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Old 15-04-2008, 17:03   #1
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2-way headset radios???

Have been searching for 2-way self contained headsets but having no luck. I've seen them in use but was not able at the time to get the info on what they cost and where to get them.

I have located some in the $300 to $800 per unit types... Nope don't want that... Need under $200 for a set if possible.

Need them for communication between cockpit and anchor/ mooring crews.

Anyone able to point me to the best place??
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Old 15-04-2008, 17:26   #2
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Here you go

Cruising Solutions - Sailing Solutions | Cost effective equipment for life under sail
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Old 15-04-2008, 19:36   #3
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We bought the ones Chuck refers to. We cannot tuck the antennae away, so we look like MacDonald's workers (when we tuck in the antennae, the interference stops them from working), but even on a 33' boat, comms have gone from hard to really really easy with these. Several couples on our dock are buying them now having seen how easy life is with them when we are dealing with anchors, winds and some swells.
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Old 15-04-2008, 19:46   #4
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Quote:
Need them for communication between cockpit and anchor/ mooring crews.
Hand signals! The two way voice activated systems don't work that great on the boat, but do work well when you lose your wife on shore. Think both problems. The hand signals can be anything so that the person at the bow can direct the helm as required. Do like the ground crew on a commercial aircraft. It sure beats being yelled at (or being accused of yelling as the case might be ).
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Old 15-04-2008, 21:20   #5
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I have 3 or 4 sets of these that I've picked up at yard sales for $5 a pair or less. They used to be a kids toy and I learned how valuable they were on bike rides with my friend who was hard of hearing.

The ones I have are voice activated and the batteries don't last long (about 1.5 hours) but with rechargeable 9v battteries they certainly are helpful. I was thinking that I could try them on 12v and then plug into the ship's battery system.

Kind Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 15-04-2008, 23:16   #6
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Just another push --- I've sailed for 20+ years with hand signals. They work fine. But, when you are shorthanded, things are a little hectic, the boat is a little bigger, and it is hard to see the bow person clearly at all times due to dodgers, masts, sails.....the headsets totally change the scene. I would never have believed it had I not been coerced into trying them after LOTS and LOTs of "no way" comments.
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Old 16-04-2008, 07:29   #7
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Thanks Chuck those were the exact units I was looking for, good coverage area. Got them on order now.

Hand signals are great when you have a hand free to use them.. in the last stages of mooring you have both in use and that makes it rather impractical, and other times as has been stated vision is often obstructed or one party isn't looking at the time the signal is given, or when your in the dark... well hand signals are very difficult to see.

I've seen these in use often and most frequently by some of us older crews on sail boats and full teams on the larger boats. Beats the hand held or even shirt clipped units with VOX. These headset units are great and at this price can't be passed up.

Now I have seen some of the cheap toy headsets for kids... those will cause problems. Most I see for professional purposes typically run $300 and up a unit but those are for longer distance and thru steel ships and building... not simply LOS radio communications.

Thanks Chuck!!
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Old 16-04-2008, 10:01   #8
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For over 16 years we have tried all forms of communications between the foredeck and the helm and you are absolutely correct. Hand signals work about half the time so what do you do the other half. Yeah, yeah, some of you have used this method for 20 years and it works great. but for the rest us us that may need to use one or both hands at some time during the anchoring or pick up process, to be able to communicate between us at a rational tone with little chance of misunderstanding, this is the way to go.
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Old 16-04-2008, 10:10   #9
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We bought the handheld radios with the plug in ear, and speaker. Since we sail in swimsuits there was no place for me to clip the speaker to. I was reduced to using one hand again while holding the speaker to my mouth. Causing the wife to signal back with a single finger.
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Old 16-04-2008, 10:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
We bought the handheld radios with the plug in ear, and speaker. Since we sail in swimsuits there was no place for me to clip the speaker to. I was reduced to using one hand again while holding the speaker to my mouth. Causing the wife to signal back with a single finger.


Isn't it funny how often that occurs????? And typically followed by the cold shoulder then by separate cabins for several days...

Think my new units will help keep things on an even keel
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Old 18-04-2008, 18:37   #11
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They aren't marketed as "the marriage saves" fer nuthin! :=)

We started a fun game with ours. We once saw an older British couple come into anchor, and they were so sweet with each other -- never raising their voices, "oh, dear, go a bit to port" or "honey, back up now." Not one of their exchanges was without an endearment, and coupled with the accent --- well, it was quite civil.

Now that we have the headsets, we often affect British accents, require an endearment to be stated in each exchange, and find that things just go more smoothly even when things are going awry. It's the little things......
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Old 18-04-2008, 19:04   #12
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It's all about the duplex

Just to make sure everyone "get's it". There is a major difference between the cheapos and the expensive sets.

The difference is Half duplex vs Full duplex and the frequencies used.

Half means only one person can talk at a time, much like VHF conversations.

Full means you can both talk to each other at the same time, just like on a telephone.

The Full duplex are much better because you can interrupt if something is going wrong, rather than wait for the other person to finish talking while we crash.

The Mariner 500 set seen on the link posted earlier for "cruising solutions" sounds like they may be full duplex. If so, this is a great deal for $60. Most are in the hundreds.

This company makes really nice sets. The following link is their "boating" set. Uses 900 mHz. They also have systems that link up to 4 people at a time.

Boating wireless radios
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Old 18-04-2008, 19:55   #13
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Thanks for the link Chuck, exactly what I'll need on the cat driving from up top with limited vis to back corner and long distances to the Anchor "Wench"


Much better than the "Can and String" option

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Old 21-04-2008, 16:26   #14
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Got my set this last Friday

Received my order on Friday.. fast only a couple of days!!

Tried them out with the assistance of a friend. Asked her to walk down the dock and we had good contact at 3 boat lengths.

I ask her to walk further, about 150 feet and she said she could hear but I asked her to wave her right hand to prove she could hear instructions... she did.

Asked her to go a bit more down the dock and wave her left hand, she did.

Asked her to still go further and sake her left foot... she did.

A bit further and I asked her to waive both hands while standing on left foot and kicking with right foot... she did...

She also noticed the large group of people watching her doing all these strange movement...

She automatically reverted to hand signals for me... as I recall it was the middle finger in an upward motion....

I love the things... not sure I'll be able to get her to put them on again... at least on the dock.

Only 14 more days till I fly back to Tortola and get to try them out for real.
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Old 25-04-2008, 04:40   #15
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Thanks for ruining my work-day Reality !!!
How am I going to function, as I walk around giggling at mental images of your friend doing the Hokey-Pokey on the dock?
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