Walkie-talkies have always been a fun and convenient way to instantly communicate with others in situations where mobile reception is unreliable. Outdoor activities like hiking may make it a little harder to stay in touch with the distance between you and your company. Luckily, the market is constantly advancing, and there are now various radios to choose from. Arcshell has been in the game for quite some time, and it has a reason for standing so long. The rechargeable long-range two-way radios are budget-friendly and come in a great size. Moreover, it offers a great range and user-friendly features that make a great way to start your walkie-talkie experience, perfect for all ages.
- Brand: Arcshell
- Range: 5 miles
- Power output: 2 watts
- Frequency ranges: 400-470 MHz
- Battery: rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Size: 4.53 x 1.30 x 2.36 inches (with antenna)
- Weight: 0.39 lb
- Waterproof: not stated
- License needed: yes (GMRS license)
Scope of Delivery
Every package includes two Archell radios and two 1500mAh high-capacity Li-ion batteries. It comes with two SMA-female antennas as well as two chargers. There is a pair of belt clips included, which I recommend you install with a screwdriver. Also included are two hand straps and earphones. Finally, each purchase includes a pair of users’ manuals.
This is a user-friendly radio, so even if it’s your first purchase, you don’t have to worry too much about its operation as it has straightforward controls, as seen in the user manual. Turn it on or off, turn the power switch (which doubles as the volume control) clockwise. You should hear a beep from the radio followed by a speech that indicates that the transceiver is on.
Unfortunately, there is no information indicated other than simply stating that the radio is water-resistant.
The battery pack consists of 1500mAh Lithium-ion batteries. Note that the new or stored (more than 2 months) pack cannot reach the initial charge’s full charging capacity. After two or three times of charging and discharging, the battery pack can reach its full charge. You can plug the adaptor into an electric socket and insert the battery or transceiver into the charging tray (a drop-in design). The light will initially glow red, and after three hours, the LED indicator should turn green.
As a more budget-friendly walkie-talkie, the Arcshell has a range of five miles. The UHF waves give you a better range because they can penetrate concrete, wood, and steel. This means that communication is easy, even around building complexes and other urban settings. The UHF operation also has a smaller chance of interference between the wireless systems.
The single frequency range for this model is around 400 to 470 MHz. Moreover, it has a total of 16 channels to choose from.
The radio has a Squelch level function, which mutes the speaker when there are no signals currently present, and it can be adjusted via program software (not included).
The next feature is the Time-Out Timer or TOT. This prevents any caller from using a channel for too long since this causes thermal damage. It is a built-in feature that alerts the user if the transmission time extends past a particular time set.
There’s also a really useful Scan function for when you want to monitor frequencies hands-free. The transceiver will automatically be able to detect any activity after scanning the different channels available. Note that it will stop scanning at the frequency if and when a signal is detected. However, if there are fewer than two channels active, the Scan feature won’t get activated.
Next is the Voice Operated Transmission or, simply, VOX. This feature eliminates the need for manually switching to Transmission Mode. The transceiver will switch to Transmission Mode automatically if the VOX circuitry picks up your voice on the microphone. Note that you will need a headset (optional) with a microphone.
There is also an Emergency Alarm available on channel 11. Hold the buttons labeled PTT and MONI and turn on the transceiver. This activates the emergency alarm function and can be set with software.
Moreover, a Battery Saver function decreases the amount of power used if no operations are currently being performed. This also works when no signals are being received. The radios also have a Battery Low Alert that consists of an alert tone and the LED indicator blinking red light. This means that you should either replace the battery pack or recharge it.
The Busy Channel Lock-out function (BCL) prevents users from interfering with others using the same channel you have chosen. You will know because your transceiver will emit an alert tone and be inhibited (it means you can’t transmit anything).
Lastly, the device includes the Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) and Digital Coded Squelch (DCS). Sometimes, you may want to hear certain information from particular individuals in a group. This feature allows you to make and receive specific calls from anyone else in your traveling group. You can also ignore any unwanted messages from other people that are making use of the same frequency. The CTCSS/DCS comprises 39/83 tone frequencies you can choose from and is a sub-audible type of tone.
This is a relatively cheap alternative to some walkie-talkies out there. Currently, the Arcshell radios are $25.99 per pair. There are also four in a pack available for $45.99 only. Other accessories like shoulder speakers can be bought as a pair for $10.99.
- Each pair comes with rechargeable batteries
- A single charge can last up to 96 hours
- Has high-quality speakers
- Very lightweight
- Small size (perfect for the palm of users’ hands)
- Only five miles of range
- No programmable cable included
- Not as many features as other walkie talkies
- No weather alert or update feature
- No software for reprogramming
Conclusion – Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios Review
To sum it up, I recommend this particular pair for first-time users or those that don’t need to communicate from far distances. The Arcshell radios are great for their price point and have all the features you would need in a radio. If you’re looking for more advanced features or plan on going on a trip with a lot of distance between travelers, this might not be the one for you.
Walkie-talkies are an easy and fun way to communicate, and this Arcshell model is a good option. I think that the size and water-resistant features make it a great radio to have. If you choose to buy this, make sure to get your license before purchasing.
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