OT Those PMR personal radios

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Been thinking about getting a pair of those PMR446 personal 2-way radio thingies - these walkie talkie units made by Alan, Motorola etc.
Walked into Maplin the other day to ask about battery technology (many of them come with recharger unit you just drop them into) and I'm quite keen on at least NiMh batteries rather than the dreaded NiCads. Said Maplin shop staff hadn't got a clue. I rang the expensive Maplin tech support line. They hadn't got a clue either.
Anyone know if you can get models with at least NiMh battery technology and if so which ones?
My other niggle is over frequency used [446MHz]. If I got them, they'd probably be used in France more than in the UK. I have this faint memory that the frequency used in the UK is illegal for such use in France?
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On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 18:32:30 +0000, 666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote:

As I understand it, the situation is as follows.
The PMR446 band is now legal for use all over Europe.
When initially introduced, there were some allocations of spectrum in some countries that overlapped into this band. Apparently in France, the first two channels were used by SNCF until 2002; but I understand that they are no longer and the entire band is available in France.
http://tinyurl.com/3d5tu
One thing definitely to avoid is using American market sets intended for the FRS band. These are essentially the same, but AIUI in several European countries including the UK, the FRS frequencies, or part of them are used by the emergency services.
.andy
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Ta. Very useful URL. You answered the question I thought wouldn't get answered. Most impressive.
Any idea about the battery technology...?
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On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 19:58:44 +0000, 666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote:

Look a bit wider than Maplin.
I checked the Motorola T5522 and it appears to have NiCds (probably typical for the lower end products)
The XTN446 comes with NiMH but is quite a bit more money;
I found this site. Don't know if they are any good, but there is more information than at Maplin's site.
http://www.maximonsolutions.com/index.html
It would appear that a lot of the sets have AA batteries and you can get NiMH for them anyway.
.andy
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Yup. I am about to liberate a whole bunch on account of changing camera...
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Simon Gardner wrote:

Currys do the radios, but also do a companion charger set. 8 x AAA Nimh batteries and a semi-intelligent charger [1] for 4.99
http://www.currys.co.uk/images/676282_01_huge.jpg
I bought a twin pack radio set there as a pressie for 30, I think the radios were OK but the bundled ear/mic leads felt a bit cheap. Best steer clear of channel 1 code 1 unless you enjoy hearing excited 6 year olds ~ sorry.
[1] It charges up to 90% then switches to trickle charge so can be left on overnight.
--
Toby.

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On Fri, 2 Jan 2004 03:15:33 -0000, Toby wrote:

Hum, I bet those batteries are the cheap of the cheap and low capacity.
I Bought a combined charger and 4 (AA) cells to go with the digital camera for less thana tenner. The life of these (1200mAH) cells is much shorter than the industrial (1800mAH) greater capacity would suggest using the same charger...
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Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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Goodmans use AAA so will take NIMh
plenty to look at here http://www.nevadaradio.co.uk/pmr.html
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666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote in message
.

We've been using a couple of pairs of Oregon Scientific PMRs, from Maplins.
They use AAA batteries, and work well with both Ni-Cad and NiMh.
Maplin are doing packs of 12 of the latter for 9.99 at present, so for a tenner per radio you get three sets of batteries.
Ours have paid for themselves several times over in savings on mobile phone bills.
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On 1 Jan 2004 19:44:58 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@minimoke.net (Chippy) wrote:

Is there a text messaging accessory for teenagers?
.andy
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On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 09:56:15 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

No, I'm afraid they'll have to learn to talk rather than grunt.
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On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 12:40:48 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

Never a truer word. When my son has a friend visit, you can't quite hear the conversation but it sounds exactly like Beavis and Butthead.
.andy
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Has mungo trained them to shut the front door yet?
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geoff

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snipped-for-privacy@minimoke.net (Chippy) wrote:

That's the general idea. Though we do run a French mobile, we don't run two. So I reckon a set of these would soon pay for themselves on our frequent trips to France when we need short-range communication.
[Anyway, sounds like what I am now looking for is a pair of them that take standard form AA cells so I csan use all my spare AA NiMhs in them.]
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666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote in message

that take

Take a look at this link, which seems to be pretty much the definitive site for reviews of different models:
http://www.446user.co.uk/index.php
HTH
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Andy Hall wrote:

I was quite tempted by the Virgin ones on this page
http://www.target.com/gp/browse.html/ref=sc_fe_l_2/601-3568983-6810543?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node 42152
when I was in a Target store in the USA. I take it from what you've said it was a good idea not to buy them?
Would any of the sets on this page be suitable for use in the UK?
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"Simon Gardner" wrote | My other niggle is over frequency used [446MHz]. If I got them, | they'd probably be used in France more than in the UK. I have | this faint memory that the frequency used in the UK is illegal | for such use in France?
Like Andy Hall said; but I would add that although PMR446 is pan-European it is up to individual countries when they introduced it; I think Turkey was late (assuming they have introduced it now).
You may be thinking of Citizens' Band radios. The British CB 27/81 is illegal in France. It is illegal to take a dual standard UK/CEPT 80-channel CB transmitter into France, AIUI, CBs must be 40-channel CEPT only.
Owain
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On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 18:32:30 +0000, 666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote:

My Moto T6222s came with Nimh, this was about 18 months ago.
Only problem I have had, apart from the lower than expected range, is that the headset port does not work well with a standard cellphone headset.
AJH
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Do beware of some of the claims for these units. There are only a basic 8 RF carrier channels but signalling codes CTCSS and CDS and Selcall are used to prevent you hearing unintended transmissions etc but if someone else is using the same RF channel as you expect problems. This is a useful sort of radio for most domestic functions, but is sodded up in built up areas with children using them willy nilly, but then again its really only a new CB type and grade radio.
Like most things the more you pay the better the product. We tried using them for some pro and semi pro applications but have given up now. The range is rather optimistic and to get the claimed 3 Km or so in an urban environment you will be very lucky indeed. Even out in the country things like trees and wooded area's can soak up the signal very badly.
You can use them in almost all EEC countries and France is no exception. Most units especially the cheaper ones will take AA size batteries. From more recent experiences the Motorola ones have more going for them than most. Such makes as Kenwood and ICOM do them but they are relatively expensive and in fact are scaled down versions of PMR grade radios....
--
Tony Sayer


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For my purposes, 1 km will be just fine and 500m more usual. I have no hopes that they will work much at 3km and little intention of trying.
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