My quest for a Radio System

My quest for a Radio System

The result of my last race was really hurt due to my lack of a radio system in the car.

Basically the race was off to a great start but towards the end of the first half of the race, my front left tire began slowly losing air.  Because I did not have a proper radio system in the car, I had no way to warn my co-driver that we would need to change a tire during our driver change.  This meant I was on my own until Alex figured out what was going on.  This made for a painfully SLOW tire change!

Ultimately this slow change forced us to restart the race in last place instead of in the top 5 or 6 where we finished the first half of the race.

I avoided having more than just a radio scanner in the car because I thought it would be overkill in this low-budget type of racing.  I was wrong.  If I had had a radio, the race would have ended a lot differently for us.  The night I got home from the track I started to look into radio systems.

After a lot of research, I found a company called Rugged Radios.  They offered really affordable systems that had a lot of features compared to some of the other radio systems out there.  For example, the ability to change antennas was important to me because I may want to use a different antenna for longer range in the future.

I reached out to Rugged Radios and told them about what happened in my last race and what I thought my radio needs would be.  They generously helped me put together a system that would work for me and were patient in answering a lot of my novice questions.

They have incredibly fast shipping – the next day I was greeted by a big box:

2015-05-22 15.16.58

Rugged Radios System

 With all kinds of good stuff:

Included everything I would need.

Included everything I would need.

The system included two of their RH-5R radios:

Rugged Radios RH-5R

Rugged Radios RH-5R

A (green) headset for the pit.  This headset is awesome – it fits great so it will block out all the track noise, has a built in PTT button and volume control.  It also has a 2nd audio input so you can plug in a a receiver to hear race control.

Awesome Rugged Radios green headset

Awesome Rugged Radios green headset

All the cables the connect everything together

Included everything I would need.

Included everything I would need.

Included everything I would need.

The system has all the cables to connect the radios to the headset and for the driver includes a nice microphone boom that easily installs into your helmet.  This helmet kit has a jack for your earbuds to plug into.  This all goes out via an IMSA plug.  The kit also includes a car harness that connects to the radio and splits out to a female IMSA plug (to connect to your helmet) as well as a PTT button to mount on your steering wheel..

The helmet kit was really easy to install.  I just used a bit of Velcro to hold the female jack in place.  The mic boom was also very easy to install.  I used more Velcro between the padding in my helmet to hold it in place.  Works great!

My only regret is waiting this long to finally get a radio system.  There are so many benefits to having a system:

  • Will improve my pre-race communication – it’s loud during our lineup and with a helmet on, even harder to hear what my crew is saying.
  • I now can have a spotter helping me before and during the race.
  • I can ask questions – for example, “The car is handling weird, how do my tires look?”
  • Communicate any other problems, like in the last race, the need for a tire change.

A big thank you Rugged Radios for providing me with a great radio system and great advice.  Even if your race budget is low, having good radio communications can make a massive difference to your race!

Rugged Radios - The Authority in Communications

Rugged Radios – The Authority in Communications

Thank you to TrakkTape – Great product for protecting my car on track!

Track Day Protection

Track Day Protection

 

2 thoughts on “My quest for a Radio System

  1. Pingback: Enduro – Irwindale Speedway – 6/20/2015 | Racing Adventures

  2. Pingback: Flag Pole Race – Irwindale Speedway – 8/1/2015 | Racing Adventures

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