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Discussion Starter #1
ok I know there have been some discussions before, but I want to open this up for the panel.

Communication....

Now, this is the scenario. Occasionally (not that often but now and then) I will have my daughter or wife on the back of the bike and it would be helpfull to be able to tell em "stop looking the wrong way" or "sit still"...

Also, sometimes I'll be out on a ride with my wife on her bike and it would again be able to say 'where are you going?'

Finally, there may be a time when we all want to go out together, 2 up on my bike and my wife on the other and I'd like us all to be able to talk. (you know maybe its best if we didn't, isn't this why we ride bikes?)

So... I hear people mention autocomm and all sorts but I was wonder whats wrong with just getting a few walk-talkies with headsets? I saw one place on ebay that was selling a pail of Cobra 975 with a vox adaptor and headsets. The 975 apparantly lets you plug 2 headsets into it and have full duplex for you and your passenger. So I wondered whats so bad about using these, and if need be get a 3rd (or another set of two so I have a spare) walk talkie so we all have one each on a common channel with vox.

Also interested in maybe just getting the kit I need for 2 of us for now and add to it later if we organise a trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I saw that and I like the bluetooth stuff except...

a) short range compared to walkie talkies. I know when I've been on rides with instructors someone suddenly decides they want to goto a gas station, or take a different turn in before you know it you've split up and no idea where each other are.

b) Only supports a pair.... what about when 3 of us want to talk
 

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Try the Scala Q2 from Cardo. When my wife started riding a few weeks back I purchased two Q2's for bike to bike communication.

So far I'm very impressed. Noise cancellation is very good, you can connect multiple blue tooth devices and it has an embedded FM radio.

You can easily install or remove it from a helmet in just a minute or two. They also have other products you might be interested in so you can communicate with your wife and daughter.

http://www.cardowireless.com/home

Sticks
 

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I tried the comms thing but prefer the silence myself (not that my wife nags or tells me how to ride). Hand signals work fine IMO and don't distract me from the task at hand. :)
 

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The Autocom system is more of an integration unit that allows you to connect all of your devices to one signal conditioner and amplifier. I found their ear phones to be excellent and the mic effective at speed. I do not want to be bothered with phone calls, so I do not have my phone connected. What I do have is a Zumo and a Radar Detector integrated through it. In addition to the Zumo GPS function, I use it to play MP3 music. The priority is set so that the radar detector is primary, followed by directions, and then music. I can ride, listen to music, and if a direction change is coming up, the music fades and the directions are heard. Once the directions are completed, the music resumes. Anytime the detector picks up a signal, it is heard for a bit, then whatever I was listening to resumes, and the detector signal goes intermittent.

I do not know that an Autocom would have any effect on walky talky range but I suspect the mic and headphones would enhance the communication.

You could email them and give your particulars. One of there selling features is that you do not need to buy a system with more bells and whistles than you need. The components are tailored to your requirements. The available options can be confusing, but they have an excellent customer service dept.

http://www.autocom.co.uk/

Their site has an online audio demonstration.


From the Autocom literature:

Autocom’s are high-tech products, designed to offer maximum flexibility for a rider with many possible variations of use to suit
diverse customer needs. Each Autocom unit starts as an expandable rider system, which includes the main unit, riders headset, riders extension lead for bike powered systems, standard phone lead, standard music lead and a basic bike fitting kit.You then have the option to connect a wide variety of devices, such as; GPS, radar, bike to bike and passenger, etc
 

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Walkie Talkies work OK but I found VOX was unpredictable. The ones I have (Middleton) are activated by wind noise even at fairly low speed. The wiring associated with a push to talk system annoyed me.

Maybe I could have messed around with shields and muffles on the microphone. Anyway over time my wife have learnt to communicate using hand signals and ESP for bike to bike comms.
 

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I would say it all depends on what you want to accomplish. You said bluetooth won't work as the distance is limited as is the number of connections you can have. So...

Take a look at Chatterbox, they aren't the greatest but will get the job done. There is several models and as a rule it is an economically priced product.

http://www.motohaus.com/acatalog/ChatterBox.html

Otherwise you are looking at integration systems like OnD mentioned. And there are multiple choices to look at. But you will need to add a radio to all of them, whereas with chatterbox it comes built in.

Your choices are: Baehr, Autocom (a topgear company), Starcom and the new kid on the block Intaride. They all come with varying levels of complexity in use and set up. But like OnD said they are just fancy switching boxes with volume control. You will need to add everything to them to make them work.

I use a Starcom for music, phone, gps, radar detector, and radio when needed. On my last trip I spent a good portion of my last day riding home on the phone and the system worked great. I had one person I work with ask me what I was doing and when I told him "about 90mph" he wouldn't believe me. Said the sound was better than most car hands free systems.

So take a look at your options. There are other brands out there but many of them do not work well. Oh say such as IMC.
 

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I have a chatterbox. is it the best? No. is it the most common? around here yes? Will it brake the bank when you pick one/two up? nope.

The unit will work good under 70ish.. We had a group of 15 bikes go for a 3 day weekend up in AR. one lead, one in the middle, and me in the back. I do not know how we would have done it without it.

I pump my mp3 player in, and have ear plugs in, I can hear what I need to, now am i going to have a long conversation on it.. prob not. but you can get the point of what needs to be addressed. "bathroom brake, Gas, rider down, (and my favorite) oh.. look at her!"

Get the charger for the bike and use the push to talk..
 

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Slightly askew, as I only have Bluetooth for GPS and cellphone/ radar, BUT I (foolishly) bought the Scala rider when it first came out, worked a treat, until, somewhere between John O Groats ( I wuz back in UK) and Gretna Green, it got a bit wet.......showers, NOT full on monsoon, and subsequently died.

After much to-ing and fro-ing 'tween myself and Scala, they pointed me to the brochure where it states " weather proofed" or some such and NOT "water proof"...so told me I was up the "Swanee without a paddle" scenario.

Subsequently purchased the (rather expensive) Nolan N102 with integrated Bluetooth which travelled from NY>Chicago and back again, in a (1300 mile) thunderstorm, was perfectly clear upto an indicated 100MPH and never let me down!!!!
I know which I would recommend......!!!
 

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I have a chatterbox. is it the best? No. is it the most common? around here yes? Will it brake the bank when you pick one/two up? nope.
That is why chatterbox is recommended for most people, works well, decent price, and really easy to install and set up. What can you say, the product just works.
 

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Scala Q2

In the past 3 months, I purchased and have been using the Q2. Very happy so far. It installs easily, FM is nice on those long straight stretches, Bluetooth to answer the cell is great, as is the Bluetooth helmet to helmet communication. I figure if Bluetooth works within 1500 feet, that's enough and if I'm communicating bike to bike past that, I'll call them on the cell. The charge last's a week using this as a radio, bluetooth cell as I ride to work and back daily. It's also very comfortable and fit well in my helmet. I bought the first one, loved it and bought the second unit for my wife who rides as well. Bike to bike has been great since she's a relatively new rider and I can give her a pointer, or "look out for" as we ride.
 

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Be careful when (if) you ride in the rain with it......as I said "water resistant" only on the Scala product sheet, and they would not replace mine when it fizzled out after a few hours in (mild) rain...............

It's a motorcycle specific product.....jeez, rain/inclement weather should be the FIRST indicator, we don't all ride in the desert!!!

I agree, it did work well.......or so I thought, 'till I tried the Nolan N102 option, then I was blown away by the quality/speed usefulness of the signal.
 

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Then I must be a Nolan head..............

Now I don't have the smallest conk (nose) but I seem to have plenty of room in the FF lid...........as I know some can give you a "clearance problem"

and yes, compared to my AGV's, Nolan are not quite in the same ballpark.....but as FF's go, I really like mine........so there.......!!!

I agree, Dave, the real "proof of the pudding, is in the eating", and once you have tested it (realworld) you then can have some confidence in the product...I dunno, maybe my Scala was a bad one!!!!
 

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Then I must be a Nolan head..............

and yes, compared to my AGV's, Nolan are not quite in the same ballpark.....but as FF's go, I really like mine........so there.......
Don't get me wrong, not bashing Nolan, in fact I really wanted one until I tried it on and found out I have a different head shape. When I first saw their system I thought it was brilliant, and still do. I really, really wanted one, but alas my head is shaped wrong. It would be nice if Shoei did a X-11 with a bluetooth kit :(.
 

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low end works for me

My wife and I ride two up often, and we have developed a set of hand signals, I will rub, tap, slap or hit her leg, depending on the reason and priority. A gentle rub at the knee and above is the subtle wink in a crowded room, a tap is a message to look one way or the other, the slap is a "HANG ON" . Usually each motion is followed by a hand signal, some of which are lost in translation. We have used two way FRS/GMRS radios with headsets.. We have found the push to talk switch is mandatory, but since we usually ride several different bikes, we have run the wire down the sleeve of our jacket, and attach the pad to the thumb of my left glove. I'm not sure where she has her button. It's quick, easy and will handle the mot required messages, usually three to five words. We reserve long conversations for over a glass of wine at dinner
 

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It would be nice if Shoei did a X-11 with a bluetooth kit :(.
Agreed, Shoei should get with the program. I have an X-11 with Autocom speakers. They were difficult to install and not put pressure on my ears. I had to do the unthinkable, and trim a bit of styrofoam to get a comfortable fit.
 
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