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Why Icom and Kenwood Licence-free radios are a good choice

20 November 2015

This article explains why Kenwood and Icom Licence-free radios a good choice.

Licence-free (PMR446) radios are sometimes considered inferior to their licensed equivalents for two reasons; Poor performance and Poor Quality. With quality licence-free radios this is just not true.

It is true that PMR446 radios transmit on lower power than their licensed equivalents but that has much less affect on range than might be expected. It is also true they cannot be used with repeaters so they do not lend themselves to sites that are growing but for the majority of small sites a good quality PMR446 radio is the best choice.

All other aspects of performance are the same as licensed radios because good licence-free radios are almost always built using the same design as a licensed radio differing only in having a fixed aerial and reduced transmit power.

The key qualities of a decent PMR446 radios are;

  • Good receive sensitivity which equates to good range),
  • Good audio quality which means you can understand what is being said.
  • Good build quality which means they last, this goes hand-in-hand with repairability.
  • An intelligent charging system. Batteries that last, can be charged quickly and cannot be overcharged.

Kenwood and Icom licence-free radios have all these qualities and we have customers still using them over 10 years later. And that is daily use. This is because they perform well and they can be repaired economically if they do go wrong.

Each new model of radio from Kenwood and Icom has been progressively improved which means a new version of their radios should last a very long time.

Here is a list of the models in order that they were released.

  • Kenwood. TK361>TK3101>TK3201>TK3301>TK3401D
  • Icom. IC-F4SR>IC-F22SR>IC-F25SR>IC-F4029SDR>IC-F27SR>IC-F29SR


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Wildtalk Ltd
Unit 4, 35 Hospital Fields Rd
YO10 4DZ

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