Starting with no knowledge.....

First, I’ve been reading through different threads, and this is a great service provided by Two Way Radio. Thanks to the knowledgeable people offering info.

I run a greenhouse and nursery complex. We cover about 9 acres, operating inside (one large steel structure, and numerous other buildings) and outside. During my peak season we have about 20 employees with hand held radios. For several years we’ve used the cheap cobra radios from local retailers. Every year I curse them because the batteries don’t hold out (we work long days), reception can be spotty and we beat them up. So every year I replace them.

This year I’m looking to upgrade. Perhaps not all at once, but over the course of a couple of seasons. I started looking at “business” radios, but then was reading about licensing (Motorola RDX RDU 2020). Do all “business” radio’s require a license? How do I know if it or I require a license for operation? If I were to buy several “business” radios such as the 2020 could these radios also communicate with the cheap personal radios?

Summary of what I’m looking for:
Clear signal
Battery life and short recharge time (6 hrs or less at times)
Durability/Life expectancy
Economics (Love what I read about the DTR410, but can’t afford very many)

Thanks for any input
Greenhouse Guy

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Everything is a compromise. You can buy five bubblepack FRS radios for the price of one DTR radio, but the DTR will last ten times longer and be twenty times better as far as durability and readability.

Only you can decide what is the best radio within your own personal budget level. Do you want to buy the best once or the second best three times?

If possible, you should try to rent or borrow a pair of DTR radios. (Model doesn’t matter; they are all roughly the same radio. They just differ on features.) With digital radios, they are 100% clear when in range but they do not work at all when outside range. This bothers some people because they can’t get the fuzzy, scratchy transmission from the far end of the range like an analog radio.

Also, check out the audio clips from the various radios. The DTRs are very clear and readable. They seem to have a bit of a ‘digital’ robot sound on certain words, but you will not notice this at all in everyday transmissions.

The DTR410 would be a good choice. Light weight, durable, no license required. However, it is a “one to all” radio, which means that all users hear all the transmissions. You could spend a little more and get the DTR550 which has multiple groups so all users don’t hear all the traffic. You could have a private talk group between you and your manager/supervisor that no one else could hear. Privacy could be nice.