Walkie Talkie UK and US?
November 25, 2007 7:24 AM   Subscribe

If I buy two walkie talkies in the UK (say Motorola) will they work legally in the US?

Or are the frequencies reserved for such different?
posted by A189Nut to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From here:

"PMR446" is a European Union standard for radios approved for use in the UK and the European Union. They have 8 channels, and a maximum range of around 2 miles in open country. No PMR446 radio can have more than 500mW of transmission power, so all makes and models effectively have the same maximum range.

All of the Cobra radios that we supply (Cobra MT750 and MT750) are PMR446-compliant European radios.

PMR446 radios (like the ones that we sell) are NOT APPROVED for use in the U.S.A or Canada.

There is NO SUCH THING as a "combined" European / American walkie-talkie that is legal to use in both places, since such a radio would, by definition, be capable of transmitting on non-legal frequencies as well.
posted by empyrean at 7:36 AM on November 25, 2007

Good answer to the question but it "begs the question" - what would UK walkie's "hear" in the US and vice versa? There must be a HAM radio guy out there who knows.
posted by thilmony at 10:57 AM on November 25, 2007

You'd have to say what kind of walkie-talkies they are to answer that question, thilmony. At least in the US, there are several possible frequencies they could be on, it looks like it's similar in the UK.
posted by hattifattener at 11:27 AM on November 25, 2007

This answers what you could interfere in the UK. If you brought a UK radio here, you would be in the HAM radio bands. 70 cm to be specific.
posted by Climber at 12:13 PM on November 25, 2007

Does the UK not have an equivalent to the US's 49MHz walkie-talkie band?
posted by hattifattener at 12:19 PM on November 25, 2007

Here is everything you would probably want to know about the UK spectrum. As for a 49 MHz band, I didn't see one. The band isn't as important as the use that it is set aside for.
posted by Climber at 12:34 PM on November 25, 2007

I'll be "the HAM radio guy" here... But to nit-pick, there's no reason to capitalize "ham," as it's not an acronym.

The UK radios are on 446-ish MHz. (Hence the name.) Over here in the US, that lines up with our 70 centimeter ham band. You'd need a ham license to use it. (Incidentally, ham radio is the only service where type acceptance isn't necessary for operation, so if you were a licensed ham, the PMR446 radios would be legal for use in the US, albeit probably not that useful. This only applies if you're a licensed ham, however.)

Our (US) FRS radios operate in the 462 and 467 MHz range. I'm not sure of exactly how it's used over there, but I believe that, at least partially, the band matches up with things like public safety.

So short answer -- PRS446 (UK) and FRS (US) are analogous, but not at all compatible. The use of one in the other country is generally illegal.

On preview: I missed that Climber already answered the question.
posted by fogster at 12:53 PM on November 25, 2007

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