Clear and effective comms are essential at REDARC Camper Trailer of the Year events, both where we have the set-up campers and where we take the campers off road.
Attending campers are often set up a fair distance from each other, so chatter between the dispersed photographers, videographers, manufacturers, and event staff is critical to the effective handling of the event. Yes, it’s 2020, there’s mobile phones. But you’re not meant to use phones while driving, and what good are they when you’ve left the mobile towers far behind?
Where to stop, when to proceed, warnings about what’s around the bend, the current status of the vehicle, the plans of each driver, lighthearted banter — it’s critical that all of this is conveyed clearly. We wanted a simple and mobile solution for this event. Not everyone has a big whip aerial and a high-powered radio installed on their 4WD. Besides, you can’t take a mounted radio with you when you pop out the car. So we went with a quad pack of GME TX677 2 Watt UHF CB Handheld Radios.
They’re no bigger than your mobile phone, measuring 52 x 90 x 30mm less the antenna. That makes them easy to whack in your pocket, or on your belt with the belt clip. Given that size, and the fact these are 2 watt, the 10km range is a big win. We were mostly working within a few Ks so we had no dramas at all in clear conditions without dense obstruction. So the claim definitely stood up — sadly, even when people were telling bad jokes. Fortunately the rotary knob up top makes it simple to quickly cut even the worst of puns, or to crank up the volume when some newbie is holding the mouthpiece at arm’s length.
Each handheld has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 1600mAh capacity. With their low 2 watt draw that’ll give you 14 hours operating time per radio. That proved more than sufficient, even during the event’s long work days. Then, overnight, we’d top them up using the two twin desktop chargers. When someone forgot to load them on the dock, we were able to top them up via a USB charger in the car, which comes included in the package.
As you’d expect they’ve got the standard 80 channels so you’ll be able to find yourself a bit of privacy, even when every man and his dog is out and about.
GME certainly have more powerful products with longer range and more functionality within their stable. But the humble TX677 2 Watt UHF CB Handheld Radio goes to show you can still achieve the critical part of comms for a good price. That’s just showing off.
GME TX677 2 Watt UHF CB Handheld Radio Quad Pack
More info: gme.net.au