10 July 2020

NEW - President Barry 2 CB Radio

President have announced an updated version of the President Barry, imaginatively titled the President Barry 2.

With the cost expected to be similar to the existing Barry.


- 40 channels AM / FM
- 12 / 24 V
- Up/down channel selector
- Volume adjustment and ON/OFF
- Manual squelch and ASC
- Multi-functions LCD display
- S-meter
- Public Address
- Talkback
- ANL filter, NB
- Compander
- F function key
- Beep Function
- Roger Beep
- Noise Gate
- Mode switch AM / FM
- Preset channel programmable
- TOT (Time out timer)
- Front microphone plug
- External loudspeaker jack

Manual can be downloaded HERE

9 July 2020

Icom IC-705 Teardown


Fancy a look inside the new Icom IC-705? Well, this video is well worth a watch!

Morecambe Bay Net Returns

The COVID-19 situation has prevented many regular radio nets from taking place so it's great to see them gradually returning to the air. In this case it's the Morecambe Bay Net in the North West of England.

You can catch the guys tonight from 8pm (UK Time) on 27.295 USB.

8 July 2020

PMR446 Tests - Floureon FC200 and HB9CV Antenna


An interesting video showing the fun which can be had with a PMR446 radio.....

NEW - Yaesu FTM-300D Review/Demo


Taking a look at the new Digital/Analogue FTM-300D from Yaesu...

6 July 2020

Win a President McKinley EU!

Attention all Charlie Tango forum members....

Here's a chance for you to win a brand new President McKinley EU.

Terms and conditions can be found via this link:CLICK HERE

29 June 2020

PMR446 - What is Legal?

PMR446 - What's Legal?

Sounds like a straight-forward question to answer doesn't it?

If you want to operate legally on the PMR446 band you require a type-approved radio which conforms to all of the relevant requirements and the easiest way of ensuring that you are legal is to buy a PMR446 radio from Argos, Curry's etc.

The main requirements for legal PMR446 radios are a maximum output power of 500mw ERP and a fixed antenna.... Or at least that's the way it started out!

OFCOM appear to have muddied the water a little in recent years and not for the first time there have been heated discussions online about what it and what isn't allowed. 

The main point of contention is the 'Fixed Antenna' requirement. Do radios still need to have a fixed (non-removable) antenna in order for them to remain legal? Some people say YES and some people say NO.

The reason behind the disagreement is that there appears to be conflicting information on the OFCOM website.

PMR446 comes under 'license-exempt' rules and regulations. For equipment to be legal it is required to adhere to strict specifications in order that it operates in the way it is intended to do for it's purpose and does not cause any undue interference to other services or users. 

In the UK devices such as PMR446 are listed as 'license-exempt' in the OFCOM document IR 2030 – UK Interface Requirements 2030 - Licence Exempt Short Range Devices, dated MAY 2020, which states:

"PMR446 equipment is hand portable (no base station or repeater use) and uses integral antennas only in order to maximise sharing and minimise interference. PMR 446 equipment operates in short range peer-to-peer mode and shall be used neither as a part of infrastructure network nor as a repeater" 


So, it's clear that PMR446 radios must have INTEGRAL antennas, in other words, the antenna must be fixed to the radio.....

Well, maybe not, as many people have pointed to another document from the OFCOM website is the "Analogue and Digital PMR446 Information Sheet", dated Feb 2018, which under a sub-heading of 'Converted Radio Equipment' states:

"PMR446 users are reminded that their radios are only licence-exempt if they are built and operated within the conditions of the exemption regulations. If modifications are made to the equipment, such as adding an antenna connector, the overall maximum ERP or other technical parameters must not exceed the permitted levels set out in the Interface Requirement"


So this is where the confusion arises. The second document appears to suggest that you may be able to use non-standard equipment or modify equipment as long as the operating characteristics of the radios remain within the relevant specifications, the most important being that the radio output power does not exceed 500mw ERP. Of course you would need to be able to demonstrate that any modified equipment met these standards to ensure you remain legal, something which would likely require some rather expensive test equipment.

It should be noted that the sub-title of this document says 'Business Radio' which further muddies the water as is it not clear as to whether the document only applies to business users or users in general!

Further investigation need.....

PMR446 also falls under EU legislation and OFCOM are responsible for implementing EU decisions here in the UK, which in the case of PMR446, they have done.

The very latest EU regulations are dated 8th August 2017 and refers to PMR446 following the decision to expand the band from 8 to 16 analogue channels, which was to be implemented across Europe from January 2018:

    (Click to enlarge)


Note that there is a Footnote applied to PMR446 - Number 21, which states:

"PMR446 equipment is hand portable (no base station or repeater use) and uses integral antennas only in order to maximise sharing and minimise interference. PMR 446 equipment operates in short range peer-to-peer mode and shall be used neither as a part of infrastructure network nor as a repeater" 

I have a feeling we've seen that somewhere before and we appear to be going round in circles!

So, PMR446 What's Legal?

Not an easy question to answer, I have therefore emailed OFCOM to see if they can clarify the situation.

Specifically I have asked...

"Are people required to use ‘type-approved’, in other words, STANDARD radios as bought from Argos etc, or can they use non-standard radios such as Baofeng etc?"


"Can people modify STANDARD radios in a way which allows detachable antennas, or must the antenna remain FIXED to the radio?"

We await the reply in eager anticipation... 

27 June 2020

Thunderpole T-800 Unboxing & First Look

Video:YouTube/Paul McGee M0WNU

Paul takes a look at the Thunderpole T-800 radio.....

PMR446 Bazooka Antenna

Video:YouTube/Jason CT965

A very interesting video from Jason CT965 which shows the construction of a PMR446 Bazooka antenna. 

PMR446 has seen a massive increase in use over the recent weeks and this antenna is a very simple way of boosting your output. 

Here's a still from the video which gives the relevant measurements for the antenna:

23 June 2020

PMR446 Long Distance Records

With the recent increase in activity on the PMR446 band here in the UK I wonder if it's time to revisit the idea of  'PMR446 Long Distance Records'.....

Back in the early days of PMR446 there was very little in the way of non-standard radio equipment which could operate on the 446 band. You certainly couldn't get your hands on a Baofeng, so users made do with tiny handhelds, tiny antennas and half a watt of power.... in other words, LEGAL PMR446 radios. But that didn't stop them making some amazing long distance contacts. They just had to put a bit of effort into it by climbing up to the top of a hill or other high spot.

Things are different these days, anyone can order a high power radio from eBay or Amazon including modified Amateur Radio equipment which can be capable of putting out very high amounts of power. You see people boasting online that they made a 50 mile contact... 

Well let's be honest, anyone can make a 50 mile contact using a Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood/Baofeng with 50 watts coming out of the back into a co-linear or beam antenna.... It really is nothing special!

What is special and very rewarding is making the same contact on a standard, type approved, PMR446 radio.

How about starting a points system? Maybe one point for every mile achieved between two operators using STANDARD (Type Approved) PMR446 radios.

Personally, back in 2003, I made a 535.8Km (333 Mile) contact using a Motorola T6222 radio. This was during a period of Tropospheric Ducting which allowed my signal to be carried from North East England to a small town near Amsterdam. Of course these conditions don't happen very often and you should not expect distances like that but it just goes to show what is possible. 

If you get up to the top of a hill or other high spot you should easily be able to make some amazing contacts. You can certainly expect to cover 10-20 miles, and much further depending on your height. 

So how about it? Let's see and hear about amazing long distance contacts made using proper PMR446 radios.

Of course we shouldn't leave out those who wish to use non-standard equipment, therefore I suggest we have 2 categories:

CATEGORY ONE: Standard, type approved radios which have NOT been modified in any way.

CATEGORY TWO: Modified PMR446 radio or other non-standard equipment.

You could list your contacts as:




Obviously a CAT 1 to CAT 1 contact would be the GOLD standard as this is the hardest to achieve.

You could post videos online to verify your contacts and we would be very happy to feature them on the blog.....

Yuo can also post details on the PMR446DX Facebook page: https://fb.me/PMR446DX

21 June 2020

Sunday Fun-days!

Sundays are Fun-days on the radio with two radio events back-to-back...

From 7pm, operators are invited to call out on the UK SSB calling channel 27.275 USB then at 8pm it's time to switch over to channel 8 on PMR446.

Both events are designed in to increase the use of radio in the UK and beyond and give users the chance of making to brilliant contacts during these troubled times so get on the air and give a shout!

In both events please call on the calling channels then QSY once you make contact.

16 June 2020

Space Station Contact 16/06/2020

An ARISS educational school contact is planned with students at I.E.S. Pedro de Valdivia, Villanueva de la Serena, Spain, multi point telebridge via ON4ISS. A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home: the students will be talking with the ISS from their homes over phone lines.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR. Contact is a go for Tuesday June 16, 2020 at  12:25 UTC.
Downlink signals will be audible over Western Europe on 145.800 MHz narrowband FM, RX only! (Credit: AMSAT.)

15 June 2020

Biggest Ever PMR446 Net - 40 Stations Worked!

Video:YouTube/Ringway Manchester

PMR446 radio has proved to be very popular during lock-down here in the UK. In this video we see Lewis making 40 contacts in only 25 minutes during the weekly PMR event on Sunday evening.

6 June 2020

Midland Portapak???

Video:YouTube/26CT3149 DX

A modern take on the Midland Portapak......

3 June 2020

27.275 USB - UK SSB Calling Channel

It's almost 6 years since AM and SSB were legalised in the UK. At the time a poll across several forums and radio websites was undertaken to decide on calling channels for these new legal modes.

Channel 14 - 27.125 was chosen as the AM calling channel (This was the original UK AM calling channel back in the 70's).

Channel 27 - 27.275 was chosen as the SSB calling channel.


Since legalisation AM has proved to be a bit of a problem with a significant a number of people reporting issues with electrical interference when operating from a home location. There is no doubt that AM is a very noisy mode unless you can get away from the populated areas, up on top of a hill for example.

SSB, on the other hand, has proved very popular with many weekly/daily nets taking place across the UK but the calling channel has been very underused in many parts so this event hopes to "Make CB Radio Great Again" and promote Channel 27 USB as a place to meet up and make contacts with other stations. 

So why not give it a try, put your radios on 27.275 USB every night a 7pm (UK TIME) and give out a call. I'm sure if we can all make the effort it will be worthwhile.


I would suggest +/- three or four channels, keep all the action near to the calling channel to make everyone easier to find. 

Also, if you take part in any of the many weekly nets why not pop onto Channel 27, call for stations and invite them to join your net? That way we will not only promote the use of the calling channel but will promote the weekly nets as well!

30 May 2020

UK CB Radio Anniversary 27/06/2020

It's almost that time of year again!

Way back in 2014, AM and SSB were finally legalised here in the UK. Many people thought it would never take off but since legalisation the number of regular nets has increased at a fantastic rate. 

SSB has proved to be the most popular with many weekly and daily nets. 

AM has proved to be a little problematic for some with noise levels causing issues however there are a few regular AM nets taking place around the UK.

Anyway, on 27th June 2020, CB radio users across the UK will take to the air to celebrate SIX years of legal AM and SSB.

SSB calling on channel 27 EU (27.275 USB)
AM calling on channel 14 EU (27.125)


The event will take place between 19:00 and 22:00 hours (UK Time/UTC+1)

22 May 2020

North East Net - CTX Activation Cartridge Hill


Settle down with a cup of tea and treat yourself to over 2 hours of action from The North East Net which takes place every Wednesday evening here in the UK.

20 May 2020

New Icom IC-705 Price Revealed

So after many months of waiting the UK price of the new Icom IC-705 has been revealed...

£1299 will get you one of these radios should you fancy it! 

19 May 2020

CB Radio Skip 19/05/2020

Some brilliant conditions here in the UK today with contacts from all along the South Coast heard up here in the North East!

On a personal note, it was great to join the 'Channel 35 Net' in the London area, who were all booming in. Thanks for the chat guys!

18 May 2020

PMR446 DX Contact England to France

Video:YouTube/On The Mic With Mike

Some good conditions on PMR446 today as you will see in this short video showing a contact between England and France with a distance of 108 miles.....

10m Repeaters 18/05/2020

Some great conditions on the 10m band today....

16 May 2020

Yaesu FTM-300D - More Information

Yaesu have released more information about their upcoming radio, the FTM-300D...

(Click images to enlarge)

Fake Nagoya NA-771 - What's Inside?


Ever wondered what's inside that cheap 'Nagoya 771' antenna you bought off eBay?

In this video Fred will take one apart and compare it with the real deal.

Also see another video from Fred where he checks the SWR of these 'FAKE' antennas...

I guess you do get what you pay for!

President Bill CB Radio Servicing & Adjustment

Videos:YouTube/UK CB radio servicing

A couple of interesting videos from UK CB Radio Servicing showing the 'Hidden Menu' adjustments and then a test of the President Bill radio.

14 May 2020

Homebrew Gainmaster Antenna


We've featured the homebrew Gainmaster on the blog before but here's a couple of new videos made by Mike M0MSN showing his take on the creation and operation of this antenna....

10 May 2020

PMR446 And The 'Serious User'

Some interesting discussion on various Facebook groups recently about the more serious side of PMR446.

As we all know, PMR446 is intended as a low powered, short range, licence free service. However right from the very early days of PMR446 it became clear that users who were willing to put in a little effort would be able to make some remarkable contacts. 

Simply walking up to the top of a local hill or other high point results in a massive increasing in range.  The 500mw output power and fixed antenna which are part of the legal specification were implemented to keep range down to a matter of hundreds of yards when used in homes, offices and workspaces but from a good location the same radios are able to reach stations many miles away. 

Thus, the idea of DX-ing on PMR446 was born with long distance contacts being made on a regular basis.

In the early days PMR446 radios weren't cheap, I paid £100 for a pair of Goodmans Trackers in the late 90's, so methods such as 'Inductive Coupling' were used to connect the radios to an external antenna - A coil was soldered to some coax and slipped over the existing antenna.

As time progressed the prices fell and people experimented by removing the fixed antennas and replacing them with longer, more efficient antennas or soldering BNC connectors in place of the standard antenna. 

A great deal of fun was to be had experimenting with PMR446 radios in this way. Of course as soon as you modified your radio, it became illegal to use but that wasn't likely to bother those indulging in such pursuits!

Now, fast forward 20 years and standard PMR446 radios are cheap as chips but so are more 'professional' radios such as the wide variety of Baofeng radios on the market. Boasting higher power and removable antennas, Baofengs have become the radio of choice for many PMR446 users. 

Some, not happy with walkie talkie type radios, started to use larger Amateur Radio equipment made by Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, Alinco etc. Many of these radios are easily modified to operate on the PMR446 band and offer much higher power. This is great for the 'serious' user who wants their signal to get as far as possible... However, there is a major potential problem with such activities...... 

Let's say that Mrs Smith has bought some standard PMR446 radios so she can keep in touch with her children while they play in the garden at home. She knows nothing about DX-ing or high powered radios, she believes that the radios will transmit to the bottom of her garden  or maybe to the end of her street but that's all. One day she is checking up on her children and suddenly another station comes onto the channel and completely wipes out the channel. She is unable to contact her children. She shouts at the other station, asking them to move to another channel. Unfortunately, she gets no reply despite numerous attempts. You see, Mrs Smith has no way of knowing that the station in question is in fact 50 miles away and is using 25 watts of power into a home base antenna on their roof.  You can imagine that Mrs Smith would be annoyed and angry that the station is ignoring her requests to move channel. Again she has no way of knowing that the strong station cannot hear her transmissions (Her radio only has 500mw output after all). 

This is something that higher powered stations, 'Pirates' I guess we could call them, should consider very carefully!

Now, lets be honest, this type of activity is illegal. If you are caught you could face prosecution or even imprisonment. However the reality is that, much like CB Radio, there are always going to be plenty of people willing to take what they feel is a a very small risk of getting caught. 

So assuming that this situation is unlikely to change anytime soon maybe such users could consider a more responsible attitude to operating on the PMR446 band?

How about everyone keeping their power down to an absolute minimum? - ONLY USE WHAT YOU NEED - If you are talking to your mate in the next village, do you really need 50 watts when 1 watt will do?

If you hear other stations on the channel, how about changing to a different one?

Make sure your radio is set to NARROW FM, a wide FM setting will result in you splattering across several channels. 

Talking about channels, since 2018 the PMR446 allocation has been increased from 8 to 16 channels. Most standard PMR446 radios are still only available with the original 8 channels so you could avoid causing interference by simply using channels 9 - 16 instead - As an experiment, have a listen on these channels for a few days and you'll probably find them to be very quiet or totally dead in most areas. 

Calling channel - Channel 8 is widely known as the calling channel on PMR446. This channel was originally chosen as it was the highest channel and least likely to be occupied (Most radios are set to channel 1 when first powered up, it was soon found that many people tend to use channel 1 or one of the lower channels as a result -  They simply never got any further up the band). This has worked well for many years but the increased use of higher powered radios and external antennas has seen a corresponding increase in interference to and from other users. Maybe it's time for a new 'DX Calling Channel' on the newer part of the band (Channels 9-16)....? 

ONE-FOUR a copy????

So in conclusion, if you really must operate non-standard equipment on PMR446 can I suggest that you keep other users in mind, keep your power down to a minimum and seriously consider using channels 9-16...

One other thing, don't be fooled into thinking that using a frequency in between the normal channels such as 446.100 or 446.150 is a good idea.... These frequencies are often used by licensed operators such as local businesses which are unlikely to take kindly to their communications being disrupted. Indeed, the very reason that PMR446 has an unusual frequency offset is to avoid such problems occurring!

So, have fun but please be a responsible user!

5 May 2020

First 40MHz Contact Between Ireland and Lithuania

Interesting news from the blog of EI7GL (LINK) of an FT8 contact between Ireland and Lithuania on the 8m band which is available to operators in a small number of countries. 

  • June 1998: Slovenia (S5) allocates 40 kHz of spectrum to beacons from 40.66–40.7 MHz.
  • February 2005: South Africa (ZS) allocates 10 kHz of spectrum from 40.675 MHz and 40.685 MHz.[13][14]
  • July 2013: Slovenia (S5) allocates 40.66–40.7 MHz to the amateur service.[15]
  • April 2018: Ireland (EI) allocated much of the low VHF spectrum to Irish radio amateurs including 40 MHz.

No UK allocation at present but I'm sure there would be plenty of interest if an allocation were to be made in the future.

2 May 2020

North West Net - Garden Lockdown


Settle down for over 2 hours of the North West Net which took place on 29th April 2020. 

It's great to see that even in these difficult times CB Radio is alive and well here in the UK.

Keep up the god work guys and stay safe!

28 April 2020

Floureon FC200 BNC Modification

Video:YouTube/David Chamberlain

Something interesting that I'm sure many people have wondered about. How do you fit an external antenna to your Floureon FC200 PMR radio?

Well David's video will show you how to remove the fixed antenna and fit a BNC connector.


26 April 2020

UK PMR Net - Every Sunday

Following on from a very successful event last Sunday the organisers of the UK PMR net have announced it will now take place every week.

Calling will take place on channel 8 from 8pm every Sunday. Please note if channel 8 is busy in your area please QSY to another channel once contact is made (After all, we do have 16 to choose from these days!)

Personally, I managed four contacts last week so fingers crossed I'll get a few more tonight.

18 April 2020

Classic President Radios In Lockdown 2020


Another very interesting video from Dave, M0OGY.

This time he takes a look at some classic President CB Radios.

PMR446 UK National Event 19/04/2020

One for the PMR guys and gals.... A special PMR event is planned for Sunday 19th April with stations all over the UK calling on Channel 8 (446.09375MHz) with the aim to get people connected during these difficult times.

So why not dig out those little handsets and join in with the fun.

Remember to call on channel 8, then move to another channel if 8 is busy in your area. 

17 April 2020

ANOTHER Floureon FC200 PMR446 Radio Review


Isn't it always the same, you wait 18 months for someone else to review a radio then two come along together.....(See previous post)

This time we have an in depth review of the Floureon FC200 PMR446 radios including the optional battery packs.

We featured these lovely little radios on the blog back in 2018 and they have certainly proved to be very popular and are still one of the very few radios to feature the full 16 PMR446 channels.

Price: £15.99 per pair (Have been seen on offer at £8.99 in the past) 

16 April 2020

Floureon FC200 PMR446 Review

Video:YouTube/The Mic with Mike

We took a look at these fantastic little PMR446 radios back in 2018 when they first appeared so it's great to see people continue to discover them and appreciate just how good they are. In these troubled times PMR446 and CB Radio are a great way to keep in touch with fiends and family and certainly help people feel less isolated.

14 April 2020

President Lincoln 2+ EXPORT MOD VIDEO

Video:YouTube/204 Ground Control

For those of you who still haven't expanded your President Lincoln 2+ radio.....

3 April 2020

Midland Alan 48 Pro at Nevada

Now in stock at Nevada is the new Midland Alan 48 Pro. Price: £109.95


Features :
  • Band modes : AM / FM
  • Output power : 1W/4W AM - FM
  • Modulation : AM: 90%, FM: 1.8 KHz +/- 0.2 KHz
  • Channels : 400 channels
  • Noise Blanker
  • Display : LCD Display
  • Digital squelch
  • Emergency channel : + 4 memories
  • Frequency Range :26.565 - 27.99125 MHz
  • Keypad Lock :
  • Mike Connector :
  • Audio output power :> 3 W
  • Scan
  • Quick Channel Selection
  • Power supply voltage : DC 12.6 V - DC ±10%, DC 24 V +/- 10%
  • External speaker socket
  • Squelch : Digital
  • S-Meter
  • MIC Gain
  • RF Gain
  • PA
  • ANL
  • ESP
  • Dimensions 180 x 50 x 150 mm
  • Weight :1 kg

22 March 2020

Another UK CB Radio Net

So here we have news of yet another new CB Radio net here in the UK.

The 'South Of The River Radio Bandits DX Group' will be active on the last Wednesday of each month from 18:30 hours (UK Time) on 27.385 LSB (I guess they'll be the first to know if any skip comes in from the US!) - They will be operating from London and the surrounding areas.

So put Wednesday 25th March in your diary and give them a call....

20 March 2020

UK On Lockdown

As the UK goes into lockdown CB, PMR and Ham Radio are the ideal way to maintain social interaction, so get on the air and give a shout! 

CB Radio calling on channel 19 (27.78125mhz)

PMR 446 calling on channel 8 (446.09375mhz)

Ham Radio calling (for licensed operators only) 145.500, 433.500, 51.510, 70.450, 29.600 and across the relevant bands.

Midlands PMR Net 22/03/2020

In this time of crisis and social isolation it's great to see people trying something new. David and Ryan will be out and about on the PMR 446 band on Sunday 22/03/2020 with the first of hopefully, many nets on channel 12 (446.14375Mhz). 

The PMR can be truly amazing with some great contacts to be had so if you are in range why not give this a go? 

The net kicks off at 14:00 hours (UK time)

14 March 2020

The 'Almost Spring' Net 14/03/2020

Tonight is the night for The 'Almost Spring' Net live from Winter Hill here in the UK, so why not get on the air and give them a shout on 27.405 USB....


Another interesting handheld radio, the QYT KT-8R, priced at around £55 and looking like a beefed up Baofeng!

Main features:
Quad frequency
Fashion colour screen
High low Output power
Easy operation
English interface

Frequency Range
VHF: 136-174MHz, 220-260MHz
UHF: 400-480MHz, 350-390MHz
Channel Capacity
 200 Channels
Frequency Stability
Channel Step
Working Voltage
7.4V DC±15%
Squelch way
CARRIER / CTCSS / DCS / 5Tone / 2Tone / DTMF
Antenna impedance
Operating Temperature


Wide Band
Narrow band
Channel chioce
Spurious Rejection
Audio response
Signal to noise ratio
Audio distortion
Audio output power


Wide Band
Narrow band
Output power
Modulation Mode
Channel Power
Signal noise ratio
Parasitic harmonic
Audio response