Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Radio Setup

 


air_devil

Jan 8, 2011, 4:16 AM
Post #1 of 17 (1848 views)
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Radio Setup Can't Post

Hi all,

Sorry if this topic is covered before, but i am looking to a complete setup guide for student radios for static line jumps. Our students use mainly protec helmets, i would like to know what is the safeest, simplest way to setting this up. We have always trained people without radios but since we've had 2 bad incidents, we are not taking a chance. I personally feel that if one jumps without radios, then the personal decision making develops in a great way. but on the other hand if one makes mistakes the results could be really bad. I would appreciate any help. Thanks


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Jan 8, 2011, 7:33 AM
Post #2 of 17 (1807 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe that these are the receivers we use
http://www.pwservice.us/...iew.asp?idProduct=15

Not sure exactly which model of transmitter.. but it think its this
http://www.pwservice.us/cp/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=20

and you need a spare battery pack for the transmitter.

Talk to the supplier to make sure that you get the exact right stuff that is compatible, these look right but...

How busy your student operation is will dictate how many receivers you need. At least 2 full loads.

I have been at dropzones that tried to use cheaper radios, its not worth the hassle.

Edit to add: When the students are 400 in the high and 400 feet away I can hear my own voice coming from their radios.


(This post was edited by IanHarrop on Jan 8, 2011, 10:05 AM)


Morrison79  (C 37447)

Jan 8, 2011, 8:15 AM
Post #3 of 17 (1791 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

We used protecs with a 2 way radio mounted on top of the helmet. Then took a pair of head phones apart and mounted one of them on inside the helmet, so it's against the students ear. They worked pretty well but there were still students who said they couldn't hear you.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jan 8, 2011, 9:57 AM
Post #4 of 17 (1756 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

My DZ uses something like THIS, but older.

All we do is use the belt clip to attach the radio to the chest strap and a big rubber band to hold the bottom of the belt clip.
If the radio is turned all the way up, the students can hear it just fine.

Very simple, works fine for us.


petejones45  (C License)

Jan 8, 2011, 2:52 PM
Post #5 of 17 (1711 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

put them on the chest strap and you should be good, the ears holes allow for good sound


obelixtim  (D 84)

Jan 8, 2011, 5:06 PM
Post #6 of 17 (1692 views)
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Re: [Morrison79] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
They worked pretty well but there were still students who said they couldn't hear you.

It funny when a student lands and says they couldn't hear the radio, you give it a test and it work fine, then their response is..."yeah, but I could hear you talking to the others".....


councilman24  (D 8631)

Jan 8, 2011, 10:24 PM
Post #7 of 17 (1630 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

Our old DZ used motorola pagers in custom molder plastic holder mounted on protec. The receivers were mounted over the ear, they went in from the inside so they couldn't fall out/off, had a cutout for the JM to turn them on/up, used a unique frequency. They weren't cheap but pretty good. Unique frequency and license. No crosstalk important since the drug dealer mcnasty next door had started giving false commands on CB channels.

I had photos but can't find them. The owner is deceased so unless I can find the photos I can't get the details. Hmm, unless the current dz is using them. I'll ask tomorrow.

The old DZO had taught without radios for years, and went through all sorts of CB's before he spent the money for these. They really did work great.


PiLFy  (A License)

Jan 9, 2011, 7:27 AM
Post #8 of 17 (1591 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,
As someone who relied on radios in the not too distant past. My $0.02: Harness-mounted radios sound loud N clear...on the ground. Under canopy, even in light winds aloft, you can't hear them. I used to crane my neck down as close to the radio as I could. I still couldn't hear it. The landing sequence was the only part of the dive you could count on hearing it. I've never tried helmet-mounted units. If the price difference isn't much? Go w/those, instead. The radios @my DZ are on a mudflap. Most of the time, garbled static is all you hear @altitude.


DaVincisEnvy  (C License)

Jan 9, 2011, 7:43 PM
Post #9 of 17 (1511 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

When I went through AFF last year, my DZ used standard 2-way radios attached via rubber band to the side of the ProTecs such that the speaker of the radio aligned with the slits in the helmet near the ears. The rubber band -- just a standard large stow band -- when around the bottom of the radio, through one ear slit, into the helmet, out the another ear slit, and around the top of the radio, effectively holding it to the helmet without the need for any permanent mounting hardware. I've never heard of one coming off, and I could hear them loud and clear when I was coming in to land. Cheap and effective.


SethInMI  (A 47765)

Jan 10, 2011, 7:13 AM
Post #10 of 17 (1468 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
even in light winds aloft, you can't hear them....Most of the time, garbled static is all you hear @altitude.

PiLFy,

Just a clarification, the amount of wind noise you will hear under canopy only depends on the airspeed of the canopy, not the winds aloft. The wind noise would be the same flying in light winds as strong winds, because the canopy is carried along by the wind. In either case, slowing the canopy down by going to 1/2 brakes would bring the airspeed down and make it less noisy.

From your last comment about the garbled static, it sounds more like the issue was a radio range issue than a not loud enough issue.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 10, 2011, 9:57 AM
Post #11 of 17 (1429 views)
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Re: [Morrison79] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

"
In reply to:
... They worked pretty well but there were still students who said they couldn't hear you.
"

.......................................................................

That is because students suffer deafness and tunnel-vision when they get scared. Students are most scared during exit and a few seconds before landing.
It does not matter which model of radio you use, students will complain about ANY brand of radio "going silent" just before landing.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 10, 2011, 9:58 AM
Post #12 of 17 (1427 views)
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Re: [IanHarrop] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed Ian!

I have worked at a lot of different DZs from Germany to Vancouver and concluded - decades ago - that there are two types of radios: Motorola or &^%$#@!


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 10, 2011, 10:01 AM
Post #13 of 17 (1425 views)
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Re: [Morrison79] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
We used Protecs with a 2 way radio mounted on top of the helmet. Then took a pair of head phones apart and mounted one of them on inside the helmet, so it's against the students ear. They worked pretty well but there were still students who said they couldn't hear you.
......................................................................

Unfortunately, top-mounted radios do not last when your airplane has a low door frame.
Far too many students slam their helmets into the door frame during exit.

In the long-run, you are best off with pockets sewn to chest straps or mud-flaps.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Jan 10, 2011, 1:30 PM
Post #14 of 17 (1397 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"
In reply to:
... They worked pretty well but there were still students who said they couldn't hear you.
"

.......................................................................

That is because students suffer deafness and tunnel-vision when they get scared. Students are most scared during exit and a few seconds before landing.
It does not matter which model of radio you use, students will complain about ANY brand of radio "going silent" just before landing.

Yep, and the best part of that one is that everyone on the ground can hear the student's radio from about 100' down to the ground. The student says "The radio stopped working!" and everyone around says "We could hear it just fine"


PiLFy  (A License)

Jan 10, 2011, 2:53 PM
Post #15 of 17 (1379 views)
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Re: [SethInMI] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
even in light winds aloft, you can't hear them....Most of the time, garbled static is all you hear @altitude.

PiLFy,

Just a clarification, the amount of wind noise you will hear under canopy only depends on the airspeed of the canopy, not the winds aloft. The wind noise would be the same flying in light winds as strong winds, because the canopy is carried along by the wind. In either case, slowing the canopy down by going to 1/2 brakes would bring the airspeed down and make it less noisy.

From your last comment about the garbled static, it sounds more like the issue was a radio range issue than a not loud enough issue.

Really??? Some days, when the wind is blowing pretty good. It's rather noisy under canopy. You can't hear a thing. On calmer days, You can hear the radio very well. If @all, they usually don't talk to me until I'm over the holding area. So, range isn't the issue. True, my hearing isn't what it once was. It's not that bad, though. I never took a survey, but it seems that a number of other students feel the same. Oh, & they're Motorola units.


(This post was edited by PiLFy on Jan 10, 2011, 2:55 PM)


azureriders  (D 28830)

Jan 10, 2011, 6:24 PM
Post #16 of 17 (1340 views)
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Re: [air_devil] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

We use a top mounted two way with speakers wired to both ears on protecs. I have used chest strap mounts but always had trouble there.

One thing I like about two ways over pagers is that if a stundent lands off, shouldn't happen but......, you can instruct the student to remove the radio and tell you that they are ok. Two velcro straps and unplug the speakers and you are no longer woried about them.


azureriders  (D 28830)

Jan 10, 2011, 6:31 PM
Post #17 of 17 (1336 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Radio Setup [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Really??? Some days, when the wind is blowing pretty good. It's rather noisy under canopy. You can't hear a thing. On calmer days, You can hear the radio very well. If @all, they usually don't talk to me until I'm over the holding area. So, range isn't the issue. True, my hearing isn't what it once was. It's not that bad, though. I never took a survey, but it seems that a number of other students feel the same. Oh, & they're Motorola units.

PiLFy, I agree that harness mounted radios suck, but I can assure you that winds aloft have no effect on wind noise under canopy. I have done HAHOs in 60 and 70 mph wind and the noise is no different than on a light and variable day. Your canopy is flying through the air at the same speed no matter what the winds are doing. In other words, your air speed is allways the same, only your ground speed changes with the wind. This air speed is what creates the wind noise you hear under canopy



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