View Full Version : Radios
01-18-2005, 10:48 PM
I'm fairly new to airsoft and was wondering if anyone out there uses headsets during play, or if not what to use if anything at all. Where to get it from, prices, all that stuff is appriciated.
01-18-2005, 11:15 PM
New player radio advice is discussed here: http://www.lonestarairsoft.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4180
While not an absolute necessity, a radio helps greatly. A headset even more. Some people run speaker mics and keep the volume really low, but obviously they are not as quiet.
Start semi-cheap as mentioned in that link above, use that rig for a while, and then move on to something that suits your needs better.
Most players who have involved for a while have gone to higher-priced headsets than the cheap ones you'll see at Wal-Mart. The cheap ones tend to have PTT buttons (push-to-talk) that fail over time, buttons that barely work at all, and have uncomfortable earbuds.
One commonly-recommended headset is the Otto Breeze. Very light and comfortable, and is very durable for how simple it is. http://www.ottoeng.com/comm/index.htm They'll run about $80-90.
Another style of lower-end headset that has been making the rounds can be read about here: http://www.lonestarairsoft.com/modules.php?name=Reviews&file=viewreview&id=1
As for procuring these items, I am sure you can handle that on your own. Froogle and your local Walmart are a good start for lower-end items.
Players that are more involved, have money to blow, and take their gear a bit more seriously tend to gravitate towards higher-powered radios and tougher, more exotic headsets, but price tags are associated of course. That course of action is purely optional of course.
Personally, I feel that if you want to be stealthy in any way, you need to use a headset with your radio. It is hard to sneak up on anyone when your radio keeps chirping and talking.
When I used Motorola Talkabout radios, I had a throat microphone headset from firefoxtech (about $35 at http://www.firefoxtech.com). I liked it, but others sometimes had problems hearing me because my voice was muffled.
Now I run an Otto Breeze headset (about $100 shipped from http://www.ottoeng.com) with a Motorola Saber II. Much more powerful combination, but a much more expensive setup.
I would recommend some sort of boom microphone headset for clarity of transmission, and a Motorola Talkabout radio; that is, if you are not ready to drop about $200-300 for the radio and headset. ;)
01-18-2005, 11:35 PM
Just a word of caution: radios are only as useful as the people sharing the net with you are skilled at communicating using them. I mean that in every possible way it can be taken.
01-19-2005, 08:25 AM
Most players who have involved for a while have gone to higher-priced headsets than the cheap ones you'll see at Wal-Mart. The cheap ones tend to have PTT buttons (push-to-talk) that fail over time, buttons that barely work at all, and have uncomfortable ear-buds.
I can attest to this. I bought a push-to-talk ear-bud mic from Radio Shack for $19.99 and it finally died on me at last Sundays skirmish. I can still hear what is being transmitted, but I can't communicate with the rest of the team due to a broken PTT button.
I use Cobra radios that I purchased from Circuit City. They arenít all that great, but they get the job done. On a side note, I was in Costco a couple of weeks ago and they had some Midland 4 watt radios for $49.99 (two radios, charger, batteries, and PTT headsets). Now I donít have any personal experience with this brand of radio, but the price was right.
01-19-2005, 12:02 PM
Words of advice.
Wattage - If you go GMRS you should look at getting one of these...
It's not 100% required but if "The Man" decides to bust chops at an Op because people are all over the GMRS radio waves then at least you'll be covered.
More wattage is good but not always necessary. Some fields are pretty open and some fields we play on are fairly big and wooded. More watts will cut through all that and less watts won't.
Range - When a radio package says "5 mile range" it means Line of Sight. In other words, if you were on a hilltop and 5 miles away your buddy was on a hilltop and you both had brand new batteries in your radios and your view of each other was unobstructed then you could talk to each other. Trees are obstructions to radios and buildings are obstructions to radios.
Pricing - You get what you pay for. If you spend $20.00 on a pair of radios at Radio Shack then don't expect them to last long or work well. If they do then consider yourself VERY lucky.
Kenwood, Motorola and Yeasu I've had experience with and all are decent to great radios.
01-19-2005, 12:17 PM
To be perfectly clear, a GMRS license is absolutely required if you operate a GMRS radio or within the operational parameters of the license. Very few of us have been asked to display them so far, but if you're operating such a radio, you have to have the paper. To do otherwise is illegal and is harshly punished by the FCC, a body of the Federal Government.
I think what Dragon meant by 'required' is that it's an uncommon event to be asked to supply your credentials.
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