long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Licence free two-way radio services that now includes both FM and digital channels. Discuss models, modifications and other similar worldwide standards such as FRS and GMRS.
paulears
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by paulears »

The trouble with all of this is that every radio service starts with a purpose. Ham radio is for the self-experimentation in radio, marine was for work and safety at sea, the pmr446 system was for very short range, no licence use, business radio was for business. CB was for localish leisure chat. The people use them for different things. I have a ham licence 40 plus years old, I rarely use it. The local chat IS boring, because I don’t seem to have any social or other link with the current hams. I don’t wish to talk to them either on the radio or at a club. Marine is now a two tier system. The working users, used for their job, or leisure users who by comparison are a bit of an embarrassment sometimes as they know no theory or proper procedural practice at all, bar their one day course, and few actually seem to do even that! CB is the same as ham radio. It’s the people, not the radios that make it good. The hams have a small percentage of clever people who run the repeaters and digital switching. They’re good to talk to, but the rest …………? CB is the same, without the interconnection systems. PMR446 users now want more and more distance, and it’s just not designed for that.

It’s a shock to younger people to find out they cannot just go on Amazon and buy something to talk to people that works without money, licences and skill. This probably breaks some human right nowadays.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by scanhermit »

I'm listening to three people in York who I suspect are running non-standard gear and power on PMR. One is mobile so I reckon using an external antenna. It sounds very much like the CB chat from my youth. CB started as an illegal hobby and became legal (if neutered). PMR is legal but people are psuhing the boundaries on the gear. If Ofcom don't bother with enforcement, PMR looks like becoming a de facto 11m replacement.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by scanhermit »

On the Retevis RT24 I can report that on a 100ft hill 4 miles from other users:

1) Clear with hiss and low signal at 0.5W
2) Better with two bars extra at 2W

At 10 miles up a smaller hill, I could be heard but patchily. The handset has a fixed rubber duck but I have a feeling that the tiny hole at the base of the antenna contains a hex nut. If so, I might be able to swap it out for something better. On a big enough hill, the handset would probably do very well as it is and much better with another twig.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by scanhermit »

Six miles this afternoon from a hill with the integral antenna. Problem with hilltopping around the Vale of York is that there's not many of them :-D
paulears
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by paulears »

The question is how far do you get when one is in your coat pocket. Radio experienced people know that if yo7 hold the antenna vertical, keep it up high and stand in the highest spot around, your range goes up quite a bit. However, unless you use your watch to make sure at every 15 mins on your synchronised watches, you are in the clear holding it up ready, that radio in your waterproof coat pocket, keeping dry, doesn’t stand a chance. Emergency ‘help’ radios are minimum range in practice. Remember ringway Manchester on YouTube. He gets brilliant and sometimes amazing ranges from his favourite sites when he tests radios. He’s Manchester way. He drives to his test locations, and his mates he talks to have their favourites too. None of these involve the radios inside coats, and parked in the valley car park, but up the peaks, miles from anywhere. Often the kind of places the broadcasters just happen to build their towers. I think he managed 80 miles one day. My sat nab, one winter, in the snow took me over a mountain in Wales. Phone signal went. Then broadcast radio went. On top of the mountain, with no signals. Then I realised it isn’t no signal, it’s no people!
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by scanhermit »

Well, I have modest expectations. For me it's go somewhere pleasant, high up and take the handy out when I get to the top of the hill and see what I get. If I get something, I'll be pleased. If not, I've had a nice walk up the hill. I admire the dedicated souls who carry and set up yagis on a mounttain top but I think a Watson on a handy will be my limit. If I want to build Yagis it will be for a home base.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by 26mb04 »

I dodged the rain Sat night and got 19 miles on PMR446. I had to walk about 5 miles and climb a hill when I got there. I was using in Icom F4062 with generic rubber duck and low power.

In my opinion, part of the problem is leaving a suitable pause. Most 446'ers don't, so they'll never hear other stations. Leaving a pause gives the dx a chance to do its thing.
Sent from my GP300 using DTMF
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by LondonCbRadio »

Get set up homebase for pmr446 it's so clear. Someone could be giving me 0 signal and i can hear them better then someone on cb radio giving me signal 7. I know it's due to the noise level on cb radio and that is the point i'm making. You get no noise what so ever all the things that interfere with c b radio don't do it to pmr446 radio. Get an antenna on the roof or near the top and you will be shocked how well it works.As a test me and someone i know tested cb vs pmr446. He couldnt even hear me on cb lol but i was clear as a bell on pmr. The noise he was getting was wiping me out. I love cb radio but noise has took the love away alot for me.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by LondonCbRadio »

Another test i did was in brothers room 9 miles away from mine and i could talk back with a handheld ,try doing that on cb radio. That was handheld to base station with the antenna around roof height. The handheld was a puxing777.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by pmr446man »

Even using an unmodified 0.5W 446 handheld if on suitable hilltops at both ends ranges in the 30-50mile region are fully achievable sometimes even further but certainly hold the radio in the air and ideally use one which is sensitive. and of course using extra power with mods can be a bonus.
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by Farty »

Goijg back to the original question, perhaps a short range radio system is not the best thing for someone desiring long range and, presumably, reliable communication? Fine for us hilltoppers, DXers, folk playing with beams etc, but for long range point to point comms its hopeless.
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scanhermit
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Re: long range PMR 446 radios NEEDED please

Post by scanhermit »

True, asking for a [legal] long-range PMR446 radio is a bit of an oxymoron. At best, it can be answered "Get thee a Bumfeng or Retevis and change the stock antenna but don't tweak it up to 5w AND go shouting in the middle of the day amongst shops, factories and building sites". :lol:
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