PMR446 Review

Goodman's Tracker Personal Communicators

 

Specifications:  

Frequency:          446.000 - 446.100

Channels:            8

CTCSS:               38 Sub Codes

Range:                 2 Miles

Output Power:     500mW

Price:                   99 per pair

                             (Including rechargeable batteries and 1 drop-in charger)

Tried and Tested

I live in Blyth, a town in the county of Northumberland which is about 2 miles from one side to the other. I have tested the units from various points in the town and with the exception of a few "Black Spots" have had no problem making reliable communication between the two sets. I have even used the sets mobile whilst driving around town.

In all cases the audio quality was excellent from the internal speakers but I would recommend the use of an external speaker, which can be easily attached to the handhelds, if used mobile in your car.

Headset speaker/microphones can also be used with the option of using the in-built VOX voice operated system.

Going for a world record

With the help of an amateur radio friend (David M0DAD) we decided to go for the world record long distance contact on 446Mhz.

I located myself on the top of our local pit heap, some 100 feet above ground level and David found a good coastal location in Tynemouth some 8 miles from my position.

A good contact was made with excellent audio reported at both sides. The signal meters on the units have four bars and the reported signal strength was three bars at each side so we believe that a future contact of 10 miles or more is possible with these sets(See update below)

Conclusion

The Goodman's Trackers which were bought at our local radio shop performed beyond our wildest expectations. The quoted range of 2 miles is about right in built up areas but as our test has shown this range can be extended to almost unbelievable proportions when situated in favorable locations.

 

*****   UPDATE    *****

On 11/08/00 I spoke to two gentlemen (John and Barry) working at an open cast site Near Ellington in Northumberland from the top of the pit heap in Blyth, a distance of 9 miles which is amazing considering that they were using their handhelds in the cabs of heavy earth moving vehicles !

Many thanks to John and Barry for taking the time to talk to me.

NEW LONG DISTANCE RECORD

On 20/08/00 I achieved a new long distance record of 15.1 miles between Blyth pit heap and Amble harbour with the help of Peter (2P3TE) who was using his newly acquired Telcom TW 1000 handheld.

On 05/08/01 I smashed my previous record with a 30 mile contact. See DX WEEKEND PAGE.

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