Questions and Answers for Walkie Talkies
Q. Where would I want to use Walkie Talkies for leisure?
A. Any group activity where people want to be able to go off on their own, but stay in touch.
This includes ski trips, hiking, visits to large venues such as sporting events, festivals, amusement parks, seaside and outdoor holidays.
These walkie-talkies come in handy on any group trip or activity.
They are especially useful when out in remote places where mobile telephone network coverage is often not available.
Q. Where would I want to use Walkie Talkies for work?
A. Any job where two or more people need to communicate over a short distance.
Within bars, clubs, hotels, leisure centres and shops, shopping centres, schools, colleges etc.
They are especially useful when people's jobs mean that they often cannot be contacted by phone "at their desk".
When you need to ask a colleague to switch something on or off, or to carry out any kind of testing where people are often out of earshot of each other.
Q. What is their typical range?
A. They will work at up to 2 miles range. Obviously this distance is dramatically reduced by obstacles such as buildings and mountains.
Q. How many radios can be used together in a group?
A. As many as you want. Once you set them all to the same channel, then anyone else with a walkie-talkie within range will hear the other user's transmissions.
Q. Are these walkie-talkies legal to use?
A. Yes. In 1998 the European Union countries agreed to set aside radio frequencies for use by the general public for personal communications. No license is needed to use these radios, and they will not interfere with any "official" radio network. They can be used in most European Union countries with no restrictions.
Q. What happens if there are lots of people using this type of walkie-talkie radio in a small area? Won't I get a lot of interference?
A. The radios have eight channels, with 38 "identification tones" on each channel. You set your radios to a given channel and tone, and you will only hear messages from other radios set to the same combination. This gives 8 x 38 = 304 different codes. So interference is not likely to be much of a problem.
Q. What kind of batteries can I use? What about rechargeable batteries to save money on throwaway batteries?
A. The walkie-talkies we sell use 4 "AAA" size batteries. These can be normal alkaline batteries. But you can also buy the optional rechargeable battery and the charger that you just place the radios in, recharging the battery without the need to remove it. Just like a mobile phone charger.
Q. Will your Cobra walkie-talkie radios communicate with other brands of walkie-talkie?
A. Yes. All PMR446 walkie-talkies use the same eight channels, so they can be used interchangeably. Be aware, though, that some cheaper models do not use the 38 "sub-channels" (actually CTCSS identification tones).
Q. Are some brands of PMR446 walkie-talkie more powerful than others?
A. It's unlikely. The PMR446 specification allows a maximum transmission power of 500mW. Almost all models of PMR446 walkie-talkie will use the full power available.
Q. Are the PMR446 walkie-talkie radios the same as the American FRS (Family Radio Service) walkie talkies?
A. Not exactly. The American FRS radios are similar in transmission range and features, but they use different frequencies. You cannot communicate with an American FRS radio using a PMR446 radio. Also, use of the American FRS radios in the UK is not legal because the frequencies that they use are used for other purposes in the UK.
Q. Where can I use my PMR446 walkie-talkie radios in the world?
A. The PMR446 standard has been agreed within the European Union. Use in other parts of the world will probably require a license, and may be illegal due to the frequencies being used for other purposes. It is the responsibility of the owner of the radios to check the legal position before using these radios anywhere else. In particular, our PMR446 walkie-talkie radios are NOT legal in the USA. People wanting to buy walkie-talkie radio equipment for use in America should search for Family Radio Service (FRS) walkie-talkies. These are very similar units in terms of performance and features and they are designed for use in America.