Are 2-way radios allowed in Europe?

Nov 18th, 2000, 04:39 PM
  #1  
Lisa
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Are 2-way radios allowed in Europe?

In the US, we can use 2-way radios. We have the Motorola Walk-Abouts, and they're great when we go to the mall or a big park. When our parties split up, we can still communicate and find each other again. Are these OK to use in Europe, and will they work?
 
Nov 18th, 2000, 04:56 PM
  #2  
Rex
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Yes, and I found them very useful this summer. Because we were paranoid that "they" might have some different "standard", we bought them there, and overpaid for what similar two-ways would have cost here in the US.

In rfetrospect, it defies laws of physics to think that there could be a differrent standard "there". Two radios that can communicate here can presumably communicate between any two points in the universe unless there is "jamming" radiation of an interfering frequency.
 
Nov 18th, 2000, 04:59 PM
  #3  
Ed
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Yes 2-way radios are allowed. Yes they will work. Yes, your use of them will be illegal.

Radio frequencies are tightly controlled by governments here and abroad. Many frequency ranges, especially those that are used over long distances, are commonly-agreed.

However, the frequencies used by your walk-abouts, CBs and many others are not common between the US and Europe. Also, licensing regulations (or lack therof) are different.

I'd suggest you not use them. While the odds may be very small, you could get into serious trouble with illegal radio transmissions ... or cause serious problems by interfering with something that uses the same frequencies as your toys.

Ed
 
Nov 18th, 2000, 05:01 PM
  #4  
Simple_Physics
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Thanks Ed - I thought everyone knew that !
 
Nov 18th, 2000, 05:33 PM
  #5  
Rex
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Ed,

So the use of these the two-ways we bought right there in Munich - - at an ordinary electronics store - - was illegal? I got no such suggestion from the salesman - - and they had tons of models for sale.

Or would they be illegal to use them here in the US?
 
Nov 18th, 2000, 07:08 PM
  #6  
Lisa
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Thanks, Ed and Rex. Your responses led me to do more checking, and I actually confirmed your answers on Motorola's website. In their Customer Service section, under the FAQ for the 2-way radios, it says, "The TalkAbout and fr50/60 two-way radios operate on the FRS frequencies, approved by the FCC, for license-free use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and areas covered under FCC jurisdiction. At present, the U.S. models are also legally operable in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay. TalkAbout radios in Argentina operate on the same first 7 channels as TalkAbout radios sold in the U.S. For all other countries not defined in the preceding areas, the TalkAbout and fr50 two-way radios are not legally operable, and should not be operated as the frequencies may have official government or licensed business uses." Rex, this means that the ones you bought in Munich were running at frequencies that are legal for 2-way radios in Germany, but they may not be legal here in the U.S. Motorla's website (http://commerce.motorola.com/consume...frequency.html) has the frequency listing, so you can compare it to yours to make sure. Let me know, because if the frequency is the same, then we can use ours in Germany. Thanks!
 
Nov 20th, 2000, 04:07 AM
  #7  
frank
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Many problems have been caused by illegal use of certain radio bands - eg cardiac arrest teams being scrambled for no reason by CB users passing the hospital.
Problem is that its legal to sell this junk but illegal to use it.
It seems silly that the bands are so crowded when most stations are churning out mindless drivel.
 
Nov 20th, 2000, 07:50 AM
  #8  
Anne
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Lisa,

By all means take the radios. We found them to be invaluable last summer when traveling with our two teenagers. They worked from one side of Lake Como to the other, in the Louvre, from the Paris apartment and into the street, along the street in the San Lorenzo market in Florence, in and out of castles, etc. They will free you up when you want to cut off into some different directions.

Anne
 
Nov 20th, 2000, 08:16 AM
  #9  
Ed
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Anne:

I'm sorry to ask this, but did you read Frank's note.

Are you really encouraging illegal use of the radios, especially considering they might interfere with another radio service in Europe that might be vital to things like emergency services?

Your posting is a good reminder that it's good, here or elsewhere, to take advice in cautious doses.
 
Nov 20th, 2000, 11:22 AM
  #10  
Anne
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Ed,
Lighten up already. Lisa appears perfectly capable of verifying key questions related to frequency bands in Europe for common tourist use and communication. But you're right about exercizing caution with advise given here. I overpacked in my travel this summer because last minute, I remembered a poster emphasizing the importance of taking wash cloths to Europe. Ten minutes before leaving the house I cramed 4 wash cloths into my suitcase and in 30 days of travel, never had to use one. Oh well, live and learn. I hope my response here will not put Lisa at risk of being taken into custody for illegal use of her walkie talkies.
Anne
 
Nov 20th, 2000, 03:02 PM
  #11  
gb
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We used the 2 way radios last year in Italy and France, but had no idea that they were illegal. Now, I know differently. On the other hand, they were very helpful when my husband and I were separated at a crowded flea market in Paris. My daughters and I were hassled inappropriately by some vendors, and we were quickly able to reach him for assistance. So, is there any way, a traveler can make adjustments to be able to used them overseas or do you have to buy them there? We also used them with friends in Italy, and it never occured to them that they were illegal.
 
Nov 21st, 2000, 06:43 PM
  #12  
Lisa
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Thanks for all the responses. I think that the best thing to do in this situation is to not take the 2-way radios. When in doubt, I'd rather not risk either adversely affecting emergency services, or getting myself or my family fined (or worse). Motorola clearly states that their radios are not legal outside of the US (other than the couple of other countries listed before - none of them being in Europe), so if I can't verify that the frequencies used by the radios are the same as those allowed in the countries we'll be visiting in Europe, then I'm going to leave them at home. Thanks again for your help.
 
Mar 6th, 2001, 05:58 PM
  #13  
Rex
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to the top - - for traveler...

Postscript: If this forum had an easier way to locate and direct readers to a specific (previous) posting by a unique identifier (timestamp), it would not be necessary to top (and repeat) information so tediously. This is my new crusade, and I am thinking about adding this postscript (when applicable) to every new reply I make here. If you agree with me, then please write to Danny Mangin or David Downing - - [email protected] - - and encourage them to move forward with this improvement (and any others they have up their sleeves) to this best-on-the-web travel forum!
 
Mar 9th, 2001, 09:15 AM
  #14  
Lynne
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My 2-way radios (not Motorola) enable me to change the channels to avoid interference with other users nearby. If I can find a legal frequency in Paris and can set my radios to that frequency, will I be safe using them or will we be suspect simply because we have them. I don't want ANY trouble but do find these devices extremely useful.
 
Mar 9th, 2001, 10:32 AM
  #15  
Mags
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Had no idea these are illegal. Last year and the year before we used these in Europe and had them strung around our necks in full view of many different policemen and other law enforcement officers. NEVER were we stopped from using them or asked to put them away, or told that to use them was illegal. ?????!!!!! What to say???!!!
 
Mar 9th, 2001, 12:15 PM
  #16  
mmm
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i would bet anything that the notion of these "different legal frequencies" for different countries is more hoo-haa than reality.

if i were the "national" communications commisssion for any given country (i.e., the FCC in the US), i would have regulations that specify - - in order for a manufacturer to sell a radio-transmitting device in this country, it must operate on the following frequencies; and in the case of multi-frequency walkietalkies, it would be a range of authorized frequencies.

So, a manufacturer programs in a band, or a set of frequencies, and then the device complies for this or that or the other country. But the device will not look any different with its set of US-programmed frequencies than with its Germany set or Japan set or whatever.

So, naturally, police are not going to stop you and see if you have a "legal" device versus an "illegal" (if it even is) device.

I think that this whole subject is overblown. Even the notion of interfering with transmissions from ambulances and the like. When ambulances run into interference, they say "didn't copy that last thing, over..." and the person they're talking to just repeats it.

No big deal.

YKWIA
 
Mar 10th, 2001, 04:37 AM
  #17  
frank
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Legal radios are 30 to 50 per pair.
You can buy them at UK airports.
 
May 15th, 2001, 05:14 PM
  #18  
Lisa
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topping for chuck
 

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