A two-way radio can both transmit and receive unlike a common radio, which can only receive audio transmissions. It is both a transmitter and receiver in a single unit, and it’s designed for two-way person-to-person communication. Two-way radios are made for mobile use with a stationary base and hand-held portable transceivers.
The History of Two-Way Radios
Two-way telegraph from America to Europe was available as early as 1907. By 1912, both military and commercial ships carried transmitters and receivers, allowing for real-time, two-way communication with a ship. This certainly provided a sense of security as two-way radios allowed ships to both communicate with each other and with those on land.
However, the first real mobile two-way radio was developed in Australia in 1923. The Victoria Police Department was the first in the world to use security two-way radios in police cars. This put an end to the clumsy status reports officers needed to make via the public telephones available at the time. The first sets of security two-way radios took up the whole back seat of the patrol cars.
During World War II, hand-held walkie-talkies were extensively used by both ground and air troops, both by the Nazis and the Allies. Walkie-talkies have since made their way into civilian use and are very popular with campers, hikers and families. For example, an inexpensive walkie-talkie can allow a hiker to keep in touch with their traveling companions back at base camp, thus reducing the chance of getting lost. If an accident does occur, a hiker with a walkie-talkie can call for help. The advantage of two-way radio in this situation is that it doesn’t rely on a cell signal. Many rural areas do not have strong cell service, so a walkie-talkie can do the job a cellphone can’t.
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