Radio Shack License-free 2-Way Personal Radio

Radio Shack License-free 2-Way Personal Radio

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This is Radio Shack's??

Mar 14, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Unit is strong, rugged, and weather sealed.

Cons:It is heavy and difficult to use. Hefty price.

The Bottom Line: Over all, except the price, the unit is a GOOD investment when you need a durable unit for hiking, boating, sking, bicycling, motorcycle communications, etc....


Well most consumers who buy from the Shack can tell you, Radio Shack does not make most of their product lines. Units like these are provided by Cobra, Uniden, and Motorola with the slap of the Radio Shack(Optimus) name and/or Logo.

I own two of these 21-1810 (newer are 21-1813) units, plus two 21-1825 and two 21-1822. All these are Radio Shack products which advertise up to 2 Miles.

The unit requires 3 AA batteries to operate. The average advertised battery life using alkaline is 22 hours and with Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (600mA) is 8 hours. My battery life has been about 18-20 hours with standard alkaline batteries.

The 21-1810's power output is advertised at 500mw. With that they advertise up to 2 miles of transceiving. This is in open country land with flat and clear space. The best that I have achieved is 2/3-3/4 miles between two vehicles on straight highway. The best on foot was 1/3 mile with at least 5 rows of homes with in that 1/3 mile.

This unit offers 14 channels with 38 Quiet codes (basicly sub channels.)A Quiet code is a P/L tune that allows two or more radios to operate without interference from other radios operating within the same channel. The 14 channels allows you to operate like a CB (Citizens Bands). If too many operates are on one channel and/or the quiet codes are used up then just select the other 13 channels remaining.

This unit like most other units has a auto squelch. So only the strongest signal near by would be heard by the receiving radio. All units that offer auto squelch has a mon (monitor) button. If your signal is fading, hold the mon button to hear the remaining signal.

For rugged feel and look the unit offers a screwed in battery cover. For if the unit is dropped the batteries should be held within the unit, unless the cover is cracked or the hole is stripped. The unit too has a weather seal around the seem of the battery cover. The speaker is also weather protected. Do not confused weather protected and water proof. The unit's speaker, unknown if it is sealed from water submergin.

This FRS radio can be a hand full in operation. You have to hit the mode button until you get to the mode you desire. There are 4 modes. Channel select, Quiet code, Volume, then Alarm. After selecting the mode, you then use the top nob to change the channel, volume, or quiet code.

It has an accessory port for a ear piece, mic, or both. This would allow you to operate with the unit on your hip or in you pocket. There are some devices that Radio Shack or other stores that offer VOX (Voice Actived) handsets. This allows you to operate hands free.

Again; over all, except the price, the unit is a GOOD investment when you need a durable unit for hiking, boating, sking, bicycling, motorcycle communications, etc....


Recommend this product? Yes


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