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Radios for the trails.

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So I'm looking at getting a dual band Motorola type radio with the acoustic through mic and a earbud headset. It has the VOX capabilities as well as a larger push to talk button. I've seen the kits to wire speakers and a boom mic into your helmet but think the throat mic and ear bud would be better and able to be used in other applications as well.

Anyone try anything like this before?

I'm a signal guy in the army so have been looking into FCC's guidelines for different radios. With FSR radios they push about a 500 milliwatt power on the lower channels (1-7) and the GSWR ones can, only referring to the national guidelines, push the 2-3 watt that they claim on channels (8-14). That's if I understood it write.

Either way in a forested area the FSR only band should still get a range of a mile or two. I think that would be enough.

All and all it would cost about 100 bones bed radios, with the throat mic headset. You guys think it would be worth it for the communications it would give.

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ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1366128606.963439.jpg

Quick snap shot of my wish list on amazon. Here's what I'm looking at if you guys want to check it out. More then likely I'm going to do something just want to make sure I bounce my idea off someone that might have tried it already.

Throat mica are not the most comfortable in the world, or the clearest. It's only job is to pick up communications with out passing the noise of the bike.

I have never wore ear buds with a helmet on but know some guys listen to music. So it should be the same.

Maybe even have a larger range radio that's comparable with the same Freq and squelch in the truck so if you lose your friends or the ones still back at camp need something they can reach out and let you know.

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I'm not very knowledgeable about radios, but I think as long as you keep them protected your setup should work find, but the distance will definitely be cut in the woods so don't plan on anything over a couple miles I would guess.

Also have you considered get a headset similar to what is used with the Scala rider headsets? It mounts the speaker by the ear, but not in it like a ear bud, and the mic attaches by the mouth of the helmet. I know some friends who use it on the track and trails and they say they hear very little bike noise from it.

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Yeah the range they say from the factory is 36 miles.... so I'm thinking about 2 reliably lol

I've seen those. And avoiding bike noise is the priority. I think having a system that could work snow boarding, paint balling, spying on your cheating wife with a friend. Would be a bonus.

I think if you had the neck protected thing. Can't think of what it's called. It wouldn't work well. But I don't wear one so I don't think it would be that bad.

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My buddy and I just picked up those same radios and have the AVPH2 closed face helmet kits. The wiring is kind of a pain to set up initially, but once sorted out it isn't too bad.

We have only used them once (yesterday) but they seem to work ok. We both just stuffed them into our hydration packs, which probably didn't do a lot for signal strength. I ran out about 1 mile up the trail and we could still communicate easily enough.

I could hear his bike in the background when he was talking, but it was quiet enough to not cause issue. I didn't ask if he could hear mine (2 stroke vs 4 stroke)

A tip we found out is if you key the mic and just start talking away, whoever would be listening misses the first half of whatever it is you were saying because they are focused on riding. If you key the mic and say something (I was just saying hey hey) then wait 2-3 seconds then say what is on your mind, the others are much more likely to actually hear what you are communicating to them.

The majority of our chatter was the lead rider telling the following rider of oncoming traffic.

"Hey hey (pause) there is a group of quads/bikes/trucks heading your way/parked on the side/I'm stuck behind"

"10-4, thanks"

Edited by gots_a_sol

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FRS = 1/2W ERP

GMRS = (up to) 5W ERP

FRS-Only channels are limited to half-watt, even with a GMRS radio. (Usually labelled channels 8-14)

GMRS and Shared FRS/GMRS channels are up to 5W.

Technically you need a GMRS license (about $80, no exam) from the FCC to use the 5W output. The license gives you a callsign that lets you legally use GMRS repeaters (i've only ever encoutered one... and most consumer-grade radios don't even offer repeater capabilities).

Most of my radio use is FRS, out snowmobiling. Radio hangs out in my pack, speaker/mic on the chest strap. 1/2W is plenty for 99% of the use, gives you enough range. Only kicked up the power once ... there were a lot of things that were done wrong that day.

Nice to have for "Hey, are you stuck back there, need help?" or "I'm going to go go around..."/"Okay, head east 1/4-mi and we'll meet at the trail".

I -never- use radios riding trails on the dirt bike, though I do carry mine with for emergencies (which it has been used for that purpose before).

Throat mics suck till you drop $300+ on a good tac mic. But those don't interface to cheap blister-pack radios, so now you're looking at anywhere from $200 to $1200 for a good commercial radio.

Earbuds work, but I find them to be kind of a pain. Some radios offer bluetooth interfaces, could use that to a helmet communicator and use bluetooth for short-haul between helmet and radio, then the higher output VHF/UHF long-haul.

DSC00068-M.jpg

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FRS = 1/2W ERP

GMRS = (up to) 5W ERP

FRS-Only channels are limited to half-watt, even with a GMRS radio. (Usually labelled channels 8-14)

GMRS and Shared FRS/GMRS channels are up to 5W.

Technically you need a GMRS license (about $80, no exam) from the FCC to use the 5W output. The license gives you a callsign that lets you legally use GMRS repeaters (i've only ever encoutered one... and most consumer-grade radios don't even offer repeater capabilities).

Most of my radio use is FRS, out snowmobiling. Radio hangs out in my pack, speaker/mic on the chest strap. 1/2W is plenty for 99% of the use, gives you enough range. Only kicked up the power once ... there were a lot of things that were done wrong that day.

Nice to have for "Hey, are you stuck back there, need help?" or "I'm going to go go around..."/"Okay, head east 1/4-mi and we'll meet at the trail".

I -never- use radios riding trails on the dirt bike, though I do carry mine with for emergencies (which it has been used for that purpose before).

Throat mics suck till you drop $300+ on a good tac mic. But those don't interface to cheap blister-pack radios, so now you're looking at anywhere from $200 to $1200 for a good commercial radio.

Earbuds work, but I find them to be kind of a pain. Some radios offer bluetooth interfaces, could use that to a helmet communicator and use bluetooth for short-haul between helmet and radio, then the higher output VHF/UHF long-haul.

DSC00068-M.jpg

I read that FRS was channels 1-7. The shared channels were 8-14. And anything beyond that was GMRS only and up to the 5 watts like you said. I agree the half watt would be more then enough for the trails. I looked I to getting a higher end radio and something more comparable with it. I don't know the one you posted off the top of my head. Normal rule of thumb though is if the antenna is about the same length as the body it will have enough to fully propagate the wave.

Throat mics... I've used one before. TSD Tactical brand I think. Was a W-4/J-4 five pin connected on a normal military radio. Worked pretty good. Cable management kind of sucked. Didn't like having something around my neck then. I think the concept of it would be perfect for dirt bikes though. Although you move alot in the saddle you move your whole body at once. The helmet idea is tried more often and will be a plan B if I can't get the other to work correct, or enough of you guys tell me it's a waste.

Anyone else have different ideas or what not.

In 2010 The FCC started looking at removing the GMRS fee. I couldn't fine anything on what was settled on.

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My buddy and I just picked up those same radios and have the AVPH2 closed face helmet kits. The wiring is kind of a pain to set up initially, but once sorted out it isn't too bad.

We have only used them once (yesterday) but they seem to work ok. We both just stuffed them into our hydration packs, which probably didn't do a lot for signal strength. I ran out about 1 mile up the trail and we could still communicate easily enough.

I could hear his bike in the background when he was talking, but it was quiet enough to not cause issue. I didn't ask if he could hear mine (2 stroke vs 4 stroke)

A tip we found out is if you key the mic and just start talking away, whoever would be listening misses the first half of whatever it is you were saying because they are focused on riding. If you key the mic and say something (I was just saying hey hey) then wait 2-3 seconds then say what is on your mind, the others are much more likely to actually hear what you are communicating to them.

The majority of our chatter was the lead rider telling the following rider of oncoming traffic.

"Hey hey (pause) there is a group of quads/bikes/trucks heading your way/parked on the side/I'm stuck behind"

"10-4, thanks"

Yeah I never thought about that. I'm sure I'd get distracted and not pay attention to some one saying there was beer and ladies off to the right and drive right pass.

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I read that FRS was channels 1-7. The shared channels were 8-14. And anything beyond that was GMRS only and up to the 5 watts like you said.

In 2010 The FCC started looking at removing the GMRS fee. I couldn't fine anything on what was settled on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service#List_of_FRS_channels

1-7 are shared, 8-14 are FRS-Only, then "15-22" (depends on the radio) are GMRS-only. Supposedly. A lot of people don't know/care, and use them anyways. Same goes for high-power.

I renewed my GMRS license last november and it still cost me $80ish. So no... they're still charging for that. Or I got screwed... :ph34r:

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I really like communication on a road trip. In the woods...someone yacking in my ear, is annoying. A lot of the areas I ride have active logging nearby. If by myself, I carry a Midland handheld CB, so I can get a hold of someone in a pinch. I keep it in scan mode, so I don't have to worry about which channel goes with which area. Like all things electronic...there's always the possibility of failure.

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Yeah well I got them ordered. Ill post results and issues with them so the rest of you guys will know if it should be avoided.

I really think that having coms with the other guy would help a lot. Don't have to look back as much. And you can let the pack know if there is anyone else coming or not.

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