Can You Track a Walkie-Talkie? 4 Methods

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A walkie-talkie is a great way to communicate without any interruption or rely on network connectivity. It is still popular even after the advent of mobile phones. But the question is – can a walkie-talkie be tracked?

This question has been asked by many two-way radio transmission users and the answer is – Yes, a walkie-talkie is traceable but it is an extremely difficult process.

So, can anyone can trace it? Can you track a walkie talkie?

To know the detailed answer to questions like these, we would suggest you read this article by the end carefully.

Can You Track a Walkie Talkie

How Does Walkie-Talkie Send Signal to a Receiver?

Before going any further on how you can track a walkie-talkie, you need to understand the algorithm of how a walkie-talkie works and sends a signal to a receiver.

A walkie-talkie can send and receive information at the4 same time; especially when both are using the same channel.

The sender needs to press the PTT (push-to-talk) button to convey the message. The receiver will immediately receive the message while listening to the same channel.

Now, let’s find out how to trace a walkie-talkie.

How to Track a Walkie-Talkie – Follow the Guidelines

The transmitter of the walkie-talkie turns the message into a radio wave and releases it to the electromagnetic field (EMF). It goes at the speed of light and the transmitter of the receiver end converts the radio signal into the original message.

So, if it is possible to get the channel that the signal is traveling on, it will be possible to catch the signal and track the receiver and sender of a walkie-talkie.

There are several methods to trace a walkie-talkie signal. Let’s learn about them in the section below.

Method 1: Single Tracer

This method only works if the radio transmits long enough. You need a highly directional portable antenna to detect the signal and trace a walkie-talkie.

You need to point the antenna straight at the target. As you don’t know where the target is, you need to turn the antenna 360 degrees until you find the direction of the transmission.

However, it is really hard to find and track the accurate signal if there are other transmitters around you.

Method 2: Triangulation

It is the most common method to track a walkie-talkie. It measures the directional or radial distance of the received signal to determine the location of a walkie-talkie.

You need a directional antenna and a minimum of three stations with the same frequencies to detect the signal. By detecting the signal from 3 transmitters, the strongest signal can be detected as the receiver.

This way you can quickly detect a walkie-talkie by avoiding obstacles like communication towers, steel buildings, and other obstructions.

Method 3: Trilateration

This trilateration method only works when the signal of the walkie-talkie is picked up by three different receivers at the same time.

If the receivers are at the known location, and they are triangulating the signal, then you can detect the location of the walkie-talkie using special software or by hand.

Method 4: Fox Hunting

This method is different from other methods of tracing walkie-talkies. It detects transmitters hidden in a specific area.

It is normally used during sporting events or other similar events that require an antenna with a directional pattern.

It normally tracks the strength of the signal. Using multiple antennae, it is easier to detect whether a signal is coming rapidly or slowly. If the walkie-talkie is close enough, it will detect a strong signal. In the same way, if the antenna is going far from the target, the signal will decrease.

It uses the arrival principle’s time difference law to detect the signal. As two antenna is mounted in two different places in this method, the signal received from the same place can be by both antenna, and by observing the strength of the signal, it can be easily determined where the walkie-talkie is.

Is Tracing a Walkie Talkie legal?

As the walkie-talkie is authorized and private and licensed by FCC, it is legal to track a walkie-talkie. However, only some authorized organizations are allowed to track a walkie-talkie.

If any individual is thinking about tracking a walkie-talkie, then he must read the law of using and tracking the device first.

How to Avoid a Walkie Talkie from being Traced?

If you are stressed about your walkie-talkie that can be traced, then you can do a few things to avoid tracing.

  • Just keep turning off the walkie-talkie while you’re not using it. It will prevent tracing your emitted signal.
  • Keep the walkie-talkie in a Faraday cage while you’re not using it. If you do this, the signal can’t be transmitted by someone else and will prevent you from being traced.
  • If you are too much worried about being traced, then use a jammer when you’re not using your walkie-talkie.
  • You can use encryption which will prevent the tracer from listening to your conversations.
  • Using scrambling will make the conversation harder to understand.
  • You can use frequency hoping which will mix the signal frequencies and you’ll be unable to track.
  • Use private codes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Track the Location of A Radio?

A radio signal is broadcasted by a transmitter which can easily be detected by a directional antenna. The directional antenna is a typical Radio Direction Finder. Anyone can easily track the location of a radio signal by rotating the antenna 360° to determine the direction where the signal lies.

Can I Track Two-Way Radios?

Two-way radios are highly secured and it is hard to track as they use a close communication network. As the network relies on radio frequency, it can be difficult to trace through GPS. However, it doesn’t mean that two-way radio is impossible to track.

Can Walkie Talkies Pick up Other Walkie Talkies?

No, walkie-talkies are programmed and set to an exact channel or frequency using a PC. So, if others have the same model of the walkie-talkie, they still are unable to pick up other walkie-talkies without having the same frequency.

Can Ham Radio Transmissions Be Tracked?

Emitted signals by ham radio are so tough to track. The signal mixes with other network signals; so, it is very hard to trace a ham radio in the modern environment. However, illegal transmissions can be hunted down by authorized operators. They use the same techniques described above to track a ham radio signal.

Can Anyone Hear You on Walkie-Talkies?

The answer is simply – NO. It is too hard to hear your walkie-talkie unless the other one knows the accurate frequency and privacy code. If anyone has the same frequency as yours, they still will be unable to hear you as they don’t have the privacy code.

However, if anyone with the frequency and privacy code come inside the range of your walkie-talkie by coincidence, he/she’ll hear you. But it is a very rare case.

Conclusion

As a walkie-talkie transmits radio signals with a certain frequency towards the receiver, if any antenna that staying inside the range with the same frequency, it can get that signal and also can track your walkie-talkie. All the popular methods of tracing and tracking walkie-talkies are given above in this article and we hope, you’ve now learned the methods to prevent your walkie-talkie form from being traced after reading this article. If you are having any confusion regarding this topic, then don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.

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