Old Cobra Microtalk1 Walkie Talkies - work only one-way!

I have a pair of simple, old, Cobra Microtalk1 walkie talkies which were stored without batteries for several years. They worked fine when put in storage. I pulled them out last week for the grandkids to play with after inserting brand new AAA Alkaline batteries, not the rechargeable kind. They only have channel A & B (very simple). I made sure both were set on the same channel. They seemed to work at first but now they are not working! One can send and not receive and the other can receive and not send. The kids were happy pushing buttons and I’m wondering if somehow they managed to change the frequency or turn something off. It seems odd both would go on the fritz at the same time! Like I said, they are old walkie talkies but were very simple to operate. I’m sorry I don’t understand all the technical aspects of walkie talkies so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks!

First, welcome to the forum!

The Cobra MicroTalk1 is a very basic device, so there isn’t much to troubleshoot. It has only two FRS channels, which uses FRS frequencies on channel 8 and channel 13. These are limited to only one half watt. At first I would have suggested disabling CTCSS tones or DCS codes, but this model doesn’t use them, so it’s a non-issue.

You said that “one can send and not receive and the other can receive and not send”. To put it simply, one of the radios is not transmitting. There are three possible reasons for this. Either one of the radios was accidentally switched to the other channel, the radio transmitting does not have enough power to do so (even with fresh batteries, this is possible due to poor battery contacts, internal connections or corrosion), or the PTT (Push-To-Talk) button is malfunctioning. Given the age of the radios and the fact that they have been in storage for awhile, it could be due to any of these.

If your grandkids really want to play around with radios, and they can have a lot of fun with them, you may want to consider purchasing a new set of kid friendly, low power FRS radios that will be more reliable. A lot of these lower tier FRS radios are very inexpensive, simple to use, and are more durable than the radios sold in the toy departments of retail stores shaped like cartoon characters. They will also operate on the channels the old MicroTalk1 radios use, but there are a lot more of channels with better range.

Best of all, they can be used for practical applications by adults as well, giving them more value to you.
The article Real two way radios for kids may help.

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Thank you for the response. What you said makes sense and I like the way you said it! I guess they are just plain worn out. They had an excellent run! Thanks again for your time.

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