How About Our Radios?
Just this past week, a new patrol member was conscientious enough to bring along a couple of store-bought radios, hoping they’d be useful for patrol (and indeed, they were). I was able to use my own radio to communicate with the ones he brought, which added to the patrol’s effectiveness, and also reminded me that we all need to understand how these popular tools operate.Read More
Last night we had the very good fortune of a visit from the Inland Empire Chapter, and the night kept us all very busy. We took massive advantage of the radio technology we had on hand, and found ourselves covering Hollywood Boulevard extremely well. We had eyes and ears on activity all over the hot-spots and the hidden alleys. You can never predict how the night will turn out, but we certainly couldn’t have predicted talking down a group of aggressive drunk thugs who were looking for a fight would lead us to shutting down a whole block for the bomb squad.Read More
There are plenty of things to consider for a Guardian Angels patrol, and the right gear makes it easier. Here are my suggestions:Read More
What if you really need to talk to the Angels across the street during a loud outdoor event? Now, what if you were traveling to help with another chapter, or working with a Neighborhood Watch, and wanted to work together comfortably?
What’s the “Best” radio for Guardian Angels?
As Guardian Angels, we do a LOT of emergency preparedness training, for all kinds of circumstances, and a lot of that kind of training comes from the CERT program, which I recommend to everyone.
I also recommend that we follow the CERT model for emergency communication: if it’s too difficult, you can’t help enough people.
That means that the “bubble pack” radios that you can purchase at Best Buy or similar stores have to be the lowest common denominator, and we MUST be able to use them effectively. This is probably what the Neighborhood Watch folks are going to own, if anything. They are available at low cost, sufficient power for our needs, and can be used in emergencies.
Please understand that I do not think these are the best two way radios for patrol, though. A “proper” radio with more power, changeable antenna, various speaker/mic arrangements, etc will be much more useful to you.
As a bonus, as many Guardian Angels do find work as security guards and protection personnel, having a better radio, that you can use proficiently, will give you an advantage that many folks in that same line of work do not have. Stand out and show what the Guardian Angels can accomplish, even on the less obvious topics, like this one.
What’s the “Best” radio for other purposes?
Really, if you’re going to be more prepared than that, you can easily purchase a much better radio that will communicate much further with a much greater range of people. You really should have a (simple to acquire) license to use such a radio at its full potential, too. Let’s set a good example!
I am a huge believer in “dual band” handheld radios. A quick google search for “what’s the best radio” will likely deliver a discussion of UHF vs VHF and the relative merits of each. Forget the debate: buy a radio that does both.
It’s super-inexpensive to buy the “bubble pack” variety, and they’ll do most of what you want, but there are some very severe limitations, too. If you’re at all considering learning more and playing around with radios, save the money and apply it towards a better radio, like the one that I use nearly every day.
Get a radio & Consider getting a ham radio license:
My Radio (for the best price I can find it anywhere). Note: I use this on patrol with the Guardian Angels, bounty hunting with Third Echelon Investigations, and will be using it in my Jinenkan Summer Camp, too:
“Bubble Pack” for much less cost (comes as a pair, too!) motorola talkabout radios (they’re popular for a lot of reasons):
Motorola Talkabout MC220R 16-Mile 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)
Test Study & Sample Tests (same resource that I used to pass the FCC test easily):
Finally, if you’re really ready to geek out, you can find me by calling CQ for my call sign: KJ6NFK and if you email me (Peter@LAGuardianAngels.org) then I’ll be happy to let you know which frequency we use for our Guardian Angel patrols in various areas around greater Los Angeles.
Note: If you decide to purchase either of the radios to which you can find links above, a portion of the purchase price will be given to the local chapter of the Guardian Angels. I mention them because of my own favorable experiences with them. Of course, you should do your own research, and never buy something just because I think it’s great, or just because it will benefit this organization … and you should look both ways before crossing the street, and smile at kids. You get the idea, yes?Read More