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July 2007

July 2007

Headset Heaven

Connex system from CoachComm combines reliability with superior performance in one affordable package.
© July 2007

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Imagine the following situation: you’re setting up your headset system for a road game against a big rival. One hour before game time, you and your staff run a test of the system and it seems to be working fine. All five coaches on the sideline and four in the booth have good, clear signals.

As the head coach, you know that effective game day communication between coaches is an essential part of winning. No coaching staff can expect to succeed without a well thought out sideline communication plan and the wireless headsets that make it possible.

But when you come out of the locker room just prior to kickoff, something has gone terribly wrong. The signal is weak and all voice transmissions are garbled and unclear. Your equipment manager scrambles around trying to get the system operational, but nothing works. You abandon your headsets, have trouble reacting to what’s taking place on the field, and wind up losing a close game.

Headset communication failure can be disastrous, but it can also be prevented. Mark Hudspeth, University of North Alabama Head Coach, has experienced the problem. “The most frustrating thing about game day is when your headphone communication goes out or does not work properly,” said Hudspeth. But he also offers a solution. “Great communication is a key to any type of success and that’s why we trust the CoachComm Connex system.”

What causes headset systems to fail? The primary reason, according to CoachComm’s Director of Technology Tom Turkington, is interference from other wireless sources. “Scoreboards, PA systems, computer WiFi signals in the surrounding area and opposing teams with similar systems can all generate interference that make some headset systems inoperable,” said Turkington. “To address this issue, we build every CoachComm Connex system with advanced, patented technology that prevents interference from crashing the system.”

How does it work? “Connex uses a proprietary Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum with TDMA technology that has seven patents,” explains Turkington, “which is a fancy way of saying that the system constantly changes frequency to ensure that you always have a clear signal regardless of outside interference. It’s the most advanced technology available to football programs today.”

The technology that goes into Connex ensures reliability for coaches and confidence that their headsets will work anywhere, against any opponent. Head Coach Gary Kornfeld of St. Louis University High School gives Connex very high marks. “I truly love the Connex system,” Kornfeld raved. “The best part - it has always performed. We’ve never had a problem – no interference, no breakups, no loss of communications. It is the best system I’ve had so far and I’ve been in coaching for 30 years.” With a career of that length, Coach Kornfeld has certainly experienced technical difficulties with headsets. “Yes, we did experience failure with our other system. That’s why I am so happy with the Connex system – we didn’t have one failure this year.”

Getting the latest technology usually means paying a high price and making frustrating phone calls for technical and customer support. Not so with Connex, says North Alabama’s Hudspeth. “Connex has not only been reliable over the last five years, helping us to the NCAA Semifinals twice, but it’s also very affordable and their service has been second to none.” Head Coach John Cann of Landrum (SC) High School agrees. “The biggest reason I like CoachComm is they stand behind their products,” said Cann. “If you have any issues they’ll work with you to get them resolved whether it’s with the Connex system or their editing products and cameras which we also use in our program.”

Another important consideration for coaches is ease of set-up and operation for their headset systems. “The last thing a head coach wants to see is his assistant coaches struggling to set up a communications system instead of concentrating on the more important aspects of pre-game preparation,” said CoachComm’s Turkington. “The entire Connex system can be set up in just five minutes. There are no special configurations or settings for coaches to worry about,” he said. “Connex is the easiest, most straightforward and reliable wireless headset communications system available to programs today.” Coach Gary Kornfeld adds, “It’s very easy to charge, and set-up is next to nothing.”

The Connex wireless headset system from CoachComm delivers reliability when the game is on the line, clear signals that aren’t going to be affected by outside interference, technologically-advanced features, and ease of set-up and operations; all in one affordable package that’s backed up by outstanding customer service. Connex is available today to coaches who want to be better prepared and win more games.


Headset battery performance is another issue of concern for coaches who seek the greatest degree of reliability for their systems. What could be more frustrating than having your battery die without warning in the fourth quarter of a tight game? It could be the difference between winning and losing.

CoachComm Connex systems have Lithium Polymer batteries; some of the most technologically advanced available today. Compared to other systems’ batteries that hold a charge for 3-5 hours, Connex batteries can have over 10 hours of life on a single 2.5 hour charge.

CoachComm’s Tom Turkington points out other advantages of the Connex battery. “The advanced Connex charging system controls the charge so batteries can be left on charge as long as the user wants without harming the batteries,” said Turkington. “Other systems’ batteries require long charging times of 12 to 16 hours, and batteries can be damaged if batteries are left on charge for too long. Furthermore, the Connex batteries don’t require any routine maintenance in the off season.”

But perhaps the best innovation that’s built into every Connex battery pack is the “fuel gauge” that tells a coach exactly how much battery power he has. When the “fully-charged” position is lit, the coach knows he has the full 10+ hours of charge time available. The gauge light changes position every two hours until reaching a “time to recharge” spot at the 2-hour mark. “The fuel gauge gives coaches extra piece of mind – not having to worry if their headset battery is getting dangerously low,” noted Turkington.


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