Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

chris555

help with finding a decent two way radio

This thread is over three months old. Please be sure that your post is appropriate as it will revive this otherwise old (and probably forgotten) thread.

Recommended Posts

so i played my first game at Apocalypse airsoft and enjoyed it now till me and my mates can buy guns (need ukara) we are sorting out our gear can you please recommend a decent radio to use we like to mostly skirmish in forests should it change anything

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Motorola Talkabout range are good and most airsoft related accessories, such as headsets, covert earpieces, throat mics, and PTT's (Push To Talk button), have a jack plug option which fits them. This single mini-jack option is by far the most commonly available on accessories and is also used by Cobra radios. The cheapest Motorola which accepts an external headset etc. is the TLKR T5.

 

Motorola also make another radio which uses the single mini-jack interface called XTR446 - I have one and it is way better than the Cobra MT600 which I had before. I bought my Motorola on fleabay for £15-ish all in, delivered from Portugal: so old and used that the decals had worn off the buttons - it's given me no trouble at all and is still going strong.

 

The considerations you need to think about are as follows:

 

- no matter what the advertised range, it will be drastically reduced in built up areas or over terrain with hills and valleys and somewhat reduced by trees (the denser the woodland, the more it blocks your signal)*

 

- if the design of the radio doesn't seem very water resistant, you will need a carry pouch which is (consider mounting the radio &/or pouch upside down)

 

- rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long term, but usually the radio's transmission will have more power (and therefore range) using alkaline batteries, so a radio which can use both is better

 

- a radio without a headset or earpiece will give your position away to the enemy sooner or later

 

- there are all sorts of bells and whistles on most walkie-talkie operating systems, but in practice all you actually need are: Volume; 8 Channels each of which has a number of Privacy or Interference Elimination Codes, usually 38 (sometimes written as 296 or 304 channels or sub-channels**) ; Keypad Lock; Call Tone Off***

 

 

* For eg. a radio advertised with 6Km range can be reduced to as little as 30-50m in densly forested uneven terrain.

 

** eg Channel 5 Code 10, will appear on your handset's screen as 5-10 = you do not hear what anybody on 5-11, for eg, is saying nor does someone on 5-38, for eg, hear you.

 

*** Many radios have a Call or Transmit Tone, ie a beep or like a short ringtone which is transmitted every time you press the talk button. It is intended to get people's attention for an incoming message and is quite a bit louder than any speech which follows. It is really, really annoying to headset users and will give your position away much more readily than speech would coming from the radio's own speaker. So, if a radio has one, it must also have an 'off' option.

 

 

A Cautionary Tale

 

Last year I set out to equip a small group with comms. The plan was simply to get 4 radios and 5 headsets with PTT's, that would work sufficiently well for woodland airsoft, at the cheapest price practicably possible. My mistake was in trusting the sellers to know and/or tell the truth about pre-packaged radios. Two different sellers sent me blister packs of radios which could not use any kind of audio accessories, not merely the type which I had specifically asked them about, and a third would have done similarly had I not spotted the truth on a forum or something (I forget the deets now). When I found somewhere that had radios which could do the business, at a sensible price (because most suppliers take the living piss, often charging up to double the best price available), they promised next day delivery (time was short by this point), then failed and took about 6 weeks to give me my fcuking money back.

 

Anyway, my advice to you is to read the manufacturers published specifications / manual of any radios you are considering. For Motorola they are available as .pdf downloads from http://www.motorolasolutions.com/XU-EN/Home - just type the product name into the search box and there will be a link to the manual from the product page. If you're considering Cobra, Kenwood, etc and cannot find the info you want, seriously, do take the time to email the manufacturer's customer support people to check that it does do what you want before buying. They will tell you that they cannot comment on compatibility with any 3rd Party Products, such as headsets & PTT's. All you need to know is what size and configuration of plug/s the accessory uses and check with the manufacturer that the model you are considering does have the correct socket/s, or just ask for a url for the spec sheet/manual so you can check yourself.

 

Beware. You have been warned. Don't come running to me with your two broken legs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic bit of info Ian, many thanks, I was going to grab a couple of bowmans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic bit of info Ian, many thanks, I was going to grab a couple of bowmans.

You're welcome. Do you mean Selex H4855 radios? Not by any means cheap, nor at all easy to get 2nd hand, and way, way over-spec'd for 90% of airsofting you will do. Good for huge sites like Ground Zero and big MilSim events though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hand's down get a Motorolla XTN446, XTN446I, XTN446ID if you can find a Push to Talk or headset that Matchs the Top hole Being Bigger than the Bottom because i sure as hell can't

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome. Do you mean Selex H4855 radios? Not by any means cheap, nor at all easy to get 2nd hand, and way, way over-spec'd for 90% of airsofting you will do. Good for huge sites like Ground Zero and big MilSim events though...

I wasn't going to buy them Ian I was just going to talk sweetly to our RQMS and borrow them when needed :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't going to buy them Ian I was just going to talk sweetly to our RQMS and borrow them when needed :huh:

just to warn you, they will probably be UHF, therefore illegal to be used without a license, and you'd need to be part of a company to get the only useful license (from ofcon), sorry to be a party pooper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oops My XTN is on UHF according to the aerial atleast -_-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son and I use Motorola XTN 446's that I bought off the bay for just over £20 each! Then I got a couple of covert ear pieces for £6 each as well. Work well enough for us to use in the woods. And at that price, I can't complain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oops My XTN is on UHF according to the aerial atleast -_-

check out the serial/model number to check whether they are UHF or VHF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son and I use Motorola XTN 446's that I bought off the bay for just over £20 each! Then I got a couple of covert ear pieces for £6 each as well. Work well enough for us to use in the woods. And at that price, I can't complain.

That's a cracking deal!

XTN446 & variants do use the PMR legal unlicensed frequency band, but I believe they also have to option to transmit on 8 more channels within that 446.0-446.1MHz unlicensed bandwidth than the standard consumer handset's 8. The XTN446i definitely has a load of options like that because you can use a PC App to programme it more easily with a GUI.

 

For accessories XTN's use the same 2-pin type plug interface as Motorola's more expensive Licensed Bandwidth Radios. I have seen things like Z-Tactical and Elite accessories advertised with the Motorola 2-pin plug, but I've never bothered to check if the supplier actually had them... Is that what you meant, TPI? As well as Motorola themselves, I'm almost certain that you could get a lightweight headset with PTT for XTN's on Amazon, it's just that it won't be a copy of military gear. You might want to check this out - pg 28.

 

I dunno about H4855's for certain, but I believe they can use the PMR bandwidth also. I've seen them in use on airsoft sites and by people whom I would be very surprised to discover were deliberately ignoring the law. It may be that they require some programming to switch to the civilian band, but they have essentially two radios built into one unit: one for inter-squad comms and another for unit/base contact, right Mike? I expect that the latter must be set for UHF only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hand's down get a Motorolla XTN446, XTN446I, XTN446ID if you can find a Push to Talk or headset that Matchs the Top hole Being Bigger than the Bottom because i sure as hell can't

I have a spare z-tactical PTT with a motorola 2-pin plug in front of me now, they're readily available!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm a Moron because i thought a Motorolla 2 pin Plug was well something else (Mind out the Gutter!) :rolleyes: so yea Ignore me Ian and Jcheese are correct (Still the Motorola XTN Serie's are Great if bought second hand)

 

I'll have to go Download the Manual for it as i got it second hand to even know which set of number's your talking about Geoff :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm a Moron because i thought a Motorolla 2 pin Plug was well something else (Mind out the Gutter!) :rolleyes: so yea Ignore me Ian and Jcheese are correct (Still the Motorola XTN Serie's are Great if bought second hand)

 

I'll have to go Download the Manual for it as i got it second hand to even know which set of number's your talking about Geoff :P

the serial/model numbers should be covered by the batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

doing some more reading on this apparently the midlands one can be very easily modded to three watts by by snipping one wire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

doing some more reading on this apparently the midlands one can be very easily modded to three watts by by snipping one wire

I have a feeling that the legal limit was 0.5w, don't take my word for it though, will try and look for the correct documentation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you're on PMR446 frequencies (and there's no point being on any other because you wont have anyone to talk to) you're pretty much safe, measuring the power output of a handheld radio requires some fairly specialised equipment and would require someone to make a complaint initially... so how can you get caught?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ofcon does monitor channels frequently, and my neighbour (who is a ham radio enthusiast) had his confiscated because they thought he hadn't paid.

I'm collecting a couple of Motorola XTNI's and an XTNID, which are very good and I know are totally legal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i would double check them we use those things at the hospital we work at they are big and reliability can be questionable that said us porter's did give them some very serious abuse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure the limit says <1W but yeah, unless you use it around town, I can't see how you would get busted for 3W. Something to bear in mind though is that some of the limitations of these radios are not simply power related. For eg, the whole uneven terrain / built up area thing is more a problem of that frequency bandwidth and is only marginally improved by more power. That said, more power ought to help where trees are concerned.

 

Oops, I meant to add - that's a great price for a pair of XTR446's - if only that was available last summer! Definitely get those rather than the T6's - those throat mics will be sh!t - get the Elite III headset and the throat mic attachment - it'll be much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ofcon does monitor channels frequently, and my neighbour (who is a ham radio enthusiast) had his confiscated because they thought he hadn't paid.

I'm collecting a couple of Motorola XTNI's and an XTNID, which are very good and I know are totally legal.

True, but it's REALLY easy to DF and triangulate the location of someone's house over the course of a couple of days, much much more difficult to find a person who's moving and using a handheld only transmitting infrequently in woodland. I'd be EXTREMELY surprised if OFCOM had the requisite equipment let alone the motivation to try!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...