Motorola TLKR T7 two-way radio
Walkie-talkies for outdoor action types
Review As mobile phones get more exotic and expensive the desire to expose them to risk reduces accordingly. Fancy using your iPhone while canoeing or white water rafting? Or your N96 while bouncing down a forest trail on a mountain bike? Thought not.
Step forward the two-way radio. Robust, durable, easy to use with your gloves on, with voice-activated hands-free communication independent of cellular coverage, and endless fun if you happen to know anyone by the name of Roger.
Motorola's TLKR T7: solid and robust
Motorola's TLKR T7 package consist of two radios with belt clips and a charger cradle that allows you charge both handsets simultaneously. You also get a couple of small plastic adaptors that will let you charge the batteries when removed from the handsets - handy as the radios will also operate from a couple of AAA disposables. Each handset also has its own 9V DC socket.
Each radio is a pretty chunky 53 x 30 x 202mm and weighs 178g with the batteries in place. Of course, that 202mm includes 75mm of flexible – and more or less unbreakable – rubber coated antenna but it still makes the T7 a little difficult to pocket. Just as well that the belt clips are robust and have a secure catch on them.
The military-lite looking rubber and grey plastic handsets shrugged off the worst we threw at them with no permanent signs of damage. The battery panel is a tight fit and no amount of throwing or dropping could dislodge it. Though not fully waterproof, all the sockets have effective rubber covers against splashed and dust. During our test, handsets got dropped into piles of wet leaves and a snow drift, all without ill-effect.
The lanyard loop at the bottom is an integral part of the handset so you can hang the thing around your neck with no fear if it coming adrift. The push-to-talk key and on/off/volume knob are both large enough to be easily used with ski gloves on, but you will need to take them off to use the smaller secondary controls on the front.
more flexible is the Alinco DJ-V466
with a simple snip (of the hidden blue wire!) it goes from 8 fixed channels to the expanded frequency range 420.000 to 473.990 MHz , and it goes from 500mW fixed (legal) RF output to selectable up-to five watts.
If you don't fancy snipping wires then 1) Turn the DJ-V466 off.
2) press at the same time the PTT and SET button whilst turning-on
The display should now show a small H (about 2 watts, PMR446 and LPD-mode), M (about 1 watt, PMR446 and LPD-mode) or L (about 0.5 watts, PMR446 and LPD-mode)
Alinco DJ-V466's are a few years old now, although still available in German "Funk" shops for around 140Euros
These are actually useful
I used to work on film sets, particularly when you are iether in a large indoor set or evenon large location shoots, you can´t beat these things, their long distance range is phenominal, we would often send out a PA to pick up some KFC in the nearest village about 5km away, and he would radio back confirming everyone´s order!! Great fun, and an awesome tool... So to answer the first posters question, yes, it is a piece of great kit and a worthwhile review if you actually are someone who gets off the couch and puts down the remote / laptop from time to time!
I was hoping for some sort of iDen based walkie, sort of like a Nextel phone's DirecTalk mode, without the rest of the phone features.
Great... Another one!
Use them on the worksite -- no problem.
use them in the field -- fine.
...But am I the only one who ALWAYS ends up in the train car with the fuckwit that uses one of these so they don't drop out in the dead zones and spends the entire trip making everybody listen to BOTH sides of their utterly inane conversation AND the annoying *BEEP* every 2.5 seconds!??!
When's someone going to invent a portable EMP unit so I can fry these toys of Satan, that's what I want to know.
Anyone who uses pmr radios regularly, knows that they are not the same, at all.
Unfortunately the one that everyone seems to agree is the dogs b*llocks. is the motorola xtn, which they helpfully discontinued.
although, yeas, all of the £30 argos type one are exactly the same, nice toys but no real use to anyone.