Tech News and Commentary
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Robert in Miami asked: “I want a two-way radio system so that I can communicate with the wifey from home to my vehicle, as I travel to and from work. What do you guys recommend? I know there’s GMS out there. I don’t know if it requires repeater service or fees. CB radio… I’m familiar with it, but I also know that it’s overpopulated with all kinds of people. What do you guys recommend? Something decent, and that will have privacy… to come extent.”
Robert the list is pretty short, if you want to avoid a license youre looking at FRS radios, which are basically simple walkie-talkie devices. Theoretically the range is 2 miles but that assumes that there are no trees, buildings, hills, etc.
It also assumes that your batteries are fully charged and that youre both outside in line of sight of each other.
Realistically you will get much worse range and its not a realistic solution if youre looking to stay connected on the way to work.
Thats the end of your license-free options.
GMRS radios have a much better range, but still probably not good enough. In ideal conditions you could connect to each other from 20 miles away, but you wont be in ideal conditions. In a dense urban area like Miami youll be lucky if you get a range of a mile unless you can put up a tall antenna at home.
CB radio is crowded but your biggest problem will likely still be range. Your antenna will have a big effect and a 5 foot antenna may get you 5 or 6 miles of range, but probably not if you cant see the person youre trying to communicate with. Again, if you can build a tower and put your homes antenna on high ground your range will improve greatly, but if you need to send the signal through miles of buildings, trees, cars and overpasses, then its really not going to work from too far away.
GMRS and CB without a repeater or a tall tower would both probably work well if you wanted to stay in touch while you run to the store some blocks away to pick up dinner, but South Florida commuting distances tend to be on the long side, so they probably wont work too well for what youre trying to accomplish.
The best option by very far in terms of privacy, sound quality, and overall performance is still a phone.
Don in LaBelle, Florida listens to the podcasts and asked: “I have a question about your podcast, which I’ve been trying to listen to using my Google smart speaker. I have been able to listen to hour one, using the voice command, but have not been able to figure out how to get to hour two or three. Wondering if you, or Chris, or any of your listeners, might know what commands you can use on your smart speaker to listen to hour two and hour three.”
Don, you can ask Google to play a specific episode by asking for it by name.
Into Tomorrow episodes are named Weekend of
So, for example, for this week you should be able to ask Google to play Into Tomorrow episode Weekend of December 17th 2021, Hour 2 or Into Tomorrow episode Weekend of December 17th 2021, Hour 3.
At the end of the first hour you can also say play previous episode to go into hour 2, and from hour 2 the same command will get you to hour 3.
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