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cheapie bike to bike?


elkroeger

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After a few years of me and the missus using sign language (primarily the middle finger) for bike to bike communication, it's time to consider upgrading to a radio outfit. I'd like to employ the ipods and an FRS radios that we already have. It doesn't need to be fancy.

 

The simplest, and cheapest thing I can think of is a Y cord for the earbuds (FRS and ipod), and a remote ptt microphone.

 

Anyone been down that road?

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Umm. You get what you pay for. Nicer audio/comm unit = less frustration.

 

Unless you have Midlands, Autocom is the way to go. Rumor has it they're coming out w/ a new line for 2009, in which case there may be deals to be had on the older stuff.

 

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Umm. You get what you pay for...

 

Yeah, I know: YGWYPF and Autocom is tops. But I'm pretty sure we're not having $300 conversations anyway... thanks though.

 

So far I paid $1 for a used sign language book. Sure, it's a pretty crappy way to go, but I got my dollar's worth out of it, and then some. Seems likely I'd get $40 out of a couple cords and a mic. Worth a shot I guess, considering the price of the autocom.

 

Any reasonable, non-$$$$, solutions out there?

 

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My motto is, never (or as close as you can get) pay retail. I have gotten a lot of good stuff through this board. I would say go the classifieds and post a want ad. I seem to recall a few older autocom units being offered for less than 100 bucks. Key is to be patient and check often. Items tend to go quite fast.

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I bought one here in classifieds. I paid 100.00 and it is great, but I was cheap and just looked everyday until someone put one for sale. Anyway from 1 cheap person to another just keep looking in the classifieds someone will sell there unit.

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I haven't used them (AutoCom here) but I've seen a couple inexpensive solutions out there.

 

torkworld.com was displaying at the m/c show in Long Beach.

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FWIW

 

I *wasted* $50USD on a cheap (read worthless) b2b system which consisted of:

- two (2) midland g300 gmrs radio (craigslist $20)

- one (1) midland ff helmet headset kit (ebay $30)

 

I on my bike, my wife in the car. At 25mph or less, she could understand what I was saying... a bit faster and it was nothing short of frustrating.

 

IMHO.. at a minimum, you need a noise canceling mic and non-bubble pack radios. What did I do?

 

Autocom (really good prices if you buy in the UK) +

Kenwood TK-3101 (really good prices on ebay if your patient)

 

 

 

 

 

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++ on the Kenwoods & Autocoms. A riding buddy recently bought the Motocomm units and has had nothing but problems with it: static, wires coming loose, intermittent operation. And now the Autocoms are on sale for just a few bucks more than he paid for the junk. Heck, he'd probably be GLAD to sell you what he's got and let YOU play with it.

 

No, I have not seen a cheap $50 solution that works. If you discover this missing link, please let us all know! :wave:

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
FWIW

 

I *wasted* $50USD on a cheap (read worthless) b2b system which consisted of:

- two (2) midland g300 gmrs radio (craigslist $20)

- one (1) midland ff helmet headset kit (ebay $30)

 

I on my bike, my wife in the car. At 25mph or less, she could understand what I was saying... a bit faster and it was nothing short of frustrating.

 

IMHO.. at a minimum, you need a noise canceling mic and non-bubble pack radios. What did I do?

 

Autocom (really good prices if you buy in the UK) +

Kenwood TK-3101 (really good prices on ebay if your patient)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proof of the comment I was going to make...

 

You get what you pay for.

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A friend of mine uses the J&M Intregratr with a cheapie T series Motorola radio and he sounds just fine. His total investment was about $200. I have a Baehr Ultima with an Icom GMRS (not cheap by any means). As far as clarity goes, the comm system (helmet speakers, helmet microphone, and PTT button) is what is important, not so much the radio. Before I bought my Icom radio, I used cheapie Midlands with my Baehr comm system and they worked fine, too. Find an inexpensive system that is working for one of your friends and try to get the same components. One good thing about the inexpensive J&M system is that you can get music, GPS, cell phone, and FM radio, too, along with GRMS or CB radio capability. Choices ... choices ... Is this a great country or what? :wave:

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Did some research here, agree with the you get what you pay for. Spent a lot of time trying to get a cheap solution to work, switched to AutoCom. Worked the first time - everytime.

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While I am a happy Autocom user myself - I was pretty content with the Chatterbox setup I had previously. (FRS-X1 - with noise reduction.)

 

The chatterbox-chatterbox communication is actually quite acceptable. Not stellar by any stretch, but certainly usable. The only time it was really iffy was at high speed. (At triple digits, the autocom really shines in comparison.)

The thing that pushed my to upgrade to Autocom (and Kenwood) was the folks I rode with had those, and complained bitterly about my Chatterbox. Apparently, to THEM the thing sounded like $#!+ at any speed, was loud, and hurt their ears. And quite frankly, their Kenwoods sounded faint to me, and I couldn't hear/understand them half of the time on my Chatterbox.

(You know who you are!) :wave:

 

As a friend of mine likes to say - it'll "only" cost twice as much to do it right.

 

A decent used Autocomm will run you a hundred bucks - and a worthwhile FRS radio to plug into it will be at LEAST that much. If you're outitting TWO bikes, you'll be in for $400 or more, unless you really make a score in the classifieds/ebay.

A nice used Chatterbox (which has an integrated FRS or GMRS radio) will be $100 or less, so two of those will run you half the money.

(But if you plan to use them with riders using the more expensive setup, just be prepared for all of the 'oh my aching ears' complaints...)

 

The thing to keep in mind is this - the test-drive of either system need not cost you much. If you buy it right, and it doesn't work as well as you hoped, you can sell it again for as much, or close, to what you paid. Your downside is pretty small. (Unless you're like me, and keep it ALL, just in case you might want it later...) :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After a few years of me and the missus using sign language (primarily the middle finger) for bike to bike communication, it's time to consider upgrading to a radio outfit. So far I paid $1 for a used sign language book. Sure, it's a pretty crappy way to go, but I got my dollar's worth out of it, and then some.

 

 

 

You used a sign language book to learn how to use the middle finger and paid a dollar for it? :rofl::rofl:

 

(sorry... but you prolly could have found someone to teach you that for free...... :dopeslap: )

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You used a sign language book to learn how to use the middle finger and paid a dollar for it? :rofl::rofl:

 

(sorry... but you prolly could have found someone to teach you that for free...... :dopeslap: )

 

stare into my reply, I'm teaching you now!!!! :thumbsup:

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You used a sign language book to learn how to use the middle finger and paid a dollar for it?

 

HA HA HA HA HA! okay, you got me there! :-)

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i have a pair of scala q2 bluetooth b2b communicators I am selling. I like them, but the bluetooth is a bit of a hassle for my 6 year old to use.

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Definitely go GMRS (rather than FRS) because the range isn't what you might think when you lay the antenna down in a tank bag or up against your body.

 

On the Kenwood TK-3101, me and my two usual riding buddies use those but if I had to do it again I'd buy a more generic Motorola GMRS for less than half that cost! The Kenwood may well be Mil-Spec but the channel knob jiggles to another channel way too easily and the 600 mAH NiCd it comes with is wimpy (bought a larger 3rd party battery). The matched-code squelch usually works but we still get stepped on in urban areas. So no way would I pay such a huge premium again.

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I also went down the road of trying to find a cheap communication solution. I bought two inexpensive headsets from planetheadset.com, and connected them to a FRS radios that already owned.

 

That worked when we were in the parking lot, and had our flip-up visors up. But once we closed our helmets and started moving, the sound quality completely degraded to where it was unintelligible. My guess is that the system (mostly the microphone) couldn't handle the enclosed environment of the helmet very well.

 

I learned my lesson - stick with a better system that is specifically made to work in motorcycle helmets. You can try something else, but you will probably quickly discover that it is harder than it seems to get something cheap to work.

 

If you do find something cheap that actually works, let us all know...

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