Walkie-talkies and two-way radios have come a long way since they were first developed many decades ago. There are countless uses for walkie-talkies, with many adults and children using them for recreational play and scores of businesses and organisations still depending on their features. There are many shapes, colours, sizes and features to choose from when it comes to today’s walkie-talkies.
The first iteration of the two-way radio was titled the “packset” and was first invented in 1937 by the Canadian Don Hings, Hings created his portable radio signalling system when working for CM&S. Don Hings was a Canadian inventor born in England. The devices weren’t initially known as ‘walkie-talkies’ and were first created to help pilots communicate effectively. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, their benefits for soldiers immersed in battle became clear. The earliest devices weighed approximately five pounds and were around 17 inches high. They were normally constructed from metal. They became substantially more popular with recreational users including adults and children during the 1970s and 1980s.
Following a period of research and development, Hings created various different models of portable radios to serve a host of needs, with the Model C-58 Pack Set becoming particularly iconic and prestigious. Tens of thousands of models were manufactured and shipped worldwide. Features of the C-58 included a range of antennas and power supplies, voice scramblers to protect privacy and enhance security and even a filter to remove battle noises from communications so messages could be received loud and clear even during gunfire and engine noise.
Walkie-talkies typically feature a speaker at one end and a microphone in the other, though the speaker also doubles up as a microphone in some devices. They also feature an antenna, which sits at the top of the unit. Networks of half-duplex walkie-talkies utilise a single radio channel, with one only radio being used to talk at any one time, though all users are able to listen. When users wish to talk, they can press the PTT or push-to-talk button. This switches off the receiver whilst turning on the transmitter. With full-duplex walkie-talkies or two-way radios, it is possible to transmit and receive at the same time.
Today, it’s possible to acquire walkie-talkies and two-way radios with a host of modern features, such as flashlights, SOS signals and weather alerts. Most walkie-talkies used by members of the public have an actual range of approximately two miles, weighing under half a pound. Walkie-talkies and two-way radios are used by a wide range of businesses. They are ideal for scenarios where you may wish to communicate with others close by but have no mobile phone coverage or Wi-Fi.
Walkie-Talkies are used in various technology-based transmissions such as military, amateur radios, accessories, new uses, personal uses, etc. Moreover, the walkie-talkie technology became the inspiration and starting point of cellphone development and other transmission devices. The invention of the “Walkie-Talkie” created a trademark not only in the military but also in communication. Interests come and go, but its humble beginning as a two-way communication device to a vital tool in battle has made “Walkie-Talkie” the coolest gadget in the past and will always be in the future.