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PRODUCT: RUGGED RADIOS RH5X 5-WATT RADIO

May 29, 2017
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WHAT IT IS:

Rugged Radios is all about off-road racing, and the new RH5X handheld radio is a 5-watt, waterproof and dust-proof, dual-band (UHF/VHF), IP57 FM transceiver with a 7.4-volt, 1800 mAh lithium-ion battery. The RH5X comes with 40-plus pre-programmed off-road channels, including BITD, Weatherman, Baja Pits, BFG Relay, Checkers and Rescue, and can be programmed with up to 128 channels. The RH5X comes with a removable antenna, charging station, lanyard, belt clip, lapel mic and earbud. The motorcycle/ATV kit includes the RH5X, helmet speaker kit, iPod/MP3 music cable, radio jumper cable, and motorcycle/ATV harnesses with Velcro-mount PTT (push-to-talk) button.

FEATURES:

The RH5X includes a built-in LED flashlight, LCD backlit display, 5-watt output, commercial FM radio (65–108 MHz) receiver, dual-band transceiver (UHF 400–520 MHz, VHF 130–176MHz), cross-band reception/transmission, selectable high/mid/low (5/3/1 watts) power function, selectable display modes, CTCSS and DCS, Tone End of Transmission, VOX (voice-operated transmission), DTMF and SOS emergency alarms, ANI code, selectable Frequency Step, Broadband (Wide 25 KHz) and Narrowband 12.5 KHz) selectable, and a programmable keyboard. It can also be programmed via a PC. The RH5X is waterproof to 3 feet for 30 minutes with its black plastic case incorporating a speaker, mic, LCD display, PTT button, on/off and volume knob, SK side keys (1/F, 2/M), LED indicator and accessory jack.

The H42 Crew headset has a PTT button and an adjustable mic built in for $159.99. The Crew Chief/Spotter kit includes an H42 headset, RH5X radio and longer connector cable for $322.15, and the radio bag is $25.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

The helmet kit includes dual speakers and a microphone that are installed in your choice of helmet, a wiring loom with quick connects to the PTT button that attaches to a handlebar, steering wheel or passenger T-bar, and the radio. There is also a 3.5mm audio input jack and music cable. We also scored the $25 radio bag for mounting to our UTV and a Crew H42 behind-the-head headset ($159-$179) with PTT, molded color domes, dual speakers, wire-boom mic with foam cover, five-pin universal radio port, polyurethane ear seals and volume control.

WHO’S IT FOR?

The MC/ATV RH5X kit and RH5X with H42 Crew headset fulfill all mandatory requirements for racing Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS), WORCS, BITD, SCORE and other racing series. Not only are two-way communications a safety issue in these events (informing racers of yellow, red or black flags), the RH5X is used to spot for the racer as in NASCAR. Even if you don’t race, radio communications are invaluable for keeping track of everyone on your group rides, calling out turns onto new trails or alerting the leader that a particular UTV has a flat or blown belt.

THE VERDICT:

We’ve been using our two RH5X radios for several months and experienced zero problems with either unit. The RH5X MC/ATV kit, radio bag and Crew headset are the least expensive and lightest way to meet racing organization requirements, and the short range is ample for race-spotting and trail-ride communications. Those wanting more than the one-to-three-mile, line-of-sight range of the RH5X can get the Ducky extended antenna ($40) or external antenna that mounts to the roof ($99). We’re stoked to have on-board communications for our trail rides, and the RH5X is easily tuned to frequencies used by our friends with  more-powerful in-car radios.

contact: www.ruggedradios.com, (888) 541-7223

RATING: ★★★★

PRICE: $149; MC/ATV kit, $391.50; Handheld radio bag, $25; Crew H42 headset, $159–$179

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