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Two-Way Radios

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Mike CohenTwo-Way Radios
by on Sep 16, 2013 at 9:37:23 pm

Does anyone own a set of two-way radios for on-location indoor use? There are about 200 varieties on the B+H website alone, so I thought I'd start with the experts, my fellow COWs.

Do you have to buy $200 radios for reliable operation inside office buildings and hotels, or do the $49 variety you would take camping suffice (I suspect not).

Appreciate any input.

Mike


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Todd TerryRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:25:49 pm

[Mike Cohen] "...inside office buildings and hotels, or do the $49 variety you would take camping suffice (I suspect not)."

I actually think they might, Mike. We don't have need for two-ways much, but when we do that's exactly what we use...



...cheapo two-ways, bought several pairs of them for next to nothing on eBay...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Midland-LXT500VP3-FRS-GMRS-Two-Way-Radio-24-Mile-Ra...

Actually, they work like a charm. We've used them indoors for intercoms when doing a couple of live events (we got headsets for them as well). In your hotel/office situation I'm not sure they would go through tons of steel and concrete if you were on different floors or vastly different parts of the building, but if everyone is in relatively the same region, I know the ones we have would work fine.

Now... I'm not exactly sure of the legalities of using these for commercial use is... but frankly I've never let it bother me.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Steve KownackiRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:32:52 pm

I have 10 of the cheapie Motorola variety (less than $40/pr) we use 2-3 times a year and they work just fine. Pretty much a line-of-sight signal so room-to-room is probably not going to work. They all have a headset/mic attached and we use for intercom for low-budget mutlicam jobs. The cheap headsets won't work in noisy environments; and unlike a real intercom it's one-at-a-time talking. Oh, and the real cheap ones don't have a "latch on" to talk - meaning every time you want to talk you need to press the button. And there is a slight delay in pressing the button before you can speak. Takes a little practice if a director is going to use it. But it does work.

I got mine at WalMart/Kmart or similar place. They have about 20 channels so fairly easy to find a clear channel, esp indoors.

Steve





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Mike CohenRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:15:37 pm

Thanks guys.

Over.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 17, 2013 at 3:02:36 pm

I'm curious: Why would you rather use walkie-talkies than cellphones with bluetooth headsets?


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Steve KownackiRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 17, 2013 at 3:12:21 pm

AT&T phones seem to cause audio interference, other carries not so much. Do all of your crew have unlimited talk time? Are they willing to buy a bluetooth headset? (even if they are only $20?) Will your batteries last 2-3 (or longer) hours on a long job? Can they turn off all notifications and solely focus on the job?

I'd sooner remove variables.

Steve





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Mike CohenRe: Two-Way Radios
by on Sep 20, 2013 at 6:09:01 pm

@Mark - in the -5 level of a convention center or hotel (5 floors below ground), cell phone service can be spotty if not nonexistent.


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