Updated January 2006

The UK106 Gateway is presently off air and is unlikely to return in its old form.

This was due to a number of reasons, but predominantly abuse by children resulting in the gateway being muted very frequently

Bigbloke is currently discussing offering a free EQSO based "chat" service to
the project based from the UK106 site. Whether or not this service will be connected to PMR446 is yet to be decided

I've left the old page here for historical accuracy and any links from other sites



UK106-L PMR446 - Voice over IP Gateway

East Newport, Gwent.

Channel 2 CTCSS tone 19 (127.3Hz)
This is a temporary lash up page whilst I generate some proper content for this section of my site !
What is PMR446 ?
PMR446 is a licence free 8 channel UHF walkie talkie radio system, available throughout Europe. It can be used by businesses,private individuals, in fact, anyone who can string a sentence together and press a push to talk button! ;-)
What does a PMR446 Gateway do ?

A PMR 446 gateway permits PMR446 radio users in different parts of the world (i.e. outside of direct radio to radio contact) to communicate, via voice, with each other, as shown below:

Scenario 1 (User "A"calls User "B" Radio to Radio)
446 radio "A"<--> Gateway Radio <--Public Internet--> Gateway Radio <---> 446 Radio "B"
Scenario 2 (User "A" talks to User "B" who is using a PC)
  446 radio "A"<--> Gateway Radio <--Public Internet--> PC with mic & speakers <--> User "B"  
Scenario 3 (User "A" on a PC talks to User "B", who is also on a PC)
User "A" <-->PC <---Public Internet--->PC <-->User "B"

An example is someone in Newport using a PMR 446 radio, communicating via the UK106 gateway could talk to someone using a similar gateway in Glasgow (UK323 Gateway) , or indeed , anywhere else.

How will I know if I'm in range of the Gateway ?

Listen on channel 2 on your 446 radio (if it supportc CTCSS also listen on Tone 19 - without CTCSS you CANNOT access the gateway - Sorry)

When there is no traffic, the gateway identifies itself, either in a computer generated voice, or in morse code. around every two minutes If someone or something "blips" the gateway you will hear the two "pips" (which resets the two minute timer).

Can I have a private conversation via the Gateway ?
As long as you don't mind other people listening in, yes go ahead :-) Seriously.though , the gateway uses a server which in effect is a "Voice enabled chat room" anyone who is logged into that "Room" will hear your voice coming out of the server, and indeed, anywhere where a Gateway is active you will be able to be heard over the air.
Can I take part in group discussions via the Gateway ?
Absolutely - Although its polite to ask for a "break" before jumping in between other people overs - you are effectively taking part in an open conference anyway.
Any do's and don'ts ?

Don't swear, be polite,

Don't use the "call" button or ring tones,

Do switch off 'roger beeps' if possible

the best way to learn is to sit and listen , then once you feel comfortable with the system, put out a call

If you're using a PC to access the gateway, dont advertise any URLs in the "comments" line

How do I identify myself to other stations ?

Gateway owners usually use their Gateway callsigns (e.g. to call "me" you can call UK106, otherwise people tend to use their own names (e.g. Dean, Rob, Pete) or Nicknames e.g. (Chiefy, Bigbloke, Delboy) some elect to make their own callsigns e.g. "BB446", "Kilo echo 127"

Do bear in mind that callsigns starting UKnnnn are (unofficially) pre-allocated to the Voice Gateway systems, for quick identification. So if you go on air with UKnnn as your own callsign, you may be the victim of a case fo mistaken identity! you get a Gateway callsign by going to the 446user website. You dont need a Gateway callsign to use the system.

Examples of "general calls" (open invites to other users to speak to you) are given below.

  "C Q C Q 446 this is <Callsign / Nickname / real name> In East Newport listening the Gateway and standing by"  
  "Hello everyone, this is Dave in Marshfield, near Newport calling via the UK106 Gateway , wonder if anyone is around ? Over..  
Can I start a gateway myself ?

Certainly! no charge and PLENTY of help given ! visit

for more information

Is there a charge for using the system ?
No- Its free to you - enjoy it - well it does cost me a bit of internet bandwidth and mains electricity , but you can share that! its OK by me ! ;-) the best way to address the difference is to build a gateway of your own in an area not presently served by one (e.g. Caerleon, Bettws, Malpas (until UK097 returns to the air) etc.
How do I use the Gateway ?

Set your PMR 446 radio to channel 2 tone 19. Press the PTT button on the radio, pause a half second or so , then speak - your voice will be relayed via the gateway and rebroadcast via every other active gateway that is logged into the system , also it will be heard by any PC users logged onto the system .

Once your transmission has stopped you will hear 2 x "pips" from the gateway to confirm that it has heard you and relayed your message. If someone answers you back via the Gateway WAIT for two similar pips before replying !!

To work UK106 from the PC side, you need some free software called EQSO its available from :
Where you will also find out all about the EQSO 446 Gateway system
Where does UK106 reach , on the 446 radio side ?


Actual coverage is still being evaluated. The map above shows predicted coverage for an outdoor stationary handheld user in Green, with the Yellow areas for a base or mobile unit with an external antenna (The latter is illegal, but that is your problem, not mine ;-) ) The map does not factor in shielding by buildings, man made objects etc, it is derived from topographical data obtained from NASA's Space shuttle (SRTM data) . The Street Mapping data is also copyright of Microsoft and is derived from the internet version of Map Point.

The Map was created using the SUPERB Freeware package


remember too that the Gateway radio is only running around 300mW (0.3W!)

Where EXACTLY in "East Newport" is UK106 ?
Most people dont need to know that - just use it and enjoy it
How is UK 106 such a good signal around Newport ? - PMR 446 sets only work 2 miles! you can't be using a legal 446 radio !

This question has been asked 4 times now by email so I'll answer it here.

My Radio is an XT1000 base station. which is type approved, mains powered, and CE marked.

My home is on top of a hill , and the radio is (presently) cable tied to the apex of my attic ceiling.

The inbuilt 1/4 wave antenna sticks out of a vented tile on the ridge of my roof . This puts it around 240ft above ground level with an unrestricted path over Newport City centre (you wont see the antenna without binoculars! even from outside my house! )

THATS why its a good signal !

If the forthcoming OFCOM clarification finds in UK106's favour the radio will be a little higher again, as it will be mounted in a waterproof box outdoors on an aerial mast. The Gateway PC is located on the end of a 125 foot length of screened multicore cable which is carrying Audio to and from the 446 radio as well as 12V to power the radio.

I haven't boxed it up yet as I want to make sure that the radio is frequency stable enough to cope with a wide range of temperature changes, hence it is running in my attic - boiling hot by day , freezing cold by night!

I am monitoring the stability of the set on my spectrum analyser which is outputing its results to my PC via the serial port.

Once its boxed I will publish some articles and construction notes here.

Why don't you use an external antenna / Power amplifier on your gateway and serve the area better ?

Quite simply, that would be illegal. I am quite happy with '106's service area the link budgets are about right. It doesnt need any further enhancement on the radio side.

In fact I discovered that I could access it from high spots on the east side of cardiff (School by eastern leisure centre) and am therefore actually considering attenuating the TX power further !

Who is that vaguely Scottish sounding Lady and that American
Bloke on your idle mode announcements ?
  Apparently She's called Audrey and he is called Mike. You can find out about them here .  
What is the best PMR446 radio ?
  I have no idea - give me a working example of every one in the world and I'll test them all - as long as you pay me my daily consultancy rate to do it for you ! ;-)  
I'm an OFCOM official and I need you to shut down the UK106 Gateway for interference testing reasons. How do I contact you QUICKLY ?

The gateway is owned / maintained by a Radio Amateur whose address is not in the current UK callbook, for personal reasons.

If you REALLY are an OFCOM offical you will have access to the Licensing unit records - see the entry for Amateur Callsign


My Home Phone number diverts to my Mobile Phone if not answered..

Remote switch off of UK106 is a forthcoming feature - If required, you can be issued with a URL, username and password which when logged in, will shut down the Gateway , requiring a manual reset on site to restart it. Please get in touch to initiate this process..

I'd like to provide a signal report or get in touch with you generally - how please ?
call me on skype (bigbloke or bigbloke_mobile) but be sure to quote a pmr446 reference in your request to be added as a contact. I get lots of people calling me up for no good reason hence I tend to block those that just want to muck around.
I dont put my email address in a "mailto" format to avoid it being "Harvested" so..
Looking at the first skype nickname in the line above
my email address is then {my nickname} [at]