Many of our customers wish to have a licence free radio for the simple reason that they do not require a radio with much range. Radios that do not require a licence are brilliant for smaller environments. Environments that could benefit from using a licence free radio include
nurseries, small warehouses or farming and many of our customers wish to purchase a licence free radio for personal use. There are limitations to these radios when comparing them to licenced radios but they are much more affordable and due to them being DMR446 there is no Ofcom license required when purchasing. The majority of brands have licence free radios available include Hytera, Motorola and Kenwood.
We’re going to start off by taking a look at the Hytera BD305LF radio from Hytera and then comparing it to similar radio from Hytera’s licensed range. The BD305LF is Hytera’s latest addition to their licenced free range and is one of the best in it’s class. It is incredibly small and light yet robust and reliable standing at only 101mm tall, 49mm wide and 26mm in depth. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, and does not cause any strain when carrying it as it only weighs 140g. The BD305LF has one programmable button which can hold features like VOX. This allows the user to activate their transmissions using only their voice instead of pressing the PTT button. Compatible earpieces allow the user to make use of VOX with an integrated mic and PTT, this meaning the radio can stay clipped and secure to the user’s belt without having to be touched.
Hytera have implemented new technology into the BD305LF, this extending the range capabilities compared to many other licence free radios. The BD305LF has around 500 yards of clear range, although no way near as good as a licensed radios, this allows the user to communicate with the fleet in close proximities.
There are two ways to charge the BD305LF while using the same cable that comes in the box when purchased. This cable can either be plugged directly into the radio or can be used if the user has bought the optional extra pod charger. The pod charger allows the user to stand their radio up while charging it and their fleet be both charging and stored more safely. Once charged they can last up to 16 hours, this making it more than capable enough to complete a full working day.
The licenced equivalent to the BD305LF is the Hytera PD505 which is a digital two way radio available with both VHF and UHF frequencies. Standing at 115mm tall, 54mm wide and 27mm in depth, this makes the PD505 slightly bigger than the BD305LF, but it has a similar feel in the user’s hands. 16 channels are available to be programmed into the radio and channel scanning will scan through them all to allow the user to hear any ongoing transmissions. There are many more features available to be programmed into the PD505 compared to the BD305LF as it is licenced and this includes lone worker, VOX and digital basic privacy. There are many more features and perks to buying a licenced radio but the more options you require the higher the cost of the radio, this they would typically be used in work environments within a larger area. Environments that would benefit from these radios would be construction sites, large schools, colleges and universities or even for use by farms and their workers. Depending on the type of environment will determine what type of frequencies the user will need. If they work in open spaces, which could be farming, then VHF would be perfect or if the user works in a place with many obstructions, which could be construction sites, UHF would work much better than VHF. With the PD505 the customer will get this choice when purchasing the radio online whereas with the BD305LF, there is only one setting which is licence free frequencies. This means that anyone with a radio, that doesn’t require a licence, will be able to communicate with the user’s radio when on the same channel and in range.
There is more opportunity with the PD505 when it comes to accessories and chargers. There are many remote speaker microphones, earpieces and headsets that can be used to make communicating much easier when using the PD505. They all come in different shapes and sizes with their own features which can be used in the workplace. These include VOX, wind protectors, designs for comfort and extra programmable buttons. So yes there are many more possibilities with the PD505 but as a licenced radio it is designed for larger work environments and it is not used as much for personal use.
When a customer is wanting a radio for personal use we tend to show them our selection of licence free radios as they are more affordable, will be used in close quarters and they still allow them to communicate with clear audio. The Hytera BD305LF can be used for hiking, camping, day trips out, close range communication around their homes and much more. Personal licence free radios are also great for children who want to communicate with their friends while playing and having fun. The BD305LF is easy to operate, robust, affordable and a great way to communicate with family and friends.