Are you on the lookout for a walkie-talkie with emergency features and accessories to add to your emergency preparedness for outdoor trips or the occurrence of natural disasters? Or maybe a walkie-talkie that also has a simple built-in entertainment feature, say, an FM radio?
I think that the Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radio T480 might be just what you are looking for. Below is my review of this model.
- Brand: Motorola
- Range: 35 miles
- Power output: no information
- Frequency ranges: 462-467 MHz (FRS/GMRS)
- Battery: NiMH Rechargeable Batteries or 3 AAA Alkaline Batteries
- Size: 7.6 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches
- Weight: 0.42 lb
- Waterproof: yes (IP54)
- License needed: yes, if GMRS channels will be used (FCC license)
Scope of Delivery
The Motorola T480 is sold as one unit per package. The package includes a micro-USB wall charging cables, one NiMH rechargeable battery, a whistle belt clip, a wall or desk stand, an emergency preparedness checklist, a user’s manual, an accessory brochure, a one-year warranty card, and a carry case.
This is relatively easy to set up and configure. Charge the rechargeable batteries first before installing them in the handsets. After turning on the handsets, set them to the same channel and interference elimination code. The enclosed user manual provides a list of channels and frequencies that you can use and a description as to whether these are FRS or GMRS channels. After that, you can now test the handsets for use.
The Motorola T480 has an IP54 rating according to the Ingress Protection (IP) Code. This means that you can use these handsets even in weather conditions with heavy precipitation like storms.
The Motorola T480 has two power options. You can use either rechargeable batteries or alkaline batteries to power it. The package includes NiMH rechargeable batteries, and operating the handsets on these batteries will make it last up to 10 hours. The package also includes a micro USB Battery Charging Adapter that you can use to recharge the NiMH batteries. Another battery option is to use 3 AA alkaline batteries that will make handset use last up to 26 hours but are not included in the package.
According to the manufacturer, the maximum range for the Motorola T480 can reach up to 35 miles when these walkie-talkies are used in ideal conditions. Ideal conditions include several factors, such as the walkie-talkies being used within a clear line of sight or with the least obstructions and in the best weather conditions.
Because this was built to be part of an emergency preparedness kit, it can work well enough even in extreme weather conditions like thunderstorms. However, the range is still much less than the advertised maximum range.
The Motorola T480 can operate within the 462 to 467 MHz frequency range and on 22 channels. All of these channels have Privacy Codes each. Note, however, that if you want to use Channels 1 to 7 and channels 15 to 22, you have to obtain a license as required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US. It is because these channels are shared with the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) system.
Operating the radios on FRS channels 8 to 14 is license-free. You can find out more about the FCC rules and regulations regarding radio licenses here.
The Motorola T480 is part of the brand’s response to the American Red Cross’ call for every household to keep an emergency preparedness kit. Because of this, the package for the Motorola T480 comes with emergency features like a built-in LED flashlight and an Emergency Alert Button. When pressed, this button will send out a distress signal and alert others if you are in danger.
It also allows access to 11 NOAA weather channels and reports that will alert you on weather-related matters. It has a Quiet Charge feature, which, when turned on, will not receive regular two-way calls but will still alert you on weather and emergency alerts.
The package even comes with a preparedness checklist and a whistle. One downside is that, for some reason, the amount of time you can listen to NOAA weather reports is minimal. After a few minutes, the radio returns to normal, two-way radio mode. This is a huge minus if you are buying this radio primarily because of this feature.
The Motorola T480 has an iVOX/VOX and Quiet Talk (QT) feature. The iVOX/VOX allows you to operate the handset using your voice even without accessories, not to use your hands to press any buttons. QT filters out noise from other non-Motorola sources while communication between compatible Motorola radios is ongoing.
The Motorola T480 has a built-in FM radio so you can tune in to local FM broadcasts even in the event of a power outage or for when you are outdoors. Compared to the emergency weather forecast feature, you can listen to the FM radio for as long as you like. It offers good sound quality for the FM radio, too.
Even though it has a lot of features, the Motorola T480 has great battery life. It has the usual battery-saving features such as Eco Smart, time-out timer, and a low battery alert. Changing batteries is not very convenient and cannot be done quickly because the battery door is tough to remove. So, you might not want to wait until the last minute and risk having the handsets die on you when you most need them.
The Motorola T480 is not as cheap as other walkie-talkies in the market. While it has many built-in features and dependability, some of its main features are problematic, so it might not be worth it for its price.
- has an emergency alert button and flashlight
- has access to NOAA weather channels and reports
- has VOX/iVOX hands-free
- has FM radio
- reasonable range
- reasonably durable
- sold only as one unit
- limited listening time to NOAA weather channels and reports
- not compact or pocket-sized
- belt clip does not hold very well
- not as cheap as other similar radios
Conclusion – Motorola T480 Review
Like the Motorola T465, the Motorola Talkabout Two-Way Radio T480 is a walkie-talkie packed with features plus more. You can read more about our review of that product here. It has features similar to the Motorola T465, like the hands-free features that will allow more freedom with your hands. This walkie-talkie also has the same emergency features and is also weatherproof and durable. This model’s added feature is the built-in FM radio and the additional emergency preparedness kit and whistle.
However, the amount of time for listening to NOAA weather reports is minimal for some reason. This is a problem if you want a radio that will be a dependable part of your emergency preparedness kit. The range, as with the majority of the other radios in the Motorola TXXX series, is reasonable but not great. It does not even near the range promoted by the manufacturer. It is sold only as one unit, and it can also be pricey compared to other similar radios in the market.
Where can I get a copy of the manual for the Motorola T480?
You can find a copy of the user’s manual for the Motorola Talkabout T480 online at this link: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/products/two-way-radios/consumer/T480/T480-User-Guide.pdf
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