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How to catch phone calls with a walkie talkie

Alfred J. Gross invented the first walkie talkie in 1938, and he helped the U.S. create two-way ground-to-air communications used during World War II. Walkie talkies work by changing the sound of your voice into radio waves, using a transmitter. Then, another walkie talkie receives the radio waves. A microphone in the walkie talkie converts sound into electrical signals while the speaker amplifies or makes your voice louder. Walkie talkies work on different channels or frequencies which are not private. Other people may hear your conversation, and you may hear other people, including phone calls.

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  1. Press the power button on your walkie talkie. Most walkie talkies make a beep sound when it is turned on. Now, your walkie talkie is ready to pick up transmissions.

  2. Turn up the volume by pressing the arrow pointing up volume control. This will allow you to pick up low sounds. You can lower the volume by pressing the down arrow button.

  3. Press the channel button to change the frequency of your walkie talkie. Some walkie talkies search for transmissions when you press the channel button once, and press the channel button again to hold on to a specific frequency or channel. Numbers should appear on the screen when you are changing the frequency.

  4. Listen carefully to any conversations. Walkie talkies can pick up telephone calls from cordless phones which use channels or frequencies also. Baby monitors and other walkie talkie conversations can be received accidentally.

  5. Set another walkie talkie to the same frequency so you may speak to each other. Have a friend go into the other room. Press talk and speak if you want to transmit your voice, and listen out for your friend on his walkie talkie if he presses talk. Or you can scan for phone calls by pressing the channel button.

  6. Tip

    Some walkie talkies work at a greater distance than others. If you want to hear far away transmissions, purchase a walkie talkie that works at 20 miles away or more. Hills and mountains can interfere with transmissions. Move to a location that is flat for better transmissions.


    Other people may not be happy if you are listening in on their conversations, and it may not be entirely legal to listen in on a phone call from your walkie talkie. Use caution when accidently picking up a phone call.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 walkie talkies

About the Author

Charong Chow

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

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