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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about adding a communication radio for the upcoming desert season.
The 2 setups I have heard of is a PCI & Rugged. Anyone know the pro's & cons of each system?
Or what should I get to make sure the system works the best it can. I dont want to make the mistake of saying....damn I wish I would have known that before I bought mine. I'm not trying to start a war between manufacturer's, just want some user opinions.Any helpful info is appreciated.
 

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We run a Kenwood TM-281 ham radio, modified to handle the race radio frequencies. Cost about $170 from The Ham outlet or something like that. Then get an intercom system From one of the two places that you mentioned, and your set.
 

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I don't know the difference between the two, but I liked Rugged's overall package better.

I just installed the Rugged 686 intercom, but used my Yaesu dual band ham radio. I'm heading out for my first trip this weekend. Really looking forward to only hearing my wife and music.....
 

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Pretty much the same. Rugged has some great deals and gives forum discounts.

I use the rugged 50watt in my maverick and the handheld 2watt in my teryx4. Both work great. The handheld will save you money, it will only broadcast about two miles though. But when are you out of sight of the person you are talking to?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pretty much the same. Rugged has some great deals and gives forum discounts.

I use the rugged 50watt in my maverick and the handheld 2watt in my teryx4. Both work great. The handheld will save you money, it will only broadcast about two miles though. But when are you out of sight of the person you are talking to?
Where did you mount your rugged?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We run a Kenwood TM-281 ham radio, modified to handle the race radio frequencies. Cost about $170 from The Ham outlet or something like that. Then get an intercom system From one of the two places that you mentioned, and your set.
Whats the difference between a ham radio & these radio's?
 

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On the ham you have to break off a little diode to unlock the higher frequencies. Schannon runs them, myself, my boss, a friend. It's the same thing as a race radio. But you have to spend 5 Minutes modifying it. But $170 compared to $500.
 

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On sale right now for a buck fifty!
I googled "ham radio outlet" It's the first one that popped up, on their site I searched TM – 281, the page right here in the picture popped up and that's the one that we've been running. Well, we've actually been running the 271. But my boss when ordering a few of them half a year ago called me and said that the 271 was no longer available, it's now the 281. So he got a few of them and Google the mod for them and they're working just as good as the ones we have. They're the same as any race radio that the vendors sell, and they hook up to an intercom the same way.
 

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ive been running rugged for 5 years same system no problems I run the hx370s hand held they have I got it on sale for 150 ,
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
On sale right now for a buck fifty!
I googled "ham radio outlet" It's the first one that popped up, on their site I searched TM – 281, the page right here in the picture popped up and that's the one that we've been running. Well, we've actually been running the 271. But my boss when ordering a few of them half a year ago called me and said that the 271 was no longer available, it's now the 281. So he got a few of them and Google the mod for them and they're working just as good as the ones we have. They're the same as any race radio that the vendors sell, and they hook up to an intercom the same way.
Can you hook up a PTT to this radio?
The intercom is what I would hook my Iphone up to for music correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What is the difference between UHF vs VHF? (excluding the obvious freq difference)
 

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On all of the radios you unplug the mic, and then the intercom plugs in there. So yes, ptt works. You want the same frequencies as everyone else so you can communicate with anyone you're riding with. I forget what band the race radios use, but that's the one you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
On all of the radios you unplug the mic, and then the intercom plugs in there. So yes, ptt works. You want the same frequencies as everyone else so you can communicate with anyone you're riding with. I forget what band the race radios use, but that's the one you want.
Got it but they offer both UHF & VHF. So can the freq's be the same with either unit?
 

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On all of the radios you unplug the mic, and then the intercom plugs in there. So yes, ptt works. You want the same frequencies as everyone else so you can communicate with anyone you're riding with. I forget what band the race radios use, but that's the one you want.
The race guys use VHF. The radios require an interface cable to connect them to the intercom. A word of warning on interface cables some radios require a somewhat expensive (70-100 dollars) to make them work. If you are not a radio wonk like me you are probbably better off buying a package.
I have argued on other forums that the race frequencies make little sense for play riding heres why. The race frequencies are VHF meaning that anyone I want to talk to needs a VHF radio and there are not a lot of cheap alternatives. UHF on the other hand actually opens up a world of inexpensive handhelds that work on the FRS/GMRS ( I bought a 4 pack at Walmart for 39 bucks a couple of weeks ago.). The beauty of this setup is you can have spare radios to lend to people that ride with you to help keep in contact. I used these on my kids quads with a 20 dollar helmet kit and mom can yell slow down whenever she wants.
btw I use the Yaesu FTM-10R in my rig with a really well designed antenna system and I can hear everyone from Gordons well and to the beach store.
 

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Got it but they offer both UHF & VHF. So can the freq's be the same with either unit?
You would need a dual band to have both and the radios they offer are mono band buisness radios.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You would need a dual band to have both and the radios they offer are mono band buisness radios.
So if you have a VHF setup you can only communicate with other VHF's and UHF can only communicate with other UHF's. Just the UHF's are less expensive so more none race people use them. Like a walkie talkie.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The race guys use VHF. The radios require an interface cable to connect them to the intercom. A word of warning on interface cables some radios require a somewhat expensive (70-100 dollars) to make them work. If you are not a radio wonk like me you are probbably better off buying a package.
I was looking at a package and that is what made me ask more ?'s. At a cost of $1300 bucks, I don't want to make a mistake. That's a lot of money so I want to get it right the first time.
 
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