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How to build your own soccer/football referee communication system?

Hi, if you are a soccer/football fan, then you have seen soccer referees in UEFA, EPL, and World Cup matches wearing and using a communication system to talk with one another.

An example of this is here: http://www.crescentcomms.com/
A similar system is offered specifically for dental offices: here (NOTE: actual that website shows a lot of interesting equipment)

The problems associated with this system are:

-Too expensive
-Too many wires
-Too many pieces of equipment
-Too heavy to wear (a transmitter is strapped to your shorts as you run around)
-Uncomfortable to use as you are running and sweating

People can build their own cheaper systems by buying 2-way walkie talkies, headsets, batteries, arm straps, etc. off the shelves.  But it retains all the drawbacks.

What I really envision are the following:

-Secure communication (i.e. set channel/frequency) for at least 4 referees
-Open communication (i.e. no need to push to talk)
-Each referee wears a bluetooth headset like this one made by Platronics
-Adjustable ear pieces as needed
-Need to work for at least three hours straight at one time
-Ideally powered by small lithium batteries (like those used for watches)
-Ideally power source should be rechargeable or somehow be able to plug into USB or outlet for recharging

As you can see, I really would like to see something built that can eliminate the wires, the weight, and discomfort.  Keep it super simple to use and equip. 

If anyone has suggestions, please offer them. 

kennykyle12 years ago
I used to use cell phones and a free conference number saved as a friends and family number so the minutes were free. Works OK. You can also do 3 way calling if it is free nights and weekends.
I changed a couple of years ago to TriSquare XRS 300. A set of 4 with upgraded headsets (bought seperately) cost less than $200 which is 100% tax deductable. You can purchase armbands which work well however I bought carrying cases with very sturdy clips which you then feed the cable under your referee jersey and put the radio part in your short pocket with the clip to the outside. They are light enough you do not notice them when you are playing. Communication is secure and of excellent quality. The system wotks very well except on windy days when it is far more difficult to hear.
One thing I noticed, you get far greater respect from fans and coaches when they see you wearing them along with being dressed and acting proffesionally.
I always warn referees wearing them for the first time to use them as a supplement to normal communications. New users tend to want to talk. Make sure they use flags and proper communication. If you work with a regular crew used to using communication devices you will not have that issue. I aoocasionally squeeze in a joke during boring games.
onrust2 years ago
Go Motorola walkie talkie with an ear piece.
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Kiteman2 years ago
What's wrong with a whistle?

If you need anything more complex, you walk over and talk to each other...
+1. Traditional tech works Just Fine...
Use a cell phone and a BT headset.
orksecurity2 years ago
It's basically a walkie-talkie, right? Add VOX so it doesn't need PTT; add bluetooth (that's just a detail).

Since a cell phone can do all of this, it's obviously possible.
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