Tag Archives: pmr446


Photo: Midland GB-1, a PMR446 with fixed antenna

In the USA it is the FCC that rules the world of communications for all 50 states. In Europe we have the European Union, that are 28 National States. The EU is managed by the European Commission (EC). In the EU the kind of ‘FCC-department’ is called the “Directorate General for Communication-networks and Technology (CNET)”.

It might look the same structure but the difference is really big. Where the FCC has the complete power in all the US states, the European Commission can make Directives . The national governments have to implement the Directives as national laws. Can you imagine a European Directive written in English or French and translated by 28 national bodies in their own language….
Yes that often results in a ‘fight’ about the meaning of content of the Directive and meaning of national translations.

In our industry we have a ‘nice’ example for this struggle. There is a European Directive for the so called PMR446 regulation. It can be compared with USA radio’s for FRS or GMRS. The directive tells us the equipment for PMR446 needs to have a fixed antenna. So basically the idea was to have small portable radios, walki talkies, operating on 8 channels in the  446 MHz band.

To put such a radio on the market the manufacturer needs a Document of Compliance. An accredited laboratory investigates such a product and if it is complying with all the applicable rules they give a Declaration of Conformity. In short this is the way to act when bringing radio’s on the European market with the necessary  CE or CE! ( CE-alert) sign. So manufacture according to the technical specs of the directive and ETSI norms, have it tested by an accredited laboratory, get the necessary paperwork done for CE and you are in business!

This was exactly what Midland did when they put the Midland GB-1 on the market. A portable radio with a fixed antenna. The antenna was fixed with a  cable to the radio. The test lab saw no problem, it was according to the Directive, the antenna was fixed and not detachable.

The Midland GB-1 came on the market with all the necessary markings for CE, that is a CE sign and a listing of the countries for which applicable.

Photo: A dark shadow is already hanging over the listing of all EU-countries (some non-EU countries also adapted EU-laws)

It did not take long before some national European Authorities saw the product in the market and told Midland “this is not according to the Directive for PMR446”. Midland told them “this is the documents from an official accredited laboratory, so what can be the problem? “.

In such a case of discussion or rejecting by a national Authority , each Authority can inform the DG of the European Commission to file a complaint. There will be a short investigation and it might result in an instruction to all 28 national Authorities “take this product out of the market”.

In the case of Midland GB-1 there was a discussion between all the national Authorities in Europe and the votes were quite divided. Countries that had no problem with the construction of this radio were: Denmark, Malta, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia, Italy, The Netherlands.

Photo: The listing of the countries without objections

Countries’ that say “not allowed” were Croatia, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Latvia, Luxemburg, France.

Some countries thought it was hard to decide and needed time to think: Bulgaria, Ireland, Sweden, UK, Greece, Poland, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania.

Because of all the discussions in the various countries Midland had to change the paperwork for this radio and also the printing on the box. For an end-user it  looks easy but for a manufacturer this is quite a big and expensive operation to make a small change like this.

Photo: The Midland GB-1 used to be code C1198 but is now code C1198.01 also the barcode had to be changed.

So we have a European Commission making Directives. The national Authorities have to turn these Directives in to national law. But at the end of the day the national Authorities still want to have the final word.

The case of Midland GB-1 illustrates exactly how divided Europe can be. As a European tradesman I love the European Union for all the good things achieved. I just hope that people from national Authorities will start to think more European than they do now. Or the European countries must give more power to the European Commission and European Parliament. If there is a European Directive/Law there must be a product for the complete European market and individual countries should not have the possibility to ban products from their national market.

The Midland GB-1 is a fine product, it is manufactured according to the EU standards, there is a demand in the market for this product and it should be available for the benefit of all European people.

Photo: Midland GB-1, only legally available in some European countries


At CES Las Vegas in January this year Midland USA introduced a mobile version of the USA version of European PMR446. (See my blog of 14 January 2015).

Midland Europe promised to have a similar European version very soon and now they claim to have it available mid-December of this year.
It is called the Midland GB1.

fotoMidland GB1, Transceiver PMR446 with ‘fixed’ magnetic mount antenna

Midland GB1 is a PMR446 portable transceiver. Mobile versions for this European standard is not allowed, but Midland found a legal way to bring this
on the market.
The technical standard for PMR446 tells us the antenna must be fixed to the transceiver. If that is not the case you can create a mobile device for PMR446 and that is not allowed.
The trick is that the standard does not describe how the antenna is connected. Midland chooses to have a fixed antenna, but there is a coax cable of 4 meter between the radio and the antenna, and so the coax is part of the antenna system.
A technical legal solution that makes it possible to create a ‘mobile’ device for PMR446. We only can say “Midland WELL DONE” as this will be a good solution for many users.

First shipment from Midland to Avera-Distributing is expected mid December. Place your orders now to get supply from the first delivery.

This what Midland has to say about the new midland GB1:

Midland introduces into the market the first vehicular PMR446 ever realized.
GB1, small and compact, has a metal chassis guaranteeing sturdiness and durability.
Even if reminding you of a CB, it works on the frequencies of a standard PMR466, with the advantage of not being subject to interferences and noise generated by vehicle engines.
The integrated magnetic antenna and the 12V socket allow immediate installation and a wider range than a CB.
Ideal for campers, cars and campings, GB1 can be used as a base station to talk to any walkie-talkie in range and use the PMR446 as never done before.

Main features:
– Microprocessor-controlled frequency
– ‘Flip’ function: the radio can be mounted with the speaker facing up or down; the display can read in either orientation
– Adjustable squelch on 9 levels
– SCAN function
– LCD display
– Integrated magnetic antenna
– TOT (Time out timer)*
– Side tone: noise blanker at end of transmission
– Monitor function
– Busy channel (BCLO-Busy Channel Lockout)*
– Broad/narrow band selection 25KHz/12.5KHz (only export version)*
– High/low power (only export version)

*Software programmable

Technical specifications:
– Frequency: 446.00625 – 446.09375 MHz (440 – 471MHz export version)
– Channels: 8 + 91 programmable with CTCSS
– Channel spacing: 12,5KHz ( 12,5KHz / 25KHZ export version)
– Output power: 0,5W (5W export version)
– Power supply: 12,6Vdc

Packging and codes:
Midland p/n CTE C1198 = Midland GB1
Box single pack:
Radio, microphone, microphone holder, integrated wired magnetic antenna, mounting bracket, fixing screws, supply cable with 12V car charger.

Programming software:
Midland p/n CTE C1227 = Midland PRG-GB1
Complete with USB cable to connect to a PC.

tweede fotoMidland GB1, Transceiver PMR446 with ‘fixed’ magnetic mount antenna


Recently Midland introduced their first digital PMR radio. This is what they say about this new product:
D200 Photo HQ2
This innovative device allows you to communicate using two different protocols:
– DPMR446
– PMR446
Digital technology offers important new features: first of all, it enhances communication quality, which is much clearer than with the analogue system.
In addition, digital audio processing significantly reduces sensitivity to noise and interference.
Being new on the market the digital bandwidth is less congested than analogue frequencies.
It has twice as many (16) channels as in classic PMR446, being 8 analogue and 8 digital (these last onesyou  can even double by using the dedicated programming kit, partnumber C974.01.)
D-200 allows you to make individual and group calls. In particular D-200 comes with 3 customisable buttons that can be used to make three different types of calls – standard, individual and group calls. In addition, a powerful digital scrambler will protect communications from unwanted listeners and ensure maximum privacy.

Versions: DPMR446/PMR446
Colour: Black
Channels: 8 Analogic + 8 Digital preprogrammed
Tones: 52 CTCSS + 166 DCS
Export Version 5 Watt

·· Analog/digital communication protocol
·· Automatic recognition of the analog/digital channel used and default mode reset (with the help of the programming software)
·· 16 analog/digital channels
·· Digital 6.25KHz filter
·· 166 DCS codes+ 52 CTCSS tones (analog bandwidth)
·· Individual and group digital calls
·· 32bit digital scrambler
·· Voice alert, Scan, VOX
·· High-capacity 1800mAh Li-Ion battery
·· External socket for 2-pin Kenwood

Box single pack:
Radio, desktop charger, wall adapter, 1800 mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery pack, belt clip
code C1159

code C974.01
Customisation of channels and frequencies, digital scrambler

Kenwood announces Analogue ProTalk 446

Last week Kenwood introduced their new PMR446 transceiver PKT23 in The Netherlands. Other countries will follow the coming months.
The PKT23 is different from other designs, it is small, compact, basic and fits in your pocket easily.
Kenwood made it easy for me, I do not have to write a whole story about this product. They published a good brochure that describes the features of this new model very well.

Enjoy the reading!

The new PKT-23 hand-portable is designed for ‘Light Weight and Simple Operation’, making it the ideal license-free radio for Retail / School / Restaurant / Shopping Mall / Hospitality and so on.


Key Features

Simple and easy to use – No license required
This license-free two-way radio comes with a 1430mAh Li-lon rechargeable battery, battery charger and belt clip; there’s no need to buy extra accessories for basic operation. lt is ready to use right away.

Light Weight and Simple Operation
Fitting in the palm of your hand, the PKT-23 is easy to take anywhere your staff needs to go. At only 11Og, it can fit comfortably in an apron pocket or attached with the included belt clip. The front panel button layout makes the PKT-23 easy to operate.

Compact, reliable and robust
Users will appreciate just how light (11Og) this radio is. Yet, there is no compromise on build integrity; it meets or exceeds the IP54 dust and water intrusion standards as well as MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F & G environmental standards, making it tough enough for outdoor use in any weather.

8 Channels with Voice Guide
The PKT-23 provides up to 8 channels, allowing you to assign channels to specific team members. The Voice Guide alerts you when you change channels. All channels are the approved UK/EU PMR446 Service frequencies for full compatibility.

Built-in self programming
Users can change several settings, channel frequency, QT tone or DQT code without using programming software.

Feature Definition: “Wireless Cloning”
The PKT-23 includes Kenwood’s exclusive wireless cloning which allows cloning of multiple portables by a single master portable with a simple “push of a button”…with no cables or wires attached.








A new line we recently added to our assortment is a series of three Midland PMR446 portable transceivers.

The specifications of these models are basically the same. The difference is in the added accessories.

Combining the latest technology in radio communication along with a sturdy mechanical frame, M24/48/99-S makes the ideal and effective solution for the professionals who need to stay in touch with colleagues (construction sites, buildings, hotels, trade fairs, shows) or for leisure users that just want to keep up with friends and family. Its robust frame, ease of use and simple design make it ideal for use in any activity.

M24/48/99-S operates on the PMR446 band and is extremely practical and compact; It incorporates all the functions that you would expect to see on the latest and most advanced two way radio transceivers and guarantees reliability and maximum efficiency.

M24/48/99-S is equipped with an LCD backlit display and an Auto Power Save function which reduces battery consumption by up to 50%. All of the features on this outstanding radio are easily accessible thanks to the centrally mounted controls.

M24-S: The low cost model is the M24-S


This is a basic model that can operate on alkaline batteries. Or put in NiMH batteries and use a charger/adaptor.

M48-S: More accessories

2This set comes with rechargeable batteries, charger adaptor and two headsets.

M99-S: Includes high end accessories

M99-S comes with rechargeable batteries, desktop charger, adaptor, carry cases and ‘professional’ headsets.


• Frequency band: 446.00625 – 446.09375 MHz
• 99 channels (8+ 40 pre-programmed channels)
• 38 CTCSS tones
• Output power: 500mW ERP
• VOX sensibility adjustable in 2 levels
• alphanumeric LCD Display
• Call key
• SCAN function
• Autonomy: up to 12 hours
• Working temperature: from -2° to +55°
• Weight: 95 gr (without batteries)
• Dimensions: 58x160x28 mm
• MC/CHGplug: 2 pin plug for audio accessories


Recently Midland introduced the AB29.
Now available at Avera from stock.

AB29 Photo HQ 2014

AB29 is the brand new accessory of the Action Line, the range of products especially dedicated to softgunners.
AB29 is a headset to wear behind the neck, complete with adjustable boom mike and PTT.

This new item stands out from the standard speaker/mikes thanks to the particular behind the head arch, thin but robust at the same time, that can be worn even with helmets without causing any discomfort.

is very easy to use: just place the headset behind the neck and adjust the boom mike! Lightweight and very comfortable, AB29 has been principally designed for tactical combats and, once worn, guarantees an excellent stability, also for a long use.

As all the other accessories of the Action Line series, also AB29 distinguishes for its robustness, for the quality of materials and for the very strong and resistant cables, suitable for an extreme use.