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4 Tips for Shopping for Two-Way Radios

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4 Tips for Shopping for Two-Way Radios

Two-Way Radios

Did you know that more than 155 million adults in the United States listen to the radio each day?

Local AM and FM radio stations are popular, but there are many other forms of communication radio.

If you want to invest in a two-way radio, there are a few things you’ll want to consider since they aren’t all made the same.

Keep reading if you want to learn about the most important factors when it comes to buying two-way radios!

1. Know Your Needs

One of the first things to consider before looking at two-way radios is your needs.

Think about why you want to buy a radio whether it’s for a hobby, work, or communication. Some people invest in radios because they want a reliable way to communicate with others if they go on their boats and lose power. Radios are also great for listening to local and global news that could be impacting your life.

Write down the reasons for getting your radio, this list will come in handy when you compare your communication options.

2. Consider the Elements

Will you be floating on the water, exploring the sky, or sitting at home with your radio?

Depending on where you plan to use your radios, you will need certain types. Portable two-way radio options are often popular but they don’t have as large of a range to communicate.

If you’re going to be outside, make sure you invest in waterproof radios or buy protective equipment. You can learn about a Motorola xpr3300, it’s a great option for most elements. A lot of people that get ham radios keep them indoors since it’s the safest environment.

3. Look Into Licensing

Most people don’t realize it, but some two-way radios require a license to operate them.

Since the FCC regulates most radio frequencies, they have developed policies and procedures. One of the ways they regulate the radio frequencies so they aren’t abused is with the GMRS license. This license is only given to people that have been approved to communicate on ham radios.

Personal radios don’t require licensing since the channels run on a different frequency. The reason these channels are monitored so closely on certain radios is that they are only used for emergencies.

4. Research Powering

While comparing two-way radio options, you might discover various sources of power.

Depending on the radio you buy, it can run off electricity, batteries, or solar power. Some radios can even be used if your crank a handle enough times! The reason you want to consider the power source is in case of emergencies, where you don’t have electricity.

Go back to the reason you’re getting the radios and make sure their power source will accommodate your needs.

Buy Two-Way Radios With Confidence

When it comes to buying two-way radios, the process can be intimidating, especially if you need a license.

Not all radios are created equally, which is why you must research your options and understand your needs. The reason you’re getting the radio will determine where you will use it and if you need to get waterproof equipment. Don’t use your higher-tech radios outdoors, however, since they can get damaged. 

Make sure you read our blog for more information about radios and innovative devices for communicating!

Tech

What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?

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What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?

Did you know that water heating accounts for as much as 20% of your household energy use? And that figure grows the longer you stay in that nice hot shower!

Of course, the types of water heaters you choose can also increase (or reduce) your that figure. Once upon a time, people just had a simple hot water tank heated by a fuel of some kind. Today, there’s a surprisingly extensive range of water heaters to choose from, and knowing which is best for your home can be daunting.

If you’re upgrading your current heater or choosing appliances for a new build, diving into the pros and cons of each machine is essential. Below, we explore it all. So read on!

What Is a Water Heater?

Before you can find the best water heater for your home, you need to understand what a water heater is and does!

Believe it or not, but the is right there in the name: a water heater is an appliance that heats the water in your home, which you then use to wash dishes, clean your body, and wash your clothes–among other activities.

Before the 1890s or so, Americans had to heat their water in an enormous metal bucket atop their wood-burning stoves. Then, they’d carry it over, bucket by bucket, to fill a bathtub in the kitchen.

Today, we’re far luckier–we have water heaters and indoor plumbing to do the job for us.

How a Water Heater Works

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s explore how a residential water heater does what it does. While there are many types of water heaters (more on those later), they all work in similar ways.

First, water is fed into a tank or runs through a pipe. Then, the water is heated slowly (in the case of the tank) or rapidly (in the case of the pipe) until it reaches a pre-determined temperature. Then, when you turn on the hot tap anywhere in your home, the water leaves the tank or runs through the pipes, arriving in the sink or shower hot.

Water heaters mostly used to function on electricity, but now you can run water heaters on gas, solar, and even the hot air from your attic!

If you need a water heater replacement, that’s usually a plumber’s job. But, unfortunately, it’s also typically a significant expense!

Types of Water Heaters: Explained

Let’s say your current water heater has broken down, and you’re in the market for a new one. If you’re a smart homeowner, you’ll look into all the standard options available today rather than just buying a replica of what you already had.

Conventional

Almost every homeowner will be familiar with a conventional or tank-style water heater when it comes to homeownership. If you didn’t have one in the house you bought, you almost certainly grew up with one in the house.

This water heater has a tank that fills with water. The tank has two valves:

  • A temperature control valve, which releases at 120 F
  • A pressure control valve, which releases at 150 PSI

The water in the tank is constantly re-heated to stay at the desired temperature. Then, the hot water is piped all over the house as needed.

Tank water heaters come in various capacities depending on your budget, how it’s powered, and the size of your home (namely, how many places in your house need hot water).

Tankless

Some homes (especially new homes) have a tankless water heater installed.

As soon as you turn on the hot tap, the coils in the water heater are filled with water. Next, an element heats the coils, which heats the water. It’s the instantaneous result that people love about these water heaters.

In most cases, this type of heater is powered by gas. If they’re run on electricity, they might not be as efficient and may raise your utility bills more than you’d like.

Tankless water heaters are great for homes using a small amount of hot water, like condos or apartments. However, larger homes requiring larger volumes of water might get tepid rather than hot water coming out of the tap.

They also require a certain level of water pressure to function effectively.

Hybrid or Heat Pump

If you’re looking for ways to lower your utility bills (and who isn’t these days), consider a hybrid water heater.

This type of heater uses the heat from the ground and the air to heat water. It only uses electricity to transfer the heat to the water, rather than using it to heat the water itself, saving energy.

This type of water heater is typically quite significant because it features a pump on the top of the appliance. This means you need a decent amount of ceiling clearance to install it in your home.

And while it’s relatively inexpensive to run and easy to maintain, it has a higher upfront cost than most other types of water heaters.

Solar

A water heater option to emerge in the past decade or so is the solar-power water heater. This option is excellent for those considering adding solar panels to their home and perfect for anyone who already has them!

You need to connect your water tank to solar panels installed on your roof to get hot water. The energy from the sun is transferred to the tank via a closed-loop system made of heat-conductive material. It’s this that heats the water in the tank.

Just remember that while solar is beneficial (and cost-saving) in most parts of America, areas with low sunlight hours might not get the return on investment they were expecting.

Get the Steamy Bathroom of Your Dreams

Whether you’re happy to stay on the grid or excited to embrace the eco-friendly age, there are types of water heaters to suit.

Environmentalists can choose between solar-powered water heaters and heat-pump or hybrid options. Traditionalists or those in areas with low sunlight hours can stick with a conventional water heater or go for a tankless model. What’s essential is that you do your research on how each option meets your needs and shop around for the best prices.

For more advice on everything household related, browse the other articles on our website.

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