Licence-Free PMR446 Radios

PMR446 UHF radios are an ideal and low cost introduction to two-way radio communcations for on-site and field use, and are more than suitable for a wide number of applications.

PMR446 is designed to operate over a small area, (dont believe some claims of “8 km range”) as the range is determined by a number of factors including the topography of operation and whats in the way. As a rough guide all radios will work well in an open environment but range will be more limited when there are obstacles. Multi storey buildings or thick concrete/steel walls will cut down a radios signal so its always a good idea to test the coverage before committing to one particular type of equipment.

PMR446 radios transmit 500mW (0.5W) compared to licensed radios using 4-5W so as the power is greater then the range is generally greater with a licensed unit. Some PMR446 radios have better range due to better antennas on the radio. Some use short, stubby ones which may be more practical in semi covert applications, but they generally reduce the performance as the antenna has a loss, and in general the ones which have “whips”, will give better range.

Note: PMR446 is a shared service across EU, and there are many radios using this service so interference may be heard on occasion. This can be overcome using radios with “CTCSS” or even better, ones with “DCS”