RefSix

Economical Communications Gear?

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Hoosier Ref

Well-Known Member
#1
First off, it is not in the budget (nor will it ever be) to spend $1000 (US) on comm gear but I'd like to get feedback and recommendations.

I have worked using other referees' electronic flags. They were great for communicating quietly. I have also worked using using other referees' two way radios with headsets. There are some definite pros/cons here with cheaper radios. Having to push to talk, sound quality, securing the radios can be issues. They are nice however.

I am considering purchasing midland lxt600vp3's with headsets and using tunebelts made for iphones to secure them on the shoulders. Total cost for 4 would run about $160 (US) for 4 radios, 4 headsets, and 3 armbands.

I have come across another alternative which is intriguing and I would like to hear if anyone has experience with the VnetPhone or Ejeas full duplex radios? They appear to be motorcycle intercoms adapted to football/soccer usage. Full duplex would be nice but I hate to invest the $300 it would take to invest without hearing from anyone who has tried these.

Any thoughts/experience out there?
 

cwyeary

RefChat Addict
#2
First off, it is not in the budget (nor will it ever be) to spend $1000 (US) on comm gear but I'd like to get feedback and recommendations.

I have worked using other referees' electronic flags. They were great for communicating quietly. I have also worked using using other referees' two way radios with headsets. There are some definite pros/cons here with cheaper radios. Having to push to talk, sound quality, securing the radios can be issues. They are nice however.

I am considering purchasing midland lxt600vp3's with headsets and using tunebelts made for iphones to secure them on the shoulders. Total cost for 4 would run about $160 (US) for 4 radios, 4 headsets, and 3 armbands.

I have come across another alternative which is intriguing and I would like to hear if anyone has experience with the VnetPhone or Ejeas full duplex radios? They appear to be motorcycle intercoms adapted to football/soccer usage. Full duplex would be nice but I hate to invest the $300 it would take to invest without hearing from anyone who has tried these.

Any thoughts/experience out there?
I've used the vnetphones multiple times. They work surprisingly well for the price. The only problem is you have to be careful to avoid hitting the mute button while it's wrapped against your arm.
 

one

RefChat Addict
#3
I have used the Yapalong 4000 and another brand (cant remember the name). Yapalong 4000 has 8 hour battery life when fresh. Can easily use it for 2 back to back games, set and forget. No need to play around with it during the game. Our RA has 3 sets and they are shared around on selected games. Planning to buy more.

Obviously sound quality is the basic requirement. Any set above $1000 should have decent sound.

Convenience of use is the biggest consideration when buying them. A base unit and the ear piece/mic that can be easily secured and don't come off easily when running is very important. If you spend $30 on an earpiece, you will be spending most of your time keeping it in your ear. It becomes cumbersome and more of a distraction. At the very least, for the CR, get an air tube one for about $70 or more. Or if money is not too much of a problem then there are lighter more expensive ones.
 
#4
Let me know what you end up doing, I have also been looking for an economical comms system but I haven’t spent much time researching anything cheap that would work well.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
#7
Its worth noting that if you are in England then you aren't allowed to use comms in games below national league so save your money.
 
#9
Anything under $1000 without being used is not going to be worth it. Frankly, you'll be unlikely to use it (or be allowed to use it) in any competition where it might be even necessary until you are on the national list.
 

cwyeary

RefChat Addict
#10
Frankly, you'll be unlikely to use it (or be allowed to use it) in any competition where it might be even necessary until you are on the national list.
That's not the case in the US where Hoosier and I live. I've used other peoples headsets multiple times a year on various youth matches.
 
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one

RefChat Addict
#13
No restrictions in Aus either. Although we strongly discourage newer referees (in their first few years) from using it to ensure they learn how to communicate without it. There is no replacement for eye contact, using body language and the occasional jogging to the AR to have a quick chat face to face. The bit of extra thinking time the latter gives you is invaluable even if you think you don't need it.
 
#14
It's fine that there are no restrictions, but why on earth should you need them? We are not restricted (at least not officially) in Canada, but I see no benefit below men's intercollegiate.
 

Hoosier Ref

Well-Known Member
#17
I agree. Comms can be a crutch. Referees should master eye contact and communication among the officiating crew without comms before adding them in. When refereeing high school games when the kids are playing for their schools we are required to inform the coach of the reason for a YC. We also work in a noisy environment with larger crowds in a stadium setting.

I'm still not sold on the comms, but when I have used other referees' sets, I found it useful for communicating subs, fouls behind the play, injuries behind the play, getting numbers of offenders that the AR may have gotten, etc. All of these are things that comms are not necessary to accomplish, but it is nice to not have to take my eyes off of players on the far side and have AR1 tell me over the comms that the subs are off the field and we are ready to go.

It would be nice to have a good full duplex (handsfree) but i have never worked with them and hesitate to invest in those never having used them
 

one

RefChat Addict
#18
The biggest and most common benefit for me is offsides or close onsides on the far side to AR. Most times when there is a possibility of a foul, possibly in the PA, I don't want to take my eye off play to check for a flag but I would want to know if it's on or off as soon as possible. Having comms also has the added benefit of AR being able to tell you 'wait and see' in advance.
 
#19
Comms, like the spray, makes us look daft if you use them at too low a level game.

If you have under 50 people watching then it’s probably inappropriate/overkill.

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by comms though. Brilliant for difficult offsides (behind, attacker touch, wait&see), great for YC/RC support, help from ARs spotting off the ball stuff, great for AR advice on unseen deflections/saves for ball in/out...

I’ve come across some idiosyncracies though: one guy that screams the colour if throw so repeatedly that there’s no way to interrupt to tell it should be the other way... one guy that ‘labels’ promising attacks over comms to make SPA/YC easier, another that says ‘touch’ if the defender plays the through ball.

Personally, my favourite thing about using mics (that I then took into all games) is just to be able to say “good” to colleagues.
 
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