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    Walkie Talkies are a great way to keep in touch when out and about, either as part of your work operations or just leisurely between friends. Handheld Walkie Talkies come in a variety of configurations, often based on their features, the amount of power they can output, and the quality of their antennas.

    But, here at The Walkie Talk Guide, we see a lot of people asking if there’s a Walkie Talkie out there that can operate as far as 100-miles. It’s a good question and one which we’re going to answer for you today!

    In this article specifically, we’ll take a look at whether a 100 mile Walkie Talkie really exists, the challenges with operating over such a great distance as well as looking at the best long-range Walkie Talkies on the market!

    Not got time for the full article? No problem, check out the quick links below to find what you need.

    Quick Links:

    Do 100 Mile Walkie Talkies Really Exist?

    If you’re looking for a traditional radio frequency, handheld walkie talkie to transmit 100-miles, the short answer is – they don’t exist.

    Typical long range walkie talkies max out at around 5-watts of transmission power giving a maximum range of 35 – 50 miles in perfect conditions. Workable range in an outdoor, urban scenario will lower further to a maximum of 10 miles during day-to-day use.

    Whilst there have been some examples of people achieving 50+ miles with a walkie talkie, they have been in near perfect, hilltop to hilltop conditions that aren’t typical of performance most people can replicate.

    It’s fair to say that typical walkie talkies aren’t the best tools to hit that 100-mile goal, but we’ll look at some alternatives later on in this article.

    In the meantime, we’ll take a look at some of the best long-range walkie talkies. Whilst they may not get you close to 100 miles, these models will get you about 35-miles in perfect conditions with anywhere up to 10 miles day-to-day – and in the walkie talkie world, that’s long-range!

    Let’s take a look!

    5 Best Long Range Walkie Talkies

    Cobra RX680 2 Watt Rugged Walkie Talkies

    Cobra is one of the most popular radios on the market and their RX680 model is no exception. With over 400 reviews on popular retailer Amazon, this radio’s not only got awesome long-range performance, it’s packed with a tonne of additional features to make it a great talkie to use day-to-day.

    Cobra claims up to 38 miles worth of range but in reality, you can expect to receive a considerable amount bit less. We really like the design of the RX680 model and how it feels great in the hand compared to other competitors.

    Here’s some of the Cobra RX680’s key features:

    • Claims of up to 38 miles but more likely to achieve 5 miles
    • Over 2500 channel combinations & 120 privacy codes
    • IP54 standard for water and dust-proofing
    • In-built weather alert features
    • Over 18 hours battery life to transmit for longer

    Disclaimer – At 2 watts, the 38-mile claim will be reserved for perfect conditions, and many reviewers cannot achieve this performance. This is a great example of where ‘long range’ may not live up to its expectations.

    SAMCOM FPCM30A 5 Watt Long Range Radio

    Whilst these Samcom radios may not be the nicest looking pieces of kit on the market, what they lack in looks they more than makeup for in performance.

    As we’ve mentioned all the way through this article, great transmission range is largely dependent on power and at 5 watts we’re at the upper limit of handheld walkie talkie juice. SAMCOM don’t publish a specific range estimation for this radio but reviewers do mention it getting up to around 10 miles in perfect conditions, with rare reports of near 20-mile performance.

    On day-to-day use, you’ll get a consistent 8-10 miles, with this radio lauded for great performance in high traffic areas such as airports and large campuses if required for commercial use. Out of the box, the radio comes with a range of great accessories and a surprisingly good stock antenna to get your transmitting at range straight away!

    Here’s some of the SAMCOM FPCN30A’s key features:

    • Decent long-range transmission to 20 miles but more like 8-10 miles
    • 20 pre-programmed channels
    • FCC certified Includes belt clip & earpiece
    • In-built weather alert features
    • Over 12 hours battery life with low-power RX only mode

    Kenwood TK-3402U16P ProTalk 5 Watt Two-Way Radio

    As we move onto the Kenwood TK-3402U16P model, we enter the realm of the serious commercial walkie talkies that offer a far more consistent usable range.

    By overcoming the challenges their previous models faced, the TK-3402U16P’s combine MIL-STD 810 & IP54/55 weatherproofing with a range of programmable features, built-in VOX, frequency scanning, and voice scramble.

    Of course, what we’re really interested in here is the range and again, these 5-watt models are as powerful as a walkie talkie comes. Reports of 15-mile perfect condition transmissions aren’t unheard of, with Kenwood themselves guaranteeing high levels of commercial performance up to 7-miles.

    Check out the specs of the Kenwood TK-3402U16P below:

    • Decent long-range transmission to 15 miles with 7 miles of guarantee
    • 16 pre-programmed channels
    • P54/55 weatherproofing
    • Frequency Range – 451-470 MHz (Including 90 presets)
    • Over 12 hours battery life with power saver functions

    Motorola VX-261-D0 5 Watt Business Use Radio

    Another commercially approved model is the Motorola VX-261-D0. This is a great all-round walkie talkie for those that need reliable performance over a long-range from a giant of telecommunications.

    Much like the Kenwood and SAMCOM models, this Motorola has been through many iterations and improves on its previous models in its weatherproofing and general build quality. It operates across VHF & UHF dual bands to give you a number of frequencies to choose between whilst allowing you to program up to 16 channels.

    At the top end, you can set this Motorola model to output at 5-watts and get a good 5-7 miles of use according to a small number of reviews online. If you need to save power, you can also drop the device down to 1-watt which is great if you just need to operate locally.

    Here’s some Motorola VX-261-D0 key features.

    • Long-range walkie talkie performance of up to 7 miles.
    • 16 pre-programmed channels
    • P54/55 weatherproofing
    • VHF & UHF dual-band frequencies
    • Up to 19 hours of power if you utilise the 1-watt power saving mode!

    SANZUCO 5 Watt Two Way Recharegable Radio

    We finish up with the Two Way radio from SANZUCO which is one of the best all-round commercial walkie talkies we’ve seen in a while.

    First of all these radios looks great with its bright LCD screen and nice ergonomic feel in the hand. It’s not all about the design though, at 2/5-watts these radios pack a punch and are great operationally up to 5 miles, but would likely see you good for 10+ in perfect conditions.

    There are some great additional features here such as personalized naming and announcements which are great for working on busy construction sites or within hospitality. All reviewers also comment on the great battery life with the added benefit of that reduced 2-watt mode to save on power!

    Stand out SANZUCO specs:

    • Solid business performance between 5-10 miles.
    • 16 pre-programmed channels
    • Personalized naming and announcement features
    • Frequency Range – 406.1-470MHz
    • Large 2000mAh battery to keep you transmitting for longer!

    Other Ways to Get to 100 Miles!

    So, unfortunately, a radio frequency walkie talkie isn’t going to get you close to that 100-mile transmission point. But, we thought we’d give you a couple of alternative radio ideas to help you achieve your long-range dreams!

    • Base Station Radios – If you can live with something a little more robust, we’d recommend looking into a base station or ‘man back’ radio. These are more fixed radio solutions, often operating in the HF frequency range, that due to their enhanced size can transmit at up to 10-watt. As we’ve discussed, the key to long-range is high power and these will do the job nicely! (Note – You will likely need an amateur or commercial radio license for a device like these, especially when operating in certain HF frequency ranges.)

    • Mobile/Wi-Fi Supported – Internet supported radio technology is becoming more and more popular and will enable users to transmit to 100 miles and beyond with ease. Whilst many will see this as cheating, there are many Andriod and iOS-based press-to-talk applications that operate like a traditional radio. These are used heavily in areas such as the Police and Life Guard services. Check out something like Zello to learn more.

    • Repeaters – If you really want to try and crack the 100-mile task with a walkie talkie you won’t be able to do it alone. The only way to potentially achieve this will be with at least one, but likely a series of, repeaters to boost the signal. There will be a number of other factors at play here, such as weather conditions and line-of-sight obstacles, but it could be achieved as a cool, one-off test but won’t be sustainable operationally.

    Summary

    No matter what a walkie talkie product tells you, achieving 100-miles with a handheld device is highly unrealistic. Whilst it has been done, these efforts were not under normal conditions and are definitely not something that could be relied upon operationally.

    ‘Long-range’ for a walkie talkie is around 5-10 miles and there’s a number of great commercial walkie talkies that can achieve this. We’ve listed some of our favourites above, but the key is to look out for a device with at least 5-watts of power and good additional features such as a large antenna and gain amplification.

    If you’re hunting for that 100-mile range, you may be best off venturing into the world of amateur radio or mobile-assisted devices!

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