I went out to sea from Plymouth on Saturday and “road tested” the two radio combinations detailed above. The results were surprising.
Neither system is designed for RIBsters. Neither is designed to be waterproof and neither is suitable for rough, tough and VERY wet conditions. However…
The Maplins system, Chatter Box, performed superbly. It is designed for bikers and worked clearly in strong winds. The mike/earpiece needs to be fitted either to a helmet or a modified pair of hi-fi earphones. The cigarette packet sized box could be console or jockey seat located although it clipped well onto my lifejacket belt. Lack of waterproofing and the ability to “roam” are its only drawbacks. At £24.95, good value for money.
The Motorola system started with many advantages. “Wireless”, so roaming is possible (to theoretically, 3km). Fits under drysuit, good range of frequencies, ability to “lock” settings against accidental operation etc. BIG problem however was wind. VOX activated very easily in strong breeze to the extent that transmission locked out the non-transmitting set. Microphone desperately needs shielding, anyone know how I can do this? This system has enough other advantages for me though.