If you are like me you’ve purchased a number of different handheld radios over the years. It’s always nice to have some accessories for your radios, a speaker-mic or headset is a really nice addition when working events.
Personally, I like to have a stealth-style headset. It allows me to hear the radio in a crowded environment and not bother the people around me. It also provides some privacy to the conversation.
But, each time I purchase a radio it seems to have different connectors than my previous radio. I finally got tired of having to replace everything when I get a new radio.
To make matters worse, I’m in a mode right now where I have multiple handheld radios from different manufacturers. I’m also finding that I’m like the manufacturer speaker-mics less and less over time. I want something I can hold on to, has a bigger speaker than the radio, and has a durable build.
The Icom speaker-mic I purchased for my ID-51a is small and frail. To make matters worse, it has a small and weak speaker.
I started looking for alternatives. I found Pryme Radio Products. Their target market is really commercial, law enforcement, and emergency services. But, they also have products for the amateur radio world.
Using a readily available connector (Hirose), they have created a nice quick-disconnect system (QD).
How does this all work? The basics are simple. You purchase the quick disconnect accessories you want. Then you purchase the quick disconnect adapter for your radio.
Depending on the type of connectors on your radio you may have a cable or a module that connects to the side of your radio.
In my case I have both. For my Icom ID-51a I have a cable like the upper image on the right. My Hytera PD782x (DMR) I have a module that is similar to the lower image on the right. Most of the modules are about $35.
On the Hytera I can leave the module on all the time. When I remove the QD accessory the radio goes back to using the built-in speaker and microphone. I think this is a great feature.
Now you understand the radio adapter. What kind of accessories can you get.
In the image below you can see a sampling of the accessories available with the quick disconnect connector. I have the SPM-2205 “Trooper” speaker-mic, the SPM-3005 headset, and the SPM-1405 headset.
The speaker-mic offers a loud speaker, great in the car, it also has a 3.5mm jack for connecting an earplug. On the back is a rotating spring clip. It’s similar to what’s on a lot of the radios now, making it easy to clip to clothing or a belt. I frequently clip it to the seat belt while I’m driving.
The SPM-3005 headset is nice. It’s just the right length when I have the radio on my belt. There is a collar clip for the ear tube and the microphone and PTT are combined into a module that also has a clip. This makes for a nice rig when providing support for events.
I purchased the SPM-1405 headset for base use. I use it when I’m doing nets from home. It is comfortable to wear, has a nice long cord and a big PTT part way down the cable.
I am planning to get a Motorola DMR handheld radio soon. I’m happy know that I can use my existing accessories and not have to purchase new one.