Topic: In car communication

What do you guys use fro in car coms? We would like to be able to talk to someone in the stands while we are out driving.

Team Safety 3rd Racing.
1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo-currently being lemonized.
https://www.facebook.com/TeamSafety3rdRacing/

Re: In car communication

Talk to Troy @ Nerdie Racing....He's one of us and knows his shit.....

http://nerdieracing.com/

29+x Loser.....You'd think I would learn......
5x I.O.E  Winner   1 Heroic Fix Winner   1 Org Choice Winner
2x  I Got Screwed Winner    1 Class C Winner
(Still a Class B driver in a Class A car)

3 (edited by Mike98036 2018-05-09 08:54 PM)

Re: In car communication

That topic has been covered quite a few times on this forum; have you already poked around?  You're going to get a lot of varying advise, from using GMRS radios to full-on VHF radios that will most likely get a race shut down if you're on the wrong freq (it has happened).  Heck; some teams even use CBs.

We use Baogeng U5R radios on the GMRS frequencies.  I chose the Baofeng because they're relatively inexpensive, they're fully programmable (again, be careful), and they have a removable antenna so you can wire in an external antenna mounted on your roof/hood/trunk to get better range.  We use a motorcycle harness kit, customized to fit our application (PTT switch on wheel, more robust helmet jack, etc.).  They're reasonably priced and easy to modify (there are plenty of resources on the net). 

Or, you can drop some cash on a purpose-built system from racing radios or sampson.  They're not inexpensive, but they appear to take a lot of the guesswork out of in-car comms.

EDIT: I agree with BigBird, and should have led my post with it; Troy does know his stuff and produces some class-A gear for very reasonable cost.  Full disclosure: the system we use now is a clone of the first system we bought from Troy.

Perennial Losers
Mazda 787b aka '75 914 - Org Choice @ The Ridge, 2015; IGS @ TH, 2018
BMW M1 Procar aka '80 RX-7 (retired) - Zero awards sad

Re: In car communication

I'll check out nerdie racing. Thanks. Newborn and overly tired I didn't search. I'll poke around tomorrow while I'm at work.

Team Safety 3rd Racing.
1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo-currently being lemonized.
https://www.facebook.com/TeamSafety3rdRacing/

Re: In car communication

Odds are good the person you stick in the stands with the radio will get bored and wander off after about 30 min.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

6 (edited by OnkelUdo 2018-05-10 05:11 AM)

Re: In car communication

Guildenstern wrote:

Odds are good the person you stick in the stands with the radio will get bored and wander off after about 30 min.

Not their first race...but all subsequent races.

For us in car coms is simply to indicate to the folks in the paddock one of three things:

Coming in early
Got a black flag so meet me at the penalty box
Coming in on the hook

We had one chatty Cathy on the team but thankfully he got too "big" for our Class C domination.  If it is your first race, limiting all radio communications to one sentence or less is wise.  The driver should be driving and if it gets longer than that, they will often have to repeat themselves...repeatedly.

On a side note, listening to those teams with spotters telling the driver every single thing that is happening on the track, and the driver responding with their status at every turn, can be mildly entertaining as a bystander.

"OK, gonna pass this van on the inside...Shit, he just blew past me and braked at the last marker"
"That's OK, you can take him on the straight after this turn"
"I can't believe he is pulling me on the straight but I will get him in turn one because it is so tight"
"Why did you brake so early"
"There was @$%$@# turtle on the track"

this is like 15 seconds of one team at Gingerman.

Re: In car communication

OnkelUdo wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:

Odds are good the person you stick in the stands with the radio will get bored and wander off after about 30 min.

Not their first race...but all subsequent races.

For us in car coms is simply to indicate to the folks in the paddock one of three things:

Coming in early
Got a black flag so meet me at the penalty box
Coming in on the hook

We had one chatty Cathy on the team but thankfully he got too "big" for our Class C domination.  If it is your first race, limiting all radio communications to one sentence or less is wise.  The driver should be driving and if it gets longer than that, they will often have to repeat themselves...repeatedly.

On a side note, listening to those teams with spotters telling the driver every single thing that is happening on the track, and the driver responding with their status at every turn, can be mildly entertaining as a bystander.

"OK, gonna pass this van on the inside...Shit, he just blew past me and braked at the last marker"
"That's OK, you can take him on the straight after this turn"
"I can't believe he is pulling me on the straight but I will get him in turn one because it is so tight"
"Why did you brake so early"
"There was @$%$@# turtle on the track"

this is like 15 seconds of one team at Gingerman.

Car to car  is also entertaining.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!)
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - Organizer's Choice

Re: In car communication

OnkelUdo wrote:

On a side note, listening to those teams with spotters telling the driver every single thing that is happening on the track, and the driver responding with their status at every turn, can be mildly entertaining as a bystander.

"OK, gonna pass this van on the inside...Shit, he just blew past me and braked at the last marker"
"That's OK, you can take him on the straight after this turn"
"I can't believe he is pulling me on the straight but I will get him in turn one because it is so tight"
"Why did you brake so early"
"There was @$%$@# turtle on the track"

this is like 15 seconds of one team at Gingerman.

It’s also a nightmare when a team like that has garbage radios an bleeds noise all over the spectrum. All weekend.  Ten times a lap.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: In car communication

OnkelUdo wrote:

On a side note, listening to those teams with spotters telling the driver every single thing that is happening on the track, and the driver responding with their status at every turn, can be mildly entertaining as a bystander.

"OK, gonna pass this van on the inside...Shit, he just blew past me and braked at the last marker"
"That's OK, you can take him on the straight after this turn"
"I can't believe he is pulling me on the straight but I will get him in turn one because it is so tight"
"Why did you brake so early"
"There was @$%$@# turtle on the track"

this is like 15 seconds of one team at Gingerman.

As a driver I'm pretty busy thus I don't have time to give a play by play, nor do I want to hear a lot of chatter from my team on the damn radio.  My team knows this, so unless we have a problem with the car, or we need to get ready for a stop, they get crickets from me.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: In car communication

15 races and never felt the need for radios.

They're a nice-to-have, at best.

#928 Porsche 928 - West German Pushrodders

Re: In car communication

What is to stop you from buying a wireless bluetooth headset and just using a cell phone. Just start the call at the beginning of the run and leave it. Most people race about an hour. Seems much easier and cheaper

Re: In car communication

irnman59 wrote:

What is to stop you from buying a wireless bluetooth headset and just using a cell phone. Just start the call at the beginning of the run and leave it. Most people race about an hour. Seems much easier and cheaper

Few potential issues:

Not loud enough (multiple solutions)
Dropped call (voice activated call except it is really noisy)
Someone has to be on the other end listening to your car's farting drone as it goes around the track
Cell service is spotty at some tracks

Then there is a the assertion that most people run and hour.

There are teams that have made this work by using a one-touch dial that is like the whole screen of a phone and the phone on a mount...they seemed to love it.

Re: In car communication

irnman59 wrote:

What is to stop you from buying a wireless bluetooth headset and just using a cell phone. Just start the call at the beginning of the run and leave it. Most people race about an hour. Seems much easier and cheaper


With the stupid low price of the Baofeng radios, a pair of those and related stuff needed from Troy is the easy button IMO. 

We had radio problems (10 year old in-car radio finally died) the entire race at Barber earlier this year and it sucked.  We have a clock in our car and each driver knows when he's supposed to come in, but that only works if you don't have any problems.  Fortunately we had zero issues that race, so the clock thing worked, but I still prefer a working radio.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

14 (edited by Guildenstern 2018-05-10 03:38 PM)

Re: In car communication

OnkelUdo wrote:
irnman59 wrote:

What is to stop you from buying a wireless bluetooth headset and just using a cell phone. Just start the call at the beginning of the run and leave it. Most people race about an hour. Seems much easier and cheaper

Few potential issues:

Not loud enough (multiple solutions)
Dropped call (voice activated call except it is really noisy)
Someone has to be on the other end listening to your car's farting drone as it goes around the track
Cell service is spotty at some tracks

Then there is a the assertion that most people run and hour.

There are teams that have made this work by using a one-touch dial that is like the whole screen of a phone and the phone on a mount...they seemed to love it.

The best solution I would think for cell would be to go to the fancy (or knockoff) sena Motorcycle helmet headsets. They have bluetooth remotes. You could rig a speed dial and they sound pretty ok especially in an enclosed helmet. They do cost, and everyone's helmet would have to be rigged for the unit (which can be changed out) But if cell service at the track is good, it's certainly a solution. The good ones claim 10-12 hours talk time.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

15

Re: In car communication

A pair of Baofengs ($50), a couple of driver helmet headsets ($15/ea), a car harness (free with the headsets) and radio battery eliminator setup ($10) can be pretty easily put together using generic parts off Amazon/eBay for total cost of ~$100, and can be just as good (if not better) than all of the "Rugged" solutions, especially since those radios are just re-badged Baofengs.

You can use this setup off-the-shelf as it comes from Amazon/eBay, but I wouldn't. If you want it to be solid and reliable, you will have to do a good amount of soldering and re-cabling, changing to NASCAR style 6.35mm jacks. That's what you're paying for when you buy the complete setups, all the components are the same as what's easily available on Amazon/eBay.

This is the basic formula I used to build out the comms for my team, with some extras like external antennas, spare spotter radios and some over-the-ear headsets.

Or if you don't want to mess with soldering or piecing together a kit from parts, just buy one of the complete kits from the links above.

Re: In car communication

Uhhh.... what?

I usually agree with you, but you need radios.  You just do.  If you ran with us a weekend you'd get it. 

Fishah wrote:

15 races and never felt the need for radios.

They're a nice-to-have, at best.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: In car communication

Having done 3 races with a radio that refused to work properly, one race with a radio that mostly worked, and two races with no radio what so ever, ya don't REALLY need radios, they just make life easier.

Like all the other "You need this to win" stuff, it falls under "nice-to-have" not "need-to-have"

You NEED a Roll Cage.

You NEED an FIA or SFI rated 5 or 6 point harness.

It's Nice to have a radio.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

18 (edited by Fishah 2018-05-10 10:06 PM)

Re: In car communication

TeamLemon-aid wrote:

Uhhh.... what?

I usually agree with you, but you need radios.  You just do.  If you ran with us a weekend you'd get it. 

Fishah wrote:

15 races and never felt the need for radios.

They're a nice-to-have, at best.

If you say so smile I only need to know when my stint is over and I get that from a kitchen timer.

The only reason I could see it being a nessecity is trying to manage a gap to another competitor in the closing stages, but that's not a thing for me.

With that said, I'd be happy to drive for you for a weekend in an attention to understand smile

#928 Porsche 928 - West German Pushrodders

Re: In car communication

I'm not so sure a radio is "nice" to have. I've been assaulted with blasts of static and crosstalk, had a cord get wrapped around the column which jammed the wheel from turning before even leaving the paddock, once had this mystery BEEEEP every 30 seconds or so... my teammates diligently fiddle with this radio stuff endlessly, I'm more like "see ya back here in 90 minutes, or 3 laps after I drive by holding up 3 fingers, whichever comes first!",

#888-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18. Other foolishness: Finisher of the inaugural Lemons Rally, in the black Jag.... and IOE in the Super Snipe back in '12.

Re: In car communication

Nice to have, but in my experience more hassle than it's worth. We have brought the Baofengs and the nerdy kit and still could not consistently hear anything worthwhile on track. Could be the headsets but these have worked with other set ups in other cars.

At the end of the day we are on the ragged edge needing a perfect race to be in the top 3-5 and any stop that takes us off schedule pretty much screws our chance anyway so when we need to call in to come in early the race is over for us and it's time to shorten stints and relax.

Apocalyptic Racing - Occupy Pit Lane racing
Racing the "Toylet" Toyota Celica powered by Chevrolet Ecotec.
16x Loser with the Celica. 5 times loser in other fine machines

Re: In car communication

The Nerdy kit is pretty solid. The real culprit with most radio problems in Lemons is the damn Baofengs and terras.

We all know a GOOD hand held costs over $100. So there shouldn’t be much suprise that a $35 radio shaped object underperforms and acts erratically. 

As for Type44, you may need to have a talk wih your team mates about routing and demonstrated minimum performance requirements for race installed equipment.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: In car communication

Brett85p wrote:

Nice to have, but in my experience more hassle than it's worth. We have brought the Baofengs and the nerdy kit and still could not consistently hear anything worthwhile on track. Could be the headsets but these have worked with other set ups in other cars.

Have you spoken to Troy about your issues?  In my experience he's been extremely helpful and wants to do whatever he can to make sure your setup works.  If you are lucky enough to attend an event with him, he will hands-on give you any help he can.  Radios can be finicky, hell even the no-money-limit NASCAR guys have trouble with theirs, so nobody's will ever be perfect.

Over the years Troy has built several in-car harnesses for us and many helmet headsets.  He even built me a custom setup so I can use my Chatterbox (used for in-car communication in HPDE) with my racing headset. 

Regarding headsets, we use Troy's wiring kit, but opt to use these custom-molded ear buds from EarFuze.  They are reasonably priced and work just as well or better than some of the big buck options.  They are waaaaay more comfortable when wearing a helmet as compared to the standard ones that are used with an iPod or the like.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: In car communication

We successfully ran for years with no radios.  It can be done well, but you have to be well organized and make zero mistakes.

We do run radios now, and it is nice, but we are not dependent on them at all.  More often than not, we only use the radios to sing to each other when the track is empty or under double yellows.

We run Baofang radios with car and helmet kits from SRC (Sampson Racing Communications).  A good bit more expensive than Troy's stuff, but we have never had any problems hearing each other.  We do run higher power in the GMRS bands.  Everyone on the team has the FCC licensing for it (we keep our FCC IDs labeled on the radios in case anyone wants to challenge our transmit wattage).

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
I'm a WINNER!

Re: In car communication

Guildenstern wrote:

The Nerdy kit is pretty solid. The real culprit with most radio problems in Lemons is the damn Baofengs and terras.

We all know a GOOD hand held costs over $100. So there shouldn’t be much suprise that a $35 radio shaped object underperforms and acts erratically. 

As for Type44, you may need to have a talk wih your team mates about routing and demonstrated minimum performance requirements for race installed equipment.

Believe me, I did. And I didn't raise my voice at all. Who am I kidding, they could hear me in the pit WITHOUT using the radio smile

Nah, I relocated the PTT button away from the column, and I smile, nod politely, and unplug the Connector as soon as I'm rolling toward the guy checkin wristbands at track entrance...

#888-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18. Other foolishness: Finisher of the inaugural Lemons Rally, in the black Jag.... and IOE in the Super Snipe back in '12.

Re: In car communication

Brett85p wrote:

Nice to have, but in my experience more hassle than it's worth. We have brought the Baofengs and the nerdy kit and still could not consistently hear anything worthwhile on track. Could be the headsets but these have worked with other set ups in other cars.

At the end of the day we are on the ragged edge needing a perfect race to be in the top 3-5 and any stop that takes us off schedule pretty much screws our chance anyway so when we need to call in to come in early the race is over for us and it's time to shorten stints and relax.

I need to get the setup you have so that we don't have to wait until after the race to talk shit.