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Old 10 January 2007, 16:22   #1
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On Board Communications

Has anybody found a cheap workable wireless on board communication system ?
Preferably waterproof but if not then must be real cheap.
Also must be able to be used without a helmet.

I have seen the system below but it requires you to wear a helmet and also requires PMR handsets.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...ce=14&doy=10m1

Anybody field tested some cheap workable systems ?
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Old 11 January 2007, 02:21   #2
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Don't know if you have them over there, but we have what are called FRS radios here (Family Radio Service, or something similar.) Basically, a Federal Communication Commission approved walkie-talkie type thing. A set of these runs about $40US. Some are probably available at least splashproof, if not waterproof, and would probably work well for you. Range is line of sight, up to about 1 or 2 miles or so.

There's also a beefed up version called GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), which extends range out to 5 miles, but it requires a license to use legally (basically you fill out a form and mail in $75.) These run a tad over $100, as I recall. I was thinking about getting a set of these for keeping in touch with my dive buddy when we're boating together, since his radio etiquette sucks.

jky
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Old 11 January 2007, 03:42   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
Has anybody found a cheap workable wireless on board communication system ?
How big a boat have you got? we normally just shout at each other on Old Spice, it conveys a sence of urgency quite well along with a hint of "DO IT NOW" How about a wireless hub and some IPAQs so you could text each other

Quote:
I have seen the system below but it requires you to wear a helmet and also requires PMR handsets
used these on the road between bikes, worked quite well up to a couple of miles.

Quote:
Anybody field tested some cheap workable systems ?
Two bake bean tins and a piece of string perhaps

Nick, keep it simple, its only more stuff to go wrong, lost, need batteries etc. There might be some merit with a speaker & mike in a helmet for the VHF, but can't see you needing anything else. You will end up looking like a Solent Powerboat Instructor with loads of incorrect flashing lights and stuff all over the rib.

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Old 11 January 2007, 04:33   #4
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How big a boat have you got? we normally just shout at each other on Old Spice, it conveys a sence of urgency quite well along with a hint of "DO IT NOW"
Occasionally reinforced with a fist around the side of the head.......for that really urgent request.
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Old 11 January 2007, 06:26   #5
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Occasionally reinforced with a fist around the side of the head.......for that really urgent request.
Yes it really hurts when she does that
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Old 11 January 2007, 09:44   #6
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Don't know if you have them over there, but we have what are called FRS radios here (Family Radio Service, or something similar.)
we do that is what the PMR referred to above is. Different letters for effectively the same thing.
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Old 11 January 2007, 13:58   #7
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We use PMR's on bikes and they work well. With a small PMR it can easily be tucked away inside an inner jacket pocket so remain dry.

Bigger question is what to do about the earpiece and mic. I tried a few options - found VOX activation useless. especially where there was a lot of wind noise ( it's possibly better on the high-end radios) so I went for PTT (push to talk). There are various schemes available with the PTT switch on the earpiece, or further down the cable (or using the TX switch on the radio itself). You would also need a noise cancelling mic which I think most sets have to try and get round the wind noise problem. We also went for in-ear earphone as it worked better but still allowed you to hear what was going on around when nobody was talking.

PMR's are also great out of the boat! Good luck with your system and let us know what you decide on.

Note - For the bikes I rigged up a PTT switch on the handlebar with the radio mounted on the bike so you just had to connect the mike / earpiece with a 3.5mm jack. Not so useful for a RIB tho when you have to get up and move around!
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Old 11 January 2007, 14:15   #8
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http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...a=pmr&doy=11m1 seems to come with earpieces but not sure if they are vox or PTT - someone asked this question on webpage but wasn't sure what answer referred to!

PPT headset (in-ear) here
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...29884&doy=11m1

or one with a boom mike here
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...29883&doy=11m1

From persoanl experience, drop in chargers are really worth it... I don't have this on my radios and it's an annoyance to have to remove betteries each time and charge them. By the time you add the cost of the charger and batts, it's often way more expensive than additional price for PMR withdrop in cradle
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Old 12 January 2007, 05:08   #9
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Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
Has anybody found a cheap workable wireless on board communication system ?
Preferably waterproof but if not then must be real cheap.
Also must be able to be used without a helmet.

I have seen the system below but it requires you to wear a helmet and also requires PMR handsets.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...ce=14&doy=10m1

Anybody field tested some cheap workable systems ?
Just curious ........... what size boat is this for?
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Old 12 January 2007, 05:16   #10
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