Helmet Communications - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 56 Old 08-23-2006, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Helmet Communications

Has anyone here used communicators in their helmets? I am thinking of passenger-to-rider communications more than bike-to-bike for now. I went to chatterbox' site, but they seem to have been sucked in by HJC. Are there any other options out there, or am I wasting my time searching? Thanks, and try to give me some good directional answers before totally derailing this one.

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post #2 of 56 Old 08-23-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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I use a Collett system for the snowmobiles.
Works pretty good, just takes a little dailing in so you don't pick up engine/wind noise.

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post #3 of 56 Old 08-23-2006, 02:36 PM
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I rode with a buddy once who had the chatterbox setup. Tied it onto my helmet and away we went. Worked well. This was a bike to bike setup FWIW. ...and we both had full face helmets. Used it for a three day trip with no problems.

What do you mean they were sucked in by HJC? (guess I could go to the site and see).

I'm interested to see what new options are out there, especially with MP3, talking GPS and cellphone all trying for airtime.

I usually use the raise the visor and shout method.

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post #4 of 56 Old 08-23-2006, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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This is their site: http://www.hjc-chatterbox.com/

I am not too impressed with it. I like the collett communicators that h_ryder suggested.

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post #5 of 56 Old 08-23-2006, 03:52 PM
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The one we used was the FRS-X2 model. It clamped to the helmet. The Collett says it uses velcro.

Hey H, was that thing pretty secure? I guess you have to glue a velcro pad to the outside of your helmet?

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #6 of 56 Old 08-24-2006, 07:49 AM
 
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Nathan and I have chatterboxes and love to use them (as long as we remember to charge the batteries!). We originally had one to use before I got my bike and it worked great for passenger to rider. That way I could tell him when I needed to shift or anything else. His best friend had one and we could all talk when going on rides. Then when I got my own bike I got my own chatterbox.

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post #7 of 56 Old 08-24-2006, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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How hard was the install? I can remove the liner on my scorpion, so I figure it shouldn't be too difficult. Dremel, glue, and patience right?

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post #8 of 56 Old 08-24-2006, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
The one we used was the FRS-X2 model. It clamped to the helmet. The Collett says it uses velcro.

Hey H, was that thing pretty secure? I guess you have to glue a velcro pad to the outside of your helmet?
mine use a clip on to the helmet. Like I said, I use 'em for snowmobiling & w/ flying down some pretty bumpy trails, thru tree branches, snow/ice they've held up so far.

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post #9 of 56 Old 08-24-2006, 04:25 PM
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Chatterboxes are really designed for HJC as they have holes for the speakers.

All you need to do is get the ear pices and microphone in. Makes riding in groups nice especially if you get a little seperated.

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post #10 of 56 Old 08-26-2006, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_ryder View Post
mine use a clip on to the helmet. Like I said, I use 'em for snowmobiling & w/ flying down some pretty bumpy trails, thru tree branches, snow/ice they've held up so far.
Cool another Sledhead on here,
Do any of these support plugging in an MP3 player or such, nice for long rides by yourself

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post #11 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 06:13 AM
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Talk to me Goose.

Looking at rider to passenger communication options. My wife will probably never speak to me again if I make her ride all the way to the BBQ and can't communicate, or maybe she'd be happier that way?

Anyway - I've narrowed it down to 2 options:
The Motocomm SideKick SK-55 - details can be found Here
or
Motorola Bluetooth Motorcycle Headset - details can be found Here

With a little shopping around I can get the prices within $50 of each other so between the two price differential isn't a concern.

Seems the motorola option offers more usefulness because it can be used with bluetooth phones and operate as an intercom. Doesn't have the range of the motocomm but is wireless and has a rechargeable battery.

Motocomm has a much larger range but is wired and uses regular batteries that have to be replaced.

My concern with the bluetooth solution is volume, my other bluetooth headset just doesn't seem loud enough to hear at speed when riding and there's no point in an intercom that can't be heard. Yes I always wear earplugs to cut down on ambient noise but if the volume isn't loud enough then I wont be able to hear anything.

Anyone have any experience with either?

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post #12 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 06:34 AM
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Sorry, I've only used Chatterbox, but am watching with interest because I need a good bluetooth solution to get my phone (which has a MP3 player) into a helmet speaker/headset.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #13 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 07:01 AM
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I'll guinea pig it. Just ordered 2 of them shipped 2nd day air for $159.00 - will report back.



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post #14 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 07:09 AM
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Just in case those communication devices work too good you might want to take along a couple of these.


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post #15 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Ahem. Let's just say that i'm curious how well they work. For $159, that would be an awesome solution. All the sets I have seen, have run in the $200-$300 range.

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post #16 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 07:18 AM
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use the search function newbie!

merged threads.

I should mention for clarification - that's $159 total shipped for 2 units.

http://www.anything4wireless.com/ind...ROD&ProdID=441

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post #17 of 56 Old 08-30-2006, 07:26 AM
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I bought an IMC (Baehr) MIT-100 this year. It comes with four headsets, VOX intercom, bike-to-bike (FRS or GMRS radio needed) with PTT button, cell input, and GPS or mp3 player input. Works great. Gets power from bike. $199.

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post #18 of 56 Old 08-31-2006, 10:28 AM
 
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+1 on the Collett Communicators.

I've used a set of their Model 900 for some time now, they aren't perfect but they do work well I am quite happy with them. I've used an older Chatterbox unit and I didn't care much for it. But that was years ago so maybe the newer Chatterbox systems have improved.

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post #19 of 56 Old 09-06-2006, 07:42 AM
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Did a dry fit last night and here are my preliminary findings.

Both headset units are synched to individual motorola Razr V3 cellphones. The maximum volume of a Razr is a little low for my preference. There are ways to hack into the phone and increase the volume settings beyond the normal adjustability but I've not delved into that.

The low volume in the Razr may, or may not, affect the maximum volume of the headset - but I still find it a little too quiet. Now, if you've seen my helmet project for the Arai SZ Ram III you know that the earcup section had no padding nor polysytene - just the outer shell. I cut a dryboard eraser in half and hollowed out the center to accommodate the earphone speaker and test fitted it. Nearly tore my ear off. I shaved it a bit more and got it about halfway comfortable (which is also halfway uncomfortable) and rode to work with it this morning. I did wear my earplugs as usual, wife called me to test. Above 40mph it was almost impossible to hear her (though she heard me just fine with little/no wind noise. I attribute much of not hearing her to the distance from the speaker to my ear. I've gotten some softer foam and will experiment more with comfortably fitting the speaker to my ear.

The bluetooth to bluetooth unit communication does work, tested to about 25' apart before hearing static. Easily useable for rider to passenger communication and it does not use the cellphone to connect - no minutes are used for rider to passenger communication - motorola calls this "walkie talkie mode".

The unit itself adheres to the helmet with double sided sticky tape. Once placed on the helmet it should not be removed so I suggest playing with the placement so that the microphone boom easily reaches well inside the helmet out of direct airflow. Depending on the shape of your helmet it may or may not fit the profile perfectly but the tape is strong enough to stick to just about anything.

Of course I wasn't hapy with where I stuck it and forcibly removed it. Now I need new stickytape or drill into the helmet and secure it with a bolt (which I may do anyway).

All in all my only complaint is volume and that might be the fault of the phone during cellular conversations. Also understand my everyday helmet is not ideal for this application because of the lack of padding and sound deadening. To make this work for me I'll have to create an earcup that fits the helmet that holds the speaker closer to my ear and likely not be able to wear an earplug in my left ear.

My wife's helmet is an HJC that has a pocket for the earphone already built into the lining from the factory. Her fit is perfect and the profile of the helmet allowed the entire contact patch of the stickytape to make contact with the helmet - hers is done and works well.

Will report more after I've modified the helmet more.

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post #20 of 56 Old 09-06-2006, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to have to do some in-depth investigation into the feasibility of doing this with my Scorpion. I like that the HJC's are already set up for communications, but a small part of me hates dremelling into my helmet liner.

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post #21 of 56 Old 09-06-2006, 09:03 AM
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That's my next challenge - how do I dremel this cushy foam? I'm considering freezing it first to see how much it stiffens up and if it comes back to cushy after thawing out.

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post #22 of 56 Old 09-18-2006, 08:19 PM
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On sale

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Ride In Peace Marcus Randolph (Kahuna) 12/17/06
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post #23 of 56 Old 10-09-2006, 07:36 AM
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In the UK www.autocom.co.uk is very pukka and versatile kit - but it comes at a price

post #24 of 56 Old 10-09-2006, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
Ordered today. Thanks Mike.

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post #25 of 56 Old 10-09-2006, 09:52 AM
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If we had that this past Sunday we could have discussed how big a dumbass the guy was on Rt 35 infront of that cop!

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post #26 of 56 Old 10-09-2006, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Or I could have talked your ear off whining about the lack of grip warmers on the Strom. Speaking of that, check your PM.

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post #27 of 56 Old 10-10-2006, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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OK, received the tandem today. It is not a standard chatterbox. It is only designed for two-up riding. I would have to purchase another base unit for bike-to-bike communication. I will be installing the headsets into the helmets tonight (purchased seperately BTW), wish me luck. It is alot smaller than I pictured it though. Smaller than a standard flip cell phone.

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post #28 of 56 Old 10-10-2006, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidgeRunner View Post
OK, received the tandem today. It is not a standard chatterbox. It is only designed for two-up riding. I would have to purchase another base unit for bike-to-bike communication. I will be installing the headsets into the helmets tonight (purchased seperately BTW), wish me luck. It is alot smaller than I pictured it though. Smaller than a standard flip cell phone.
Keep us posted on the install and the thoughts afterwards.

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post #29 of 56 Old 10-11-2006, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Both sets are installed and function flawlessly(at least in the living room) The headsets were an easy install with double sided tape and some strategic tucking of the wires. The Scorpion helmets don't have the pockets for the speakers, but there was enough room behind the padding around the ear for them to fit without any intrusion with the helmet on. I will mount the base unit to the helmet tonight. I am hoping the base unit has a universal mount clip so I can use any chatterbox to communicate to passenger, or other riders.

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post #30 of 56 Old 10-19-2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Throughout the entire BRP trip, the Chatterbox worked like a champ. Even through a 3 hour drenching rainstorm on the ride home, it didn't fail. I started getting crackling in my left ear towards the end of the soaked ride, but it never stopped communicating. Two thumbs way up for this one. Now I just have to figure out how to get my GPS to talk to me as I ride.

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post #31 of 56 Old 11-14-2006, 08:38 AM
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Hi Jetblast,

I've been looking for a passenger intercom and greatly appreciate your posts about wireless. Unfortunately adequate power/volume and being able to priority mix sources rules out the nifty wireless options I've read about. Autocoms with addons are very expensive, but their noise cancelation is envious for a naked bike. Were you able to increase the volume to work at freeway speeds? Thanks!

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post #32 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 01:50 PM
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After reading reviews that exposed limitations (volume, battery-charge, noise, and mixing), I gave up on today's wireless intercoms and picked autocom.

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post #33 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 02:20 PM
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sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, been a little preoccupied. Good call you made, in the long run the diminished volume of a bluetooth unit has sort of killed it for me. I know it's a mixture of wear earplugs or not, highway or not, OEM exhaust or aftermarket - but after it's all said and done the BT units just weren't loud enough for me to hear anything. I still have them but they might be destined for ebay.

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post #34 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 02:42 PM
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This thread has gone too long.

Derailment commencing...

I use the visor communication. Flip up the visor and yell really loud. Or make up your own sign language. e.g. Point at the gas tank, need gas or the other common one, hang by the wang area pointing out and up, have to go pee.

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #35 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 02:57 PM
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Hi Jetblast,

Thank you! I greatly appreciated your wireless perception meets reality experience! AC's super-pro duo (2up) adjusts to its sampling the driver's helmet noise. This is a nice feature given the sound dynamics.

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post #36 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 03:35 PM
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Ragdoll,

No doubt Visor Communications is the best value! What's the sign for the lead rider after being caught in a trap...

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post #37 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
Ragdoll,

No doubt Visor Communications is the best value!
Just make sure you don't flip it up too fast or the wind could catch it... you know what's next... burnt off boobers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
Ragdoll,

What's the sign for the lead rider after being caught in a trap...
Full throttle?

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #38 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 04:30 PM
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ragdoll,

Thank you for the visor warning and new sign! Hopefully Brit's Lawyer didn't win the ridiculous claim and damage the helmet CO that saved her.

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post #39 of 56 Old 11-15-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblast10 View Post
sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, been a little preoccupied. Good call you made, in the long run the diminished volume of a bluetooth unit has sort of killed it for me. I know it's a mixture of wear earplugs or not, highway or not, OEM exhaust or aftermarket - but after it's all said and done the BT units just weren't loud enough for me to hear anything. I still have them but they might be destined for ebay.
Let me know and I might take it off your hands...

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post #40 of 56 Old 11-17-2006, 05:22 AM
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speakers and volume

My troubles with helmet audio on naked bikes have always been volume and road noise. This includes having purchased an HJC helmet to better accomodate the speaker. Ear plug speakers have worked the best but when I finally have to slow down -(traffic signal)- the volume level is scary.

This translates into communication will require high volumes at road speed on a naked bike. Probably not a big deal until you are in town in traffic. Ease of volume adjustment is then the issue.

Two hands on the bars always works best! Fumbling with an i-pod with gloved hands is - stupid?

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