I am looking to get some hand held radios for using on Scout walking trips, unlicensed, robust, simple to use. Ideally for use between leaders and sweepers. Any ideas . . . .
Hand held radios
Maplins have quite a range.
Those PMR446 or something radios seem pretty flexible. They can talk to pretty much any other one with the same standard so anyone who has one can join in but some also have some code something that I think allows more private communication.
Of you are out in the woods in our weather I am not sure how great the range would be.
I would love some
I picked up a pair from Aldi a few years ago, I was not expecting much from them, but they were great had a range of approx 1 KM in the right conditions, we great fun with the kids playing radio hide and seek at Runswick bay. They sat in there own charger as well so really easy to use.
Thank you. I will have a hunt down in Maplins for starters. I just typed PMR446 into ebay and have found a world of products. Thanks for the pointers.
We have some great chinese ones from ebay that work really well and are programmable on to various frequencies.
They were about £25 a set so you don't need to spend big money.
To those who have used them what sort of "real" distance can you get out of them, are they able to achieve the line of sight distances they say on the packet?
some also have some code something that I think allows more private communication.
No extra privacy, it just acts as a filter so you don't hear other people speaking on that channel unless they're on the same code. Anyone can still pick up what you're transmitting.
We have some for snowboard trips, they seemed to work fine as long as you were both on the same side of the mountain. A hill or something in the way between two users will really impact the range - I think about 300m would be as bad as it could get.
Bear in mind too they're only unlicensed within the EU (definitely not in the US/Canada) and vice versa.
Motorola T40 can be had for £22 a pair from Amazon; these use easily replaceable disposable AAA batteries (but you could substitute your own rechargeables) and are about as simple as you can get; they are also pretty robustly built so stand a chance of surviving inexperienced users.
Decent PMR 446 radios such as the Motorola XTN (or newer digital version) are well worth the premium over cheaper stuff if you intend to use them for a decent amount of time.
My XTN is coming on for 10 years old, was used until very recently at least a couple of times a week for paintball and airsoft event marshalling.
Line of sight is the important thing with range, heavily wooded areas or really hilly can see range drop to a couple of hundred metres but more open terrain I've had a good few kilometres out of them.
The marshal fleet of radios, all Motorola XTN (15 of them) are a mix of new and second hand from eBay. Can pick them up second hand for around £40 each inc charger. Budget for a new battery at about a fiver or runt them on AA batteries.
Anyone any experience of using these things when skiing? Thinking about picking up a pair for off piste stuff so we can talk each other through particular sections (i.e. "keep left and avoid the stream that you can't see from up there" ). I've heard all the channels are full of inane chat in the resorts? Any way to avoid this (heard some have filters??) and is it still bad when off piste?
Don't be too concerned about max range. Be realistic about what you are going to use them for, shorter range may be better in practice, you get fewer other people on your frequency.
argos have a good range and free returns try a few makes and return the poor ones.
Beaware that some interfere with other radios for some reason, a local care home kept geting Police and traffic agency broadcasts.
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