Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Updated first post with link to the GoPro audio cables I used to hook the radio and helmet into my Hero4.

27

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

aaron.vogel wrote:
z0r wrote:

thanks for this list. we used this kit last year but the PTT button got wrapped up in the steering wheel coming down the ridge complex (last few turns) so we went without.  this year I re-wired it to use the old cruise control buttons on the steering wheel by finding the clockspring wires.  this works fine even with the higher resistance cruise buttons.  The wiring of the helmet kits is decent gauge and stranded so it's easy to do.

I also re-wired the helmet portion to use a standard 3.5mm TRRS cable so I could use an extension and it would pull free more easily when getting out.  I matched the CTIA/apple pinout for the TRRS 3.5mm connector so this also allows use of earbuds with mic, this actually works great, but can blast your ears if you don't turn the radio down enough

here is the female 3.5mm TRRS connector I used on the radio side:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KFP0HBG/

and this TRRS extension:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RXNV0NS/

and these monoprice cables for male ends to splice (these are pretty thin gauge and had cheesy coated stranded wires, I would try another next time, but they did work):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZBUDRM/

pinouts are easy to find, I used this link and cut apart the cables, then probed the cut wires with a meter to ID them:

https://ham.stackexchange.com/questions … -connector

I made the cuts near the PTT button, and then on the helmet side of the weird connector, so the part that plugs into the radio itself is not modified.  it could also be done on the other side of the cables to reduce the number of connectors

google "ctia trrs" for the 3.5mm side.  two of the wires inside the radio harness, black and green, were both ground, so I tied them together.  and L+R on the TRRS side both get tied to the single speaker output of the radio.  I didn't need any capacitor to get the earbuds mic to work, not sure if the cables had one already or what.  Technically TRS could work (you only need 3 pins on the 3.5mm cable) but you'd have a non-standard 3.5mm connection then that wouldn't work with iphone earbuds

my usual thing is to use a few layers of harbor freight marine heat shrink over the splices, the soldered joints are weak but 3+ layers prevents them from bending and I've had great luck with this method

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this. You have any pics of the setup or the making of it?

I actually just found this option as well: https://www.amazon.com/BTECH-Connector- … B019YJMRZS

It looks like the PTT cable is somewhat fixed length (coiled though...) so you'd have to mount the radio on the dash and run the headset extension to the driver... not that big a deal...

I should have mentioned, I actually bought the baofeng brand TRRS cable you found, before making my own.  The one I got was broken out of the box (open circuit on one set of pins, forget which).  I looked at some other amazon reviews that mentioned the same thing so I gave up on it.  If I had more time before the race I probably would have tried the buy-and-return thing until I got two known good baofeng TRRS sets and used those.  The wire gauge on them is cheesy and obviously they have production problems but if you go into a race with two good ones it should be fine.

here are a couple pictures of soldering and the wire colors that were in my cable:
https://imgur.com/a/UWnFuX3

28 (edited by TheEngineer 2019-08-26 08:27 AM)

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

So the GoPro will still record through the normal mic along with the input from the radio?

I've wanted to pipe the radio to the gopro, but I do not want it to be a live mic. There's some colorful language that comes out during racing that does not need to be on tape. I'd have to see if there's a way to key the mic into the gopro. Also sounds like the mic is much louder than the surrounding noise on video, I'd want to throw a potentiometer in the gopro line to limit the sound level.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

I think it's using his helmet mic as the recording mic.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!", Ex Astris, Rubigo / Semper Fracti
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata, 2019 World Tour Of Texas 64 Newport

30

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

TheEngineer wrote:

So the GoPro will still record through the normal mic along with the input from the radio?

I don't think so. I think once you plug in an external mic, then the internal mic will be shut off. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.

The down side to doing this is that you will only get 1/2 of the conversation (car -> pits). We found a way to capture both sides of the radio conversation, ambient sounds, as well as any penalty box conversations with the judges. What we do is place another (monitor) radio in the car (powered by a battery eliminator like the main radio) and then run an external microphone to the monitor radio - just ziptie the mic in front of the speaker of the monitor radio. I placed it below the A-pillar so there is not as much wind noise. It captures everything, including any (loud) exclamations made by the driver even if he is not keying the mic.

For our GoPro Hero 4, you need this to be able to power the camera and get access to a 3.5mm jack:
  https://www.amazon.com/GoPro-Combo-Cabl … B00A3MY6X2

and then any old cheap lavaliere mic will work:
  https://www.amazon.com/External-3-5mm-L … mp;sr=8-31

We Audi Be Faster
'85 Audi Coupe G(in &) T(onic)

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

At that point your next step is a small mic mixer and just mix in an ambient mic, helmet mic, and radio speaker out together and send that to the mic jack on GoPro.

Either a fancy DSLR one or something more basic but more prone to being thrown out of setting like this.

https://makerhart.com/product_d.php?lan … amp;id=459

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!", Ex Astris, Rubigo / Semper Fracti
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata, 2019 World Tour Of Texas 64 Newport

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

RSB wrote:
TheEngineer wrote:

So the GoPro will still record through the normal mic along with the input from the radio?

I don't think so. I think once you plug in an external mic, then the internal mic will be shut off. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.

The down side to doing this is that you will only get 1/2 of the conversation (car -> pits).

snipped a bunch

His test video has both sides of the radio conversation. So that part should be ok. More research does show that the gopro won't do both internal and external mic, so I think we'll stick to just recording with the internal. We aren't on the radio much at all, not losing a lot by not capturing it.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

z0r - yeah, I’m not hugely impressed with the cable’s robustness. Having a backup of both the radio harness and a helmet harness or two would definitely be a good idea. That said, the radio harness, in my car’s setup, is really the only thing possibly being stressed to the point of breaking. Everything else is zip tied in place and/or better cable quality.

I’d love to find a place on Alibaba.com that could make these same cables but with better strain relief and slightly better wiring.

TheEngineer - yeah, it’s a hot mic. In order to get only what’s being said on PTT you’d have to put the mic wiring between the radio harness (the 2-pin connector in this case) and the radio. That cable doesn’t exist. Your alternative is what some people do: have a dedicated radio that just listens to everyone. But then you don’t get audio straight from the mic...

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

FYI, making your own car harness is really easy if you have some really basic soldering skills. Making your own lets you wire things exactly how you want, and it comes out stronger than the cheap ones. I put the wiring I use in this thread
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=37228

I think Troy at nerdie radios will also make you car harness if you don't have the tools.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

TheEngineer wrote:

FYI, making your own car harness is really easy if you have some really basic soldering skills. Making your own lets you wire things exactly how you want, and it comes out stronger than the cheap ones. I put the wiring I use in this thread
https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=37228

I think Troy at nerdie radios will also make you car harness if you don't have the tools.

Funny you mention Troy. He's been commenting a bunch on a similar post I made over on one of the Facebook groups. Didn't realize he was the Nerdie guy until you mentioned his name.

I'm all for DIY when you know what you're doing. I know a lot of people on here really don't. And frankly, I'm too lazy when Amazon stuff hits the bar of "good enough"... we'll see how that plays out long term though.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

aaron.vogel wrote:

I'm all for DIY when you know what you're doing. I know a lot of people on here really don't. And frankly, I'm too lazy when Amazon stuff hits the bar of "good enough"... we'll see how that plays out long term though.

Fair enough. I'm probably too far down the DIY rabbit hole, but I enjoy it. So I share what i've learned when I can for others that want it. If off the shelf stuff is working for you, awesome.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Just a little update since we ran our first weekend with the new 3.5mm jack setup. We ran all but the last hour of the race due to overheating issues, but the radio setup worked terrifically through out. Super easy to plug in the driver, super easy to unplug them and none of the connectors showed any indication of disconnecting on their own.

We did have an audio interference issue I hadn't anticipated. I had wired the Hero4 with a power supply from the battery that connected through the rear data connector. This would normally be fine but it caused some serious interference. The work around is to use a USB power supply instead of wiring straight to the car. Which seems like it should be fine. Just one more thing to worry about charging.

I will note that I ended up shrink-wrapping all the 3.5mm > 3.5mm connectors that wouldn't need to be connected/disconnected as an extra precaution to prevent any water ingress, or disconnection from vibration. It was easy and cheap insurance.

How the driver connector will fair after multiple races is yet to be seen, but the way I have it now there's a super short cable between the driver and the car harness that can be swapped out if the driver end gets worn out. So ultimately even if it does, that's a cheap and easy fix too.

Overall I'm super happy with this setup and won't be changing a thing down the road.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Does anyone have an updated version of this where everything is in stock on amazon

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

57_handyman wrote:

Does anyone have an updated version of this where everything is in stock on amazon

Hey! Sorry about that. I don't frequently check the list, but it looks like the helmet set was the only thing out of stock. Replaced with a matching, in-stock one.

Lemme know if anything else goes out of stock...

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Big thanks to everyone who has posted their recipes. Super helpful.

Tri-Lamb Motorsports ‘87 528e

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

How does the recommended radio compare to the UV-5R?
Seems recommended radio does not require license and is easier??

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

blenny wrote:

How does the recommended radio compare to the UV-5R?
Seems recommended radio does not require license and is easier??

The UV-5R is for amateur radio license holders. Yeah, I know lots of people buy them and use them for all kinds of things. That ain't right.

Besides that rant, the UV-5R is kind of the OG of cheap Chinese radios... the ones in my list are newer models and they're purpose made (and FCC approved) for the services they work on.

For the first one, from the first post: "It runs on GMRS so you REALLY SHOULD get a license. Seriously, it is stupid easy."

For the second one, from the first post: "You don't need a license to use the MURS kit."

As for easier... yeah, these don't require programming at all because they're restricted to the frequencies for each service. So they're pretty much pick-up and go. You can do some programming if you want to get into that and set specific memories with specific settings rather than doing that all manually... but it isn't exactly necessary.

All that said, I'd STRONGLY recommend learning at least a little bit about how any radios work and how to use them well and appropriately. At the races the channels can start to get kind of busy, so there's a good chance you'll need to adapt on site even if you get setup and working at home.

A few things at minimum you should learn are: using tone squelch, busy channel lockout and memory setting.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Getting an amateur radio license isn’t very hard either, but everyone on the team needs one to be legal. That opens up a lot more frequencies for use.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

rb92673 wrote:

Getting an amateur radio license isn’t very hard either, but everyone on the team needs one to be legal. That opens up a lot more frequencies for use.

Yeah, I'm a ham myself - W6TDR - but studying for and taking a test (as relatively easy as it is compared to what people may think) still isn't as easy as whipping out the credit card and paying $70 for a 10-year license on GMRS, or not needing a license at all on MURS.

I also think all the station identifying would get cumbersome. Even though GMRS has pretty much the same requirements for ID'ing, people are a lot more relaxed about "enforcing" it...

It definitely would open up more frequencies, and the potential for more equipment options... as well as the ability to easily pick up pre-made repeaters, which isn't so much the case with GMRS (and there's no repeaters on MURS). But that's another topic...

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Can you give us a rundown of what you have mounted where?

For example, where do you mount the PTT button?

Will the GMRS radios have better range the the MURS radios?

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Limonaid wrote:

Will the GMRS radios have better range the the MURS radios?

I am not an expert, but this is what I remember from my amateur radio test. Generally the transmit wattage and antenna type will have the biggest effect on range.  If you are looking at the kits, both can transmit at a maximum of 2 watts and both use the same external antennas.  The GMRS and MURS both transmit on different frequencies which have different characteristics, but 2 watts will probably work best when in direct line of site.  I would bet they are about the same.  GMRS has some frequencies that allow up to 50 watts of transmit power, but MURS has a maximum of 2 watts.

MURS might have less people on the channels.

I mounted my PTT on one of the door bars, We broke our radios last year and haven't bothered to fix them.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Limonaid wrote:

Can you give us a rundown of what you have mounted where?

For example, where do you mount the PTT button?

Will the GMRS radios have better range the the MURS radios?

Hey, so we have a custom wireless adapter for our PTT, but even without that, we mount our PTT on the steering wheel. The curly wire on the button connection makes it easy to use even with removable steering wheels.

We mount the radio in the holder zip-tied to the driver-side A-pillar bar so that it's somewhat accessible, and it keeps the cable run to the PTT button short.

As for range, they'll be the same with the external antenna.

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

aaron.vogel wrote:

4x Helmet kits

The helmet mic kits are no longer available on Amazon. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Limonaid wrote:
aaron.vogel wrote:

4x Helmet kits

The helmet mic kits are no longer available on Amazon. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

Can't find anything other sellers on Amazon. Here's a link for Aliexpress for the same unit: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3294851 … web201603_

Looks like about a month to get 'em from there to here...

I'll see what I can do to update the list..

Re: $250 Ready-to-race radio kit - Now with GoPro connections!

Limonaid wrote:
aaron.vogel wrote:

4x Helmet kits

The helmet mic kits are no longer available on Amazon. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

These are back in stock now.