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Thread: two way radios

  1. #1

    two way radios

    Hi all,
    Has anyone any experiance of the american two way radios you see advertised on ebay. They claim to have up to a 30 mile range unlike some from this country that only go to around 8 miles > sounds to me too good to be true if they are ok is it legal to use them here? and yes i do realise i will need a converter to charge them.
    I realise that i could go to uhf radios but they are too expensive at the moment. as i think i might need about 6.

  2. #2
    dont know much about them but i know a lad who sells motorola radios at the right price.let me know and i could pm you his number,he could also tell you anything you want to know about 2 way radios.

  3. #3
    Hi There,

    I wonder what radios these are you speak of on eBay?

    There are several options for radio communications open to all of us for our activity, all at different levels and price points.

    To summarize the main ones, among others:

    PMR446 - A low power (half watt RF power into a fixed antenna on the radio) UHF unlicensed radio allocation consisting of 8 channels with available different 'privacy tones' as they are often called. These allow many users to use the same channel and only be heard by people with the same 'privacy tone'. This privacy tone is a sub-audible constant tone (CTCSS) that the radio produces on your transmission, enabling similar programmed radios to unmute and receive wanted radio traffic whilst blocking out that of other users on different tone sets.

    In short this allows many users to co-exist on the same channel.

    These frequencies are used on the cheapo radios you see at Argos and the like, generally the radios used on these frequencies are cheap and cheerful, not very good quality and are usually poorly sealed to the elements - so water damage is a big problem in the UK!! Isn’t it !!

    There are some radios that use these PMR446 frequencies that are top of the range, made by the likes of Motorola and Kenwood and reflect as good-as-it gets performance, with water resistant manufacture, rechargeable battery packs with long life, and will take the abuse of really demanding use in the field. They also allow the connection of professional audio accessories, earpieces and such like that actually work! But you pay for it, I suppose the adage you get what you pay for applies.

    An ARGOS boxed pair of cheapies will set you back under £50 a pair but a decent Motorola or Kenwood PMR446 radio is going to set you back over £100 for a single radio, new, of course. Range is a factor here although both radios use the same power levels and comply with the license free regulations ( ) The usable range in general for PMR446 radios will be better in the more expensive radio because it is likely to have a better receiver and overall build quality. Rolls vs Lada

    Expected usable range for this PMR446 kit will vary dramatically on terrain, Expect 5 miles hilltop to hilltop but maybe half a mile in hilly dense territory. As a rule of thumb - line of sight affords best distance. Claims of 15 miles range must be treated with the same caution as an advert in the local press for free petrol!

    To summerise: A great way to stay in touch, perfectly adequate if you choose the right radio for your use.

    Now moving on to better things... There is a selection of frequencies allocated in both the VHF and UHF spectrum that have been given a licensed classification (Don’t panic its £65 for 3 years !!) and referred to as UK General. This license allows users to operate a number of radios under one license with a radio power output of 5 watts from a portable radio (as opposed to the PMR446 half a watt output) It also enables the use of a mobile radio in your vehicle with external antenna to communicate portable to vehicle etc. (Also uses privacy tones)

    More info on UK General ( )

    The equipment that is used on the UK General system is the same as the ‘professional’ radios you see security guards, tradesmen etc operating, however it is not unusual to see new radios commanding prices of £300 upwards each ! As a bonus, there is a great number of used radios that can be obtained at the ‘right price’ and reconfigured to operate very well on these channels. Because of their general high quality, professional build etc these will continue to provide excellent service under many years of abuse. You have the option of choosing either VHF or UHF frequencies in your licensed configuration and the license gives you permission to use your equipment anywhere in the country (UK).

    The advantages of this chosen route over against PMR446 are:

    Better 'overall' radios available second hand, affording good value for money. (Just make sure you take advice on what to buy)

    5 watts high power giving you the best available coverage. It don’t get better than this !

    Less users, so interfering signals on the channels are less (Every kid on our estate has a walkie talkie on PMR446, I realise that there are very few kids in the ‘wild outdoors’ but you take my point)

    The allowable mobile radio setup with external antenna, mag mount etc, so you can order the tea and inform of the progress of the hunt, always handy if you ever get in a situation where you need help too. If you parked the base vehicle on a good vantage point then the claim of 10 miles radio coverage to portables from the base is really more believable.

    The vast range of pro-accessories available for this kit, waterproof bags, leather cases, throat mics, ear pieces, remote press to talk buttons (PTT) that you can fix to your weapon etc. The choice is endless.

    If the radio breaks/goes faulty, bar dropping it in a pond and drowning it, it can be repaired.

    Disadvantages are: The fact you will have to purchase a license to operate the radios legally, but at £65 for three years, split between club/group members makes it very affordable and really practical in relation to what you will want to pay for decent equipment.

    Sorry if I have waffled on a bit but I thought it better to explain what options are open to us and how best to maximise your out-of-wallet folding. If there is any specific help I can give just add a new post or drop me a PM. I wish I knew a quarter as much about the sport as I possibly know about radio, but there’s time yet and it’s all about pooling knowledge and sharing info isn’t it !.

    All the best Steve

  4. #4


    Steve , many thanks for reply now if you can learn as much about deer as you obviously know about radios then the deer do not stand a chance, good hunting mate.

    Now you have put the cat amonst the pigeons as some of my stalkers do not wish to chip in on the £65 quid for three years license. Let alone £300 for a radio. We have tried the top end pmr446 and they still fail us at times which is not funny when you go to meet someone up a high seat as you told them to stay put, it is dark the wind is blowing against you(they cant hear you shout)
    and you have to enter via an unusual way to them ie from a deer rack out of the woods and the last words i said to my brother was if it moves shoot it.(he is an experianced stalker and knew exactly what i meant ie legitimate quarry but even so gets the heart going)
    We will all have a chat and see what the outcome is because i do not provide kit to my stalkers, but we either all need them or none of us.
    I do feel i may asking you some more questions if that is ok in tthe future?
    Regards cervushunter.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Targetcoms, Can I ask something as you obviously know a lot about it ?

    Where I stalk, I need to walk 1/4 mile up hill to get a signal on my phone, my father in law has to walk 200 yards, my sis in law can stand right where she is and get a signal. We are all on different networks and phones.

    Is the difference going to be down to phone or network converage?

    NB - I tried swapping sims around but we're all locked and I'm not taking 5 phones into my local place that unlocks them at a fiver each!

    Cheers, S.

  7. #7

    What you describe is most probably down to network coverage. Even if all the operators have antennas that share the same most local mast they will have different topographical performance. In areas of marginal coverage one will appear better than the others.

    This is not necessarily due to soley antenna and equipment performance but more likley due to the differing operating frequencies that the operators use:

    To generalise - GSM 900, GSM 1800 or GSM 1900 Mhz each operating frequency having different characteristics with regard to coverage, rule of thumb says the higher the frequency the less likley to 'go round corners' it is, so I would suspect Tmobile, Orange and 3 ( Higher frequency ) to have the worst job in your area of difficulty and probably o2 or Voda the best (lower frequency)

    It may be as simple as the antennas for the operators base station are not on a shared mast and are in physically different places, that of course will affect where each of their signal gets to best.

    The same applies to VHF and UHF radio communication - if we were to keep on-topic - As the greater distances in open air point to point will be covered by VHF two way radio for the same power on UHF. (With the small proviso that UHF will penetrate thick woodland better !) Swings and roundabouts here I am afraid.

    Some times there is a de-tuning that occurs when you hold the phone to your head as your 'body bits' absorb some of the radio energy, try using a simple 'in the ear' audio accessory on the poorer performing phones and holding the phone as high as you can.. a little inconvienient I know but may save you a few paces walk.

    All the best Steve

  8. #8
    That's very useful - I'll see if I can swipe her phone.

    Every stalker can do the phone dance, standing on tip toes waving the thing in the air, turning in different directions while squinting to see if the little bars have lit up.

    Sorry to HiJack the thread, and welcome!

  9. #9
    No probs i like wandering topics if they mean something.


    I had one of these, you can still find them, totally rugedised and waterproof. If you can find a new one (old stock ) you will not be dissapointed as in the box you get a long hi-gain flexi antenna you can fit in times of pure coverage (about 7-8 inches long like a rat-tail) and it really works !!

    You can beat a deer over the head with it, take it swimming, throw it at a wall etc etc, then call the wife - it maybe not be the most feature rich phone or smallest, but its got all you need (They do it in forest green also ) and does just what it says on the tin.

    Heres one for example:

    The bit at the bottom clips off for normal use, even has a built in VERY LOUD speaker phone if you need it !


  10. #10
    i got a pair of Brondi, 2 ways for £40 , comes with handsets aswell, 8-10km range , a real bargain from maplin.Car chargers and desk top included.

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