Tech - FAQ
Racing Radios and Question?
Q:What is the difference between Digital and Analog Racing Radios?
A. Simply put, thecoverage is MUCH better with Digital. There is no static so a teamconversation is perfect all the time. With Analog you might get static asthe range comes into play due to distance and/or terrain. For the most partwhen static occurs your communications will be poor at best.Digital at that point is still perfect. As a racer I am still blown away at howgood digital is but with that being said I still run analog radios in ourteam car and they work great!
Q.What is the difference between UHF & VHF Racing Radios?
A. The UHF wavelength works in and around objects such as trees, hills, buildings,etc. VHF works best in line of sight so it's used inaviation, marine and off road environments. For road racing, UHFhas a better ability to travel through things, i.e. metal, concrete, trees,etc., it is also less susceptible to interference. VHF is more used in Off Roadand Off Shore racing.
Q.What is the wattage rating on a radio?
A. The standard ruleis that you should get (1) mile per watt. So a 5watt handheld radioinstalled correctly will give you coverage on circle and road racing tracks(depending on terrain as stated above). Higher wattage is more helpful onlonger race tracks, tracks that have a lot of obstructions, building, treesetc. Also when there are many other people around you using radios, i.e. a verycrowded Pit Lane.
Q.What are privacy codes (DCS & CTCSS)?
A. They are a set ofselectable unique tones that the assigned channel/frequency put out that allowsonly the radios programmed with that specific code to be able to hear ortransmit among themselves. Example: ch freq = 455.0000, ctcss = 126.4; onlyradios with this configuration can talk & hear each other, someone usingfreq 455.0000 cannot hear them or cannot be heard by the first party.
Q.Should I use privacy codes?
A. For Road/Circletrack Racing, Yes! The only time you will not use it is when using OffRoad Racing Radios. For the most part they just run open Freq. with no subtones.
Car Install Questions?
A. The Radio should bemounted in such a way that any shock or vibration is minimized, and that it isprotected from weather elements. If you are using the rubber antenna that comeswith the radio, then location is also important to optimize the performance.Mount the radio as high as possible in the car, but not right up against theroll bar or the roof panel, as that will act as a shield to the antenna.Usually the roll bar behind the driver’s seat is a good location. Thecabling should be routed where it won't get caught or pinched and as far awayfrom other electrical sources as possible. Any metal shielded connectors shouldnot come in contact with any metal framework on the vehicle; a piece ofelectrical tape works well here.
Q.How to mount PTT?
A. When coil cords areinvolved, such as on a PTT, enough slack should be allowed to turn the steeringwheel from lock to lock without over stretching the cord. The cord must bemounted to the wheel so that it pulls on the cord and not the button. A smallhole drilled close to the hub with a zip-tie holding the cord just beforethe coil section works best. There also needs to be enough slack onthose vehicles that have removable steering wheels. Lastly, route it where itwon't get pinched while turning the wheel.
Q.What is the difference between IMSA and NASCAR style cabling?
A. The basicdifference between the two is, IMSA is a (4) wire connection and NASCAR is a(3) wire; where the grounds for Mic and Speaker are separated for IMSA and aretied together for NASCAR. IMSA can be used in intercom systems to offercomplete duplex communication between driver and co-driver. Some radiossuch as Motorola, Vertex Digital, Kenwoods and Baofeng radiosrequire the IMSA style. Most systems we have sold over the last20 years have been the IMSA style. The only other time thiscabling becomes important, is if you have multiple drivers; what type ofconnections do the have on their helmets. Adaptor cords are available toconvert a IMSA helmet to NASCAR drivers helmet ONLY!
Q.What is the difference between IMSA and Off Road Connections, they look thesame?
A. The only difference is the way they are wiredat the connector. We can build jumpers that can offer the ability to run anIMSA helmet kit to work with an Off Road system or the other way.
Q.For Racing Do I Need An External Roof Mount Antenna?
A. There are (2) different types of systems. Ifyou have a tin top car you need the standard coax which uses the roof as theground. If you have a fiberglass or carbon fiber car you will need to use aground plate under the antenna, so make sure to order the DeepMount system with ground plate. General rule of thumb for any radiois, the higher the antenna position, the longer the distance that can becovered. That being said, unless done properly it may not be better than theexisting Antenna on the Radio. For tin top cars, the top of roof is a greatlocation. Open cockpit cars can sometimes get away with the antenna on theradio as long as the Radio is positioned high enough with the Antenna pointingup.
Q.What should I do if I have Extra Coax?
A. NEVERNEVER NEVER take the extra coax and wrap it up with a zip-tie (AntennaLoop)! Run it around in the car and away from power sources.
Q.Our team radios work perfect in the pits but not when the car is on the track?
A. 1.See above(antenna loop is the #1 issue we see). Next, make sure the ground is goodand you are running the correct antenna setup (tin top vs. fiberglass and UHFvs. VHF).
2. Check the miclocation in helmet kit and crew headset (see Helmet Install). Again, wesee this over and over... The mic must be touching your lips!
3. Check to see if theantenna coax is broken (Omen Meter) from the Gold tip at the BNC in the car tothe roof top removal connection.
Ear Buds and Helmet Install Questions?
A. 1. Our Helmet kitscome with all necessary mounting hardware as well as step by step instructions.This usually take about 10min to install. You will need a Drill with1/8" diameter bit, a Pop Rivet Gun and removal of some of the foampadding from inside. If you work on a race car, you can handle this task.
2. All microphonesmust be mounted or flexed up to your mouth. If you own a helmet with themic behind the padding move it, your incar communication will be muchbetter.
Q.What is a noise cancelling Mic?
A. This is a specialMicrophone that is used in high noise environments, it allows only the intendedsound to be picked up, for this reason, these microphones need to be very closeto your mouth (almost touching your lips). Many times people will complain thatthey have their volume on the radios turned all the way up and they can't hear.This is usually due to the crew person wearing the headset and not having themic close enough. From 0"-.1/2" make a big difference. This is alsowhy the Mic in the Helmet is on a flexible boom.
Q.What are "Custom Earmolds"?
A. The typical Pro/HDStyle Earbud come with a foam earpiece on them. For some, this works just fine,for others, they have difficulty keeping them in the ear. Our CustomEarmold Kit, is a DYI Kit that makes an exact impression of your ear andreplaces the foam piece. They serve a number of purposes, from staying put inyour ear, offers greater noise blockage and they help to strain relief thedelicate wires on the Earbud transducer.
A. This is an opinion item; Earbuds will blockmore noise, thus allowing you to hear the communication, better for loudercars, while some don't like to have objects in their ears. Earbuds aretypically more costly and also more delicate. Speakers mounted correctly inquitter cars will work very well. The best system for speakers is newer helmetswith ear cups built right into the helmets. Stilo Helmets are a good example.
Q.Why are those earbuds so costly?
A. 1. The small foamtips that fit into your ear canal are built from HearingAid Transducers (Knolls) are very small and very expensive,but they offer the best quality you can buy for auto racing. They arethe same units that are used in custom ear molds as well.
Crew Headset Questions?
A. OTH have onlyone strap or band that goes over the top of the head, BTH style Headsets have(2) bands, one over the top Velcro strap and metal bar behind. OTH unitstend to be less weight and the SRC Pro F-1 unit is fantastic for enduranceracing or long hours of use.
Q.Difference between Flex Boom and Wire Boom?
A. Over the years we have changed out all ofour headset wire booms to the Full Flex Boom Pivot Styles.We have noticed that the wire booms tend to loosen up and lose parts over timewhere as the flex booms have less working parts to break or get lost.
A. This is a situationalcall. If you take any of these 5 watt radios in an open field (no obstructions)they will be able to transmit up to 4-5 miles away. Now this is far greaterthan any straight point to point distance at any race track, so why does"drop out" occur? Any time there is an obstruction to the antenna,power transmission will be reduced, i.e. your body, buildings, trees, earth,other Radios, etc. So it really depends on the performance you are seeing atthe types of track you run... flat, least obstructions better than hilly, treedtracks, i.e. Sebring or Daytona, vs. Watkins Glen, Road America or Laguna. Theother item as mentioned previously, the higher the Antenna the better. We offera very simple 2.5 dB gain antenna that fits right on your crew handheld or aPit Box antenna system. If you are having drop out issues at the farend of our track this will really do the trick!
A. This is a 3.5mmmono jack on the ear cup of the Headset, usually opposite the coil cordconnection. It allows you to plug anyother audio device into the headset and the person wearing it can now hear twoaudio streams at once. This could be music, monitoring other teams, cornerworkers, track officials.