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  • Writer's pictureWolfgang Waldner

PMR - radios

Personal Mobile Radio

PMR radios are popular, and not without reason. The devices work at approx. 446 MHz (thus in the UHF range). They can be operated in most European countries without registration or fees and are also widespread in the Middle East and Africa.

This makes them one of the best-selling radios in the world.

The type of modulation is FM for analog devices and 4-FSK for digital devices. The transmission power is 0.5 watts. For various reasons, the ranges given in the brochures rarely agree with practice. It is lower in densely built-up areas, but usually much larger outdoors. The intelligibility of the language is very good and often better than on the phone.

There are PMR devices in different designs: From children's toys to work equipment. There are usually 8, with newer devices up to 16 radio channels available. The additionally adjustable CTCSS and / or DCS coding (for analog devices) allow the grouping of participants and suppresses interference. The range of digital PMR devices (dPMR) is no greater than that of analog devices, but the voice quality remains good until the connection is broken. With some devices, however, the voice sounds a bit “robotic”. There are also dPMR devices that offer the ability to send short messages. Note that the different models of digital PMR devices are usually not compatible with each other (except possibly in analog mode).

PMR radios are particularly suitable for exchanging information within groups of people in a limited area.

The radios often have features that increase energy efficiency. Most of the devices on offer also offer other practical functions, such as built-in flashlight, FM radio, clock and more.

PMR devices are mostly sold as handheld radios or fixed stations with a fixed antenna. There are no mobile devices with the option of connecting a vehicle antenna. If you want to increase the range by replacing the device antenna with a more profitable external antenna, a specialist (or a specialist) must modify the device. A change of location can often improve the quality of the connection considerably.

In North America there is a similar standard called FRS (Family Radio Service).

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