The new GME UHF Push-To-Talk Bluetooth module for the popular GME XRS radio is a practical feature that’s so simple it’s a surprise that it hasn’t been a standard issue for years.

The unit name is the GME XRS-BT1, and it's compatible with GME’s XRS Connect range of UHF Radios.

The XRS-BT1 is a simple install. The transmitting unit plugs into the main body of your UHF radio and mounts under the dash out of the way.

Next, you must run the wired receiving microphone to its mounting location. I wanted to get the microphone away from the noise of the window as I often like to drive with it open. I settled on the steering pillar, which picked up the sound well.

Finally, you need to mount the Push-To-Talk or PTT button. It’s battery-operated and connects via Bluetooth, so it’s a simple job.

The GME kit has brackets for mounting the PTT button to your steering wheel or grab handle or a 3M sticker mount for other surfaces.

My 76 Series LandCrusier has a nice flat surface to the right of the vent at perfect arm’s length, so I chose to mount it there.

The PTT button is easy to remove from all the different mounts which takes the hassle out of changing the battery.

These batteries tend to last a while, but it’s probably worth popping a spare in your tool roll. The battery is a 3V CR2032.

 The PTT button is IP67-rated. IP stands for Ingress Progression. A score of 67 means it’s dust proof and rated to withstand a 1m submersion for 30 minutes – so you don't need to worry about wet hands.

With the GME XRS-BT1 connected, my GME XRS-390C UHF radio still operates as usual, and I still turn the unit on and manage the channel and other settings via the handset.

To transmit you simply press the PTT button instead of the handset button to talk and your voice is picked up by the installed microphone rather than the one in the handset.

 Although I have an easy-to-stow magnet for my UHF handset, when I’m frequently using it, I dump it beside me and then search for it when needed.

With the PTT button, transmitting is much easier - I know precisely where the transmit button is at all times!

The Bluetooth also allows you to connect to other devices like headphones using the XRS Connect app.

Learn more about the GME XRS-BT1 at GME.

Thanks to Ultimate 4WD for assisting with the install.

Photographs by Gen Collister. 

 

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