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Old 03-08-08, 08:46 PM   #1
GreenAnvil
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Two-way radios

Hi, I was at REI today and saw one of those neck mics that connect to two-way radios. Which got me thinking... I get two-way radios for the whole family (4) which the neck mikes, and then we can ride and talk to each other while riding. No longer will I have to yell to catch my kids attention, and I can teach them how to ride and alert them along the way. I can also let my kids play point, but best of all, my wife can set the pace w/o us having to constantly look back to see how she's doing.

Does this look like a good idea? Has anyone tried this?

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-08, 01:07 PM   #2
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I have not tried it nor have I seen anyone do it.

Sounds okay except that your kids will have to ride one handed to do the press to talk. Okay in most situations but it could be dangerous in traffic or on a crowded bike trail. A two way radio is not a bad thing to have in a large group ride where your tweener wants to ride a little independently from the family. We have used it to check where each other is but we stop to use it unless my stoker on the tandem uses it. It generally gets very little use because our oldest can't ride and talk so they don't answer unless they are at a stop.
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Old 03-09-08, 01:23 PM   #3
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Never tried it. But look into VOX: voice operated transmit. Some radios support this: you just talk and it transmits automatically. Make sure the unit has some adjustments for the VOX though--bikes have a fair amount of wind noise, plus you wouldn't want to transmit on every breath. I can't remember the names for the adjustments though--one is like how loud the audio has to be before it transmits, another is how long the audio must exist for before it transmits, lastly I think there may be one for how long it stays keyed with no audio before it drops out.
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Old 03-14-08, 03:19 PM   #4
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I have been looking into this, too. My kids got a couple of FRS (family radio service, no license required) radios for their birthday last year, which we have used to contact each other on the ski slopes and around the house. But they really aren't useful on the bike--no headset, and no VOX. I have started looking at more expensive sets, which are often combination FRS/GMRS radios (general mobile radio service, a license IS required to use the GMRS frequencies). Inexpensive radios are something like $40 a pair, but no VOX; the ones with the features I want are more like $70 a pair, and I'd need to buy 2 pairs for the 3 of us. I'd like to try some before I drop the money on them, or at least hear from someone else who uses them.

I know some tandem riders use "Tandem Talk" intercoms, both wired and wireless, but those are even more expensive.

Well, for now I can shout to DS, who sits right behind me, and he can shout back, but DD is on the trail-a-bike and is too soft-spoken to make herself heard (except when I yell at her to peddle and she yells back, "I AM!!!")

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Old 03-16-08, 11:09 AM   #5
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well, as far as the throat mics, I bought a cheepie from ebay. it was made for cell phones and cordless phones (not the same plug as a two way jack)

the other side admitted they "could" understand what I was saying but it sounded like crap.

I had someone else use it and call me and I agree it sounds like crap.

the seller did say he would refund the cost but not the shipping. Since it came from China, its not feasible to pay for reshipping so now it lives in a box with lots of other junk.

the caveates are

- mine has ONE mic pic up (some have two)
- mine was cheep - about 30.00 (+shipping)
- maybe the ones for two way radios work better can't comment on that
- even if I could find a good one, I wouldn't be buying one for the wife!
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Old 03-16-08, 05:37 PM   #6
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I've used cheap walkie talkies on centuries, to keep track of friends and plan rest stops, but it was pretty much more trouble than it's worth. I'd think that for kids, especially younger ones (mine are in their 20s now). it would be a distraction more than a help. The range on those things is limited (and about half the advertised distance, in my experience).
If my kids were too young for me to feel comfortable when they got out of my sight, I'd ride with them, not give them a radio. Make it a family activity.
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Old 03-17-08, 07:46 AM   #7
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oh yes, one other thing I found worked best was simply fastening* the radios to the handlebars. (* I use aftermarket belt holders usually made for cellphones) Since there are four of us that usually ride together, if one gets out of site, or something happens to a bike, one can radio the others. Its enough for the others to be able to hear that something up before they get too far away. The rule with the kids is they have to stop before calling back if they want to use the radio so they dont create an accident trying to radio while riding. this system has worked well. On an old bike I had a few years back, I had a pedal fall off and I dident have tools to fix it but I was able to radio to the others that I would be walking from there on in.

my sister and brother in law have motorcycles. they have a 2 way system that mounts inside the helmets that works very well (apparently cost as much as most bicycles)
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