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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 5 Nov 2006
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Question Bike to Bike Radios - world frequencies and licencing issues?

My partner and I already have Autocoms and a couple of cheap PMR446 hand-helds which worked fine during a tour of Europe last year - although they eat batteries and can't be bike-powered - so we're looking for some replacements that can be...

Then I got chatting to a guy from Alan (aka Midland) at the NEC show and he said that the PMR446 frequencies are only legal in 'some' European countries (most of the EU) but not elsewhere.... and as our next trip is to Eastern Europe (incl Poland) as a precursor to a longer RTW trip in 2008, we've been thrown into turmoil!!

He said we'd be better off with CB radios (see the Midland 42).

Anyone here an expert on radio licencing for general public use worldwide?

Our RTW trip includes East Europe down to Turkey, India/Nepal, Far East, Australia/NZ, South & Central America, US and Canada... (can't wait!!)

Many thanks for any advice!
Paul
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  #2  
Old 8 Nov 2006
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Wink

No such animal. Get whatever works best for you and make sure it is invisible at border crossings. Once in the country nobody will care or know. Friends of mine came from Oz and brought VHF walkie-talkies with them, which apparently give a good range. Illegal anywhere except in Oz.

The only thing legal in most countries is Amateur radio, but that requires exams and I suspect the paperwork required to cross borders with them legally would make it impractical.
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  #3  
Old 8 Nov 2006
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You could try contacting Simon & Lisa http://www.2ridetheworld.com/ they have a system - and may be able to tell you if / how / where it works. If you get a result anywere of what does work (I'm not concerned about legality) post on here as we would be interested if there is a workable cheap solution
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  #4  
Old 9 Nov 2006
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Unfortunately bike-bike comms and cheap can't be used in the same sentence...well unless you want to get frustrated to the point of chucking the radios down a mountain. eg Oxford or Cobra RUBBISH...it doesn't work.

We have the Autocom Activ-7 (it's called something else now) and A80 radios from Intaride and used them twice now on Europe trips. Very clear and effective. The radios have a good range 2-3 mils and are bike powered and we have external antenae fitted for bigger range. Haven't tried the Intaride system but have hear good reviews so you might as well go with one of their bundles. I doubt if there is much diference between Autocom and Antiride.

http://www.intaride.com/a80%20radio.html
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  #5  
Old 9 Nov 2006
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PMR446

Interesting read on origin of PMR446 which Bike-bike radios use in the UK and EU.

From this it appears that it only legal in EU and maybe US.

Also
http://www.geocities.com/euro446/travels.html
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  #6  
Old 10 Nov 2006
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Good info and system, appreciate cost is worth it. Would be helpful of some real world use from folks on RTW use?
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  #7  
Old 10 Nov 2006
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Didn't work for me, but some folks are happy with radios. I suggest don't buy anything that you can't try out, preferably with YOUR helmet.
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  #8  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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Looks like there's no simple answer...

Thanks everyone for your help, but I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion there's no simple answer - apart from trying and seeing what we can get away with!!

As for the cheap and bike-to-bike thing, we use Autocom intercoms (Smart-7) which were not particularly cheap, but the radios (Motorola T5422) were about £60 the pair - and apart from not being bike-powered worked reasonably well. The range wasn't great - about 2 miles on the Route Naploeon if I recall, but given we were supposed to be riding 'together' that's hardly a problem. When I went off to play (had a GSXR1000 at the time), we'd revert back to normal practice of stopping and waiting at junctions and having a pre-agreed rendevous point...

If I uncover anything else, I'll post it back here...

Paul
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  #9  
Old 13 Nov 2006
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Simon and Lisa's view

Hi all,

I followed the advice and contacted Simon & Lisa at www.2ridetheworld.com and most informative they were too. This is their take on this issue:

"
The answers to your questions might be simpler than you'd imagine.

Re the PMR446 legality thing..don't even give it a second thought. No one will even look at your radios. Unless you get them out at a border there not even going to know you have radios. Don't forget your bikes (I guess your on bikes) are pretty distracting and people prefer to ask questions about the bikes.

Most of the radios you can buy are going to be 446's anyway, the number denotes a specific frequency the the EU put aside for free public use.

The other consideration is that the Autocoms are pretty sophisticated bits of kit and each model is actually designed to work often with specific radios based on electrical resistance and other clever nerdy stuff I don't understand. Autocom will be able to advise you as to which radios they recommend.

We're using old models and in conjuction with top of the line (well' they were once) Kenwood radios, which give us a range of around 2-3 km in built up areas.

Remember the Autocoms are great but it is the radios that do most of the work, don't bother with the super-cheap halford type radios, especially after spending your hard earned cash on the Autocoms.

We actually took a trip to the Autocom office in the UK before we left and got them to help us set them up. Not a massivley difficult job, but they know their equipment and it was good to see it done first hand. we have heard that many other riders have had problems but it is all due to the intial correct set-up.

we could not do with out them and have had ours for around 7 years and had no problems. the odd querk in a very heavy down-pour but thats about it."

My conclusion : buy a couple of Kenwood TK3101 (or the later TK3201), ride down to Autocom and get them to set it up for us. As we've not yet got our RTW bikes (shopping trip planned for next October ) we'll make do with the cheapo Motorola T5422s for the Eastern Europe trip next summer (they did us fine last year in Western Europe, apart from the cost of batteries!).

Thanks again all!
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  #10  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulB View Post
My partner and I already have Autocoms and a couple of cheap PMR446 hand-helds which worked fine during a tour of Europe last year - although they eat batteries and can't be bike-powered - so we're looking for some replacements that can be...

Then I got chatting to a guy from Alan (aka Midland) at the NEC show and he said that the PMR446 frequencies are only legal in 'some' European countries (most of the EU) but not elsewhere.... and as our next trip is to Eastern Europe (incl Poland) as a precursor to a longer RTW trip in 2008, we've been thrown into turmoil!!

He said we'd be better off with CB radios (see the Midland 42).

Anyone here an expert on radio licencing for general public use worldwide?

Our RTW trip includes East Europe down to Turkey, India/Nepal, Far East, Australia/NZ, South & Central America, US and Canada... (can't wait!!)

Many thanks for any advice!
Paul
buy vhf handheld radios punch in your own frequency do aclosed loop.

example: radio 1 tx 123 rx 321 , radio 2 tx 321 rx 123 add tones and ur good world wide the chance of ppl having the same freq and tone as you are low

i use the loop system for helicopter rescue so ppl dont interfere with the rescue
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  #11  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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PMR are a good option because even though they are not 'legal' everywhere it's not a band used by an services anywhere... with CB Radio in most countries you need some sort of licence (it's available from post offices in the UK) and again in the EU - But at least the CB band isn't used by an services - but that's difference in other parts of the world, certainly africa.

VHF is a dangerous option in Europe, it's used very broadly by national services and can be (as it is in the UK) easily tracked and punishable by a massive fine and even in extreme cases prison.

PMRs are easy enough to tuck away at border crossings and with their limited (2-3km in built up areas a little more in the open) they don't cause undue attention when being used.

It's a real shame there's not something you can use everywhere though.
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  #12  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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thought you only need a licence if you want the rights to the channels your using. and over a certain power out put.

i have used vhf in the uk, afirca, middle east, canada, usa, nz, aus. and never had a licence. the uk and nz i was working along side the police using my freq. canada i have a 60w out put which is 35w over the limit but they still sell them here. and you are only to them on low out put.

cb (citizens band) you need a licence???

doubt that. cb radio are avalible at wal mart. the motorola riner cheapies.
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  #13  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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As from December last year there is no longer any requirement in the UK to possess a C.B Licence.

The 446Mhz personal radios that you intend to use are extremely low powered - less than 1 watt and typically 500Mw (Half a watt). There use will NOT interfere with other radio users so don't worry.

Most PMR (446) radios have their frequencies on the back of the sets usually a small sticker. My advice is to remove this frequency list before you start your tour. This will enable you to "Bullshit" your way through a 3rd world customs post. Once you have confirmed that country's rules with regard to personal radios, all you have to do is confirm they meet those requirements. There simple....

Ride carefully & Stay safe.
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Last edited by kentfallen; 4 Feb 2008 at 20:50.
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  #14  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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CB Radio was first introduced into the United Kingdom around 1972. These dates are hard to confirm accurately; certainly early use was known around the airports in the UK, particularly Stansted in 1973. Some claim that a few illegal CBs were in use in the 1960s. These early adopters used CB radios imported from the United States that were illegal to own and use. The usage of illegal CB radio peaked in 1980 and the UK Government was forced to legalise CB Radio. CB became legal in the United Kingdom on November 2, 1981; hence the logo stamped on all type approved radios of this era CB27/81 or CB934/81. As of 8 December 2006, no licence is required to own or operate a CB Radio providing it meets the original legal specifications for UK usage: FM only, 4 watts power output and operating on either of the UK allowed 27 MHz bands



if you need anything bigger that 4w you need a honda goldwing to carry it.

pmrs run on uhf which the police all most countries use along with vhf

cb radio runs on hf
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