Re: In car communication

I know... I know... you don’t need any advice via headset.  smile

Keep in mind we are racing to “only win and 2nd sucks” mindset.  (I know... this is Lemons... we should get a life... blah... blah).  We run four drivers.  Often the day doesn’t divide by 4 easily.   We have some flexibility in stint length and will adjust pit stops based on yellows and based on track position.  We may also eliminate a driver stint and pit stop depending on how the race is going.  We don’t know this when we head out on track.   We also usually run two spotters and only call out flags or strange things on track.  We are always pushing and always passing, so heads up on yellows can save our bacon at times even with experienced heads up drivers.  Also, it allows us to prepare things for any partially broken stuff we plan to fix when we pit.  It probably saved us a couple minutes at Barber (still got 2nd tho).  So that is why I think they are a must for us.  Not to mention ours mostly work.  The back side of Road America can be tough, but the antenna we have helps mostly.

They’re really fun to have at times also.   Keeps me entertained if I’m just cranking laps, or there’s a long yellow.

If you’re out there just cranking laps, then they are a waste of time.

Fishah wrote:
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

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

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.

Brett,

What kind of problems are you having?

Troy

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: In car communication

gus wrote:

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.

Gus,

Those cheap motorcycle kits will work but they have crap wire. I refer to it as conductive dental floss. They aren't usually shielded either.

Troy

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: In car communication

Troy wrote:
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.

Brett,

What kind of problems are you having?

Troy

Sounded ok in pits, garbled on track, just a lot of noise not able to make out what was being said.

We mirrored Aaron and Jerry's set up which seems to work fine.

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

30

Re: In car communication

Troy wrote:

Gus,

Those cheap motorcycle kits will work but they have crap wire. I refer to it as conductive dental floss. They aren't usually shielded either.

Troy

I wouldn't say it's crap wire, it's the same type of enameled wire in every consumer headphone/earbud. It's made for continuous flex not ease of soldering, so it's a huge pain to work with. I've extended and replace connectors on at least a dozen of those sets now without issues, so I wouldn't discount them for their wires alone.

Like I said those cheap headsets are a good option if you're good with soldering, otherwise by all means pony up the $$$ and pay someone else to do it.

Re: In car communication

Brett85p wrote:
Troy wrote:
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.

Brett,

What kind of problems are you having?

Troy

Sounded ok in pits, garbled on track, just a lot of noise not able to make out what was being said.

We mirrored Aaron and Jerry's set up which seems to work fine.

Sounds like a reception problem.

What are you using for an antenna?

If you have a roof antenna, the NMO cable needs to ground to metal. Make sure you have the correct adapter too, typically some type of BNC adapter.

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: In car communication

I know it was suggested already but we just use 3 way calls on cell phones using the head set and mic that comes with it with a 2 or sometimes 3 car team.  No chatter from other teams, turn the volume up before you get out, it's free, and you can help each other around the track in real time with cautions, etc.  We have had no issues, but the tracks we run have good cell service too.

Team Glue Sticks
00 Firebird, 02 X-Type, 93 NX2000, 00 Mazda 626 (Sold)
2016 NJMP Heroic Fix, 2017 NJMP Near Heroic Fix except we can't drive, 2017 Thompson I Got Screwed

Re: In car communication

There are a ton of radio threads  on this forum, but since this one is gaining traction I'll throw in my standard disclaimers.

GMRS Radios
You technically need a license to use these frequencies. Chances of getting in trouble are low, but go throw the small fee at the FCC to be safe, especially if you're throwing high power radios at these frequences.

The bubble pack radios you can buy everywhere work, but not well enough. Most tracks you'll have dead zones so you'll have to wait until the car is in range to talk.

******
Privacy Codes DO NOT hide you from others on that channel. There are a limited number of channels and literally 100+ teams fighting for channels. Picking a privacy code will not give you a private channel, it simply makes the radio filter out any incoming broadcasts on that channel without the privacy tone. That means that anyone on that channel can still hear you if they don't use a code. This causes problems when chatty teams pick a privacy code and clog that channel by never shutting the hell up.
******

Cheap Radios like Baofengs
Baofengs can be a good option, but they have a lot of ways they can go wrong. If you're going to go this route either do your homework completely, or pay someone. They are only as smart as the operator.

Triple check that the frequencies you are programming to are the right ones. It is 100% possible to program in any frequency you want and throw noise out there. That means you can program in emergency frequencies and piss off emergency services counties away if you hit repeaters. This has happened, and they will come shut down the race to find the offender and punish them.

antennas matter. Buy a good one. The cheap radios already have issues with bleeding noise to surrounding frequencies (because, guess what, cheap price means cheap design), but if you add a cheap antenna you can make it that much worse. If you're replacing the antenna that came with the radio make sure you use a brand name good one.




I've spent years fiddling my way through radio setups. Do what everyone is saying, go to troy or a service like that and buy a setup. I've spent probably 5x his costs to end up with what is basically the same setup. I'm happy with it now, because it works really well, but it was a long journey.

You do not NEED radios, but they are nice. We are very quiet on the radios. We use them to coordinate timing coming into the hot pits, or to warn that we screwed up and are heading to the penalty box. Occasionally we'll call in hazards from the pits if we happen to be watching the corner it occurs on. But for the most part our radio channel is silent 99% of the time. To me that's the perfect scenario.

18 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: In car communication

Troy wrote:
Brett85p wrote:
Troy wrote:

Brett,

What kind of problems are you having?

Troy

Sounded ok in pits, garbled on track, just a lot of noise not able to make out what was being said.

We mirrored Aaron and Jerry's set up which seems to work fine.

Sounds like a reception problem.

What are you using for an antenna?

If you have a roof antenna, the NMO cable needs to ground to metal. Make sure you have the correct adapter too, typically some type of BNC adapter.

That could be the problem, the roof antenna is a magnetic Amazon special...I'll get some pictures of the connections, nothing is grounded as far as I know.

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

TheEngineer wrote:

We are very quiet on the radios. We use them to coordinate timing coming into the hot pits, or to warn that we screwed up and are heading to the penalty box. Occasionally we'll call in hazards from the pits if we happen to be watching the corner it occurs on. But for the most part our radio channel is silent 99% of the time. To me that's the perfect scenario.

This!  If some teams could just STFU and use their radios only when NEEDED, many problems would go away.

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

36

Re: In car communication

To me the worst issues come from teams using privacy codes and not realize they are annoying everyone else on the channel.  Since they don't hear anyone else they assume no one else is there and then tend to step over what the other teams are saying.

Racing 4 Nickels - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
2011 SHOWROOM-SCHLOCK SHOOTOUT  IOE Winner
2012 The Chubba Cheddar Enduro Class C winner
Facebook Page

37

Re: In car communication

BoB wrote:

To me the worst issues come from teams using privacy codes and not realize they are annoying everyone else on the channel.  Since they don't hear anyone else they assume no one else is there and then tend to step over what the other teams are saying.

The real solution to this problem is for everyone to enable the "Busy Lock-Out" feature of their radio, so it won't step over anyone else and gives you a beep signaling that the channel is busy. If you're stepping over people there's also a good chance you're not being received properly on the other end, so it's a win-win for yourself and everyone else.

Using privacy codes is definitely optional, but highly recommended for your own sanity, but enable busy lock-out regardless.

Re: In car communication

VKZ24 wrote:
TheEngineer wrote:

We are very quiet on the radios. We use them to coordinate timing coming into the hot pits, or to warn that we screwed up and are heading to the penalty box. Occasionally we'll call in hazards from the pits if we happen to be watching the corner it occurs on. But for the most part our radio channel is silent 99% of the time. To me that's the perfect scenario.

This!  If some teams could just STFU and use their radios only when NEEDED, many problems would go away.

But Nascar has a guy babbling constantly to make up for their drivers being genetically incapable of using their mirrors, so that's how you "Real Racing"!

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)

Re: In car communication

gus wrote:
BoB wrote:

To me the worst issues come from teams using privacy codes and not realize they are annoying everyone else on the channel.  Since they don't hear anyone else they assume no one else is there and then tend to step over what the other teams are saying.

The real solution to this problem is for everyone to enable the "Busy Lock-Out" feature of their radio, so it won't step over anyone else and gives you a beep signaling that the channel is busy. If you're stepping over people there's also a good chance you're not being received properly on the other end, so it's a win-win for yourself and everyone else.

Using privacy codes is definitely optional, but highly recommended for your own sanity, but enable busy lock-out regardless.

No the real solution is bringing a 200W SDT to Nuke their channel with Turkish Klezmer Music until they turn their damn radios off.

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)

40

Re: In car communication

The other thing about not having the privacy code on is that sometimes the other team on your channel can have information you want.  There was one race the other team couldn't find their car.  OVer the radio I kept hearing them try and figure out where their car was since they hadn't seen it drive by for a while.  I kept trying to tell them it was off on turn one, but after many laps of them not hearing me I eventually told my team to walk over to them and tell them it is being dragged onto the flatbed and will be dumped in the paddock shortly

Racing 4 Nickels - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
2011 SHOWROOM-SCHLOCK SHOOTOUT  IOE Winner
2012 The Chubba Cheddar Enduro Class C winner
Facebook Page

Re: In car communication

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"

Tom Lomino - Proud to be a 20x Lemons Loser, 3x Class B, and 1x IOE Winner!
Craptain, Team Farfrumwinnin - 1995 Volkswagen Golf #14
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42

Re: In car communication

Having one radio or a separate set of channels without privacy codes is also a good way to survey the frequencies on Friday and try to pick a quiet channel.

Re: In car communication

gus wrote:

Having one radio or a separate set of channels without privacy codes is also a good way to survey the frequencies on Friday and try to pick a quiet channel.


Quiet channel. Lol. I've played that game. At a race with 140+ cars, there are no quiet channels.

18 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: In car communication

RogueLeader wrote:

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"

How does a privacy code fix a guy stuck mic on a channel? He's still broadcasting.

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)

Re: In car communication

TheEngineer wrote:
gus wrote:

Having one radio or a separate set of channels without privacy codes is also a good way to survey the frequencies on Friday and try to pick a quiet channel.


Quiet channel. Lol. I've played that game. At a race with 140+ cars, there are no quiet channels.

Seriously, Also not everyone is on the track Friday because that could waste valuable and limited engine Revolutions.

People just need to either A, accept that radios are a party line, or B, invest in some expensive digital super radios and the license to go with it.

Between FRS GMRS semi-legal MURS and CB there's plenty of room for basic informative chatter.

Want to dictate a novel? Get a Sena hooked up to a cell phone. Nobody cares if your driver is clear on the right. If they can't tell that themselves, get them out of the car.

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)

Re: In car communication

Guildenstern wrote:
RogueLeader wrote:

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"

How does a privacy code fix a guy stuck mic on a channel? He's still broadcasting.

There is no way from the drivers seat to turn the radio off.  With privacy channels at least I don't have to hear him.

Tom Lomino - Proud to be a 20x Lemons Loser, 3x Class B, and 1x IOE Winner!
Craptain, Team Farfrumwinnin - 1995 Volkswagen Golf #14
Click here to "Like" us on Facebook   Click here for our Youtube Videos
Lifetime Achievement (of hoplessness) Award Winners

Re: In car communication

RogueLeader wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:
RogueLeader wrote:

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"

How does a privacy code fix a guy stuck mic on a channel? He's still broadcasting.

There is no way from the drivers seat to turn the radio off.  With privacy channels at least I don't have to hear him.

You could get your HAM license and get off the FRS/GMRS bands.  Buy a book, read book, take test for $10 at local club.

48 (edited by VKZ24 2018-05-18 09:04 AM)

Re: In car communication

RogueLeader wrote:

There is no way from the drivers seat to turn the radio off.

I purposely mounted our radio box just to the right of the shifter so the driver could adjust the volume on ours.  I've  had an occasion where something happened to my ear buds resulting in a loud, high-pitched squeal in my ears, so I simply reached down and turned the radio off.

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

Re: In car communication

RogueLeader wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:
RogueLeader wrote:

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"

How does a privacy code fix a guy stuck mic on a channel? He's still broadcasting.

There is no way from the drivers seat to turn the radio off.  With privacy channels at least I don't have to hear him.

Right, but unless you change channels the radio is useless and you wouldnt’t know why,

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)

Re: In car communication

RogueLeader wrote:

Yeah we went with privacy codes after I had to spend half an hour in the car at NJMP years ago listening to some terrified person  who had such a death grip on the wheel he kept the radio keyed the whole time while going "ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod holyshit holyshit holyshit imgonnadie imgonnadie imgonnadie"


That would be me, every race.

One time, the broadcast button got stuck in transmit, while I was guest driving.  The reports back after my stint were pretty funny.  I talk to myself alot...

Silent But Deadly Racing- Chief cook and bottle washer, Former Flyin Turd Race Team Captain 
Ricky Bobby's Laughing Clown Malt Liquor Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Datsun 510, 87 Mustang (The Race Team Formerly Known as Prince), 72 Pinto Squire waggy, Parnelli Jones 67 Galaxie
Besmirching race tracks in the Eastern US since 2001