A walkie talkie is a small handheld device that converts voice into radio signals. It works by transmitting and receiving audio signals using a coil of wire, a magnet, and a paper or plastic cone. The most basic walkie talkies combine the microphone and speaker, while more advanced models have separate components. While most of these devices are battery operated, batteries should be replaced every twelve to 18 months. In addition, if the batteries are not recharged correctly, the radio will continue to beep constantly.
Some walkie talkie models use FM radios or use frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology. These devices operate in the 900 MHz range and use eXRS (Extreme Radio Service), which is a proprietary design that does not use an official FCC frequency range. This technology enables up to 10 billion virtual channels, allowing private communication between two or more units. In addition, eXRS models do not consume minutes on cellular plans, so they can be used on any cellular network.
Personal walkie talkie traffic is concentrated in the 700 MHz band and the 900 MHz band. The latter is more effective in open spaces and can be used in places where workers go in and out of doors frequently. However, some devices can only be operated in open spaces, so they are best used in outdoor environments. These radios also work well when in the vicinity of large buildings and are not too far from each other.