What  Radio do I use ?

well his can be a million dollar question but we will cut it down to a few major considerations  and suggestions.
A lot of you will already have radios so hopefully wont have to go into the expense of purchasing a suitable one for Motorcycle communications .

Ok here are the minimum requirements
1, Must have 40 ch    NZ/Australia  477 Mhz  !    not 8  ( european ) 445 Mhz  14 or 22  ( USA ) 476 Mhz  9   (China ) 409 Mhz
These other radios are not compatible with NZ walkie talkies because they are not on our Legal NZ UHF CB frequencies .Ignorance of the law is no excuse nowdays.... Use of these radios will/may cause and or  receive interferrance from high power commercial users  and if you get caught by the Radio frequency Service now, they will not give you a warning ,  they will take the equipment from you and issue you with an instant fine  of many thousands of dollars, ie  Pink slip ! (as they will be out to recoup  costs in services for tracking you down and taking you to court.!)  as any of the small non commercial FM broadcasters that have exceeded their  RF power output limitations and got caught will tell you. !   ( they used to be nice folks but now they seem to be like the police and be a revenue collecting service ) probably because they are so short staffed
2. Must have the ability to do external PTT    You must be able to plug in an external headset with a PTT button  ( like a hand mic)  and be able to make the radio go to transmitt by pushing the button.   ( however if the radio doesnt have this feature  like the Uniden 041 but has a snapply fast acting VOX  then you can get away without  ext PTT   and still use the radio . Note I said snappy VOX  not some slow vox that misses half a sentance before it activates the transmitter )
3. Doesnt have a "roger BeeP"   There are a lot of Asian made walkie talkies that go "beep" when you let the PTT button go. This is an end of transmission  beep and is usually very loud at full deviation and will drive you nuts on the motorcycle  mainly because it is  so loud it hurts your  ears ! unfortunately on most sets  you cannot turn this feature off  ( though it would be so easy to enable  on/off  when they wrote the software for the radio )  our radios we sell the WT419 and SP2302AA have had this "roger beep" feature removed at the factory at the time of manufacture . we didnt want to hear it  in our motorcycle headsets
4. Batteries    Try and  pick a radio that uses AA cells s ,not AAA cells, as AA cells last so much longer and you are   less likely to have the radio go flat halfway through a ride !  Always carry a spare set  if possible . Some radios have proprietry rechargable packs  that need a special charger  so be careful of these  unless you purchase a spare rechargable pack so you dont get caught , There are a few enterprising bikers  who have hot wired their radios into the motorcycle 12V battery using voltage dropper kits purchase from the likes of Dick Smith /Jaycar or Altronics  or made one up from a design on the Web  Our SP2302AA has an optional charging cable that enables the on board 4.8 V rechargeable pack to be bypassed  hence you  run the radio off 12V  battery of the motorcycle .
5 Antenna Unfortunately most manufacturers  mostly for economy and sometimes for Radio Design compliance reasons have the antenna intergral to the radio , Some radios like the Uniden 075,  Digitalker  sp2302  and GME  TX630 to name a few have removable antennas , these are great as you can purchase a decent length UHF CB car radio antenna and mount this om your bike and really make your system outperform !! it is not uncommon to yeild a  Three  times range by just chaning to a more efficient antenna system
6 Waterproof   Waterproof  or water resistant  whats the difference ??  usually about $200 !!  its is comparatively easy to make a radio water resistant  ie shower proof ( when its opertated vertically ) but water  proof requires special technology ..   and hey a plastic ziplock bag or tank bag is always an option !
7 Connections  There are some radios we just dont have connections for  ie the Uniden 075 and 078 radios use a very long 2.5mm stereo plug with a lockable collar  and we just cant source them   we dont have connections for kenwood either only because kenwood UHF CB is just not popular in NZ  however we do have some connections we could make you an adapter

Well there are a few things to think about  and i have tried to put them in order of what I think is a priority ,  If you have any questions about  the use of radios  on a motorcycle and some are easily modified to enable this ,   please ask  if you are handy with a soldering iron , im happy to tell you how to do it or far a small charge we could do it for you  

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   Pinfold Health Services Ltd,1172 Arawa st, Rotorua 3201,New Zealand. ph +64-7-3488850 fax +64-7-3486555 pinfold@xtra.co.nz

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