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Old 12-17-2010, 11:03 AM
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Default In-Helmet radios with Midland / Rino / others.

So I am the first to fully admit that I'm new to sleds... My background is on ATVs, but several things I do there seem to translate well to the sled world.

In the ATV world, we've been using Midland GTX1000VP4 FRS / GMRS radios. They are a full 5-watts on GMRS, they are completely waterproof, and most importantly, you can pull out the rechargeable battery and swap it with AA batteries on the fly. Link to the Midland radios is here. I can tell you with 100% certainty these are the best basic FRS/GMRS radios on the market, hands down.

Attached to the Midland radios, I use a kit that installs right inside the helmets (earphones and microphone are embedded right inside). Out of the helmet a cable runs and connects to a "push to talk" button that's mounted right on the handlebars, and then connected to the radio. The point is that riders can talk to each other and hear each other from right inside their helmet... And the transmit-button can be pushed without taking their hands off the machine. Link to the helmet-kit I use is here.

The radios are easily attached to the handlebars with zip-ties. I find they hold better than any of the mounts I've attempted.

In other words... For around $120, you can get two radios and two helmet kits and two riders can talk easily to one another.

NOW... I'm looking at replacing my entire setup with the Rino 530hcx radios for the SOLE reason that I want the ability to see where the other riders are in the group at any given time. However, I've been hesitant to do so because I have such a significant investment in my helmet-radio kits (8 helmets across 6 different machines, which obviously comes with a pile of radios too).

I just learned, however, that the speaker / mic pinout on the Rino is -IDENTICAL- to the speaker/mic pinout on the Midland radios that I use... Which is good for several reasons...

1) For guests, I can continue to use my Midland radios and don't need to ask everyone in the group to buy a Rino.

2) All of my existing helmet kits are compatible with BOTH radios (in other words, someone can sit down on a machine, and regardless of whether it's my new Rino or the Midland radio, their helmet can plug right in).

3) The helmet kid for the Midland is significantly cheaper ($30) than the helmet kit designed for the Rino ($50).

THE POINT IS SIMPLE: You can safely and CHEAPLY use a combination of the Rino and the Midland radios I've mentioned above, since the helmet-kits are completely interchangeable, and both radios are very capable, high-power, and durable.

The only remaining question is how well the quick-disconnect works if you become dismounted from your sled. The quick-connect literally "pulls apart". The question is, will it safely separate, or will it damage the wire as it pulls apart?

I'm going to test the heck out of it this weekend. I will return and report.

Last edited by Brian; 12-17-2010 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:58 AM
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that is alot of work there....what I use is a mic\speaker with the radio in my pack I can hear as i ride and also talk as i ride....this set up works!!!!!



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Old 12-18-2010, 06:59 AM
firecatguy firecatguy is offline
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we have a guy who uses his rino 2way and it works just fine with our radios


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Old 12-18-2010, 09:37 AM
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We just use the simple earbuds and stick the radios in our jackets. The only time we use the radios is when we are stopped and figure out that someone is stuck/separated so those work for us.

I like firecatguy's set up better - I don't want any wires attached from me to the sled. I'd break those within a half day ride, but I'm sure that setup would work for a lot of other riders.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:04 AM
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Has anyone tried the throat mic setup that motorola makes? Been planning to try these for a couple years but havent gotten around to it yet.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:09 PM
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I sure like my chatterbox radios. We talk a long way with other radios or rhinos, and don't have any cords hanging around anywhere because, it clips to the side of my helmet, easy to use controls, mics and ear speakers available for many helmet configs. They even have blue tooth now so the phone or ?? can be listened to while riding.

Priceless when sweeping a high steep rocky slope and coming down through a mine field. The guys down below can alert you of dangerous conditions with out your hands leaving the bars.

cons:
spendy, separate gps, some difference in channel numbering.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:44 PM
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X2 for the Chatterbox. We use these and they have never let us down. Clear reception and easy to use. They have a voice activation or a push to talk button. I like the ptt button just to make the mic engagement easier >>>>.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:52 AM
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Default ChatterBox GMRS X1

As to the Garmin or Collett, both require extra wires and the Collett even has an external battery pack to deal with. As Tony has said, the ChatterBox is totally contained on the helmet. 9 ounces incl the battery. Collett battery pack alone weighs like 14 ounces, nearly a pound!

ChatterBox GMRS X1 claims up to 5 mile range. That won't happen. They are good out to about a mile or a little better in the right conditions. VOX or Push to Talk, water resistant and very rugged. I have had the same unit for 6 years. As to bulky, you won't feel it on the helmet. The 2 nine year old girls that we sometimes ride with don't notice them.

Also, Collett has a very short range in offroad applications. You can expect about 300 yards, and they won't talk with other handheld brands. ChatterBox will.

Talk and recieve on the fly, battery good for about 14 hours. 15 channels and TONS of side channels. Simple.

Yep, I sell ChatterBox. X1 now only $170
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:09 AM
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This the model I prefer !!! >>>>.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firecatguy View Post
that is alot of work there....what I use is a mic\speaker with the radio in my pack I can hear as i ride and also talk as i ride....this set up works!!!!!
You can REALLY HEAR THIS when your in motion????
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:53 PM
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:32 AM
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:21 AM
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:52 AM
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:16 PM
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:24 PM
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:58 AM
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:54 AM
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:10 PM
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:26 AM
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