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Volume controller for music through Autocom...finally


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I did the following so I could control volume on my Roady, and for that matter my ipod, but it should help anyone with a problem hearing any input source to the Autocoms. Gary Ali is a Canadian, mentioned often on this forum, who makes a little amplifier that can be used with Autocoms, or any music source by itself, called the Amplirider

which has the excellent feature of a long lead to the volume "knob." The amp, like anything this size, is not going to give high fi sound, but it does improve volume, and more important for me, gives control of same at my fingertips.


I installed the amp under the seat, between the music lead and the Autocom, and ran the volume controller lead up under the tupperware to the radio control blank, drilled a hole and installed the knob. Looks good, works fine. I had a flexible extension I was able to use to get from the back side of the blank to the controller, so I didn't have to cut the dash, but it would have been a simple matter to cut out the space between two of the radio controller holes and just mount the thing directly to the blank (the extension, which also is a GREAT tool for adding a volume control to a tank bag, came from Kieth Goudelock at Tulsa Truck Center (he's an Autocom guru like EffBee who's popular on the FJR forums and elsewhere).


Gary is great to deal with, very responsive to email queries, and anxious to please his customer. My first unit was real buzzy, and the left channel was almost nonexistent; he happily sent me a replacement amp, not the volume controller, since I'd already installed it...which didn't fix the problem. After much contorting on my part, I finally deduced that it was the volume controller thingie that was the problem, and Gary sent me an entire new unit, which did the trick. After installing the thing three times, I can do it in less than ten minutes.


The amp is currently just stuffed under the seat with all the other wires and bits, but this weekend I'll get around to tidying it all up a bit...after a thorough test run...I may need to get a ground loop isolator once all the electronics are hooked back together.


I use custom earphones, by the way both for hearing protection and for better sound. My wife uses Etyomotic ER4p phones, which frankly sound better than my custom jobs, but the hard plastic bit that sticks out really bothers my fat head inside the helmet...she's,um, more narrow minded?


Hope this is of some use to someone. Clickable thumbnails below.




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This is for the older autocom units that don't have autovolume via the background noise sensor correct?


This idea will work with anything from just a Roady or mp3 player (I stuff the ipod down in the side pocket of the fairing) to at least the Autocom Active-Plus systems, and should work with all of them. I THINK the autovolume feature you refer to has to do with vox communication, not auxiliary inputs such as music...I'm sure an expert will be along to correct me...as now matter what knob I fiddle with on the Autocom, music volume remains unchanged...besides, it's under the seat, and I'm not.


This amp does nothing for VOX, it only acts as a volume controller for items plugged into the Aux 2 input of the Autocom...well, I guess if I wanted to control a gps or valentine I could rig those up, but since they have their own controls, I didn't bother.


I came to the BMW from a Goldwing, which of course has a radio built in, with not one but two different volume controllers. I got used to being able to turn XM up and down, and this is my solution.


Having crowed about the Amplirider, there IS a solution I found which DOES provide a noticeable sound improvement, deeper bass, clearer mids and highs (don't bother unless you're using earphones) called the Simpl A1 Amplifier designed by some guys in Austin, where I live, specifically for the iPod, but useful for anything like XM or any mp3 player. It doesn't have the nice remote wired volume controller, but one of the designers said he could make one up for me...this was a year ago, and I ended up not going through all that...but the thing still runs on batteries, and I wanted hard-wiring. The link is to Amazon, but if you google the Simpl, (yes, there's no 'e') you'll eventually find their site, try to call them, see if they'll fix you up with a remote controller...or use it in your wired up tank bag as is.


[NOTE: either of these units, run on battery power, completely eliminates all the potential hassles with ground loops and other bike interference, but you do have to use batteries.]

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The new for 2006 Super Pro AVi model autocom kit has a background noise sensor that is used to ramp up the master volume level as road noise increases. It works great. Soft music at stop lights... louder music at 80MPH. The VOX sensitivty is also tied to this.


Anyway.. your idea still looks good for the other intercom setups.

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