Can the Motorola T80 Walkie Talkie manage the 10km max range?
What better thing to do during the Easter weekend holiday of 2018 than film a range test of a pair of PMR446 500mW walkie talkies. OK, so that might not be for everyone but it gave Will and I an excuse to do transmission tests between North Wales and The Wirral…something we haven’t done since the 90’s.
The units on test are the Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme PMR 446MHz walkie talkies. These are beautifully made, compact units with basic weathersealing and a robust case. They run off 4 x AAA Ni-MH cells and have an output power of 500mW. This is the maximum allowed for this type of radio without a licence here in the UK. I used fully charged cells for the test.
This video includes the following.
- An introduction to the radio
- A description of our chosen location
- The test itself filmed from both sides
We were not expecting too much from these because they are made to be compact. The rubber duck monopole antenna is convenient but has very poor gain performance so, if the T80 Extreme units actually output 500mW, I doubt the ERP is close to that. That said, I don’t know how they are calibrated and if the output TX power is a little higher to factor in the low antenna performance.
The Test Location
One side is at just above sea level in Wirral Country Park in Thurstaston, UK. The other side is an elevated location at roughly 200m above sea level on Pen-Y-Ball Hill, Holywell, North Wales. This location ensures a clear line of sight test as it’s considerably higher than anywhere on the Wirral Peninsula and much of the North-West of England.
Future Locations & Tests
Depending on the response to this test and based on the results, we may do a further test in future keeping the same North Wales location but pushing the range to 15-20km. Let me know in the video comments or here if you would like to see us push this a bit further!