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#1
OrangeCrush86

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For my second year in SM I want to add a few things to my operation. One of those is a 2 way radio system.

 

I'm looking for recommendations on a complete system as I currently don't have anything for communication.

 

Is something like this adequate? https://www.ruggedra...roducts_id=1479

 

Is UHF strong enough for a track like Road America? Is it worth it to go digital?

 

Maybe a $800 would be better spent on something else?

 

Any knowledge shared would be appreciated.


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#2
dstevens

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Rugged is pretty heavy into off road.  Their branded radios are Baofangs that are badged. Personally I'd spend the extra money and get a Motorola, Icom or Kenwood system.  I'd look to Racing Radios or Racing Electronics for road racing rather than Rugged.  They've done some things in the off road world I found questionable.  

 

Any of those radios digital or analog will be in the UHF band.  There are some differences in the technology but for your app it's primarily in sound quality and latency.  The digitals have noticeable latency if you are standing next to whomever is talking.  Not an issue if you can't hear the direct voice of the person transmitting.  At the show we're swapping out a couple hundred analog Motorolas for new digital radios. (they stopped making parts for our 20 year old analog repeater...).  The digital radios have far more features.  Things we won't use (and are locking out of the radios) and things you won't use as a hobby race car driver.  They still make analog radios but it may not be too long before they phase everything to digital.  Your basic analog 2 radio system will still work though.

 

As for using at RA check and see what others that race there use.  Transmission range depends on a lot of factors.  Some of the lower cost radios don't work as well as they spec.  Some of the lower cost radios aren't FCC certified though realistically you won't get in trouble legally but it may interfere with other device or have other devices interfere with it.  Like the electronics in your car for example.  Baofang does this where they get a cert for a specific radio and then badge other like radios with that same cert number.  I also don't know that parts will be available long term for low cost import radios.  Until recently we were able to easily get parts for out 20 year plus radios.  That's one of the advantages of buying name brand.


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#3
OrangeCrush86

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Anyone tried using a cell app like https://zello.com/ and a BLE push to talk button?


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#4
davew

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To communicate from the far reaches of Road America you will need digital radios. The analog radios will not reach from pit to carosel without a repeater.

 

I used kenwoods for years, but Larry the Radio Guy is out of business. I have been switching to Motorola recently.

 

dave


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Dave Wheeler
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#5
dstevens

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I figured you guys were using repeaters anyway.  What did you do before digital radios?



#6
OrangeCrush86

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To communicate from the far reaches of Road America you will need digital radios. The analog radios will not reach from pit to carosel without a repeater.

 

I used kenwoods for years, but Larry the Radio Guy is out of business. I have been switching to Motorola recently.

 

dave

 

Which model of Motorola radio do you have?


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#7
Brian Linn

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Another source is former Miata racer Shawn Sampson: http://www.sampsonracing.com/


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#8
Ron Alan

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Sampson radios are Vertex I believe? I'm clueless other than I can tell you they work fine at the tracks I've been to and the support is great!!


Ron

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#9
davew

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We either went quiet from turn 9 to turn 12. Or, I usually stand on the grandstands at turn 5, which is midpoint of the track.

 

I get the Motorolas from SpeedCom out of Florida. They also do IMSA, World Challenge, Trans-Am etc. So they do a good job.


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Dave Wheeler
Advanced Autosports, the nations most complete Spec Miata shop
Author, Spec Miata Constructors Guide, version 1 and 2.0

Building Championship winning cars since 1995

3 time consecutive Central DIvision Champion car builder 2012-2013-2014

2014 SCCA Majors National point Champion car builder

2014 SCCA Northern Conference Champion car builder, Spec Miata (Burdzy) and T4 (Bender)

2014 SCCA Runoffs winner, T4 (Bender)

2014 Central Division Champion, ITS (Wheeler)

2013 Thunderhill 25 hour winning crew chief

2007 June Srints winner, (GT1, Mohrhauser)

Over 200 race wins and counting.
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Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Sponsor / Advertiser - Site sponsor / advertiser... support these guys! Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#10
Sampson Racing Radios

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Hey Brian and Ron, Thanks for the shoutout!

With the prices of digital radio' having come down the past few years we are finally at a point where you can get into a Motorola Digital system for very near the same price as Motorola analog system's. We are seeing awesome results out of the Digital systems at Road America. With a properly set up Phantom Elite(AKA Shark Fin) antenna you'll see 100% communication.

This is our top selling package from last year. Motorola DMR radios and our S9 Digital helmet kit W/ ear buds and all the other goodies you need to get started. 

http://www.sampsonra...ert-package.htm

 

We also have a package with TID radios and the S9 Digital helmet kit but with speakers instead of ear buds.

 

http://www.sampsonra...ter-package.htm

 

 

Side Note: SRC is now a Motorola Communications authorized dealer. 

Cheers, 

Shawn


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Shawn Sampson
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#11
TylerQuance

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We use the Zello PTT app.

 

For the driver, we use a UClear HBC200. Not sure if this is the best, but I already had one I use in my motorcycle helmet. I use a bluetooth CODA wheel that stays on the steering wheel for PTT.

 

Last season we tried "noise reducing" headphones for the spotter, and he just talked into his phone. He couldn't hear very well when there were cars on the track near him.

 

We just bought these for the spotter and we're giving them a first try next weekend at MSR Houston. http://www.magnumele...uBoCzSsQAvD_BwE

 

Will report back if there's any interest.



#12
OrangeCrush86

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We use the Zello PTT app.

 

For the driver, we use a UClear HBC200. Not sure if this is the best, but I already had one I use in my motorcycle helmet. I use a bluetooth CODA wheel that stays on the steering wheel for PTT.

 

Last season we tried "noise reducing" headphones for the spotter, and he just talked into his phone. He couldn't hear very well when there were cars on the track near him.

 

We just bought these for the spotter and we're giving them a first try next weekend at MSR Houston. http://www.magnumele...uBoCzSsQAvD_BwE

 

Will report back if there's any interest.

 

 

That headset looks perfect but the price is a little crazy. I'm going to order a PTT button and give Zello a try. 


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#13
FTodaro

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I still have the Sampson analog set up which has been a good reliable system and support, but i recently was on a hand held on a digital system, WOW what a difference. Impressive improvement. If i were investing in a radio today no doubt I would be going digital.


Frank
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#14
dstevens

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That headset looks perfect but the price is a little crazy. I'm going to order a PTT button and give Zello a try. 

 

Even the wired David Clark headsets are expensive.  I've got a couple listen only headsets, I think they're the best in the business.  We also use custom versions of the noise cancelling Clark at the gig in high noise environments.  About twice the price of the BT headset.   It's one of those things where it costs more than the other options but worth it.

 

I still have the Sampson analog set up which has been a good reliable system and support, but i recently was on a hand held on a digital system, WOW what a difference. Impressive improvement. If i were investing in a radio today no doubt I would be going digital.

 

The radios sample the audio and as a result it can tell what is direct voice and what is background noise.  That helps the intelligibility quite a bit as ambient noise isn't broadcast.  The trade off is on lower cost models the tonality of the voice isn't natural.  Some are robot like.  The higher end radios have settings that apply an equalizer/tone control so the voice is more natural sounding.  The real benefit is under the hood, you get more channels in a comparable bandwidth to analog and solid coverage throughout the theoretical coverage area.  Cell phones were once analog and as was the case then when digital radio tech starts to scale more in the market the costs will fall.  We're already seeing this with Tiger and Beofang. 


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#15
Nsparks

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In car radios are a great tool for learning and are a great source of fun which is what I usually use them for as I historically can't learn anything. 

I have always used Motorola with racing radios equipment. The head sets, push to talk, and wiring harnesses are well made which causes much less hassle. 

If you make it to any of the events at Sebring you will probably meet George at Trackside Sales & Service. Extremely helpful in getting you what you need and reprogramming all of your mistakes out. 

George@tracksidesalesandservice.com

Sparky 


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#16
OrangeCrush86

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After shopping around I'm having a very hard time finding a headset that has a standard 3.5mm cable. They all have proprietary connectors and no one has an adapter from 5pin to 3.5mm for an iPhone.

 

Anyone know where to get a headset and a cable that has a standard 3.5mm connector for a cell phone? Or am I misunderstanding and all the headsets have a "5 pin DIN" connection?


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#17
OrangeCrush86

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I think I finally found one.

 

http://www.planethea...ts.php#cable3_5

 

I'm going to combine this with with a Sampson headset, which looks to be very reasonably priced.


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