Walkie talkies are transceivers that can both send and receive transmissions. We often think of military, police and spy personnel as being the only ones who use them. But in truth, walkie talkies come in handy in a variety of different scenarios.
For instance, if you’re out camping or hiking with your friends, a few decent short-range walkie talkies can help you keep in touch with them and the outside world. Likewise, if you’re part of a production crew of some sort, walkie talkies can help coordinate all the different activities.
Walkie Talkies and Interference
As you may already know, multiple walkie talkies can tune into the same channel. That’s how large crews can communicate with each other. But you’re probably wondering: is there an actual limit to this number? Theoretically, there isn’t.
That’s why, in very rare instances, you could pick up interference from someone else’s conversation while you’re trying to tune into a specific channel. That’s also why you sometimes hear annoying pops and crackles through the speaker.
This was a big problem back in the 80s and 90s because you had everything from TV to satellite devices to walkie talkies competing for the same radio frequencies. So, during the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decreed that all walkie talkies should operate on radio frequencies between 462 to 467 megahertz.
Thereafter, walkie talkie manufacturers started designing their devices to operate strictly on this range, and people stopped picking up signals from their local radio stations.
Maintaining Privacy with a Large Party
However, interference hasn’t exactly gone away and there’s always a small possibility that an outsider could listen in on the radio transmissions taking place between people in your group. An effective way to keep your channel secure from outside ears is to invest in some privacy codes. This is a filter that lets each walkie talkie in your party tune into the same channel.
If you’re using walkie talkies for commercial purposes, then it might be worth getting an FCC License to use a GMRS channel. These channels are only available to licensed users and therefore are rarely subject to outside interference.
To sum it up, there’s no actual limit to how many walkie talkies can connect to the same channel. This may sometimes pose a threat to privacy. In order to secure your radio transmissions, you could either invest in privacy codes or get a license to use GMRS channels.