last updated 11 Dec 2002

Extreme Walkie Talkie

On 10th December 2002, UK TV's Channel 4 showed a program about something I'd previously seen on the internet at some point in the past... Extreme Ironing! (see and ). Having had a little to drink, I laughed heartily and was inspired to wonder if there was any way we could bring glory and ridicule to the world of walkie talkies. Here are my ideas for Extreme Walkie Talkie!

Distance category : How far can you get? This isn't amusing, and won't interest most folk, but it is the kind of thing radio enthusiasts have always done. There are already distance records being claimed. See the Technical page on this site, for example.
Qualification - any UHF (300-500MHz) 500mW FM radio with integral antenna, i.e. FRS and PMR 446.
Likely to impress? Only radio geeks. Look! 150km on my toy radio!!
Is it funny? No. Not in the slightest.

Danger category : Using a radio in extreme conditions. This is more like it, something to appeal to the rugged outdoor competitive type. It's just not funny though. Walkie talkies are known to be useful outdoors, mountain biking and rock climbing etc., and are marketed as such. There is nothing amusing about using a radio the way it was intended. It needs something to spice up the photographic evidence, from mild face pulling, through mooning to perhaps full fancy dress. Using 446 on the top of a mountain dressed as Widow Twanky will impress me.
Qualification - Any walkie talkie will do. Bulky handheld CBs with absurdly long telescopic antennas earn bonus points, with the ultimate being those sad old army radios that look like a green two-foot long telephone handset weighing 5 kilos.
Likely to impress? I think so.
Is it funny? Could well be.

Geek category : Who can collect the most models of FRS/446 etc.? In each available colour? Bonus Geektime Achievement award for maintaining a website as sad as this one.
Likely to impress? Nope.
Is it funny? They laugh AT me, not WITH me :o(

Exotic category : Plenty of scope here. Who can get photographed in the most distant lands, or on the Wonders of the World (pyramids, Taj Mahal etc) with their walkie talkie? Using 446 in China right in front of a policeman may also qualify for the Danger category.
Likely to impress? Some. Non-travellers.
Is it funny? Sadly, no.

XXX category : There are websites where garden furniture is arranged porno style, or plastic toy figures etc. (see for more). Usually fairly amusing. Perhaps you could dress up your radios in skin tight fetishware and pose them in a dungeon setting. Or maybe you want to use your radio as a 'toy' (see ). Heck, some of them do feature a vibrate alert after all.
Likely to impress? Perhaps. I would be :o)
Is it funny? If you're not dead from the waist down, yes.

Bizarre category : Operating a walkie talkie in a manner likely to annoy or offend. This is the category that had me giggling last night and inspired this page (I blame the drink). Extreme ironing takes an indoor activity outdoors, but two-way radio belongs everywhere. We need to take radio where it shouldn't be. Like in an audience. Or in a court of law, under oath. Perhaps you could take your loved one out for a romantic meal and talk on your radio occasionally throughout the evening. Or propose marriage over the air, or chat to a mate inside the church during the wedding ceremony (or a funeral for even more credit). Obviously the pinnacle of Extreme Walkie Talkie would be to break Very Bad News to someone over the air. Or take a radio along when you identify a body. Outrageous? We have to be these days just to raise a laff!
Likely to impress? Hopefully. (may require an odd sense of humour)
Is it funny? Hell yeah. (may require quantities of alcohol)

If you come up with something impressive or amusing, shove it on a website and let us know. We'll link to them in order of merit. Go Extreme Walkie Talkie!

This lame-assed poorly executed wasted opportunity was brought to you via Euro446. I should have actually done some Extreme Walkie Talkie and put the pictures here, and made it worth the visit. But I didn't. Besides, I haven't got the bandwidth available on this site. Bah. Over to you - you can get the glory!