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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading with interest here and on the yahoo burgman site about the use of 2 way radios for rider to rider communications.

I have checked out this site as a possibility...www.nady.com....
There is a unit with FM that lowers music volume when you speak.

Has anyone had some experience with this brand? And comments
 

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2-way radios

Hi ksmall1988, welcome to the site. I to am interested in a communications system. I've been leaning toward a CHATTERBOX system. You can go to http://www.chatterbox.com for info. Alot of site talk revolves about poor reception , talking at higher speeds with radio units. Chatterbox now includes noise reducing headsets as standard in there kits. DOES anybody have any real world experience with a CHATTERBOX? For a fm radio sysem for now I bought a small sony walkman system and earphones that I adapted to my HJC-3 helmet. [may change to fm/cd/mps walkman unit] A cost effective system that works for me and is portable.I velcro the small radio to the dash and just plug in my helmet speakers after i get on .I know from a distraction side its may not be wise but I keep the volume low enough where I can still hear noise around me and still enjoy the radio even at high speeds. What are you riding?[/code]
 

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We use the Chatterbox Multi Sport FRS radio for rider-to-rider comm. The units are a little pricey but work good. We found that the push to talk supplied button works much better than trying to use the voice activated feature.
For music we have just gotten Sony Portable MiniDisc Recorders, MZ-N510CK. This is a very small unit, and each disk will hold 5 1/2 hours of music that you can record directly from your CD Collection or from music on your computer. The Chatterbox radios have an input so you can plug in the output of the MiniDisk and listen through the same headphones, it also mutes the music when transmitting or receiving radio messages.

I take back what I said about Chatterbox radios above. About half way through our summer trip, one of the radios got so much transmission static that it was intellegable. :x Later the other one quit taking a recharge. :evil: :evil: We did the last half of our 10.5 kmile summer trip without radios. Since then I have installed CB radios on both bikes.
 

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I recommend the Autocom Intercom system, as it has many of the functions that you are talking about. There systems are widely used in WSBK, Ascar, Rally and other motorsports as well as rider training and energency service opertions in Europe and across the globe.
http://www.autocom.co.uk/

Myself the girlfriend have been using a 'Pro-Rider' unit the past 6 months. It allows the following funtions:
Crystal clear speach at any speed - it's guaranteed to do so up to over 150mph, and we have had no problems at all chatting when riding on highways.
Voice activated microphones, that are not swtiched on my ambient noises or wind noise
Stereo speakers - better sound than 'in the ear' systems.
Jack for mobile phone, MD/CD player or GPS
Muting to 50% when either rider or passenger speaks, or when the rider speaks on the phone.

All this costs 465 USD, but it is entirely worth it. I now run conference calls from the big-scoot in the mornings, and no-one realises that I am not on a standard conference bridge. The Voice operated microphone doesn't amplify ambient noise ir wiind noise, to the point where even when you are taking a battering (over a brigde for example) the called party has no idea of your struggle... And the quality of the sound of voice and music through the helmet speakers is beyond belief.

You can plug in your choice of transceivers for bike-to-bike.

Well recommended.

They have cheaper systems too, which come without voice activation, and use more simple 'push to talk', but I understand that once you get used to it that poses no problem. Similarly, they don't have stereo sound, but have mono sound pumped trought he twin helmet speakers. I believe those systems cost around 185 USD.

Best thing about the system is that it fits into most helmets without modifcation - and on the inside, so the weather presents no problem.

Enjoy.
 

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Bike to Bike communication

Hello ksmall1998 and @all,
this is not an easy subject since there are many factors influencing transmission and reception like
1) choice of equipement - transmitter output power, receiver sensitivity
2) type of helmet, position and type of mike and earphones
3) position and type of aerial, front/rear or on body
4) type of motorcycle - naked bike vs enclosed type -> wind noise
5) terrain ->hilly and wooded areas, built up city blocks ->reduced range
6) weather proofing
7) curing power line noises from the bikes generator etc. (buzz anf hum)

FM transmitters work on line of site, when the signal gets "shaded" off by the effects of point 5), this can cause irretating problems with constant "please repeat I didn't under stand" to counteract this you drop speed to "hear" what your partner was trying to tell you or you close the gap between the 2 bikes - these can be very frustrating on a long trip ultimately forcing silence.

To overcome these deficiencies you need lots of transmit power to get the signal further out (little battery jobs soon give in) - you need an external aerial mounted as clear as possible on the bike. The reception sensitivity of your transceiver should be high - if not no matter how much power the partner has you will have a deaf ear!

If you are only going to use your cell phone (the providers usually have good range transmitter/repeaters -> though not always, then you have less of the above problems but what do you do in those remote areas?

In the essence of it this is a very straight forward task but it has untold mini problems that have to be sorted out - so the best thing is to consult a specialist firm that knows what they are talking about - this will save you a lot of time experimenting around and possibly chucking all the gear away because the reults are disappointing.

There is a lot to be said for 2 way communication but 2 features do stand out 1) It can be a major safety feature -> "mind the oil spill etc".
2) The exchange of information can take away the drudge of a long tour.

Don't forget it is to some extent a closed circuit thing -> you can only talk to those who are on your frequency and are listnening in. But by being able to talk to your passenger is a major boost in their participation in the proceedings.

Hope some of this is helpful - I wouldn't miss my 2 way radio and Navi-System for anything :D
 

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ksmall1998 said:
...I have checked out this site as a possibility...www.nady.com....
There is a unit with FM that lowers music volume when you speak.

Has anyone had some experience with this brand? And comments
In brief, my experience with Nady is that it is inexpensive and is adequate for low to moderate speed riding. After about 50 mph the windnoise drowns out the low price headset in a full-face helmet. If you have an open-face helmet, figure 35 to 40 mph.

My wife and I still use our Nady, but we really only get to talk to each other around town and at stop lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
minnmax- Do you get good FM reception in fringe areas? Have you tried a throat mic with the nady. I would like to be able to get a "all-in-one" package like the nady or similar mfg.

Bevan - Thanks for the post. Is Navi-System the name of your equipment?

eyes5002- I'm turning heads with my blue Burg650 :wink:
 

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Goodbye Nady, Hello J&M!

My Nady device is the MRC-11 FRS Radio w/intercom. It allows you to plug a music source into it, but doesn't have an FM radio built-in. I did try plugging in a portable FM/CD player, but even with a Radio Shack in-line amp, I couldn't hear the music over about 25 mph. The Nady boom mike/headset is the only one I've tried and I believe it is the weakest link in the system. A better headset/microphone unit would proably make a world of difference.

My wife and I began touring on our Burgemeister last year and didn't like not being able to chat at highway speeds. Plus I really want music to be a part of the experince of touring. Also, this year joined the GWRRA, who use CBs as their communication device of choice.

All that being said, I have my eye on the JMCB-2003 unit. Not counting installation, with a discount from a local vendor, and two top-of-the-line J&M headset/microphone units, I expect it to set me back nearly a thousand bucks. From what I can tell, this is probably the best setup you can get other than the manufacture's built-in units on big touring bikes.
 

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Adam, the J&M probably is the best available . Also. research Autocom. A thousand dollars is high for a system. The key is whether you need the cb. For most bike to bike communication, frs is a viable alternative.

Keep us posted on what direction you go.

Eddie
 

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hello ksmall1998,

let me explain my hardware - the central electronic control unit is the VERSIO XL from BAEHR (available in the States) - this unit channels the incoming/outgoing signals from Cell-phone, mp3, radio, driver/passenger communication, GPS, transceiver signals. It takes care of the priority functions like voice over mp3 etc, it regulates the volume of each component according to priority and speed (wind/noise).

you plug into this unit whatever devices you intend using:
in my case it's only my radio transceiver and my GPS Navigation System (Navi-System).
I don't have a cell phone nor any music system hooked up by choice.

As far as the radio transceiver is concerned it depends what sort of terrain I am travelling in and what the other bikes in the group are using -> i.e. 2meter or 70cm FM, CB-Radio - these are typical units. I have a ham radio licence so I could use just about anything sensible.

My GPS Navigation system is a VDO-DAYTON MS5000 CD Based unit which all fits into a scooterbag mounted on the center tunnel. The routing instructions coming from the GPS get fed into the earphones in my helmet.

Driver to passenger communication is a standard BAEHR feature and is voice activated. Using open faced helmets with communication gear is a major problem. If communication is the real issue then the only way to go is with a fully enclosed helmet or you have to drop your speed down to a level where the wind is not an issue - but that wasn't an option for me. I wanted to be able to communicate clearly at all speeds and BAEHR does have the experience in this area.

If I had a cell phone or mp3 player in use it would get a priority number which the BAEHR unit would control and accordingly activate or fade out.

But for my personal use I only have the GPS and driver to passenger communication feature ativated. Since I mostly ride alone the biggest feature and most important part is the GPS.

Hope this answer any questions but please feel free to ask - if I can answer I will.
Here's wishing all here a suuuper weekend.
 
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