Race Communications: Complete Racing Radio Kits

By Luciana D'Andretta, Jeff Sexton

June 21, 2017

Note: this is the second installment in our racing communications series. Read our first installment, covering racing ear buds, here.

To the untrained eye, road racing probably looks like a solo sport. But as any racer (and racing fan) knows, there’s a crew behind drivers, communicating with them for the duration of their race. Whether signaling green flags, hazards on the track or data updates, clear communications with your pit crew helps you perform better. In fact, on starts and re-starts a radio can help you gain multiple positions as shown here.

This is where quality racing radio communications comes into play. Over the next several weeks, we’ll go over the radio components you’ll need for a successful and winning racing season. Next up: complete racing radio communications kits. These kits offer everything you and your crew will need at the track.

 

Budget Option: Radium P16 Long Track Analog Communications System ($699.99)

Radium P16 Long Track Analog Communications System

Components:

  • Radio: Radium P-16 (Analog)
  • Head Set: RAD-101 behind-the-head headset
  • Mic: S3
  • Ear Plugs: Euro Style Foam Ear Buds

The Radium P-16 offers everything you need for racing communications at an affordable price. The P-16 features VOX capability for hands-free communication, 2 programmable buttons and is IP66 rated (Splash, Dust Protection) to provide protection from variable environments.

 

Standard Option: Motorola CP185 Long Track Analog Communications System ($999.95)

Motorola CP185 Long Track Analog Communications System

Components:

  • Radio: Motorola CP185 (Analog)
  • Head Set: SCC-101 behind-the-head headset
  • Mic: RTM
  • Ear Plugs: Challenger Style Foam Ear Buds

The Motorola CP185 brings you a robust two-way radio solution. The CP185 has an extensive feature set including built-in voice scrambling for increased privacy, VOX capability for hands-free communication, 5 programmable buttons and X-Pand™ Technology to provide crisp, clear and strong audio quality even in noisy environments. Combined with the compact, lightweight design of the CP185, you get just what it takes to enhance communication while increasing productivity.

 

Premium Option: Motorola CM200D Digital Long Track Communications System ($1,549.95)

Motorola CM200D Digital Long Track Communications System

Components:

  • Radio: Motorola CP200 (Digital)
  • Head Set: SCC-101 behind-the-head headset
  • Mic: RTM
  • Ear Plugs: Challenger Foam Ear Buds

Get all the benefits of digital, including better voice quality, better range and better battery life. This model is IP-54 rated dustproof and splash proof, so you can work with confidence in challenging environments. It is fully compatible with the MOTOTRBO family of radios and has superior audio quality, outstanding coverage, long-lasting battery life and more​.

 

Difference between Radium vs. Motorola Complete Kits

  • Durability: the Motorola complete kits offer superior quality components and rugged construction of headset (we find it more durable than Radium). This is especially important in the sometimes-rough-and-tumble racing world.
  • Microphone Clarity: The Motorola complete racing communication kits use the RTM Mic versus the S3 that is used with Radium kits. We have found the RTM mic to be very clear and has unrivaled noise cancelling capabilities, making it one of the best microphones on the market.
  • Superior Ear Buds: With the use of the Challenger Ear Buds, we must give the edge to the Motorola radio kits once again. The Challenger’s use of balanced armatures/receivers (rather than speakers) provides superior noise cancellation and clear communication. Its silk lined twisted pair cable is both stronger and more durable than the Euro Style Foam Ear Bud (which is used in the Radium kits). Read more about racing ear buds in our product review round-up here.

Advantages of Digital vs. Analog

  • Greater Range: Both analog and digital signals diminish as distance increases from a station transmitter. However, digital two-way radio offers improved audio quality at a greater range than analog through better resistance to interference from other signals and avoiding the imperfections of transmission and reception which are typical of analog.
  • Greater Audio Quality: A digital radio has automatic error correction, it rebuilds voice sounds and maintains the clarity of the voice, even if a signal is badly corrupted. Since speech is digitally-encoded, you benefit from smarter capabilities, such as advanced software algorithms that can deliver clear voice in the most extreme conditions.
  • Longer Battery Life: Transmitting analog radio is power-intensive, but new digital technology allows some radios to function about 40 percent longer on a battery charge than a comparable analog system.
  • Spectral Efficiency: The RF spectrum is crowded, and FCC regulations are mandating more efficiency and capacity. With digital, you can immediately double the capacity of your existing 12.5 kHz channel and enable many more people to communicate without worrying about privacy or interference.
  • Data: Digital two-way radio allows users some of the data functionality enjoyed by cellular users by utilizing an IP Address.
  • Privacy: Digital two-way radio is easier to secure than analog, which suffers from notable loss in voice quality when scrambled for privacy purposes.