCC ID. A proper FCC label is displayed below.

What should I know about two-way radio range?

Make sure the two-way radio you choose is right for the area you want to cover. While walkie talkie range varies from one device from another, high levels of interference will significantly decrease the quality of your communications.

Generally, walk-throughs are recommended for NY two way radios, and two way radios in other large cities and bustling suburban areas when purchasing long-range walkie talkies or long-range two-way radios because these areas are subject to significant interference.

What should I know about my Motorola warranty?

When buying a two-way radio, make sure that the radio dealer you’re purchasing from gives you the correct warranty and exposes you to the right education on two-way radios. Keep in mind that most two-way radios come with warranties that cover them for more than one year from the date of original purchase.

Make sure that the online seller is providing you with a Motorola warranty and not their own in-house warranty service which may differ from a legitimate factory warranty.

Additionally, it’s important to know how the brand or retailer handles equipment warranties. For instance, is shipping and handling back to manufacturer covered or is it an out-of-pocket, non-reimbursed expense? Radios purchased at Altech that are covered under warranty or sent back at no additional charge.

When considering a Motorola purchase, pay attention to the following areas to make sure you’ll get the support you need when and if you need it:

  • Motorola warranty
  • Motorola accident protection
  • Motorola serial number
  • Motorola warranty support
Is programming included in the purchase price?

If you’re wondering how to program a Motorola radio or have general questions about Motorola radio programming, you can ask the dealer you’re purchasing from the following questions:

  • Do the radios I’m purchasing need to be reprogrammed or modified?
  • How is the two way radio programming process handled?
  • Are there additional fees such as shipping that I have to pay the seller I purchased the radios from?
  • Generally, how long does programming take?
What is an FCC license?

FCC radio operator licenses are what the government uses to ensure two-way radios are only operated by approved parties. Any radio that operates within commercial frequency ranges that are regulated by the FCC will require the operator license. The licenses are good for 10 years when granted.

Commercial frequency radios are prone to interference, and that interference can create dangerous situations with far-reaching consequences. The license ensures that all operators understand standard policies and procedures to keep communications clear and safe. That is why operating on a commercial frequency without a license can incur a fine of up to $19,639 per day.

Do I need an FCC license?

Yes, you need an FCC license for two way radios. Most two-way radios require individuals and non-individuals such as businesses to have a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. When you purchase a radio that operates in the commercial frequency ranges, the FCC requires a 10-year FCC radio operator license. Failure to comply can cost operators up to $19,639 per day of marketing violations and up to $147,290 for an ongoing violation.

Why? Users can interfere with other types of communications equipment including public safety and large enterprise customers. Just because you can’t hear them it doesn’t mean you’re not interfering with them. Also, certain frequencies require in-person monitoring to ensure there is minimal interference.

How do I get an FCC license?

At Altech, we specialize in FCC licensure and can show you how to get an FCC license in NYC, so you can avoid having your incomplete application returned, long delays and the reapplication process.

From FCC license requirements & costs in NYC to FCC license renewals, navigating the licensing database, and radio operators licensing, our wireless radio services experts are here to help.

What if I need replacement parts?

Before buying a new two-way radio, make sure that the battery and other accessories are the same brand as the radio you’re purchasing, For example, some Motorola radios that are sold online come with a cheaper, non-brand or counterfeit battery, rendering the radio warranty null and/or negatively impacting the performance and life of the radio.

We offer replacement parts for two-way radios in the following categories:

  • Motorola two way radios
  • Motorola commercial two way radios
  • Motorola two way radio parts
  • Motorola two way radio batteries
  • Motorola two way radio battery

Need a replacement part foor a Motorola two-way radio?

What other requirements should I be aware of?

You should also consider the environment you’ll be using the equipment in; is it hazardous? Is it subject to extreme temperatures and/or hazardous substance? Do you need radios with long-range communication or special rugged housing?

If so, be on the lookout for the UL symbol. You’re probably wondering, ‘What is UL approved?’ UL is an acronym for Underwriters Laboratories, a leading product safety testing and certification organization that tests products for safety risks.

If so, you may want to evaluate two-way radios based on how well they meet the requirements of challenging environments.

Are walkie talkies the same as two-way radios?

As “walkie talkie” is not a technical term, it doesn’t have a truly defined meaning, it’s more of a nickname for a handheld communication device. In most professional radio circles, walkie talkie and two-way radio are used interchangeably.

To be clear, a two-way radio is a radio device that can transmit and receive audio. Thinking about it in those terms, a walkie talkie certainly fits that description.

What is the best frequency for two-way radios?

There is no single frequency that is best for all occasions. Instead, the frequency should be chosen to match the specific conditions of the communication at hand.

In general, VHF (Very High Frequency) is good for outdoor work with few obstructions. Conversely, UHF (Ultra High Frequency) is often favored for indoor applications or outdoor work with many obstructions. The UHF band also covers the frequencies governed by the FCC under the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and requires a license for operation.

900 MHz is the top choice for in-building coverage, like in hotels and large retail stores.

If you’re ever unsure of what frequency is best for your operation, Altech is here to help!

Are all two-way radios compatible?

Cross compatibility does exist across various two-way radios, but they are not all compatible. The primary function of any given radio will determine which classes of radios will work with it. The best course of action to go to a reputable two way radio provider, to avoid purchasing a grey market radio. Additionally, having a professional set up your system will guarantee the best results.

For the most part, the radio band is what needs to match. Two-way radios can work on UHF bands, VHF bands and occasionally outside of these bands. UHF and VHF radios are not cross-compatible.

If you need to pair radios, they need to be able to operate on the same frequency. The bands are general classifications of operational frequencies, but if a custom frequency is programmed, every radio intended to communicate will need to be programmed with the same custom frequency.

Can a walkie talkie be tracked?

Technically speaking, a walkie talkie can be tracked, but it is not an easy process. Systems in place for tracking cell signals are faster and more reliable, so a walkie talkie is less likely to be tracked or traced than many other forms of modern communication.

That said, with the right skills and equipment, a two-way radio signal can be triangulated. It requires the use of highly directional antennas that can triangulate the radio signal. Because the method requires triangulation, it becomes more accurate and reliable if the signal is used for a long period of time with large amounts of chatter.

How can I get my radio repaired?

As is always the case with electronics, radio repairs will vary in difficulty and cost. There are many repairs that are completely DIY, such as replacing batteries, antennas or accessories. In order to complete those repairs, you need only get the right replacement parts. Altech Electronics carries a range of replacement and upgrade parts for Motorola two-way radios.

When repairs are required for electronic components, the process can become more challenging and pricey. In some cases, replacing the radio is more cost-effective.

How do I know which radio is best for me?

The radio that best suits your operation will depend on the specific work you’re doing. Each radio will have strengths and weaknesses. One of the most important considerations is the operating distance you’ll be using which helps to determine frequency or band you’ll need. Some bands are better for indoor work and others are better for outdoor work.

You’ll also want to consider warranties, as a reflection of durability, and battery life. In almost every case, a two-way radio is the best option, as it allows for clear, open communication. The two-way radio you need will depend on your circumstances.

Setting up a two way radio system is a difficult process and you’ll likely spend more time and money trying to do it on your own. Over the span of your radio’s life, working with a professional will result in a lower cost and the peace of mind that your radio will work when you need it to.

How can a two-way radio benefit my business?

Radios exist to expand and improve communication. For just about every company, better communication means a more efficient company. If you need faster, more reliable communication then a two-way radio can be the tool that enables all of it.

Two-way radios are the gold standard for fast and reliable communication. Unlike other modern voice devices, the radios can stay in constant contact. You don’t have to dial or connect — making communication faster. Radios can easily be configured to have everyone in communication with each other, or they can service isolated contacts to reduce chatter.

If there has ever been a time when you needed workers to be able to speak to each other over distance with speed, then you know exactly how a two-way radio can help.

What are commercial regulations for two-way radios?

Two-way radios come in diverse options. Only some of those options are regulated by the government. To be more specific, the FCC regulates radios that are classified under the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). GMRS channels are mostly in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range. Those frequencies are reserved for high-powered operations.

Commercial radio usage that requires the extra power can operate under GMRS regulations. In order to do so, operators have to have a special FCC-approved license. Without the license, using those bands and power ranges can result in heavy fines.

Where does Altech provide service?

Altech is available throughout most of the tri-state area. Our storefront and headquarters is located in Brooklyn. Altech technicians are regularly dispatched across all five boroughs of New York.

Altech also operates throughout New Jersey. Our technicians help design and professionally install radio and communication systems across the region. If you’re near New York City and need professional radio equipment, we can provide it, along with professional services.

What is radio frequency and how do you find it?

Radios operate by transmitting and receiving electromagnetic radiation. More specifically, they communicate using radio waves. The frequency of a radio wave is a measure of how quickly the radiation oscillates. Frequencies determine many aspects of radio waves, but when it comes to radio communication, the most important factor is that radio devices can only communicate with other devices operating on the same frequency. If the frequencies don’t match, the communication fails or struggles. If you have ever tuned a car radio, you have experienced this effect.

Two-way radio frequencies will be pre-programmed. You can look at manufacturing information to see what frequencies are programmed for any given device.

Does Altech offer rental radios?

Altech does offer rental radios. Radios of all form and function can be rented, and the duration of the rental is customizable. Altech offers long-term radio rentals for temporary projects that need good communication for longer than a weekend. You can learn more about Altech radio rentals on the radio rental web page. You can also contact us directly if you would like to discuss rental options.