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Top 10 Licence Free Walkie Talkies Q3 2017

Walkie Talkies, as opposed to professional-grade two way radios, are radios that are primarily used for outdoor adventure use such as hiking, camping, biking, motorcycling and fishing where easy to use short-range communications are required.

Tip: You can skip this guide and go directly to our leisure walkie talkies page on our website if you prefer.

All of the two way radios featured on this page are supplied in twin packs.

Here we’ve put together our handy guide to our top-10 outdoor adventure licence free walkie talkies for Q3 2017. This list goes from 10 to 1 with number 1 being the winner. That said, all of these radios have merits of their own – so ready the list below and make your own judgement.

10) Motorola TLKR T40 / T41 (Multiple Colours Available)

Motorola TLKR T40 & T41 Multi-Coloured Radios

At just 74g (without batteries) and 13cm tall (including antenna), the Motorola TLKR T40 (red) and Motorola T41 (blue, green, orange & pink) are some of the smallest portable two way radios on the market. They can be powered by 3x alkaline AAA batteries so are super convenient.

Just because these are number 10 on our list, don’t dismiss them – the reason they’re number 10 is that they don’t have rechargeable batteries included and don’t have an audio accessory (earpiece) audio jack socket. Other than that, the T40/T41 is still a very good quality two way radio.

Pros

  • Almost Always Supplied in Twin Packs
  • Super Small & Lightweight
  • Available In Multiple Colours
  • Very Cheap & Cost Effective
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Takes 3x standard alkaline AAA batteries

Cons

  • No Batteries Included
  • No Possibility of Rechargeable Batteries
  • No Audio Accessory / Earpiece Jack Socket

9) Cobra AM265

Cobra AM245

The Cobra AM265 is an entry-level radio. But, unusually for such an entry level radio, it is supplied with rechargeable batteries. In our test, the audio was very clear and the batteries lasted a good . What let’s this radio down is the lack of audio socket, so you can’t use an earpiece, throat mic or headset with this radio.

Pros

  • 3x AAA 600mAh Rechargeable Batteries Included Per Radio
  • Micro USB “Y” Charging Lead Included – Charge Using Any USB Socket
  • Key Lock Feature
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios) *

* Only if they are not using CTCSS Privacy Tones

Cons

  • No CTCSS or DCS Tones
  • No Audio Accessory / Earpiece Jack Socket
  • No USB Mains Adapter Supplied
  • Not Weather Proof

8) Motorola TLKR T50

Motorola TLKR T50

The Motorola TLKR T50 is the middle of the TLKR range from Motorola. TLKR T50 is supplied with two NiMH battery packs and a mains charger that you plug into a UK power socket and then plug the other end Y-cable one plug into each radio.

Motorola TLKR T50 also has an audio accessory socket (standard single-pin 3.5mm jack plug) so you can easily plug in an earpiece, throat microphone or headset.

Pros

  • Supplied with Rechargeable Battery Packs, Mains “Y” Charger & Belt Clips
  • Ultra-Clear TLKR Series Audio
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Splash Resistant

Cons

  • Not Supplied with Docking Charger Station
  • Supplied with Mains Charger Cable, cannot be charged in a vehicle without an inverter

7) Cobra AM645

Cobra AM645

The Cobra AM645 is a very simple upgrade from the AM265 above but adds in CTCSS and IPX2 weatherproofing.

Pros

  • Belt Clips, Batteries & Y Charger Lead Supplied
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Splash Resistant
  • Can Be Charged in a Vehicle (with a USB charge outlet)

Cons

  • No mains adapter included – you’ll have to use your USB phone charger adapter

6) Motorola TLKR T60

Motorola TLKR T60

Motorola’s TLKR T60 is a step up from the TLKR T50 mentioned at number 8, but is supplied with a docking station for convenient charging.

Pros

  • Everything required to get started is supplied
  • Includes Belt clips, batteries, charger docking station & PSU
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Splash Resistant

Cons

  • No vehicle charger included, but available separately. Or you could use an inverter.

5) Cobra AM845

Cobra AM845

The Cobra AM845 is as the AM645 above but adds in 10 call tones and a charging docking station. Still vehicle chargeable as the charging dock powered by a USB cable.

Pros

  • Supplied with Belt Clips, Batteries, Charger Dock & USB Cable
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Channel Scan To Monitor Multiple Channels

Cons

  • Charger unstable when in a moving vehicle, fine when not moving.
  • No USB power adapter invluded, but can be used with any USB outlet, including a laptop USB socket

4) Motorola T92 H2O Twin Pack

Motorola T92 H2O

The Motorola T92 H2O Twin Pack is by far one of the best leisure radios. Supplied in a twin pack and totally water submersible, the T92 H20 is your ideal partner for a day at the beach, surfing or even kayaking, since the T92 H2O also floats so you won’t lose it in the water!

Pros

  • Floats & Yellow – You won’t loose this radio in the water
  • Supplied with rechargeable batteries and vehicle cigarette lighter charger
  • Belt Clip is also a whistle!
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Built-in Flashlight Torch

Cons

  • No mains charger – you’ll need to find a USB phone charger or USB outlet when not in the car
  • More expensive than the alternative – but more features, so not 100% sure this is a con

3) Motorola T80

Motorola TLKR T80

Motorola T80 is almost exactly the same as the Motorola T80-Extreme, but without the carry case and earpieces, and the battery cover is not IP-rated. But if you want the quality of the T80 for daily use and don’t need the carry case, this is the radio for you.

Pros

  • Belt Clips, Batteries & USB Charger + Dock Included
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Strong Build Quality
  • Long Range

Cons

  • Battery Cover is not IP rated / weather proof, but still drip resistant
  • No Vehicle Charger Included – But available separately

2) Cobra MA1035 Floating Radio

Cobra AM1035

The Cobra AM1035 gets our runner up position on our Q2 2017 walkie talkie list due to it’s great value for money and it’s floating feature. This out ranks the T92 H2O based on price alone.

Pros

  • Belt Clips, Batteries & USB Charger + Dock Included
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • VibrAlert – The Radio Vibrates When A Call Comes Through
  • Built-in LED flashlight

Cons

  • Charger unstable in a moving vehicle. Fine for stationary vehicles

1) Motorola T80 Extreme

Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme

The Motorola TLKR T80-Extreme remains our number 1 based on value for money and features. The Motorola TLKR T80-Extreme is supplied in either twin packs or quad packs, is supplied with a carry case, batteries, docking station charger, belt clips and earpieces! There is no better value walkie talkie kit than the Motorola TLKR T80-Extreme.

Pros

  • Supplied in Strong ABS Carry Case
  • Lanyards, Batteries, Charger Dock, UK PSU, Clips & Earpieces Included
  • CTCSS Privacy Tones For Less Interference
  • PMR446-Compliant (Works with other PMR446 radios)
  • Call Feature & Roger Beep

Cons

  • None

One final note on the T80-Extreme: If anything, it could also include a vehicle cigar lighter adapter. But a cigarette lighter adapter is available separately if you need to charge them on the go.

One More?…

The one that’s not included in this list, but is definitely worth a mention, is the Motorola T81-Hunter. The reason it’s not included is that it’s not a twin pack.

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Using Licence-free Radios with Licensed Radios

Here’s the thing. You have a number of PMR446 licence-free radios and a number of licensed radios. You want them to work together and your local radio dealer has told you that it’s impossible.

That’s not strictly true. You could program your licensed radios to work on PMR446. But if you do, you risk a £10,000 fine and up to a year in prison. So don’t do that.

The Solution

The good news is there is a viable technical alternative to risking prison time. And it’s by using the SR-628 cross-band repeater control box by Surecom. Introducing the Surecom SR628. See this diagram.

How It Works

You connect Surecom SR628 allows you to connect a radio to either side creating a 2-way duplex repeater. When you talk on the PMR446 radio, this will be rebroadcast on the Licensed radio, and vice-versa. You need to use one of the radios from each system, but this solution allows you to talk between the two sets of radios legally.

> See the Surecom SR628 on our main website.

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How to Open a Motorola CP040 or DP1400

Motorola 6686533Z01The only way to open a Motorola DP1400 or Motorola CP040 without damaging the casing is by using the correct tool.

The tool you need is the Motorola 6686533Z01 tool.

> We sell the 6686533Z01 for £9.99 on our main website – click here.

If you attempt to remove the casing without this tool you risk damaging the case or, worse, damaging the radio circuit board or chassis.

> Also see our Motorola DP1400 Front Cover Housing which is available in multiple colours.

Front Cover Removal Procedure

There are just three simple steps to open the casing and potentially change the front cover on a Motorola CP040. The procedure is practically identical on the DP1400.

> Note: This short guide assumes you’ve already removed the battery and unscrewed the antenna.

1. Remove The Knobs

First you must remove the plastic knobs on top. Failure to do this may result in you snapping the volume and channel shafts.

Motorola CP040 Knob Removal

2. Remove the Chassis from the Front Cover

Using the chassis opening tool, starting at the bottom, prise the chassis from the front cover. Be very careful not to strain the front cover housing or damage the chassis. The chassis will prise easily, so if you need to use too much force, you may be doing it wrong.

Motorola CP040 Chassis Removal

3. Remove the Speaker

You can remove the speaker by simply removing the speaker retainer.

Motorola CP040 Speaker Removal

Front Cover Fitting

Simply follow the steps in reverse.

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