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Jet boat intercom system, like in an airplane.

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  • Jet boat intercom system, like in an airplane.

    We run the Yukon most every year for moose. It is a long trip for sure. I used a portable aviation intercom system last time and it made a world of difference. We could talk in normal voices, and when we did, the music would automatically decrease in sound. The general aviation (GA) headsets were excellent at noise reduction and more comfortable than construction headsets. We bluetoothed in some tunes and had a rich and grand time. We were not as "tired" of traveling and we could talk about navigation and boat matters much easier making the trip safer.

    Now, I want to install push to talk (PTT) with a marine radio to talk with the other boat traveling with us. The radios are very hard to hear when the boats are screaming down river. Communication with the other boat for general navigation and such would be priceless. There are plenty of hand held aviation radios that are instantly compatible with the GA system, but they do not carry marine frequencies. I looked around a lot and found a way to connect a GA PTT connection to a marine radio, with a few connectors. Here is my summary.

    Two general aviation headsets, stereo with volume adjust on the headset. They have two plugs .25 and .206. I am using passives noise reduction. For more money you can get noise canceling technology.

    A portable stereo aviation intercom system. Voice activated, not push to talk for intercom. Runs on a 9v battery or the 12v plug. Has an auxiliary port for tunes. Mine is 4 person, they make them in 2,3,4 person intercoms. Hooks up to the Radio (this is the rub).

    HX400 hand held radio from Standard Horizons. I am sure there are others that would work. This radio is programmable with a special cord and a CD that runs on a PC. You can get in trouble with it and program channels that are FCC licensed. I plan on using mostly marine channels, but I might play with it some. It has 12v and 110 charging capability. There is also a way to run it on AA batteries. It is submersible. It is a popular radio and you can find it readily used, on sale, or full price. I will take it out of the boat and put in my pack while hunting. Can also use it in PWS.

    GA to 5-pin connector from Rugged Radios. Part is GA-5P-ADPT and you have to call them for it right now, it is not on the web sight.

    CJ-HX connector from Rugged radios again. This is the connector from the HX400 radio.

    CS-5P-EXT-10 from Rugged Radios. A 10 ft extension cord to go from the GA-5P to the CJ-HX connector. Lets me mount the radio up close to the roof or on the dash.

    Any old aviation PTT switch.

    There are other headset intercom systems out there that are not aviation. Construction crews use them often enough. But, they are radio or bluetooth usually, and expensive. They don't have intercom with PTT availability either. There is also intercom systems for ATV and Offroad use. Same principles as the aviation world, but different plugs. It is also very expensive and there are no used parts. I like the aviation system because there are a TON of used parts available and a fraction of the cost of other systems. And, you can use it with an airplane (or helicopter with a special plug adapter).

    I am looking at used parts for building a system for my buddies boat. I think I can get it done for $350. A new system with basic headsets would be about $700. A Rugged Radio system that is not aviation would be over $1300.

    Anybody else use something like this?

  • #2
    The HX380 or HX370 radios should work as well with this same set up. FYI

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    • #3
      I did back when I had my airboat.
      I could select one of the two radios and I or the copilot each had a ptt button to talk to other boats.

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