Posted 26 March 2017

Can a Baofeng BF-888s be programmed to PMR446 for non-licence use?

Bit of a niche question here but I was looking at getting a pair of BF-888s handsets but noticed these are in fact HAM radios and would usually require a licence to operate.

I'm under the impression that in order to not need a licence, you need to operate on the pmr446 frequencies (if correct) and use under 0.5 of power (unsure on the measurement).

TL;DR Can you program the Baofeng BF-888s to use PMR446 and operate (send and receive) without a licence legally?
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  1. mrwhitelabel's avatar
    greece is quite strict on many things.
    haivng programmable radios may result in you getting pulled in. pmr should not be programmable
  2. kester76's avatar
    0.5W of power, I think the BF-888 is around 3W
  3. WhaleTrain's avatar
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    kester76

    0.5W of power, I think the BF-888 is around 3W



    Yes, shortly after I foudn this out and the fact that PMR446 only allows upto 0.5w of power. The 888 can go down to 1w I think in it's lowest setting.

    My next question is though, what's the likely hood of being caught at 1w? I read that PMR446 can be clogged with users using more than 0.5w and are fine.
  4. srp111's avatar
    I use mine in lake district and never had any problems .
    Don't gave any licence . didn't know I needed one
  5. kester76's avatar
    M0nk3h

    Yes, shortly after I foudn this out and the fact that PMR446 only allows … Yes, shortly after I foudn this out and the fact that PMR446 only allows upto 0.5w of power. The 888 can go down to 1w I think in it's lowest setting.My next question is though, what's the likely hood of being caught at 1w? I read that PMR446 can be clogged with users using more than 0.5w and are fine.


    Not sure but the consensus is that you only need to worry about ofcom if you're using the legal amateur channels. I assume you should be able to attenuate the siginal with some sort of inline antenna attenuator.
  6. WhaleTrain's avatar
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    srp111

    I use mine in lake district and never had any problems .Don't gave any … I use mine in lake district and never had any problems .Don't gave any licence . didn't know I needed one



    Indeed it's a common misconception UNLESS you're using a conventional store bought Walkie Talkie as these will more likely be using a maximum of 0.5w and using the PMR446 range already.

    Even if you configure your HAM radio to use the PMR frequencies, the chance it'll be outputting over 0.5w is high, most will output at it's lowest 1w or so requiring you to have a licence that accepts up to 5w or over. So even though the bands are licence-free the wattage determines your need to pay for a licence (£75/5 years).

    kester76

    Not sure but the consensus is that you only need to worry about ofcom if … Not sure but the consensus is that you only need to worry about ofcom if you're using the legal amateur channels. I assume you should be able to attenuate the siginal with some sort of inline antenna attenuator.



    Yes I got that. According to some folk, Ofcom just don't really regulate the PMR446 like they use to meaning I should theoretically be fine if I stuck to 1w and outputted on these channels without misuse and being malicious and annoying.

    It really is annoying because they could easily allow upto 1w rather than limiting below.
  7. kester76's avatar
    M0nk3h

    Indeed it's a common misconception UNLESS you're using a conventional … Indeed it's a common misconception UNLESS you're using a conventional store bought Walkie Talkie as these will more likely be using a maximum of 0.5w and using the PMR446 range already.Even if you configure your HAM radio to use the PMR frequencies, the chance it'll be outputting over 0.5w is high, most will output at it's lowest 1w or so requiring you to have a licence that accepts up to 5w or over. So even though the bands are licence-free the wattage determines your need to pay for a licence (£75/5 years).Yes I got that. According to some folk, Ofcom just don't really regulate the PMR446 like they use to meaning I should theoretically be fine if I stuck to 1w and outputted on these channels without misuse and being malicious and annoying.It really is annoying because they could easily allow upto 1w rather than limiting below.


    I think it just to lower range so that the channels don't get too congested.
    ofcom.org.uk/__d…pdf
  8. mrwhitelabel's avatar
    use chirp to programme them to the uk pmr

    yes you should have licence for these though as they are programmable
    dont use them in greece though!
  9. deleted2200267's avatar
    mrwhitelabel26th Mar 2017

    use chirp to programme them to the uk pmryes you should have licence for …use chirp to programme them to the uk pmryes you should have licence for these though as they are programmabledont use them in greece though!


    Why u write just Greece. Greece also supports PMR446 free license? I travel to Greece a lot so I don't want to get in trouble with my Baofeng BF888s set on PMR446 :).
  10. deleted2294608's avatar
    To be PMR446 legal the radios need to be PMR446 capable ONLY, including the frequency and power restrictions and a non-removable antenna.
  11. thelocalned's avatar
    I think...in all honesty , the likelihood of anyone being caught using 5w on these radios are slim indeed unless some snowflake that knows you decides to stick you in. We are not talking about radios putting out 25w here and bleeding over onto other channels....its 1w or 5w mostly - hardly going to fry your neighbours TV and need an inline filter. The PMR band is usually line of sight distances...if you don't have the power , you ain't gonna reach. Unhelpful and restrictive rules written by or lorded over by some licenced radio enthusiasts that jealously guard the airwaves IMHO.
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