The Funny Side Of PMR446

The rig doctor answers some of the silliest PMR446 questions:

Q.    I have a Telcom TW1000 which works very well but no matter how hard I try I don't seem to be able to pick up ITV2. Can you help ? - Simon Jones, Kings Lynn

A.    Yes, this is a common problem with the TW1000 mainly because this PMR446 doesn't have an integrated digital television receiver. I think that this is something that Telcom should bear in mind when they make their new model.


Q.    I have recently bought a Binatone 100 and I am having problems installing Windows 98. Every time I begin the installation the radio just bleeps at me. Can you help ? - Peter Archbold, Milton Keynes

A.    Tricky one this. I have Windows 2000 running fine on my Goodmans Tracker which is basically the same radio. I'm not sure but I don't think that Windows 98 works on all PMR446 radios !

UPDATE: Surely you realise that you have to use Windows98 SE (second edition) and even then you'll be very lucky to get the USB ports working if the radio has a VIA chipset more than a year old!
Hope this helps - Mark Serlin, London


Q.    Just a quick question, how do I upgrade the hard drive in my Motorola Handie Pro ? - Ian Smith, Peterlee

A.    You don't say what size but I know that the Motorola will only take up to 6.4 GB. Anything bigger and you'll have nothing but problems.


Q.    I have a pair of Entel Euro-Wave handsets which seem to work quite well but I do find that they take a long time to heat up my supper. Sometimes I have to wait for over 3 hours before my microwave pizza is cooked, is this normal ? - Bob Thompson, London

A.    Yes, the Entel is not the ideal PMR446 for use as a microwave oven. I find that simply using my mobile phone does the trick for me.


Q.    I have a pair of Tw1000s but when I plug them into the mains supply they tend to run a bit hot and some smoke comes out of the back is this usual with these radios or is it just a one off ,I tried dipping them in a bowl of water to cool them down but this made things worse all it did was boil the water can you enlighten me on what I might have done wrong. - ET, London

A.    This is a new one on me as the Telcoms tend to run 'Cold' if anything. I can only see two solutions to this problem - 1: Leave them as they are and use them as a spare kettle or 2: Operate from INSIDE your fridge when using these sets. (Actually there is one other thing you could try - Change your electricity supplier as mine always makes me boil !!!!!)


Q.    I have also tried tying some corks to my TW1000s to attempt a first MARINE MOBILE from the bath. I stuck my big toe up the cold tap to give me some ground plane. I am not sure whether they worked because all I got was a bubbling sound from the speakers, I did try earphones but I got a tingling in the ears and the headband got all soggy. What do you think - Is it old age or, as my wife says, am I a raving loony!!! Or just a keen 446 operator trying to better myself. - ET, London.

A.    To be honest I think that you are suffering from New Variant PMR, a rare condition in which the individual finds it impossible to go anywhere or do anything without having a PMR446 radio with them. In the latter stages of this disorder the individual will find that they cannot move any part of their body except their 'Keying' finger !


Q.    I have just bought a pair of Goodmans Trackers and you'll never believe who I didn't speak to on Sunday - Paul Daniels ! - Do these celebrities think that they are too good for PMR446 or what ? - Richard Slicker, Portsmouth

A.    Funny enough I've never spoken to Joanna Lumley on my PMR446 - You just can't understand some people can you ?

Are there any pig ignorant celebrities who you haven't spoken to on PMR446, who may think that they are better than us ?

If so please let me know and we shall publicly shame them on this page ! 


Q.    I have been carrying out some secret experiments with a gas controlled power supply for my TW1000s. Everything was working just fine until my mate decided to light his cigarette. There was a loud bang a puff of smoke---I have not seen my mate or the TW1000s since. I telephoned NASA and they did mention seeing a blackened figure akin to my mate complete with TW1000s hurtling into space. Do you think I should carry on doing these experiments when I get out of hospital or not ? - ET, Ward 10 London hospital

A.    Not to be recommended I would think. Mind you just think what a long distance contact you could have if your friend is still alive !       Earth Calling Mars !!!!!     P.S - Like the one about Charles and Camilla but I don't want any law suits !


Q.    Further to the non-contact of celebrities you'll never guess who I didn't speak to whilst using my PMR446 on holiday in Spain - Bob Monkhouse ! - - - No matter how many times I shouted I just couldn't get him even though the bloke down the road told me he was staying in the same town.  I just don't understand ! - Peter MacGregor, Scotland

A.    Unbelievable ! - - - He should be ashamed of himself.


Q.    In an attempt to contact the late Diana Princess of Wales, I took my PMR446 and drove at high speed into the Newcastle Tyne Tunnel, smashing into an oncoming lorry in the process. No contact was made but I'm sure that I'm not the only one to try this - Are you aware of any contacts made with the late princess ? - Robert Jones, Cramlington, Northumberland (Currently in the Freeman Hospital)

A.    Nice one Robert - Contacting the dead on PMR446, Anyone tried it ?


Q.    Dear Rig Doctor, I wonder if you can help. I put my much traveled TW1000s into two microwave ovens and attempted to tune them to the microwave frequency I switched them both on one went bang and the other went poof do think they were trying to make contact with me or being bloody rude I am sure they were both females. I told my sister and she said that's queer I don't know what to think. I am at the end of my tether - Mr D.I.S. Traut.

A.    Sounds like you've discovered a new form of life to me.


Q.    Further to the gentleman from Cramlington trying to make contact with Lady Di, I think I may have solved his problem, you see he used the wrong tunnel he has got to go to Paris. He can do this by travelling down the tube thing the Channel tunnel or on a ferry, he then has to do high speed hurtle into the tunnel in Paris and smash into a wall. If he tries this I am sure it will solve his problem. P.S. I understand the hospitals in France are very good providing they get you there in time, good luck Mr Jones. P.P.S. Open up your PMR radio and apply a little negative bias. Miss Adventure, London

A.    Thanks for that Miss Adventure. I'm sure Mr Jones will give it a go !


Q.    Further to the query by Mr Jones of Cramlington, I think I may have made contact, I decided to have a sťance using two TW1000s nothing happened for a couple of hours and then a garbled message came through, referring to Mr Jones' inability to make contact and a crackly message about being boxed in and stuck on some Island and then the signal went all wobbly and asking for Mr Jones to try again from a rowing boat! Strange that don't you think. Lady Catherine Parr P.S. Henry sends his regards.

A.    Probably the strangest thing I've heard yet !


Q.    A friend and I tried a experiment with two TW1000s we traveled to two different points of high ground laid down fully horizontal and made good contact, with little or no interference. Do you think this is the meaning of getting a good earth potential, or was it ground wave ? Other friends just laughed at us, mind you it was pouring with rain at the time, but we explained it was for a good cause what do you think. Horace Hontal.

A.    I think that you could do a sponsored idiot PMR-A-THON in aid of Comic Relief. You might even be able to get Lenny Henry to help you. 


Q.    It appears that the Telcom TW1000s are the ultimate 446 radios, if you haven't got one or two then all could be lost. I tried mine on a cross channel ferry but all I could receive was in French. Do you think the French have invaded us or is it just a supposition, or should I get my TW1000s converted to understand a foreign language ? What do you think, it's funny since that tunnel thing has been installed, I have found an increase in foreign activity on the 446 band, especially when sitting on the loo !  Do you think perhaps  we have been infiltrated and could be lurking in the sewers under our feet, I suggest any 446 operators hearing strange noises when on the loo !  Look first before alighting, I did have the manhole cover up but could not see anything only a strong smell of onions, so all 446 operators beware. Let's hope you can come up with an answer to this rigdoctor. Mr A.N. T. Septic   (Professor of Seweroligy) - Everyone should have an oligy!

A.    The last thing I want to hear on PMR446 is a Frenchman (Not likely in North East England mind !). Maybe other operators could listen out for any such activity. We may need to reform the Home Guard along the south coast complete with 446 radios of course ! - Above all: "Don't Panic", "Stupid Boy" and "Don't tell him your name Pike !" 


Q    My question is, if height improves our transmission range is it possible to connect my Goodmans PMR to a mobile 30 foot mast, will I need a red light on top of this mast to warn the police helicopter to keep away from my house at night thereby not disturbing my sleep.....  ?      Anon, Sunderland

A.    You do what you like mate, but if I was to stick a red light up on the end of my pole I'd get more than just the police at my door !!!   -   Mind you, It would be possible to attach a small wind turbine on top as well, thereby removing the need for batteries to power your handhelds !


Q.    I have 2 Maxon RS446 which works very well but when me and my friend was trying to talk to the man on the moon we got a very poor picture quality back in the display, it was looking much like a green alien with two antennas on his "head". Is it possible that the man on the moon originally is from Mars ? Or did he just eat one that was bad considering his colour ? And would it improve picture quality if I wear both RS446 at 45 degree angle on my head while wearing a green kimono ? (need to know before I get the kimono) - Best regards Mr. Silly Jonas from Sweden

A.    To be quite honest I don't think you should worry about the 'GREEN' ones, It's the men in the 'WHITE' coats that you need to be worried about because I think they are on their way to get you now !


Q.    I tried using my Active radios to talk to Hannibal. It appears that he leaves his radio on his elephant. I thought with him being on the Alps he would get good reception. What is the best place to attach a radio to an elephant ? - Sedgewort.

A.    I'm not all together sure that you are totally sane but if you must attach a radio to an elephant I'd suggest the TRUNK so it can be lifted up into the air giving better reception. I guess you could then make long distance trunk calls !


Q.    One of my Active radios seems to become unreliable and totally irrational every so often (About every 4 weeks). My wife thinks that it may be suffering from PM(r)T. Your wisdom please ?  -   Sedgewort

A.    I agree with your wife. One of my Binatone Radios was acting up just the same. I took her out for lunch and to the cinema, I spent a fortune buying things for her but nothing would cheer her up. It made no difference if I argued or agreed with her. I was always in the wrong. I solved the problem by putting her in part-ex for a newer model. Mind you I still bump into the old girl from time to time. Her case looks a little worn and I'm sure she's put on weight. Her new owner has a hell of a life with her but I guess he hasn't got the brains to get shot of her like I did !!!!!!     (Fictional - Any similarity to any person living or dead is purely coincidental - Lawyers take note !)


Q. Dear Mr Rig Doctor,

I read somewhere on the internet that PMR radios transmit using microwave frequencies.   Another site suggested possible health risks associated with microwaves, and recommended wrapping ones head in tin foil to avoid any side effects related to temperature rises in the brain (ie: being slowly cooked).   Yet another site suggests the use of tinfoil - in an attempt to stop the various government offices scanning our minds (with mention to 'local radios relaying our thoughts'). Is this use of tinfoil widespread?   Do PMR operators generally wrap their heads in tin foil?   As these radios are marketed as 'adventure' radios (sports, walking, cycling etc), surely wrapping ones head in tin foil whilst hanging off a mountain is very inconvenient, to say the least?

So to summarise - 

a) Do these radios really cook your brain?   

b) Are they secret 'mind relays', which are part of a large government conspiracy?    A friend told me that this is the reason for PMR and FRS frequency differences, so that the government satellites can tell the difference between UK and US citizens... Which makes sense to me.

Many Thanks,

I.P. Freely

A.    It is very unlikely that your brain will be cooked. If it does happen you could always become a presenter for ITV - This is rumored to have happened to Ant and Dec shortly before presenting POP IDOL !

As for "Secret Mind Relays", the government don't need these as they have been tracking us for some time by means of Radioactive Pot Noodles !

If you do decide to wrap foil around your head you could then use your body as a ground plane for a "Mag-Mount" antenna, thus improving range on 446 !


Q.    Dear Rig Doctor,

I was wondering if you could tell me how to increase the miles per gallon of my DJ-446 radio. For some time now it has been running sluggish and only returning about 6mpg which is pretty crap considering my mate reckons he can get 25mpg from his cobra's. Mind you he does say that they are running on Diesel ! Does this make such a difference and if so do you think that if i traded them in for a diesel model that i could convert them to run on Cooking Oil???


Jeremy Clarkson

A.      Well Jeremy, it's funny you should mention this but I have a pair of Motorola's running quite happily on cooking oil !

They get about 25mpg around town and about 50mpg during DX Sunday, and at only 4p per gallon the cost is minimal. 

Mind you I'm not sure that the DJ-446 can be converted to run on cooking oil so you might be better off buying a new radio such as the Motorola T6222. The cooking oil mod for this radio is easy to do and can be found on many websites - Just be careful not to mix it up with the BABY OIL mod as this is more suited to sexual performance than an increase in fuel economy !!!!


Q.    Dear Doctor,  I've had my pair of BT Freeways for several months now. I've kept them in the same cage, however, neither of them has layed an egg yet !  Any tips ?  

T.T. Newcastle

A.    Well I think that you will find that you have got yourself two males there. It's very difficult to tell them apart you know. The best way is to rub the antenna slowly and see if the radio gives off a high pitched squeal. If it does it's a male !

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