RADIOPRO - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW FAR WILL MY RADIO REACH / WHAT'S THE RANGE?

This depends on the type of walkie talkie and the environment you wish to use it in. A Two-Way Radio can only reach as much as its power output will allow.

For example, a 0.5Watt PMR446 radio will reach significantly less distance than a 4-5Watt Licensed radio. Walkie Talkies also work by line of sight so the more obstacles you put in the way of the signal, the less range you will reach.

Manufacturers stipulate ranges on their products, but these are absolute best-case scenario and often leave the user very disappointed. An honest valuation based on our customers use of various models is as follows:

0.5 Watt License Free Radios:

1/4 – 1/2 mile (up to 0.8km) in vehicles or buildings

1/2 – 3-4 mile (up to 1.2km) in built up areas

1/2 – 1 miles (up to 1.6km) in wide open spaces

5 Watt Licensed Radios:

1/2-1 mile (up to 1.5km) in vehicles or buildings

1-2 miles (up to 3km) in built up areas

3-5 miles (up to 8km) in wide open spaces.

 

LTE Network / POC radios are the only option for longer range as they work on cellular data rather than radio waves.

WHICH IS BETTER? LICENCED RADIO OR LICENSE FREE RADIO?

It depends on the range and the type of communication you want. Essentially a License Free (PMR446) radio will have a much shorter range, has a fixed antenna, and uses frequencies that are heavily used, so you’ll likely pick up other users’ conversations on a License Free Radio. (You can minimize this a bit with a digital radio as this uses different frequencies that are not so popular yet.)

A licensed radio will give you a longer range as it’s a higher power than a License Free radio. The channels are not as congested as License Free and there are options available to improve range slightly if you’re struggling to reach the required distance. You do need to consider the added cost of a license, but a UK Business Light License should be sufficient for most users’ needs and covers you for 5 years for an unlimited number of radios.

If you’re struggling to decide on which option is best for you, download our free buying guide: https://mailchi.mp/0b027f837be9/radio-buying-guide

WHAT WALKIE TALKIE SHOULD I BUY?

This really depends on what you want two-way radios for, where you will use them, and what budget you have.

In brief, if you need something for open air with no obstacles and decent range then go for a VHF Licensed radio. If you need something in a built-up area but only need 1/2 mile range then a license free (PMR446) radio will be fine. If you need a longer distance than this, then you’ll need a UHF Licensed radio. There is also the option of a network radio that uses cellular data rather than radio waves, so you’ll essentially get nationwide coverage.

For a more detailed answer, download our free buying guide: https://mailchi.mp/0b027f837be9/radio-buying-guide

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR DELIVERY?

If you place your order before 12noon we will despatch it the same day. If you choose DPD delivery at checkout you will receive your order the next working day. If you choose Royal Mail delivery at checkout this will be up to 3 days for delivery.

WHICH WALKIE TALKIE/TWO-WAY RADIO IS THE BEST?

Every option is different, and all user’s requirements are different so what may be “best” for one person, may be completely different for another.

If you want something that’s going to perform well and last then you could consider a more well-known brand such as Icom, Kenwood or Motorola.

If you want to use a radio in wide open spaces, then a VHF radio would be “best”; whereas a UHF radio would be “best” if using it in buildings or built-up areas.

If you are on a tight budget then a reliable, professional but economical choice such as a Mitex Two Way Radio might be “best”. It really does depend on each user, so we suggest you talk to us about your requirements, and we’ll help you find what’s “best” for you.

WHAT WALKIE TALKIE CHANNEL SHOULD I USE?

It depends on which channel gives you the best performance, which you’ll only be able to determine once you use a few of them. As you change the area you use the radios in you may find that other users are on the same channel and therefore you will need to change to another channel to reduce interference.

Most users tend to use the first few channels, unless they find a lot of interference from other users in that area, so you could start higher, say channels 10-13 if you have a 16 channel radio. Construction companies also use two-way radios so you may find a channel that worked well previously now becomes congested when a new construction site is nearby.

If you find constant interference on most of your channels it may be worth considering re-programming your radios to different frequencies or tones.

WHAT WALKIE TALKIE HAS THE LONGEST RANGE?

The range of a radio firstly depends on its power; a License Free PMR446 radio can only run at 0.5Watt and a licensed radio around 4-5Watt. Therefore, no matter what radio model it is, its range is restricted by its power output, so a Motorola 5Watt radio will reach the same distance as an Icom 5Watt radio for instance.

The second factor is the environment you use the radio in. Walkie talkies / Two Way radios work by line of sight so the more obstacles you put in the way of the signal, the less distance you will reach. You could have a 0.5Watt PMR446 radio in a completely open field that reaches 1/2 a mile for instance, and a 5Watt Licensed radio in a concrete and steel building that will still only reach 1/2 a mile.

The only walkie talkie / handheld radio that will give you the longest range possible is an LTE Network POC radio (Push to talk Over Cellular) which uses mobile data rather than radio waves.

WHAT ARE WALKIE TALKIE PRIVACY CODES?

These are known as CTCSS & DCS tones which you can use to have private conversations in the sense that another user on the same frequencies won’t hear your conversation if they don’t have the same tones programmed on that frequency.

This doesn’t reduce interference from other users though because you are still transmitting on the same frequency, it’s just that you won’t hear another user’s conversation. These tones are referred to as sub-channels and are usually self-programmable on most radios.

WILL MY WALKIE TALKIES WORK ON A CRUISE SHIP?

Most license free (PMR446) radios will work on a cruise ship, but you will find you don’t get a great signal once below deck, as the steelwork of the ship will diminish the signal, and the further down you go the worse the signal will be. They should be no problem above deck. You could consider a Licensed Two-Way Radio, but you would need to check with your cruise liner that they’ll accept the use of these on their ship.

CAN I USE MY WALKIE TALKIES/TWO-WAY RADIOS IN EUROPE?

You can use PMR446 License Free radios in European countries.

The Russian Federation and the Ukraine do NOT currently (as of 10/2018) allow the new 446.1-446.2MHz frequencies. Azerbaijan, Georgia and The Former Yugoslav also accept use of License Free radio frequencies.

For Licensed radio frequencies you will need to contact the communications governing body for the country you wish to use them in to apply for a temporary license. For further information please see our blog post: https://www.radiopro.co.uk/can-i-use-my-radio-in-europe

WHAT ARE UK SIMPLE LICENCE RADIO FREQUENCIES?

These are the most common frequencies for Licensed Two-Way Radios. A license is obtained from Ofcom which costs £75, and you’re covered for using those frequencies for 5 years, regardless of the number of radios you use.

The frequencies are:

Low BandMid BandHigh BandUHF 1
77.6875 MHz164.0500 MHz169.0875 MHz449.3125 MHz
86.3375 MHz164.0625 MHz169.3125 MHz449.4000 MHz
86.3500 MHz 173.0500 MHz449.4750 MHz
86.3625 MHz 173.0625 MHz458.7875 MHz
86.3750 MHz 173.0875 MHz458.8 MHz
   458.8125 MHz
   458.825 MHz

 

These are the frequencies covered by our “easy licensing” options available when purchasing any of our licensed radio models.

DO I NEED A LICENCE TO USE MY RADIOS?

That depends on the power and frequencies your radio is programmed to. A PMR446 or “license free” radio using 446MHz frequencies at 0.5 watt does not require a license. Any higher-powered radio than this will require a license.

Licenses are relatively easy to obtain. If you don’t require a specific frequency, then you can apply for a Business Radio Simple UK License which costs £75 and covers you for an unlimited number of radios for 5 years.

If you need a specific frequency, then you’ll need to apply for a specific license which will cost considerably more and will likely require renewing every 12 months. You must apply to Ofcom for a license, but we’re always happy to help should you need any assistance with license applications.

WILL MY WALKIE TALKIES WORK WITH OTHER BRANDS?

Most radios can be programmed to work on the same channels as another radio. UHF radios won’t be able to communicate with VHF radios, you must remain in the same frequency band.

If you have a license free (PMR446) radio some models can be reprogrammed to the frequency and tones of another radio. Alternatively, you can purchase a Mitex PMR446 radio that is pre-programmed to match channels on Icom, Kenwood and Motorola PMR446 radios, or the Mitex 446Pro can scan any other PMR446 radio and log its frequencies and tones.

There is also a licensed version, the Mitex Pro, which will scan any other radio using UK Simple License frequencies and log its frequencies and tones. We will endeavour to program any radio you purchase from us to work with an existing radio you may have.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UHF & VHF WALKIE TALKIES? WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?

UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency with a range of 403-470MHZ allocated for use with two-way radios. Your license will determine which of these frequencies you can use, and your radios will need to be programmed accordingly. UHF penetrates obstacles better than VHF so is better suited to use in buildings, vehicles, or built-up areas.

VHF stands for Very High Frequency with 136-174MHZ allocated for use with two-way radios. Your license will determine which of these frequencies you can use, and your radios will need to be programmed accordingly. VHF is best suited to wide open spaces with no obstacles in the line of sight.

License Free radios are only available as UHF, using 446MHz frequencies. For a more detailed answer, download our free buying guide: https://mailchi.mp/0b027f837be9/radio-buying-guide

WHAT PLUG TYPE DO I NEED?

Our selection of audio accessories are suitable for a wide range of radios, you just need to select the correct plug type for your radio.  

In order to help you decide on the right plug type for you, please see our easy to use, comprehensive list – CLICK HERE

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