Cobra CXT545 28-Mile Two-Way Radio
The Cobra CXT545 is a 28-mile range two-way radio (walkie-talkie). It has 22 UHF/FM radio channels. Channels 1-7, on high power setting, and channels 15-22, are high-power channels (2 watts), using GMRS (General Mobile Radio System).
The high-power GMRS channels will communicate over a longer distance, up to 28 miles in open terrain, up to 5 miles with slight obstructions.
[You must apply and pay $90 for a 5-year GMRS radio operator license from the FCC, or risk a fine. There is no exam. You will receive a call sign to identify your license during transmission.]
Channels 1-7 on low power setting, and channels 8-14, are low-power channels (0.5 watt), using FRS (Family Radio System). The low-power FRS channels will communicate over a shorter distance, about 1-2 miles, depending on weather and terrain. No license is required to operate on FRS channels.
For maximum range, a clear line of sight is needed, with clear weather and no obstructions such as vehicles, buildings, trees, or hills. A higher antenna elevation will extend range. Best use is for short distances around the home, farm, ranch, construction site or business, hiking, biking, skiing, camping, hunting, fishing, boating, off-road vehicles, sporting events, outdoor events and shopping malls. Can be used for communicating with children, friends, neighbors and neighborhood watch. Useful for work, jobs, errands, road trips, car to car, car to home, boat to shore, or vehicle to business.
Walkie talkie two-way radios do not use cell phone service, so no cell phone provider is needed, and there is no monthly bill. Very useful during a storm, disaster, fire, flood, earthquake, explosion or other emergency with a power outage or cell phone outage. Good for use in an “off the grid” region, where there is no cell phone signal, such as a remote or rural area, wilderness, park, campground, lake, mountains or vacation cabin.
The radio features several scanning methods: scanning by channels 1-22, scanning by list of 10 memory preset channels, and scanning by CTCSS or DCS privacy codes. Privacy codes are advanced coded squelch systems to reduce interference and eavesdropping from other users on a given channel. CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) provides 38 privacy codes. DCS (Digitally Coded Squelch) provides 83 privacy codes. With 22 channels, and 121 privacy codes, a total of 2662 channel combinations are available.
Cobra CXT545, NOAA Weather Channels
The Cobra CXT545 includes 10 NOAA weather channels to receive weather reports and All Hazards alerts for thunderstorms, snow storms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other hazard alerts issued by local, state and federal emergency management agencies, including environmental hazards and terrorism alerts.
It has a built-in LED flashlight on the bottom that includes a normal on/off mode and an emergency mode that flashes the SOS distress signal in Morse Code. . . . _ _ _ . . .
The waterproof design protects the radio from rain and snow. Rubberized grips provide a more secure grasp to prevent dropping. Notice of incoming calls is by 10 selectable call tones and a vibration alert. Hands-free operation is provided with voice-activated transmission. Roger beep tone signals end of transmission. Keypad lock prevents accidental bumps changing the channel, volume, mode and power on/off.
The package includes a pair of Cobra CXT545 radios, a two-port charging base, and a micro USB cable for charging from a USB port. Each radio also has a headset jack and a micro USB port for recharging. Three AA size rechargeable NiMH batteries are included with each radio. AA alkaline batteries may also be used. After ten seconds with no transmissions, the radio will automatically switch to power saver mode to extend battery life. [I have a solar-charger external battery pack that can recharge the radio batteries by USB cable in case of a power outage.]
It is compact sized: 6.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 inches, 5.6 ounces. The radio also comes with a belt clip, and a wrist strap connection (especially important when using on a lake).
Price: $50 for a pair of radios, with rechargeable batteries, owner’s manual, one year warranty.
The Cobra CXT545 two-way radio is a good choice for family, recreation, small business and emergency communications.
1. Follow FCC Rules for FRS and GMRS channels specified in 47 CFR Part 95, found on the FCC website. Apply for a GMRS radio operator license if using high power GMRS channels.
2. Channel 1, FRS/GMRS, 462.5625 MHz is an unofficial Emergency/Traveler assistance channel.
3. Channel 3, FRS/GMRS, 462.6125 MHz is commonly used for tactical patrols, neighborhood watch and survivalists.
4. Channel 9, CB Radio, 27.065 MHz AM is designated as the official Emergency/Travelers’ Assistance Channel in FCC rules 47 CFR 95.407(b)
5. Channel 20, GMRS 6, 462.6750 MHz is an unofficial Emergency/Traveler assistance channel.
6. Dial 911 for an emergency, two-way radio channels are not reliably monitored by first-responder organizations.
7. Contact your local amateur radio (ham radio) association for more information on emergency radio communications and getting a technician license from the FCC for using more powerful ham radios for longer range communications.
8. Other popular two-way radios are the Motorola MR355R (which can use GMRS repeater sites to increase range), and Midland GXT1000VP4.