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Bca Bc Link 2.0 Review

BCA bc link 2.0
Overall
4.4
  • Performance in communication
    (4)
  • Battery life
    (4.5)
  • External agents insulation
    (4.5)
  • Ease of use
    (5)
  • Weight and dimensions
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

A radio communication system to increase group safety during outdoor activities. BCA’s BC Link 2.0 (European version) features a waterproof microphone for outdoor use attached to the radio unit, very intuitive controls and a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Good range, waterproof and robust.

Pros

  • Outdoor Intelligent Microphone
  • Radio link – rugged microphone and mounting clips
  • Protection from the elements
  • Simple controls for group use
  • Long battery life
  • Standard 10km open air communication range
  • Reliable battery level indicator

Cons

  • Absence of any second channel control
  • Absence of scan function

The BCA BC Link 2.0 is a radio system suitable for outdoor use between two or more group members. It is a new generation 0.5 watt radio that is approved for use in the EU and does not require any special permits. It comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a cable to connect to the base unit and an intelligent microphone.

bca bc link 2.0

Usage considerations

Communication within a group of two or more people in the great outdoors can sometimes be critical. There are situations where being connected is the best way to deal with emergencies or needs: climbers on long pitches who need to talk to each other, a group leader moving forward on skis, a crevasse rescue operation, or a simple MTB or ski touring trip where even two people may be spread out but need to stay in touch.

The BC Link™ Two-Way Radio 2.0 stands out in the field of radios available to users who do not require special permits, with very good features for the outdoors.

Video presentation and FAQ

Technical Features of the BCA BC Link 2.0

  • Multifunctional intelligent microphone
  • Selection of 6 preset channels and privacy codes on the microphone
  • Declared operating range: 9.5 km in line of sight
  • Ability to set custom channels
  • Frequencies compatible with European PMR446 radios
  • Glove-friendly push-to-talk control
  • Volume control on microphone
  • 0.5 watt power
  • Rechargeable lithium batteries in radio body, 2300mAh
  • Charging via mains adapter and micro-USB input
  • Cradle and microphone connection with spring-loaded cable
  • Waterproof to IP56 standards
  • Weight 312g (the single unit)
  • Approved for use in EU, UK and Norway
  • Manufacturer link
bca bc link 2.0 on the packpack

Test mode

My partner and I used two BCA BC Link 2.0s on several days of ski mountaineering. In some situations there was snowfall and strong winds.

I placed the body of the radio inside the backpack, connected the microphone with the rubber cable supplied and attached it to the left shoulder strap of the backpack, as I am right-handed.

bca bc link 2.0 on test

Bca Bc Link 2.0 on-site test

Design

The first thing you notice about the BCA BC Link 2.0 is that it is not an ordinary radio where the settings are made only on the radio body, but a combined system with the radio body and the smart microphone where most of the regular operations take place. T

he system can only be operated when the two elements are connected via the dedicated cable, which can be extended to about 1 metre. This system allows the heavier radio body to be carried in a backpack or pocket and the microphone to be easily operated for all operations, including switching on and off.

charging kit
BCA BC Link 2.0 radio with USB charging kit
radio body and smart microphone
Radio body and smart microphone connected

The radio’s screen is minimal, but illuminated, and there is usually no need to consult it, as the controls are located on the microphone. The total weight of the BCA BC Link 2.0 (321 g) is similar to that of the ARTVA, and unlike all-in-one radios, it is convenient to carry part of the weight – the radio – in the backpack and only the microphone on the shoulder strap.

BCA’s BC Link 2.0 smart microphone

The microphone is the real command and control centre of the radio, with two very intuitive switches, a push-to-talk button and two battery and transmit/receive status indicators. It also includes a loudspeaker so that listening and transmitting can only be done from this object.

resistance to the snow

The smart microphone is connected to the radio body by a very strong spring-loaded cable and has a generous clip for attaching the microphone itself to the most convenient places, such as the shoulder strap of a backpack or the lapel of a jacket.

I was able to confirm that both the microphone and the body of the radio are waterproof in the event of snow. More specifically, they meet the IP56 standard, which means: protection against dust to the extent that it does not interfere with the operation of the device, atmospheric depression of 200 mm water column and airflow equal to 80 times the volume of the housing.

The microphone switches and indicators

The channel selector allows selection of 6 preset channels with associated privacy sub-channels, so the group can easily select the same channel identified by a letter. It also has a locking system to prevent accidental channel changes.

The on/off switch allows the radio to be switched on and off from the microphone itself, which is convenient, and the loudspeaker volume can be controlled in three stages.

selectors of channels
The two selectors with which you can select preset channels and adjust the volume

Battery and TX-RX (Transmit-Receive) indicators on the microphone and on the radio’s body allow you to monitor the radio’s basic functionality: a green signal when the battery is charged and an operating signal when transmitting or receiving.

An additional and optional headset can be connected to the microphone via a jack protected by a solid rubber plug, allowing communication in situations where privacy is required or to avoid disturbing people nearby.

The microphone-radio connection

Unlike all-in-one radios, the BCA BC Link 2.0 consists of two units connected by an extendable rubber cable.

The cable is integral to the microphone and is connected to the radio’s body via a plug with pins. This plug is secured to the body of the radio with a very strong screw. This attachment, if done well, makes the cable inseparable from the body of the radio, so that the connection will always work, even if the radio is at the bottom of the backpack and the cable is taut.

pin and plugs
The pin-and-life plug allows a firm connection between the two units

The radio body of the BCA BC Link 2.0

The BCA BC Link 2.0 is a solid radio; the antenna is identified by its yellow colour, as are the controls on the radio itself. Like the microphone, it has a sturdy clip on the back, which allows the radio to be clipped on wherever it is useful: an inside pocket, a backpack strap, an inside jacket pocket or anywhere else.

At the bottom of the radio’s body is the micro-USB socket, well protected by a rubber cap. The central multifunction switch is only used for detailed settings, not for basic operation, which is left to the intelligent microphone.

Controls on the radio body allow you to: set the lock to disable the buttons, select on/off mode for the horns, and adjust the frequencies and privacy codes to keep the whole group on the same operating frequency. In addition, the display indicates battery status more quickly than the microphone.

radio in the backpack

The sensitivity of the microphone and speaker

I found the microphone to be correctly sensitive to transmissions when held close to the mouth, which is quite normal for this type of equipment. Transmission does not require any special scanning of words, so it is possible to speak naturally without having to raise the pitch.

At the same time, the speaker reproduces clear, distortion-free sound at the receiving end, with the ability to adjust the volume in three stages.

speaking on bca bc link 2.0

The range radius test

A communication device like this can be used in many ways. For example, it could be used on a race track, where control and support personnel need to stay in touch as a group. In these situations, a medium to long distance of about 3 km can be considered. For example, the Stelvio slope in Bormio is 3.3 km long. In ski touring or mountain biking, group members are even closer together.

range radius of the bca radio

Personally, I have maintained good communication in the open field at a range of a few kilometres and have not needed to test communication at amateur radio level due to the nature of the use. The BCA data sheet, which is very accurate, clearly states a standard free field communication range of about 10 km. Obstacles, external interference and unfavourable weather conditions can indeed affect radio transmission, so it is sometimes advisable to move a few tens of metres to find ideal conditions.

Battery life of the BCA BC Link 2.0

The 2300 mAh lithium battery is said to last 40 hours on standby and 8 hours in communication. As part of the tests I carried out, I used two radios on four medium length ski trips, leaving them on for about 6 hours at a time and talking as needed. In other words, I used the radios for about half the time indicated as the maximum duration without having to recharge them, except for the first time.

The BCA BC Link 2.0 is therefore well suited to multi-day trips, as it will last up to 5-6 days for about 6-7 hours a day. This is a respectable battery life that provides extra security.

back of the radio

Recommended for

I recommend the BCA BC Link 2.0 to anyone who needs clear, immediate and distortion-free communication with their companions on ski mountaineering trips and beyond. It is also perfect for managing rescue or search operations for missing persons, for maintaining communication between the first and second ropes in the case of considerable rope lengths, for being able to quickly find companions when stopping on the MTB for a necessity, etc.

The use of the BCA BC Link 2.0s, with a very functional and solid system, with an intelligent microphone that allows you to be immediately at hand, adds not only safety when needed, but also a certain pleasure and usefulness in exchanging information and staying in contact.

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