Instructables

Are there any kits or instructions on how to build a DIY two way radio (Walkie Talkie)?

I am working on a  costume set of hearing protection for when I work at my farm. I am adding Bluetooth for music and calls, lights, and of course a 2 way radio because I do no get service all over and would like to be able to communicate with my wife at the house. So I originally looking into using and existing radio and just taking the circuit board out it but I run into a couple issues. The switches are printed directly on the board I'm not sure how I would add external buttons to that. Also I'm not thrilled with the size and they have more features then I personally need. I would like a unit that is small as possible that can send and receive transmissions on one of the 22 frs/grms station found on standard us walkie talkies. I would like it to power up when the headset comes on and I need it to have a Push to talk Button. As for range 1500 feet would cover what I need.

mpilchfamily7 months ago

Any button that are directly on the board are attached to surface mounted pads. You can remove them and solder wires in their place.

As mentioned it's vary difficult to do any kind of DIY radio without specialized equipment and know how. You best bet is to work with an existing set of radios.

jtpetray (author)  mpilchfamily7 months ago
I really appreciate you getting back to me I'm pretty new to this world and getting a couple questions answer have proven to be difficult with out getting attacked for my lack of knowledge in this area

I didn't figure it would be feasible but I came across this module and thought that it might be a winner. why would something like this not work?
http://www.hktdc.com/suppliers-products/Mini-Walkie-Talkie-Module/en/1X07HM9X/1103931/

I only need the most basic of functions I would like to set it to one of the 22 FRS/GRMS frequencies used in the US (around 460MHz) and connect it to the headsets mic and speakers. The only two functions I have any interest is having a PTT button and I would like to be able to change channels but if that would be to much work I don't care.

if that module above is no good and I do end up sticking with the existing board. How can I pull a momentary switch off of these printed buttons(example image attached). the ones on my unit function when I touch a grounded wire to them. could it be as simple as soldering a wire to the button and connecting them to ground though a momentary switch. I feel like I may be missing something
pcb button.png

That module will work great. The problem with making your own transmitter and receiver is first getting a working schematic. Even with that if you don't lay it out on the PCB just right there are all sorts of factors that will mess up the frequency.

As for the board pictured. It wouldn't have mattered if you used a ground wire or just licked your finger to touch the pads. If you look closely at the pads their are to different traces there. All the rubberized button/bare wire/you wet finger is doing is shorting those pads together. So you can carefully solder a wire to each side and run that to whatever button you want to use. Some times those pads are not copper pads but black carbon. This is done because these isn't room on the small board to have a bug patch like that for the copper trace to sit. So the traces end at a small pads near each other and then the carbon is overlayed on the board to giving a large enough space for the rubber button to make contact. So you'll have to find the small traces that lead to that carbon pad. Carefully scrape back the solder mask and solder your wires there.

jtpetray (author)  mpilchfamily7 months ago

Thanks I will forget the DIY walkie talkie and use and existing board. I actually came across the set pictured below. it should be perfect for my circumstances. They claim to have a range of 1.5 miles which is fine for what Im doing.

since I'm already building it would increasing the antenna size have any effect on the range? If yes is there any way to determine what size would give me the maximum benefit without making it larger the necessary.

Is there any reason I would want to avoid increasing the antenna size?

Thanks for all of your help on this. I am impressed I am logging my project and plan to put it on the site. I generally avoid posting on forums of anykind because of all of the "trash" involved in getting an answer to a question but this has been very straight forward and helpful

walkie talkie watch.jpg

I've owned one of those watch radios before. As with any of these radios the range listed is a maximum range under ideal conditions. So if your on a perfectly flat area with perfect line of sight to the other person and it's a perfectly clear sunny day at about 70 degrees then you can expect 1.5 miles. Otherwise you'll average out at about 1/4 to 1/2 mile range. Increasing antenna size will help. There are all sorts of calculations used to figure out optimal antenna sizes in relation to the frequency being used but it's over my head. You may be able to find an online calc to help you with that.