Airsoft communication with Specna Arms Shortie radio
Hand-held airsoft radio
Radio communication is the basis not only at larger airsoft events, but also during more intimate events. Teamwork often determines success even in simple scenarios. More than once I had to deal with a situation where one of the teammates gave the rest of their team the positions of the opponents, which ensured a significant advantage for the entire squad. So why such a problem with maintaining an appropriate level of radio communication? It may be due to hardware limitations. While an airsoft gun or equipment is largely something that we use ourselves, radios require a team. They cannot be used alone. What's more, we have to convince the rest of the team to buy the necessary equipment. I know from experience that this can be a difficult undertaking. Fortunately, Specna Arms meets our needs. This manufacturer's offer includes an interesting product, which is the Shortie-82 handheld radio.
So, what do we need from a radio in an airsoft application? In my opinion, the key is ease of use. There's nothing more frustrating than the awkward circle of people checking their radio stations saying "hey, can you hear me?" over and over again. Not once have I found myself in such a group of shame, so I know what I'm talking about. So, it's good if we have radios that are easy to understand and similar to each other. This helps in choosing the settings so that we can hear each other well and communicate efficiently. The same devices also help us look for possible problems. If someone's headset breaks down and the rest of the team has a device with the same socket, you can easily find a replacement or check with your colleagues' device if the problem lies in the headphones, radio or PTT button by swapping them. That is why I am in favour of a solution where the team uses similar radios that support the same socket standard. Until recently, stocks of sensible radios in airsoft stores did not spoil us with a large selection. Therefore, the introduction of radio stations by such a popular manufacturer as Specna is a welcome refreshment on the market.
Shortie radio - contents of the kit
The radio offered by Specna Arms was based on the well-known and respected Baofeng UV-82 model. For people who follow the market of handheld radios, this is probably a sufficient recommendation. The device comes to us in a nice white box with black graphics. This monochromatic packaging aesthetic is much more striking than the sad grey cardboard offered by Baofeng. Inside we will find, of course, a radio. The battery with a capacity of 1800 mAh and the charger are packed separately. It is built in such a way that we can put the battery itself as well as the entire radio in it. So, if we have a second battery, we can charge it ourselves with one already in the device. After charging, we switch power sources and we can operate practically without interruption. It's probably quite a niche application in airsoft, but in longer games it can be useful and it's worth remembering. In addition to the aforementioned accessories, we also find a simple headset with a double PTT button and something that probably caught my attention the most, i.e., the manual. The problem with cheap radios is that the descriptions of operation attached to them are very poor. They are also often poorly translated into English and support for other languages is hard to find. It's different here. The manual is well produced, has clear illustrations, is written correctly in both English and Polish. It may not be much, but in the case of such a device it can be very useful.
Features of the Shortie-82 radio
Now that we have discussed the contents of the box, let's check what are the most important features of the Shortie-82 radio. In my opinion, the following three aspects related to this product are the most important:
Construction - The device in question is quite large. At least compared to the most basic counterparts. Thanks to this, we have a large battery and, in my opinion, a large comfortable keyboard. The buttons are clearly spaced from each other and there is no problem to operate them even with thick gloves. This is a very positive feature of this product. In addition, we find a clear two-line display and an SMAf antenna socket. We have the option of using the radio with a belt clip or a lanyard, and if we do not need these accessories, they can be left in the box.
Dual Watch and PTT A/B - The radio has the ability to listen to two frequencies simultaneously. In addition, thanks to the double PTT button, we can easily decide which one we are broadcasting on. It's a great thing at larger events, where we have, for example, one channel for communication with the command and another for talking within a smaller team.
Robust kenwood plug - Compared to cheaper models, Radio Shortie-82 uses a convenient two-pin metal socket known as a kenwood plug. In less complex radios, these parts are often made of plastic, which reduces their durability. In addition, the socket itself is quite deep and narrow, which means that most of the plugs available on the market need to be sawn to fit properly when connected. There is no problem here. In addition, if we want and use the radio usually with a headset, we can unscrew the plug cover so that it does not interfere when we hide the device in a tight pouch.
Shortie-82 radio - summary
Shortie-82 is an interesting proposition for people looking for something that will enable them to communicate radio or for intermediate users. It is slightly more expensive than the most basic handheld radios known from the airsoft battlefield, but at the same time it offers several features unavailable in cheaper models. It is well built, so that it is not a problem to operate it with gloves. It has a large battery that should last for a long time. It allows you to listen to and broadcast on two channels at the same time, which will surely appeal to fans of milsim games or more complex scenarios. The included user manual clearly explains the functions of the radio, so we should not have any problems with its operation and adaptation to our own needs. It's good to finally see radios offered by typical airsoft producers. For me, it is a guarantee of good availability and the possibility of remaining in a kind of ecosystem of one brand equipment.
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