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Here's a little something that I put together for remote chasing, pitting, and duning. I rarely have the luxury of having a chase truck so we generally just throw a handheld, some parts, and a can of gas at someone with a UTV and is willing to pit for us..... Problem is handhelds suck unless you're in a line of sight with the other radio. I decided it was time to quit playing around and get a legit setup that would be reliable.... I figured I'd build a self contained box that would house most of my extra radio equipment, and have on board chargers. It would also need to have storage for the 25" antenna and cable. (Not pictured. There will be 5x5" SS upright boxes bolted to the side for antenna and tripod storage) Also included but not pictured is a custom jumper cable for a truck battery should the onboard battery die.


Walmart:
$20 Stanley rolling tool box


Fry's Electronics
Auxiliary radio speaker
Heavy duty antenna tripod
Surge protector


Grainger:
120 Male flush mount receiver for extension cord




TMW Offroad:
Odyssey deep cycle battery
Battery tender




PCI Race Radios:
50w Icom race radio
25" antenna and cable for pit use
Truck antenna for mobile use


Rugged Race Radios
Handheld
Headset w/ PTT
Driving kit w/ PTT
Roll Bar mount handheld holder


MISC:
Wire
Weather pack Connectors
Solder
Heat shrink
Ring terminals
Brackets
Sheet metal



















 

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That setup looks great! Getting the base station antenna up as high as you can really makes a huge difference! I'd suggest a 14" dual band antenna (Diamond, MFJ or Premiere, all about $20 - $30) for the handheld, it will double the range for minimal cost.

If you're setup at one end of the track and the race car is going to be in one direction relative to your pit, then a multi-element directional antenna will basically beam your signal in one direction right at the car. But if the track has the car going in all kinds of directions, then the omni directional antenna you have will be best.


I have a little experience with radios and radio wave propagation, having been an electronic technician in the submarine force, ESM operator; ESM, maintenance and advanced digital troubleshooting instructor for 10 yrs and a defense contractor for 15 yrs (designing and installing new interfaces and more sensitive receivers.)

I use 75 watt Yaesu race radios with 112 race channels and 7 weather channels programmed in, 5/8 wave custom tuned (for the center of the race channel frequencies) roof antenna on the rail, and a double stacked 5/8 wave antenna, again tuned for center band which I mount atop my 28' fiberglass flagpole for my base station antenna. I also have 5 watt handhelds for ATV/bike riders, with 14" 5/8 wave antennas.

A properly mounted (on a ground plane, like an aluminum roof) 5/8 wave antenna will give you double the range of a 1/2 wave antenna, which doesn't need a ground plane, it can be mounted on a tab or a plastic roof. Since we're dealing with rough terrain, radio range is severely shortened, so I opt for more power (75 watts vs 50 watts) and a more efficient antenna with twice the range. A new crop of wideband antennas are out which are about halfway in between the performance of the 5/8 wave and 1/2 wave. They're nice because they also don't need a ground plane, and don't sacrifice that much range for the convenience of more flexible mounting choices.

An extreme example of the range capabilities: I was at the top of the mountain just entering into the Imperial Valley on I-8 eastbound, west of Ocotillo. My friend was parked at Osborne Overlook. We both had 75 watt radios in vehicles with 5/8 wave antennas, and we could hear each other as clear as if we were sitting side by side. That's 65 mi as the crow flies.

Another time I talked in my sandrail, from Duner's Diner parking lot, to a motorhome parked behind the Glamis Beach Store, which is a solid 25 mi or so, diagonally across the entire ISDRA. It was pretty scratchy, but we did understand each other.

I figure if you're going to buy a radio, might as well get some range out of it. Nothing more aggravating than trying to raise someone on the radio and wondering if they're hurt and can't respond, or out of range because you didn't buy the right components. The funny thing is, the right components are often times actually cheaper.
 

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When I saw the thread title I thought "Oh cool he has developed a way to race the car from remote control while listening to cool tunes at the dunes."

What a letdown.

:(
 

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That setup looks great! Getting the base station antenna up as high as you can really makes a huge difference! I'd suggest a 14" dual band antenna (Diamond, MFJ or Premiere, all about $20 - $30) for the handheld, it will double the range for minimal cost.<br>
<br>
If you're setup at one end of the track and the race car is going to be in one direction relative to your pit, then a multi-element directional antenna will basically beam your signal in one direction right at the car. But if the track has the car going in all kinds of directions, then the omni directional antenna you have will be best.<br>
<br>
<br>
I have a little experience with radios and radio wave propagation, having been an electronic technician in the submarine force, ESM operator; ESM, maintenance and advanced digital troubleshooting instructor for 10 yrs and a defense contractor for 15 yrs (designing and installing new interfaces and more sensitive receivers.)<br>
<br>
I use 75 watt Yaesu race radios with 112 race channels and 7 weather channels programmed in, 5/8 wave custom tuned (for the center of the race channel frequencies) roof antenna on the rail, and a double stacked 5/8 wave antenna, again tuned for center band which I mount atop my 28' fiberglass flagpole for my base station antenna. I also have 5 watt handhelds for ATV/bike riders, with 14" 5/8 wave antennas.<br>
<br>
A properly mounted (on a ground plane, like an aluminum roof) 5/8 wave antenna will give you double the range of a 1/2 wave antenna, which doesn't need a ground plane, it can be mounted on a tab or a plastic roof. Since we're dealing with rough terrain, radio range is severely shortened, so I opt for more power (75 watts vs 50 watts) and a more efficient antenna with twice the range. A new crop of wideband antennas are out which are about halfway in between the performance of the 5/8 wave and 1/2 wave. They're nice because they also don't need a ground plane, and don't sacrifice that much range for the convenience of more flexible mounting choices.<br>
<br>
An extreme example of the range capabilities: I was at the top of the mountain just entering into the Imperial Valley on I-8 eastbound, west of Ocotillo. My friend was parked at Osborne Overlook. We both had 75 watt radios in vehicles with 5/8 wave antennas, and we could hear each other as clear as if we were sitting side by side. That's 65 mi as the crow flies.<br>
<br>
Another time I talked in my sandrail, from Duner's Diner parking lot, to a motorhome parked behind the Glamis Beach Store, which is a solid 25 mi or so, diagonally across the entire ISDRA. It was pretty scratchy, but we did understand each other.<

Socal- I need this setup for my TT. Where do you recommend buying these components? My radio guy is Mexican and speaks no English. I got to figure out how I'm going to translate stuff that I barely understand myself. I'm taking it that Yaesu is a brand name? And does the installer do the custom tuning on the 5/8 wave antenna? Thanks.
 

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Socal,

Have you set up any of Yaesu's SmartBeconing / way point data systems?
 
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