F1 Team Radio

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jimh
jimh
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:23 pm

F1 Team Radio

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Does anyone know why the car-to-pit team radio (ie the driver to race engineer) sounds so much better for several of the F1 teams this year?
It's most obvious with Red Bull and recently Mercedes: they sound more natural and very much more readable/less 'choppy'.

This only applies to:
Sauber (they've had really clear comms for 2 years now)
Red Bull
Mercedes (but only from Monaco onwards)
Lotus

I think this must be down to different (new) radios being installed in the cars of these 4 teams, given that:

8 teams use Riedel radios, including all 4 of the teams listed above with this improvement this year.

Sauber were the first F1 team partner of Riedel Communications and would therefore likely be the first place they try out new technology

The digital TETRA radios used by for example the Red Bull race engineers when on the grid still sound choppy like the drivers radios did in 2013. This suggests that the FOM and the rest of the team radio setup hasn't changed.

This can't be down to the engine background noise being lower this year: if that were the case then surely all the teams radios would sound better this year.

This can't be down to the team radio now being linked into the FOM onboard video/audio feed: again if that were the case then surely all the teams radios would sound better this year, and Mercedes radio wouldn't have suddenly improved since Monaco.

I know that McLaren have changed radios this year to an encrypted digital Kenwood Nexedge NX220 system which explains why the drivers sound drunk. Toro Rosso have also moved to an MRTC digital Kenwood Nexedge system, but its not encrypted so that's why their radio sounds a bit better than McLaren. It's the same system used by most GP2 teams.

Ferrari still use a Digital TETRA radio - but supplied by Selex. It still sounds like it did last year - crappy quality.

Force India, Williams, Caterham and Marussia also use Riedel TETRA radios, but they still sound the same as last year - crappy quality.

And just to clarify, the race engineer comms won't sound any different to previous years, as FOM take this feed from the hard-wired Riedel Artist node mounted on the pitwall: so when you hear these 'team radio' comms on TV they won't have come via a radio link.

Anyone got any detail/explanation to offer?

Jim

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SectorOne
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Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 8:51 am

Re: F1 Team Radio

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Maybe mic placement inside the helmet has something to do with it as well?
I don´t know much about radios inside helmets but i do know gaming headset-mics can go from absolute crap to extremely clear simply by finding the sweet spot with the mic.
"If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of sh*t"

jimh
jimh
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:23 pm

Re: F1 Team Radio

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So my personal suspicion is that these 4 teams have actually replaced their TETRA digital radios in the cars with analog radios. In 2012 and 2013, the Lotus F1 team moved to digital TETRA radios for their pitcrew but they retained their pit-to-car link as an analog radio. I don't know if they have kept this setup for 2014.

I was hoping someone may have more detailed information to confirm or set me right?

If teams are moving from digital to analog it could make it interesting as the media would in theory have unrestricted access again to ALL the pit-to-car radio traffic as opposed to just that released by FOM as the 'team radio' snippets we currently get.

Jim

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mcjamweasel
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: F1 Team Radio

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Quieter engines?

davidc
davidc
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:33 pm

Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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Hello All,

I'll be going to the Austin race in about 10 days. I've decided to get a radio scanner to listen to the teams and hopefully to the TV broadcasts as well.

Does anybody know if the frequencies used are the usual 400Mhz analog ones like in almost any other racing series, or does F1 use the 800+Mhz freq, and if so, analog or digital.

Thanks everyone for your help.

David

ian_s
ian_s
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Medway Towns

Re: Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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i'd be very surprised if the transmissions aren't scrambled, unless there are rules against that

davidc
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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I'm pretty sure the FIA, or FOM passed a reg a couple of years ago that not only can the teams not scramble anything, but the transmissions always have to be in English. This is how we get the radio traffic when watching the race on TV.

However, I'm mostly interested in the BBC or SkyTV feeds simply so we can follow the race as we are watching it.

I doubt the F1 smartphone app will work as the cell phone networks were so clogged last year you couldn't even get a text out.

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SectorOne
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Re: Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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davidc wrote:I'm pretty sure the FIA, or FOM passed a reg a couple of years ago that not only can the teams not scramble anything, but the transmissions always have to be in English.
This hasn´t stopped Alonso/Stella from going all out in the Italian lane on multiple occasions during the last couple years.
"If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of sh*t"

Richard
Richard
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: UK

Re: Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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davidc wrote:I'm pretty sure the FIA, or FOM passed a reg a couple of years ago that not only can the teams not scramble anything, but the transmissions always have to be in English. This is how we get the radio traffic when watching the race on TV.

However, I'm mostly interested in the BBC or SkyTV feeds simply so we can follow the race as we are watching it.

I doubt the F1 smartphone app will work as the cell phone networks were so clogged last year you couldn't even get a text out.
That's completely different from the team radio. I suspect the commentary is hard wired so a scanner wouldn't help. I thought the circuits nowadays hire out a magic box so you can listen to the race commentary at the track?

Edit to add - it used to be called FanVision, but it was not renewed last season because the suppliers couldn't agree terms with FOM

Vary
Vary
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Re: Radio scanner frequencies - anybody know?

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SectorOne wrote:
davidc wrote:I'm pretty sure the FIA, or FOM passed a reg a couple of years ago that not only can the teams not scramble anything, but the transmissions always have to be in English.
This hasn´t stopped Alonso/Stella from going all out in the Italian lane on multiple occasions during the last couple years.
I think that the rule is that trasmissions have to be in an understandable (for everyone) language, or at least this is what italian tv says... However is always funny to hear Stella trying to talk in english and than switch to italian :lol: :lol:

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siskue2005
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Re: F1 Team Radio

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mcjamweasel wrote:Quieter engines?
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