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Old June 27th, 2016, 13:52   #1
Schock
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Vancouver BC
Communications suggestions

We went to our first event this weekend and had a great time, but found that communication was a big problem. We had a couple of cheap handheld radios but my son and his friend were carrying them. They had limited range and battery life, and of course once we got separated I was dependent on finding someone else with a radio to get information. As a result, I spent a lot of time not knowing what was going on, and where I would be most useful on the field.

I am looking for advice on what radios to look for. I don't want to spend crazy money but I would like to be able to monitor more than one channel at a time. Durability, range, and battery life are important.

Any suggestions?
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Old June 27th, 2016, 13:57   #2
Datawraith
 
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Baofeng UV-5R and Puxing PX-888 are the common recommendations. I use the UV-5R and am planning on getting a couple of the extended batteries off dealextreme. You can get the UV-5R from DX for pretty cheap as well.
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Old June 27th, 2016, 13:57   #3
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Not sure why anyone would pick up a 30-40 dollar pair of "radios" and think they would be good for comms..... cheaping out in airsoft is exactly like cheaping out in the rest of life. Except this time you annoy the fuck out of all the other players with open mics (I love listening to you breath) and cut/staticy/or otherwise garbled messages.

Puxing 888
or
Baofeng

Read the thread entitled "Radios and You".
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Old June 27th, 2016, 14:27   #4
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Originally Posted by daishi View Post
Not sure why anyone would pick up a 30-40 dollar pair of "radios" and think they would be good for comms..... cheaping out in airsoft is exactly like cheaping out in the rest of life. Except this time you annoy the fuck out of all the other players with open mics (I love listening to you breath) and cut/staticy/or otherwise garbled messages.
Actually, we already had the radios because we use them on our boat to communicate between the tender and the mother ship. They work just fine for that purpose. You can hear and understand just fine as long as you are in range.
We were mostly using them to monitor chatter. I agree that it is annoying to listen to all the wannabee radio operators clogging the airwaves. The most annoying thing were the guys accidentally pushing and holding their talk buttons. One such offender had a fancy setup with a big aerial and handset. Just because you spend the money doesn't mean you know what you are doing!

I'm willing to bet most of the guys out there with fancy radios have no training on how to use them, and even fewer have radio operators licences. I have both.
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Old June 27th, 2016, 14:44   #5
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Baofeng UV-5R and Puxing PX-888.

As for the other chatter; well get on there and set an example.
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Old June 27th, 2016, 15:15   #6
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Those two suggestions are adequate. I prefer the Wouxun over them though. These are the cheap options to be honest. Most of them come with a charger and one battery, but buying a spare battery is recommended and you can also get a high gain antenna for about $10 - $15 more, which I've had great success with. Certainly not necessary for out here, but it helps.

After you get your radio figured out, then it's headset time. You want to be able to hear your radios, but you don't want the opposing team to. There are some decent clone ones, but make sure they're comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Or you can go the real steel route (recommended). There's a place in Burnaby called Norquip, they have a surveillance earpiece and PTT that works well, I think they're about $80 or so, plus the sized molded earpieces for about $10 (also recommended). Good comms change the whole dynamic of the game, but now you can see airsoft getting expensive. Ask for things for Christmas. lol
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Old June 27th, 2016, 15:29   #7
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Yes indeed it does get expensive! I am into it for over $800 and only just getting started! That's why we used the radios we have on hand. Unfortunately we have to deal with getting sneered at for being cheap or not tacticool enough!

Oh well I was running out of Christmas ideas, so now I have a big new list!
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Old June 27th, 2016, 16:31   #8
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Originally Posted by Schock View Post
Unfortunately we have to deal with getting sneered at for being cheap or not tacticool enough!
Its not really about being cheap or not tactical enough.

Nobody is going to be running what the real guys run on the field, you simply can't get those radios. So its NEVER about being tactical enough.

Even the radios just recommended (which are great recommendations for our use) are pretty cheap for HHTs, so its definitely not a 'being cheap' thing either. If somebody try's to say it is, they need to see some of the setups me and the guys I play with run... we are kinda comms geeks though.

Blisterpack radios simple SUCK, for so, SO many reasons. They serve a purpose, and they preform that purpose well, its unfortunate that the advertised purpose VASTLY oversells them though. Its also unfortunate that their purpose is mostly incompatible with our needs at milsim type games.

Grab yourself some of the recommended radios of your choice and get some high quality headsets/PA Mic+Earbud and you will be good to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schock View Post
I agree that it is annoying to listen to all the wannabee radio operators clogging the airwaves. The most annoying thing were the guys accidentally pushing and holding their talk buttons. One such offender had a fancy setup with a big aerial and handset. Just because you spend the money doesn't mean you know what you are doing!
Unfortunately, that happens.
When you have the opportunity to make your way to some bigger, more organized games you will find that normally the only radio chatter is limited to SL/PL/Commanders, and normally these are guys who were selected because they know what they are doing.

Welcome to the hobby, if you have more questions feel free to ask.

Last edited by Cobrajr122; June 27th, 2016 at 16:40..
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Old June 30th, 2016, 03:30   #9
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Wow i had know idea ppl would invest so much into gear like radios, is it pretty common? when i see people goin all out as if the latest and greatest military gear was essential to their game play (maybe ill start out with a string and two cups? seeing as how i spent my whole paycheck on the actual guns)..but i do see how it could get to the point where the quality of your accessories become just as important as the quality of the guns because it reminds me of when i first played airsoft some 13 years ago. Our skirmishes were purely high school kids from the nieghborhood, (actually it was about 2001 cause i was a freshmen and my brother was a senior at a different, private highschool). My friends and i all had spring pistols (and laughed at one kid who tried using a AAbatterieg gun with 25ft max range), someone did have like an $89 spring rifle that was like the british m16 equivalent but my point is that at the time none of us had even seen an AEG, and by the end of that year only one kid had upgraded to a semi-auto greengas pistol....but then one day my brother and his friends said they had invited a new kid from there school to come out..well this kid had way more money then us and i realized that we had been playing a totally different game then him the whole time, what with our $20 P99s & spring shotguns and all...it wasnt even fun haha we were used to way more running and chasing, and now there was this guy who played like a turret, just spraying bbs no more then 10 inches apart from one another at a distance that we couldnt even reach him at...now i live in the middle of nowhere, B.C. and our small group competes fairly with aegs, and when people try to play with us and only have a shitty spring pistol that only holds 15 .12g BBs they get torn apart and dont enjoy it....well im pretty sure that if me and my friends were to play with 99% of the members here it just wouldnt be fun hahaha it seems like everyone here treats airsoft like a profession rather than a pastime, and therefor any game would be like...us marine vs somalian pirates cause we dont use radios, MIT units, nightvision, optics or scopes...then again if we get 6 on 6 thats like DDay to us..2 on 2 is pretty normal...i see insane battles in scottland on youtube and EVeryone looks like they are actually in combat lol, im suprised they feel their hits through all the gear they have on (i do want a ghillie suit thingy tho)...one guy had a minigun replica!!!must be worth as much as some cars. im not trying to make fun of people (i think alotta members already hate me), i just dont think i could afford to go all out with the gear..sometimes i see guns that are more expensive then the real things and it blows my mind...but i guess i wanna ask if someone with a simple aeg and a pair of sunglasses could even compete fairly with the die-hards with all the upgrades, accesories, camo and shit?

we are thinking of trying some grenades, they look fun

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Last edited by mikebarkski; June 30th, 2016 at 03:41..
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Old June 30th, 2016, 11:05   #10
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Comms are common and a huge game changer. Night vision, noise attenuation, drones, even thermal are starting to show up more and more. Technology pushes airsoft in all kinds of directions. There have even been teams that have attended official tactical training courses and self interest courses to sharpen their skills. As time goes on it'll be more of this, not less.
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Old June 30th, 2016, 14:37   #11
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As for the comms, you bet...it can sure make a game or break it, kinda like the real thing I suppose. I've had a Baofeng for a while now and it's been a solid radio without blowing the bank. The software to program it was relatively quick to figure out and the channel frequencies can be gotten off of the Gov't of Canada website for GFRS. I just wish it did CB too!

An earpiece of some kind is a huge plus as well. I've got the 'g-man' style now and it works great without being intrusive to my surroundings. I can still hear everything going on and can wear light headgear and glasses without it getting in the way. Some of the big tactical headsets weren't my thing...good fro some, not for others, y'know?

The range on the Baofeng is also stellar and it never breaks up.

Now, interesting points on technology and airsoft. At some point should there be restrictions on levels of tech brought into a game so that you could have various levels of gameplay without unfair advantage? I'm all for guys who want to use nightvision or infrared in a low light environment, but if the majority aren't using it, should it still be allowed? That sort of thing...

For example, if the game is WWII or Viet Nam based, and no such gadgets were around, is that where we draw a line? Lose the toys? Or if the players want to do it 'old school'...could that be a thing?

Just wondering if that sort of classification will ever show up in the sport...
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Old June 30th, 2016, 14:47   #12
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Originally Posted by Zeroroaster View Post
As for the comms, you bet...it can sure make a game or break it, kinda like the real thing I suppose. I've had a Baofeng for a while now and it's been a solid radio without blowing the bank. The software to program it was relatively quick to figure out and the channel frequencies can be gotten off of the Gov't of Canada website for GFRS. I just wish it did CB too!

An earpiece of some kind is a huge plus as well. I've got the 'g-man' style now and it works great without being intrusive to my surroundings. I can still hear everything going on and can wear light headgear and glasses without it getting in the way. Some of the big tactical headsets weren't my thing...good fro some, not for others, y'know?

The range on the Baofeng is also stellar and it never breaks up.

Now, interesting points on technology and airsoft. At some point should there be restrictions on levels of tech brought into a game so that you could have various levels of gameplay without unfair advantage? I'm all for guys who want to use nightvision or infrared in a low light environment, but if the majority aren't using it, should it still be allowed? That sort of thing...

For example, if the game is WWII or Viet Nam based, and no such gadgets were around, is that where we draw a line? Lose the toys? Or if the players want to do it 'old school'...could that be a thing?

Just wondering if that sort of classification will ever show up in the sport...
For the tech restrictions, there are a few organizers doing that. Delta runs No-NODS (name is self-explanatory; no NODS or thermals), and the WWII and Vietnam games I've heard of are for serious re-enacters and don't have NODS (well, maybe Starlight scopes for the Vietnam games).

Apparently, some milsimmers enjoy the challenge of going up against NODS without NODS of their own, but I wouldn't know lol. Warfare nowadays is usually technologically-speaking one-sided; don't see why airsoft should be an exception. Regarding that though, I have read AARs that describe opposing teams getting completely and utterly wiped out because the other side had way more NODs, so there is that. Maybe figure out how to balance the tech upon registration?
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Old June 30th, 2016, 15:05   #13
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Originally Posted by mikebarkski View Post
Wow i had know idea ppl would invest so much into gear like radios, is it pretty common?
Night Vision
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Old June 30th, 2016, 15:31   #14
Ricochet
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Bottom line, field/game organizers can restrict any way they want and they do.

Any serious reinact based games usually ban the use of all, or most things not in-tune with the main game dynamic.

Should Tech be restricted on the basis of advantage or individual budget? In my opinion, that's a hard "NO". I'll tell you why; For starters, Airsoft has ALWAYS been a game of gear and tech advantage. It's an important part of how the evolution of the game happens. Would you regulate players who have better guns, disruptive camo, training, comms? A well prepared team with reliable guns and good comms will annihilate other groups, even much larger ones. Just a few years back before flat hops and polar-stars, the difference between extremely high end guns and everything else was hugely stark. To this day my gun solidly out shoots many guns, even by 100 feet or more at times and with lower FPS/joules. Teams that bought and learned comms and practiced or even professionally trained working together have the largest advantage on the field by far. It's not reasonable to try and break them up and/or restrict comms in most cases, so who cares about one dude with NVGs? So as long as there is no inherent safety risk, like over powered IR lasers, then why take away something someone worked hard for and purchased? Everyone's budget is their own problem for many reasons, but think about this; I have kids, a wife, other expenses and yet there are people out there with less expenses and less responsibility who spend less on their gear, because maybe their priority is parting hard on Saturdays. So now I can't use my gear because they chose to spend it elsewhere? Your job, your schooling, your life, your responsibility.

I myself have no NV or thermal, YET, but run high end gear and noise attenuation and communication equipment. I've been outgunned many times by players who all had NV during a night game and managed to push through. I enjoy the challenge and I like how each step forces other players to step up or fall. Airsoft is very much a tactical game, just like real combat to point. If your enemy has you outgunned, you need to use your brains and athleticism to push through.
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Old June 30th, 2016, 16:34   #15
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If your enemy has you outgunned, you need to use your brains and athleticism to push through.
...or get more money...hehehe
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