Tech Talk

Are You Ready For Baja?

Are You Ready For Baja?

PCI Essentials when prepping for the 1000

The SCORE Baja 1000 is right around the corner and it is important to make sure that you’ve crossed everything off the list to make sure your communication and safety is working to capacity for you to secure that win. We’ve put together our Top 5 MUSTS when it comes to getting ready for the big race.

1. Communication Testing

Your car is performing the best you’ve ever seen it, then you hit a monster of a silt bed at race mile 680 and boom, you’re buried and you need immediate help from your chase team. You hit the radio, but you have no response. There are a number of possible reasons you may not be receiving your chase team; we can rule out many of those reasons just by simple tests prior to the race. Antenna tuning, water damage, faulty wiring, just a to name a few. Your best bet is to test your coms at your shop and call us before the race to get you dialed, making sure everything is working the way it should, replace necessary components, spot check wiring and antenna placement, and have the professionals assure you that you’ll be able to reach your team when needed. While you’re there, make sure you're talking loud and clear to your co-driver, and that your intercom system is flawless. You don’t want to turn left into a cactus because you couldn’t hear them telling you to turn right. https://www.pciraceradios.com/collections/race-packages

 

2. Know Where You’re Going

As you gear up for prerunning, hopefully you downloaded the official course map and GPS files from SCORE’s website. If you had trouble with your GPS signal, it’s functionality, plotting, then don’t waste any time. PCI is an authorized Lowrance dealer and is stocked with race ready GPS systems. Not only that, but we have the best service and support in the industry, and our support team is ready to assist you in making sure your navigation is where it needs to be come race day. Check out our Youtube Channel for tips and tricks on Lowrance.  https://www.pciraceradios.com/collections/all-gps

 

3. THE PCI WEATHERMAN RELAY

Since the 1970’s, the PCI Weatherman has been in Baja to help make sure you are your team are safe and able to communicate over thousands of miles of treacherous terrain. Weatherman is the go-to team to connect you to emergency personnel during the unexpected. Whether you are racing, chasing, or even a spectator - take a look at the Weatherman Relay Etiquette for important info to make sure everyone's communications work great on race day.

 

4. Up to Date & Up to Par

Make sure your Helmets, Head and Neck Restraints, Suits and other safety equipment are up to date and in good condition before you head South. SCORE requires a two layer SFI 3.2A/2 driving suit or a single layer SFI 3.2A/1 AND SFI 3.3 Nomex Underwear. They currently allow SA 2010, SA 2015. SFI 31.2A, FIA 8859-2015 or 8860-2010 Helmets. SFI Gloves, Shoes are recommended. The Fueler needs an SA2005 or newer helmet, fire resistant gloves and a single layer SFI 3.2A/1 suit. Balaclava is recommended. Head and Neck restraints must be SFI 38.1+ or FIA 8858-2010. 

Our go-to helmets for Baja races are, without a doubt, Impact. The Offset 20 and Evo are safe, reliable, and come RaceAir ready. 

You can find race compliant safety equipment on our Safety Apparel page, including gloves, underwear, aprons, and more. 

Disclaimer: This info is from the 2020 SCORE rule book, but things do change, so check with SCORE for any updates.

5. Just Breathe.

It’s hot, it’s dusty, the exhaust is pumping. The last thing on your mind should be breathing fresh air. Don’t even allow this to become an issue for you or your co-driver. Get a fresh air system installed into your vehicle now, hook it up and forget about it - you need to focus. PCI RaceAir has been installed into so many vehicles, no matter the race class. If you don’t have an air inlet in your helmet, let us install one. You can mount these pretty much anywhere and get whatever length hose you want, turn your car on and just breath. https://www.pciraceradios.com/collections/raceair

 

“Oh yeah, I need to get that fixed”. Don’t say that anymore, it’s not worth it. Call us today, or see us at tech, and take that nagging error in your vehicle off your mind. You have better things to worry about. We wish you the best of luck in the race this year, and remember, our team is always here to support you, and provide you with the best products the industry can offer!

 

PCI RACE RADIOS

www.pciraceradios.com

800-869-5636

Helmet Care

Helmet Care

Off-Road races are some of the most grueling, demanding races on earth. Extreme temperatures, remote mechanical fixes, tire changes, dust, mud and sweat. When you get to the checkers it is time to celebrate and your gear is usually just thrown in a bag. When you get to the next race, your helmet is gross. Here are some tips to help keep your helmet feeling as fresh as the day you got it.

  1. Never put your helmet away wet (Not sweaty, not from washing, not from a wet race).  Always leave the shield up and let it dry before storage.
  2. Wipe the helmet down after using it.  Inside and out. Including the shield. A dirty shield will scratch during storage or travel. Use water only on the shield, some cleaners will damage the shield coating. Shields can be protected by using tear off’s or Cruz Armor.
  3. If you have removable interior, remove the pads and liner and wash them.  When the interior gets really bad, you can purchase new cheek pads and liner.  If not removable, wipe the inside down with a damp rag and let dry.
  4. Store your helmet with a spritz of Febreze, Molecule helmet spray, or leave a dryer sheet inside your PCI helmet bag to keep it smelling nice the next time that you use it.

Should I keep my hand mic plugged in?

Should I keep my hand mic plugged in?

You just got your new Ultimate package installed in your UTV. As you go through some of the extra parts in the box, you notice the hand mic hanging out there. Your radio connects to your intercom so it may seem like you don't really need to bring along the extra parts, but we have some points for you to consider about that!

We understand that you will be wearing headsets or helmets (both of which have microphones built in) while you are riding.  The hand mic comes into use when you are stopped, resting, waiting or making a repair and you don’t have your helmet/headset on your head.  You can simply plug the hand mic into the front of your radio and communication with your friends or help is much easier.

That said, we DO NOT recommend you leaving your hand mic plugged into the radio at all times. Every time that you push your push to talk button on the steering wheel/grab bar the hand mic will be activated in addition to the helmet/headset mic.  This will introduce unwanted background noise into the system.  Simply keep your hand mic in a tool bag or storage area until it is needed; and you will be happy that you have it with you. 

We also recommend keeping the mic jack cover installed on your radio when you don't have your hand mic plugged in. This helps keep dust and water out of the inside of the radio. Lost your mic jack cover? Buy a replacement here

Microphone Placement

Microphone Placement

Most people don't know, but microphone placement is one of the single most important components of your communication system. At PCI, we use noise canceling microphones that are specially designed to pick up your voice - not your engine, wind or shock noise. For the microphone to best determine what noise is what, the mic literally needs to be touching your lips. If you are having a hard time hearing anyone over the radio, ask them "how far away from your lips is that microphone?" If their answer isn't, "It's touching my lips!" then it is too far. When a co-driver has a microphone that is too far from their mouth, drivers will often turn up their volume, introducing other noise into the intercom system.

Always have the microphone centered left to right and top to bottom directly in front of your mouth and project your voice directly at the microphone. This is even more important for soft spoken people and children. DON'T YELL! You should never have to yell into your microphone, in fact yelling or excitement often makes you even harder to understand. Try to remain calm (which can be tough in a race environment), relax, take a deep breath, know what you want to say before you begin speaking, and clearly talk out, directly into the microphone.

These tips apply to anyone with a helmet or headset, get some mic socks and get comfy with your microphone - it will make the person on the other end of the radio a much happier person!

PCI Race Radios Helmet Microphone Options

PCI Race Radios Helmet Microphone Options

 

PCI Race Radios carries a selection of microphones for your helmet. Upgrade your helmet to one of our noise cancelling microphones for the best in communication.

 

Standard Low Gain Microphone

This Microphone is the standard on all helmets and headsets. Our low gain microphone was designed to work with intercom systems.

Standard High Gain Microphone

Utilized in our "Motorcycle" and "Short Course" Packages, this high gain microphone increases voice volume over hand held radios.

 

Extreme Microphone 

This low gain microphone is a military spec mic ideal for extremely loud exhaust. It's a must for open window vehicles with a V8. Made in the USA.

 

Gentex High Gain Microphone

This small, compact, military microphone is ideal for helmets using a hand held radio. (Short course, motorcycles) Made in the USA.

Gentex Low Gain Microphone

This small, compact, military microphone has a low gain modification and works best with loud exhaust. A must for use with a PCI Satcomm system. Made in the USA.

 

In Summary, here are the uses and microphones we recommend:

  • Intercom in a UTV with stock, quiet exhaust = Standard Low Gain Mic.
  • Intercom in a vehicle with Loud exhaust, V8 = Extreme Mic
  • Hand Held radio on a quiet bike or car = Standard High Gain Mic
  • Hand Held radio in a race vehicle = Gentex High Gain Mic
  • Intercom in a vehicle with loud exhaust, V8 that would like smaller mic pellet and all Satcomm = Gentex Low Gain Microphone