Getting some 2-way radios for the workshop

Long story short those of us who need to be in communication usually spend a stupid amount of time looking for each other in the shop for simple questions so we’re going to try 2-way radios.

Stupid me kind of jumped the gun on ordering some and bought a couple off craigslist thinking they’d just work together. Nope?

So I found a set of these on Craigs:
(Motorola Talkabout MS-350R)
They work great together.

And then I ordered these to have setup in different areas of the shop:
(Retevis H-777)

Well, they don’t talk to each other and I was sure I’d be able to make them work together but clearly I’m a bit out of my element.

Should I just order a couple more of the Retevis and skip the trouble or is there a way to make the two different ones talk to each other?

Thanks for your time guys/gals!

The Motorola Talkabout MS-350R is an FRS (Family Radio Service) radio and is pre-programmed to the 22 frequencies assigned to the FRS.

The Retevis H-777 is an amateur (ham) radio and is not pre-preprogrammed to specific frequencies out of the box. The 16 channels must be programmed to specific UHF frequencies within the range supported by the radio.

Although the H-777 is technically capable of operating in the same frequency range as the MS-350, it may not be legal to do so, depending on your country. If you are in the US, the H-777 is not FCC approved for use on the FRS, as FRS radios are limited to 2 watts maximum power and the antenna must be permanently attached to the radio.

Having said that, the MS-350 and other FRS radios may or may not work for your shop, depending on your facility and your communication needs. Before you buy any two way radios, it’s important to consider the following:

[li]The type of operation[/li][li]The size of the operation[/li][li]The area of coverage needed[/li][li]Are you indoors, outdoors, or both?[/li][li]The number and type of buildings or structures in and around the operation[/li][li]Are the radios for light, medium or heavy duty use?[/li][li]Are there special hazardous (haszmat) conditions to consider?[/li][li]How many radios and operators are needed?[/li][li]Are there any other special requirements?[/li][/ul]

A two way radio is not a one-size-fits-all item. A little research and planning can save a lot of time, frustration and money.

This is exactly correct.

If I can add another warning to this, an amateur (ham) radio such as the Retevis usually comes with a few preprogrammed frequencies from the factory. These are basically there to test them in the factory. The use of these frequencies by the end user are not just illegal, you are also potentially interfering with licenced users and possibly also public safety frequencies. If you don’t think your federal agency cares, transmit on a frequency you are not licenced for and, especially, interfere with critical communications, and the speed at which they find you and fine you will make your eyes water.

Technically, the Retevis radios can be programmed to the same frequencies as the Motorola FRS radios, and also have the same ability to use privacy codes, but it is not legal to do so. It is quite easy to look up the frequencies for those FRS radios and duplicate them in your amateur radios using programming software, but of course no one in here will ever advise how to do that.

In any application, the mission must dictate the equipment, not the other way round. You can get good, business-class radios that will last for years but are expensive. You can get cheap consumer-grade radios like those Motorolas, as long as you understand they will break down with heavy use and you will be replacing half of them every year.

Because you seem to be looking for cheap and easy, there are some new FRS radios manufactured under the new licence-free standards that are cheap and the full two watts. Retevis even makes one example. You are just not going to find them on places like ebay or craigslist.

Keep in mind that FRS radios like those Motorolas use shared frequencies, and any make of FRS radio will talk to another make. The frequencies don’t always match brand-to-brand, but that is easy enough to look up. Find the radios whose size and features seem to meet your needs and simply be prepared to buy new ones from time to time as they get broken, stepped on, soaked in coffee or just plain wear out.

I think you’d better buy Motorola,and most of us know it and it work well with a good-aftersale.And if the other is also can do this, then ,maybe you could make your own decision.