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Waters and Stanton DJ195E £99.95 http://www.wsplc.com/acatalog/Alinco_handhelds.html

You are right about dealer markup! I think they want £97 for the 195 and they are selling it at 99.95 on their own site.

I was asked what radio I use a while back.. Sorry forgot to reply. I try to avoid taking a radio at all. They never work when you really need them and if I'm going for a fly the last thing I want is someone talking at me.

I have used the old faithful DJ 190 for years and has proved utterly reliable. Still works fine and pumps out 5 watts when you ask it to. I use a AA pack not the rechargeable which died years ago.

I only fly with a radio when in comps or with students or pilots on trips. And then only to warn of dangers. Mostly i just monitor the frequency of the day. Comps often use 148.75 or 149.00 this is just above the amateur band unused by anyone else. just below 144 is also good, 143.875, 143.925.

I never use airband unless I intend to fly near airspace, then I might use a scanner to monitor the local tower, but not for transmission.

For training students I use PMR radios in the UK, (legal to trasmit from the ground to the air) and almost disposable! and LPD in Italy. But in France I use 2m 143.875 for training. In the Emirates they have their own PMR type system and you have buy radios when you get there. They will confiscate all others (unless you have Airband radio, a ppl and a RT license). Still dont know about Greece though.

DONT LIKE RADIOS - HATE 'EM. worse than mobile phones gaaaaah

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I also had trouble with interference when using resistor plug and R plug cap NGK type but have resolved it using a Champion PRO5M which works better and is rubber which stays on the plug nice and tight.

Richard, I think your problem was that you were trying to use a resistor plug AND a resistor cap. You should use one OR the other not both.

BTW I too am a huge fan of PMR.

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Dug this off the net. Worth a read.


In the UK, we are allocated one (one!) airband frequency for HG

exclusive use - but NO ONE uses it, as no one has an airband radio - for

historical reasons - they all use 2-Metre instead.

This is because :

1) They're cheaper, like half the price

2) They have much clearer transmission and better range. 2-metre

radios are FM, airband are AM, which is antiquated and inferior

to FM in terms of clarity and audibility.

3) They have multiple channels (we actually use a small "illegal" band

between 143.750 and 143.950 Mhz) ONE channel, after all, is no damn

use when there are fifty pilots in the air at a site - as happens in

the UK on good days.

4) All other HGPG pilots that use radio use 2M, so if you bought an

airband, you'd have no one to talk to. For safety/rescue/collision

avoidance they'd be useless.

5) It's what HGPG pilots in most other countries also use, so you can

take it on holiday and use it. (Oz excepted)

You don't HAVE to have a radio at all - although there have been

persistent murmurings about the authorities trying to get us to

compulsorily use Mode C transponders (height-encoding radar reflectors).

No such HG-compatible device exists at present, though.

I'll put this reply on the Epg list, in my position as **** radio

adviser because some people STILL don't know these basic facts. If you

buy an Airband radio in the UK, you'll be talking to yourself - 'cos NO

ONE else on an HG or PG has one! (Well, a tiny minority of XC hounds


Only the other day I had an anguished email from a guy who had bought

two airband radios (for him and his wife) and was trying to get them

licenced through CAA! He couldn't understand why no one else on the hill

had a CAA callsign, and why he couldn't talk to them! He also wanted to

know how he could legally use his airband radios abroad (he can't in

most countries). Sadly, I had to enlighten him that he'd wasted his


And just to recap for anyone who is in the dark.....

The "unoffical" frequencies used by HGPG in the UK are:

Calling channel....143.950

Other channels used for "private" nets (groups going XC, teaching new-

soaring pilots, etc):









These frequencies are not currently used or allocated elsewhere, so you

won't interfere with anyone else.

Do NOT use any "official" frequency between 144.00 and 146.00 in the

2-metre band - these belong to the radio amateurs, who will shop you in

an instant. (They're a bit anoraky as a tribe - sorry any Amateurs out

there - how's the Asperger's coming on? - still suffering from "frozen

trigger finger" where you key the mike and rabbit for ten minutes

without saying anything?)

Also, NEVER use anything above 146.00 Mhz - these are used on a split-

frequency basis by ambulance, police, fire, etc, and although the

channel may SEEM to be empty, you can get into a repeater and cause

havoc over half the country from 2 grand!

The same goes for anything under 143.750 Mhz.

Why do we get away with illegal use? Well, there are very few vans with

spinning roofracks at 3 grand over most sites - imaging the enforcement

problems - we are never at the same place 2 days running, we never LAND

at the same place, hardly, and while we're in the air - what can they do

to catch us? Bit difficult unless the RA heavies hijack the local Plod


People used to use any old frequency that they could tune their 2M to -

and caused quite a bit of havoc. I've spent years trying to shepherd

everyone into this small unused band just below 2M, where they'll do

least harm. It seems to be working....




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Cobra MT800 (a pair for 23 quid from Costco including charger) and a pair of Firefox Extreme throatmikes. No engine noise, no wind noise, clear speech. Fine for a pair of paramotors flying within a couple of kilometers or more.

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PMRs seem to be based on two or three "chipsets". At least one of these has the facility to be opened up to also Tx on LPD frequency for continental use. This is very handy if you go to Italy a lot! I cant remember offhandd which one use it but recognise the key layout. Seems that manufacturers buy the board and pop it into their own case. a quick combination of key presses and you get the expanded range. It is so the same radio can be sold in all countries.

Also 70cm radios that have 6.25 channel step option can be tuned to pmr frequencies and if you can limit it to 500mw and lock it it is a PMR! so a 2metre/70cm rig with 6.25khz channel step and output of 500mw gives you best of all worlds. (if it includes a 10mw output you can also do LPD legally)

Yaesu are doing a credit card size one that has all this for abround 100 quid.

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Also 70cm radios that have 6.25 channel step option can be tuned to pmr frequencies and if you can limit it to 500mw and lock it it is a PMR! so a 2metre/70cm rig with 6.25khz channel step and output of 500mw gives you best of all worlds. (if it includes a 10mw output you can also do LPD legally)

Yaesu are doing a credit card size one that has all this for abround 100 quid.

Do you know thw model number for this Francis? as I like the sound of it.



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I was looking at the FT-60 but I cant find it again. Ithink it must have been the 60R not the 60 E. But I cant find a mod to extend the transmit frequency range.

Most of the 2m radios are limited to 144 to 146mhz. Many have to be modified by key press combinations or a bit of internal soldering to extend this to 137 to 149Mhz. Usually the mods are posted on the radio ham websites. It may be that this is too new to a mod available yet.

The other one I was looking at was the Alinco DJ-C6E This has a 6.25 step so will tune into he PMR steps but again I have yet to see a frequency expansion mod for it.

(some radios just cant be (easily) modified).

I wil post when I find the exact one I'm looking for!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Just to re-awaken this thread. Buried in the ICOM UK web site is a paragraph that states that neither the IC-A6 nor the IC-A24 have type approval for airborne use, and therefore an installation licence cannot be issued for their use (they are not on the CAA approved list). I spoke to the MD of ICOM UK who told me that this was basically because the approval system had changed, and the small volume run of these radios makes it uneconomic to put them through the procedure, so type approval is unlikely to be granted unless the criteria is changed.

That however won't stop me using my IC A26 whist airborne, I want to be able to talk to those nice RAF radar operators, who will help me not bump into any fast jets, and I like the VOR facility on that radio too.

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I've also got an A6 as well as the A24, the plan being that I can give the other half a quick call on the PPG frequency if it looks like I'm going to need recovery. Failing that, wait till I'm down and use a cellphone. If I'm talking to an airfield and had an engine out I could always make a PAN call just in case, and again give them a call on the cell once I'm safely on the ground to avoid calling out SAR.

I bought both direct from the USA, the A24 second hand with hardly any use and a Lion battery for about £145 which escaped duty, and the A6 new, with NiMh battery for £115 plus £30 VAT and handling charge. Both were plus about fifteen pounds postage. These were real bargains as far as I'm concerned, with prices in the UK tending to be about £250 and £300 respectively. We really do live in a crap country for rip-off prices!

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Rip off nation - we certainly are.

I don't know why more people don't use airband VHF, I suppose cost is a factor as is licensing, but utility is much better. You can talk to virtually anyone that matters aeronautically. Its probably familiarity or more to the point lack of it which puts people off airband.

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Also of course there is the issue of licensing. I suspect many people are put off by the idea of having to sit a test in order to use the radio, even if the test isn't very demanding. Finding a tame examiner can be a bit tricky. I guess not being completely comfortable with the 'patter' involved in aircraft conversations might be off-putting too, but once you've got the hang of such transmissions it's easy to say what needs to be said, quickly and clearly

The argument of the superiority of FM over AM doesn't carry much weight with me, as the quality of transmission on airband sets is pretty good, and certainly adequate for talking to a station twenty or so miles away with complete clarity.

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I'm an airband user but I use the Vertex Standard VXA300 which is equivalent to the ICOM A24 but even cheaper and with a significantly better battery. The VXA220 is equivalent to the A6 but also cheaper still and better battery as standard. If you are used to these radios you can get the VX170 2m band which operates identically to the airband but is significantly cheaper than the (IMO) inferior Alinco sets.

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I did a VHF(restricted) test back when I did a PPL, and in honesty, it was really quite simple. i think it cost about 50 quid, and comprised of a couple of hours of group tuition ( 3 of us) and then we did a short (5 to 10 minute) test which was basically a conversation with an air traffic controller. Really, it was nto a problem at all, i would have thought most PPL flying schools woudl be more than happy to do it for you, after all, income is income.

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