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 Post subject: Communicator Problems
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:04 pm 
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I've only been instructing for 3 events. One student for each of the first two events and then two students for the last event. I have a ChatterBox Tandem Pro 2 communicator set. One headset failed with first student. Ron from Discovery Parts (where I bought it) was there and exchanged it for free on the spot. Another headset failed at the most recent event. I open it up today. Man what a bunch of absolute junk for $35 each! I repaired it t...blobs of solder and a bunch of tape. It works but I'm not an electrical repairman...no way it will last. I'll probably buy another headset as backup. That will put me in for about $175 on this junk and don't expect any of it to last.

So the question is, what else is out there? I know about the Nady units. The headsets actually look better than the ChatterBox ones but I can't even find one of those on the internet right now.

Communicating with a student without an intercom is very hard but I'm not willing to fork out $35 for replacement headsets every track weekend.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:57 am 
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I've been using a Scala Rider Q1 and it's doing a great job so far.

I originally bought one in 2013 as a team radio via cell phone on the Nurburgring. Since then it has been constantly installed on my helmet and used at nearly every event I drove. Not a single failure so far.
I bought a second set to instruct last year and started using it this year. No problems so far, the only problem I ever had was caused by user error. I don't see any of the two sets failing any time soon.

This solution is a bit more expensive, but it actually ended up being cheaper for me for instructing since I already had one helmet set.

Pros:
- Bluetooth (some would say that's a disadvantage, but I never had connection issues in various race and street cars)
- using standard ear plugs (I got some cheap foam in-ear buds that do a great job while cancelling out noise)
- IMO much more comfortable than the chatterbox and a better sound quality
- long lasting (and you can replace single parts, like the ear plugs or microphone easily)

Cons:
- Price
- some unneeded functions (like a radio that I accidentally activated in one race...)
- must be installed to your students helmet...but: installation takes maybe 30 seconds and I've done it on grid multiple times before without missing the start of the session. Two helmet mounts would make handling 2 students easier since you'd just have to take the Bluetooth module from student to student, which takes 3 seconds.

Are you going to CMP? I should be going Fri-Sun and can show you my system if you're interested!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:04 am 
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Yes, I'll be there and I'll try to look you up.

I did buy another unit from Chatterbox yesterday that is made for full face helmets and comes with two small ear pieces and a mic that is on a separate wire. It will probably require some tape or velcro for my helmet but I'll give it a try too.

http://chatterboxusa.com/collections/pa ... ce-helmets

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:48 am 
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Nady is (or at least was) more cheaper and disposable than Chatterbox. May have changed a little since 2010ish, but probably not by alot.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:55 am 
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n80 wrote:
Yes, I'll be there and I'll try to look you up.

I did buy another unit from Chatterbox yesterday that is made for full face helmets and comes with two small ear pieces and a mic that is on a separate wire. It will probably require some tape or velcro for my helmet but I'll give it a try too.

http://chatterboxusa.com/collections/pa ... ce-helmets

This is what I use, and it mostly works.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:50 am 
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Ev wrote:
n80 wrote:
Yes, I'll be there and I'll try to look you up.

I did buy another unit from Chatterbox yesterday that is made for full face helmets and comes with two small ear pieces and a mic that is on a separate wire. It will probably require some tape or velcro for my helmet but I'll give it a try too.

http://chatterboxusa.com/collections/pa ... ce-helmets

This is what I use, and it mostly works.



How do you attach the mic to your helmet?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:30 am 
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n80 wrote:
Ev wrote:
n80 wrote:
Yes, I'll be there and I'll try to look you up.

I did buy another unit from Chatterbox yesterday that is made for full face helmets and comes with two small ear pieces and a mic that is on a separate wire. It will probably require some tape or velcro for my helmet but I'll give it a try too.

http://chatterboxusa.com/collections/pa ... ce-helmets

This is what I use, and it mostly works.



How do you attach the mic to your helmet?

My kit came with velcro dots. One for the mic one for the helmet. Speakers were attached in the same fashion

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:42 am 
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Despite me always using the same headset for my students (so at least mine stays in good shape), and zip-tying the cord to the boom, my last student still managed to rip the boom clear from the earpiece...Agree they are all crap, but the real problem is that at least one user will never give a crap about the hardware...

You might try showing the student how to place it, i.e., show them how to grab the earpiece part and not mangle the boom and wire. Other than that, you might bag the communicator and try yelling (typically, something along the lines of gas, gas, gas...) and hand signals..


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:58 am 
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MikeAtl wrote:
. Other than that, you might bag the communicator and try yelling (typically, something along the lines of gas, gas, gas...) and hand signals..


I've had an instructor who used a set of hand signals. They worked okay. I had an instructor who only said "throttle" or "brake" but that had more to do with that being all that I could process at the time (I was a hopeless student to begin with). :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:21 am 
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So one of my two year old headsets bought the farm a couple weeks ago. At least it was at the end of the day and I was able to show my student the hand signals while on grid. Was able to borrow another setup from another instructor for Sunday.

ordered another new headset and the cable into the plug is much better


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