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"talkabout" walkie talkies legal for use in Europe?

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Jun 26th, 2002, 05:46 PM
  #1
jeannine
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"talkabout" walkie talkies legal for use in Europe?

We are travelling to france and britan with a group of family this summer, and would like to use our "talk about" walkie talkies to keep track of everyone while touring, etc.. Is there a problem with using these in Europe. Wouldnt want to infringe on anyones frequencies if they are asssigned differently in Europe... anyone have any information about these devices??
 
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Jun 26th, 2002, 06:17 PM
  #2
Rex
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There have been many heated discussions about these and frequencies, and how US-sold walkie talkies are "illegal" in various countries, especially France.

I recommend you search "walkie" here to read some of these old threads - - though none will give you a hard and fast answer.

You can certain find walkie talkies for sale in Europe. I bought a pair in Germany and have used them in France, Germany and Italy with great success. I don't know specifically about frequency differences between France and the UK.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 04:23 AM
  #3
Keith
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I'm no expert on walkie-talkies, so I won't comment on whether they can be used or not (though something tells me they can't,) However, if you need to buy new ones in Europe you could instead look at buying pay as you go cellphones - this might be a god option, especially if you are staying mainly on one country.
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #4
radios
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The frequencies allocated to the "talk about" radios in the U.S. and Canada are in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range, while the frequencies allocated to this type of radio in Europe are at around 446 MHz. There's an interesting website at http://www.geocities.com/euro446/ that talks about the European version, which is called PMR446 (the North American version is called Family Radio Service, or FRS). The web site has links to show the types of handsets available (they're physically similar to the "talk about" radios, except for the frequency and, I think, the fact that PMR446 definition allows for 8 channels instead of 14.) The site also has a link to a table showing the extent to which the PMR446 standard has been adopted in various countries in Europe - it's interesting that, while it's supposed to be a "standard", adoption has still varied from country to country so that, at this stage, the "legality" of even the European radios will vary from country to country. (The UK and France both allow them now.)

I tried to look up the U. S. frequencies to see what, specifically, they are used for in various countries (the question of legality aside) - in the UK, the 462 MHz band seems to be a marine radio allocation; I couldn't find a corresponding list of frequencies for France. Any radio buffs out there?

Actually, I second the idea of buying a cheap local wireless phone with pre-paid service (non-subscription) - useful for calling hotels, etc., as well as each other! The only drawback is that, while calls can be really cheap in the country where the home network is located (I had one at 5 pence per minute in the UK), the roaming charges can be high if you carry them to another country (the same call would have been about 1.5 pounds per minute if I took the phone to France.) Does anyone know if there is a network with lower rates when roaming from the UK to France?
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 07:27 AM
  #5
Rex
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I guess it depends on what is the purpose of the walkie-talkies. We used them to maintain communications between two vehicles. And we talked on them a lot - - chit-chat stuff and pointing out things we saw. We would not have done that with cell phones.

They are also very helpful as a "tether" between the two vehicles. Eliminates the need to stay within visual range. When the reception starts to get poor, you know you are getting too far apart (the lead car needs to slow down, for example).

We tried using them a little bit when out exploring a city/town, but found them much less useful for that. It felt a little too conspicuous to use them on a city street corner - - and they didn't work very far in a setting of a lot of buildings.
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 07:46 AM
  #6
radios
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Rex,

It's when you lose the lead car entirely that you wish you had a couple of cell phones!

The only reason that I know about this at all is that we looked into it about 2 years ago, when we had 8 people in 2 cars in France. At that time, the PMR446 radios didn't seem to be generally available (and I'm not sure that France had adopted the standard yet - even now, I think channels 1 and 2 are still used by the national railroads in France.) Anyway, we ended up renting two phones from a UK company, which was the only thing we could find, and paying the equivalent of $5.00 per minute ($2.50 per minute per phone) to make calls to each other! (Needless to say, we didn't make too many.) Spread among 8 people, it was good "insurance", and didn't break anybody, but for the same price we could have at least a pair of walkie-talkies (that's "talkie-walkies" in French ), or a couple of pre-paid cell phones, good for future trips as well!
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #7
ttt
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topping for jeannine
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 06:17 PM
  #8
areal
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Last summer we had a father/daughter with this idea.They spent more time trying to find each other using these silly things than paying and enjoying themselves.They were our entertainment and anyone else who could hear them!
Totally useless,rent phones for goodness sake if you really have to stay so connected!
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 06:43 PM
  #9
rand
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Recently I witnessed what is to me the most ridiculous need to stay connected that I have ever seen.
I was in a grocery store when a guy next me used his cell phone to ask his buddy what aisle he was in because they had lost visual contact.
Back in the bad old days people would arrange to meet in produce.
When Dor and I travel we agree to meet at the entrance/etc if we get separated and realise we have not seen each other in x minutes.
This agreement worked well last year in Mont St. Michelle.
I came back with some photos of alleyways, and she scored some copper jellymolds.
 
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Jun 27th, 2002, 06:51 PM
  #10
clairobscur
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Radios,

I found a complete chart of the allocated frequencies in France in 1998 (in french, of course), here :
http://asso.nordnet.fr/f5kcv/radio04.htm

The frequencies you're searching for are the 430-440 Mhz range (excepted between 433 and 434,5, reserved for flights).

The american talkabout radios, if they actually use the 462-467 Mhz range, would operate on the frequencies reserved to the police in France. So, I guess it wouldn't be a good idea to use them here...

 
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Jun 28th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #11
jj
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Just got back from 2 weeks in France, and I have to say, our Motorola "talkabouts" were lifesavers for us!! We had 3 vehicles and did quite a bit of driving. It was quite useful when we became separated, or even to let the other vehicles know we needed to stop for a soda, to get gas, etc.
 
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Jun 28th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #12
radios
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Clairobscur -

Thanks - that's a fun site! My notes say that the American radios use one set of channels from about 462.5 MHz to 462.7 MHz, and another set from 467.5 to 467.7, so that definitely sounds like the "Police" band!
 
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