Last year my kids began to race more frequently and so it was time to up my game as it pertained to on-the-track communications. I have owned hand held radios for a long time, but I wanted a package that I could keep together just for competition so that I didn’t go on a wild goose chase come race weekend making sure the car & pit were able to talk to one another. We made one call to the experts at PCI Race Radios and they lined us out with the ultimate trackside short course spotters package!
The package we selected was the Short Course F2000 Package from PCI Race Radios. It came with everything we needed all in a nice brief case, to help us keep track of the kids on the track and remain in constant communication. The boys already had some slick youth HJC full face race helmets from PCI Race Radios so at least I didn’t need to pop for those. But as I type this I am reminded they are almost outgrowing those, so probably time to break out the wallet again!
I contemplated the cost a bit on the radio package, $1000.00 for a radio package isn’t just a drop in the bucket. I thought about using our BaoFeng style 5watt hand held units and just purchasing an in-car package and using some old headsets I had to help save the cost. But as I asked around I found out that the cheaper radios were bleeding out onto adjacent channels and were causing spotters to walk all over everyones coms. Anyone who has these handhelds know they always seem to work great when you are in close proximity or at home with little to no interference but once you get to a race they become almost only good for receiving communications as calling out can be a real challenge. With the thought of saving a couple bucks out the window we decided to do things the right way and pop for the F2000 Short Course Package.
The package comes with (2) Icom F2000 UHF 4 watt hand held radios that feature Li Ion Batteries and Rapid Smart Chargers. The great thing about the Icom’s is you can put them in the same room and talk on different channels to a separate radios and neither interferes with the other. This is important as I plan to fully cheat and tell my kids exactly where to put their race cars on the track…. I am kidding. But seriously, this is an important feature because having spotted for many racers over the years, there is nothing more frustrating then bad communications on race day. Especially when you are talking kids, you always want to be able to hear your little ones call back to you from the race car and you certainly want to talk to them, probably too much…. I am kidding again. Sort of…
Anyway, we first tested the units at last years UTV World Championship and they worked flawlessly. I was able to tell my kids to “GO FASTER” over and over again, and they were able to clearly respond with “LEAVE US ALONE DAD”. It was great. More than that, was the piece of mind we had knowing that if anything went wrong we could clearly explain to them to just “GO FASTER”!
From there I took them to the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (So-Cal Regional) where my oldest son Enzo was racing in a trophy kart, curtesy of the Knupp family. It was cool because this was the same set up we used in their RZR 170 at the UTV World Championship but after the race I packed everything away nicely in the storage case and was able to then install everything cleanly in the Trophy Kart. I should mention, PCI set us up with our own race frequency so only Enzo could hear me yell to “GO FASTER”! In addition, it has the spotters channel also programmed from PCI so that we can hear the spotter talking clearly to us as well. At one point they communication was to tell the “yellow trophy kart to move over” in which case I responded to Enzo with “You need to GO FASTER”!
While I used this set up to spot for my kids, the units are used by the pro’s as well. This system is perfect for anyone racing LOORRS, TORC, WORCS or any other short course series. They are designed for longer desert racing but they can be used by the pit captain to speak to the driver as they enter the pits and while they are performing the pit stop.
I love this set up a bunch. It worked perfectly and for the price you really can’t beat it as a package. Of course, I wish we could use it more. Thank goodness the UTV World Championship is coming back up because I know my kids can’t wait to hear me yell in their headsets some more!
Thank you to the staff at PCI Race Radios for dialing us in once again.
Everything you need for clear, crisp communications with your spotter. UHF radios don’t work well in long distance desert races, but are ideal for short course racing. This complete package comes with everything for the car and spotter. Already have a wired helmet? See package at top right for package without a helmet wiring kit.
- (2) Icom F2000 UHF 4 Watt Hand Held Radios with Li Ion Batteries and Rapid Smart Chargers
- Over The Head Headset with Radio Interface Cable and Listen Only Jack. (Listen only cable and radio sold separately)
- Single Seat Harness, Velcro Push-to-Talk and Radio Interface Cable.
- Dirtbagz Radio Holder, Convenient Aluminum Carrying Case with Foam
- Earjack Helmet Wiring Kit with Challenger II Foam Ear Pieces