No, not all walkie-talkies will work together. UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) two-way radios are simply incompatible with one another and will not work together, even if they are tuned to the same frequency. There are sites out there on the web that offer some dubious methods of fixing this problem, but frankly, we don’t recommend any of them.
However, two-way radios made by different manufacturers will usually work together fine, provided that both units are either UHF or VHF radios and that both are tuned to the same frequency. Some users are confused by this fact, but really, there ought to be no fundamental difference between two radios, even if a different company manufactured each one.
Likewise, the same is also true for two completely different radio models. It is possible for an old radio to work when paired with a new one (and vice versa), because the technology is fundamentally the same on every device. As long as the radios are on the right frequency and they are both the right type of radio (VHF or UHF), then there shouldn’t be a problem.
Digital two-way radios, however, do present a problem. A digital radio is possibly not compatible with an analogue one, even if they are the same make of radio. We say ‘possibly’ because some digital two-ways are capable of operating on either analogue or digital – and those ones will most likely work.
Now, here’s the bit where we cover our collective backsides, because although we’re saying that these radio combinations should work, it does not guarantee that they will work. We don’t know the radios you’re trying to connect and we don’t know how new or old the radios in question are. In all probability, there are radios out there that are completely incompatible with one another. Because of this, it is always best to do your own research first, before you order anything. We say it time and time again, but you’d be surprised how many people simply don’t listen. Before you order your next radio, make categorically sure that what you’re ordering will work with what you already have.
Now that we’re said/written that, its time to come down off the ceiling and stop panicking, because the vast majority of radios will work together fine, given a shared frequency band and a little ‘can do’ spirit. The technology is relatively simple, as we’ve explained elsewhere this month, so there isn’t a lot that can go wrong, really.