Effective communication is essential for success in our daily activities, be it professional, family or emergency use.Irrespective of what we do, there is a need to constantly communicate with family, friends, associates, employees or employers.In recent times, there has been an increase in the production of gadgets that aid communication, with so many performing different functions besides communication alone.
Walkie talkies are one of such devices which have grown in the market as communication tools. They come with different features, shapes and sizes, with each offering solutions to specific communication problems.
Motorola is one of the many brands that specialize in developing radios to aid the exchange of information. The brand’s stellar reputation has been earned from designing walkie-talkies that are sturdy and rugged with powerful features. Motorola has a wide selection of radios suitable for industrial use, security or military use, outdoor activities and use in sales outlets.
The Motorola Talkabout family is well known among radio users. It consists of different radios built for extreme outdoor adventure, emergency kits and family use. Most members of this family are easy on the eyes with beautiful aesthetics.
The T460 is a prominent member of the Motorola Talkabout T400 series, which is made up of different two-way radios with different designs and sizes. T460 is made for outdoor use and is equipped with features that make communication possible regardless of obstruction caused by weather or other forces of nature. While keeping the consumers in mind, Motorola designed a lightweight family-friendly radio, which is great for use while biking, skiing, camping or during emergencies. With features like NOAA weather channels, dual power and weatherproof design, you can trust this radio to keep you connected and informed during your trips and activities.
In this review, you will find answers to questions you may have about the Motorola T460 radio.
Table of Contents
Considerations for choosing the T460 Radio
It’s essential to consider the radio’s size when buying a radio for outdoor use because it has to be comfortable for use. A heavy radio may have more features, but it won’t be efficient if used while cycling or hiking because it would not only get in the way, it would also be stressful to carry about for kids. Since most outdoor activities are energy-sapping, getting a lightweight and compact radio is more convenient.
It would be best to have a radio that can fit into your pocket or hang on your belt with a belt clip but won’t slow you down. Motorola Talkabout T460 weighs about 0.43lbs, which means it won’t get in your way while you are having your many adventures.
It is also not advisable to buy a radio that is too thick to grip. With a dimension of 7.54×2.20×1.37 inches, this Motorola radio will fit right in your palm and that of your kids as it has a kid-friendly design.
When choosing a radio for outdoor use, portability is essential, and this Motorola radio delivers just that.
The build quality of a radio determines how long it would last when deciding on what radio to purchase, considering the aesthetics are not enough as radio may look attractive but may not be built to survive.
However, this is not the case with the Motorola Talkabout T460 as it is sturdy, tough and built to last. Since this Walkie-talkie is a family-type radio that kids may use, it features a durable, rugged casing that enables the unit to withstand accidental drops. But to get the best out of this radio, it is important to handle it with care.
Attached to the radio are rubber flaps that seal off the radio ports when not in use to prevent snow dust from getting into it. The rubber flaps can easily be opened charging or during hands-free communication using an earpiece.
The radio also meets IP54 weatherproofing standards, which makes it capable of surviving any weather type. It can handle moderate rainfall and snow since it is water-resistant. However, it may not survive if fully submerged in water. Note that this radio will not float in water.
Giving that you would be far away from a charging unit when using the radio. It is important to consider the battery life of whatever radio you plan to purchase. Hence buying a radio that retains battery charge and has multiple charging options is essential.
One of the things most consumers love about T460 is the USB charger option possessed by the radio. You can choose to use the USB cord provided by Motorola or any other USB cord to recharge your unit. The USB feature makes charging your walkie talkie in the car or with your laptop easier.
This model’s NiMH batteries should last up to 10 hours when fully charged. Charging a new T460 should take about 14 hours to get it fully charged and ready for use. After the first time, it takes about eight hours to recharge it up to a hundred percent.
For longer battery life, 3AA batteries are preferable since you can use them for up to 26 hours before replacing them.
This radio gets better as it offers two levels of Push-to-talk. The low power preserves the battery and is suitable for closing range communication. In contrast, the high power, which drains more battery power, is better for communication within a far range.
Ease of use
It is crucial for the family type or outdoor radios to be straight forward and easy to use. Since such radios would be used by kids or adults whose focus or attention would be on the activity at hand, it’s essential to have a simple user interface and easily accessible buttons.
All of these traits are possessed by Motorola Talkabout T460. It has a tactile button that is easy to locate and press even while wearing gloves. There are 4 buttons on the left side of this radio, with each of them having specific functions. Two of the buttons control the Push-to-talk button for high power and low power transmissions. The other two buttons toggle on/off the flashlight. All the other buttons are located on the front side of the radio.
This walkie-talkie’s LCD display panel is quite intuitive. It displays the radio’s battery percent and packs a lot of other symbols that indicate what functions are active. Since the radio is small, the LCD display is also very small, but the letters and numbers shown on the screen are not too small. If you do not understand what some of the icons mean, you can simply use the radio’s user-guide.
As usual, Motorola did not fail to provide an outstanding manual. The manual explains in a clear language all its features and how to access them. It is concise and is not too lengthy or wordy to read.
The range of a radio depends on the terrain in which it is being used. A radio used in a suburban area would have less range than one used in a desert environment because of the clear line of sight.
Most radios are tested under a clear line of sight, but there are always obstructions in reality. The most important thing, however, is getting enough range for communication to occur.
You can only take full advantage of the 35 miles range stated by the manufacturers of Motorola Talkabout T460 when communicating from mountain to valley. Most people who use this radio in suburban areas complain that it’s fuzzy at 1-2 miles. However, It gives clearer communication in suburban areas when used for communication within one mile.
The radio is not great for indoor use as the signals struggle with walls and bricks. Using the radio indoors will produce a reduced reception that is noticeable.
It would be best to get about 3-4 miles of clear communication when using it in a forest or on a farm. The range is great for communication when hunting or camping. The radio should give you a range of 5-6 miles on open water, making it suitable for use while skiing.
Unboxing the T460
Opening the box, you will find two Motorola T460 radios. Giving the price which this radio is sold at, it is very affordable. It also comes with one Y cable charging adaptor and Dual Micro USB connectors, ensuring that the radio stays on for as long as you need.
Also included in the pack are two belt clips for each of the radios. The clips are made of durable plastic and would not break when in use.
Added to the pack are 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries for power. You also get a user-guide and accessory brochure, which are written in both English and French.
The antenna that comes with the radio is firm and cannot be replaced. You can also decide to improve the audio quality or the battery power with some of the recommended accessories by manufacturers of T460.
You can opt to change the battery to an 800 mAH NiMH rechargeable battery (PMNN4477).
A car charger with dual USB slots and two micro USB cables(PMPN4118) is also available to make car charging easier.
Purchasing a soft carry case kit (PMLN 7221) or a Carry pouch(PMLN 7706) will increase the radio’s portability.
To access the VOX function better, you can purchase a throat microphone with a PTT-VOX switch.
Features of theT460
One of the best parts of Motorola T460 is that it offers 22 channels from which you can choose from. Each of the 22 channels also has 121 privacy codes to make communication easier. With a total of 2,662 combination options, it is very easy to find open channels; chances of interference would be reduced.
The radio features General Mobile radio service (GMRS) frequencies, which may require a license to operate and Family Radio Service(FRS) frequencies with no restricted channels or frequency bands.
This Motorola walkie also provides 11 weather channels, 7 of which are NOAA weather channels. These channels are very important as they predict the weather and make sure that you are prepared for storms or snow and not caught off-guard. The radio also possesses a weather alert feature that immediately lets you know when there is an emergency weather broadcast. Note that you can’t listen.
No one can accurately predict when, where or how an emergency would occur. The best we can do is prepare. With this feature, you can ask for help with the push of a button should you find yourself in danger. After this feature signals your group for help, it would immediately operate in a hands-free emergency control mode for about 30 seconds.
This feature would cause your radio and other radios in your group to produce a warbling alert tone. Your speaker volumes would be automatically increased to a maximum of 8 seconds.
Whatever sounds or words you speak would be transmitted to other members of your group for 22 seconds after the 8 seconds alert. After the 30 seconds emergency mode, the radio’s controls would be locked. That way, there would be no accidental clicks, and the radio can receive emergency messages.
Certain outdoor activities require full concentration. It would not be easy to climb a mountain and transmit messages using the Push-to-talk button every time. Even activities like cycling, skiing or kayaking require you to pay attention at all times.
This is why the iVox/Vox feature, which is offered by Motorola T460, is an asset. With the right accessories, you can transmit and receive information while hanging your radio on your belt.
The major difference between the iVox and VOX features is that the former transmits without the use of accessories, and the latter requires headset accessories to be used.
This feature is useful in noisy areas like the amusement park. The walkie-talkies call tones may not be heard in such areas. Hence, setting up the Vibracall alert is better in such situations.
It acts like the silence feature in cell phones and can be used in quiet places or in situations where you do not want to draw attention to yourself.
When the Vibracall alert is set up, you will receive a vibration alert for 30 seconds whenever you receive a message. This feature will not be functional if your radio is far away from you since you need to feel the vibration it produces to receive messages.
QT noise filtering
This feature is useful in places packed with radio users like an amusement park. It functions by filtering out undesired noise from other radios.
You can be sure to have uninterrupted communication with other Motorola radios with this feature. Note that the QT filter will not work while your radio scans.
This feature can easily set-up by pressing down the menu button. QT is displayed on the screen. Using the + or – button, you can turn this feature off or on.
The radio has a total of 20 easily accessible tones, which you can transmit to other radios in your group to alert them when you want to talk.
To set-up this feature on your radio, simply press the menu button until a music icon shows on your screen. Use the + and – buttons to navigate or listen to the tones before selecting your desired tone.
A keypad lock feature is present in Motorola T460 to prevent accidental frequency change or change in other settings.
When the radio is on lock mode, you can transmit or receive messages. You can also put off or put on your radio and monitor channels. All other functions are locked.
To put the radio on lock mode, press the menu button until a padlock icon appears on the screen. Do the same to unlock the radio.
Searching for free channels or transmissions from unknown parties can easily be done with the scan feature. The scan feature also helps to find someone in your group whose channel has been accidentally changed.
With the priority feature, more attention is paid to your home channel. Your home channel is the initial channel your radio is set to before scanning starts. The priority feature continues to revisit your home channel while scanning the other 21 channels. It would prioritize and respond to any activity on the initial channel before the others.
The flashlight feature is located on top of the radio, and its controls are located beside the radio. While this flashlight feature may not light up the entire room, it is able to light up the path ahead.
22 Channels, each with privacy codes
11 Weather channels
QT( quiet time)
Emergency alert button
LCD battery meter
20 call tones
PTT power boost
Battery Save feature
Most people find the radio’s speaker a bit too quiet.
It has a limited range in suburban areas.
How to pair Walkie talkies
Pairing walkie-talkies may not be straightforward for a beginner in the radio world, but it’s a walk in the park with the right knowledge. To connect two radios of similar or different brands, you must first understand how the Push to talk button works.
Unlike cell phones, you cannot transmit and receive information at the same time except the Walkie talkies as a phone call feature. To communicate, you would need to press the Push-to-talk button to transmit your message. When you press this button, it is impossible for a message to be delivered.
This is why the word “over” is used after sending messages. That way, you can be sure that the person has passed across his message on the other end.
For communication to occur using the PTT button, the two radios must share a common channel or frequency. Simply pick out an available channel on your radio and share the information on the channel with your partner. To connect the two radios, your partner must first scan the channel list and then tune in to the same frequency.
In some cases, the radios may not connect if different brands or manufacturers design them. In cases like that, you would need to consider two things; The Continuous Tone Code for Squelching System (CTCSS) and the Digital Coded Squelch(DCS).
The CTCSS is a form of in-band signaling that ensures that interference is reduced during transmission. As a result of limited channels, it is possible for a different group of people to try to connect and communicate on one channel. This would result in interference, which would affect all parties connected as the transmissions would be heard by everyone tuned in.
To prevent this, The CTCSS, otherwise known as the tone squelch, mutes users using a different CTCSS or no CTCSS at all. It will only unmute if the sub-audible tone carried by the signal is Identical.
The DCS, on the other hand, sends a low-level digital signal rather than sending inaudible tones. It is similar to the CTCSS feature. To ensure that your radio connects to the other radio, simply turn off these two features. If you do not know how to access them, use your radio’s manual.
With that, your radios should be connected.
Where to buy Walkie talkies
With the world going digital, there is a variety of online markets where you can purchase your gadgets with little or no risk involved. On online stores like Amazon, you can leave your review of the product or contact the products’ sellers.
You can also buy your walkie-talkies from any gadget store around your vicinity.
Communication is made better outdoors in areas where there is no cell reception or where cellphones would not be of much help with Motorola Talkabout T460.
It has a great battery life with multiple charging options and a rugged body that ensures durability. Most people complain about the radio’s range indoors, but this Motorola radio was specifically designed for outdoor use. It is packed with amazing features like weather channels, NOAA radio alert, weatherproof design and Emergency alert button to make outdoor activities fun and safe.
The Motorola Talkabout T460 is a great choice for anyone interested in buying an affordable radio with excellent features.