Well, there seems to be a bunch of different 'best' communication setups out there for bike. Which ones do you guys like?
I've been looking at either a Collet Platinum 900 or a Chatterbox FRS X2.
Here's the catch, I know we'll need at least 3, maybe 4. (Me, GF, Roommate and, eventually, my brother.) So I need something that will work well, but that I can find at a decent price.
Sign language? I'd like to see that!
The Autocom unit is one of the best, albeit pricey, communication systems. The Autocom unit is wired into the bike. Then you can plug in a voice activated headset for your helmet, an FM Family radio to communicate with others, and a tape player or whatever if you want tunes.
I use the older Collett Model 900. *My friend and I have used them for about 3 years now. *4 of my other riding friends bought the new Platinum 900. *They are nice and the VOX actually works (that was a problem with the Chatterbox units 3 years ago when I decided on the Collett). *The new Chatterbox might work just fine though, I don't know, haven't seen any reason to switch. *At the time the Collett had all the features I needed (water proof, VOX, decent range, AA size rechargeable batteries). There is no cord to the bike so at gas stations or stops you can still talk and they put out enough volume to hear them over the highest rated (33?) earplugs.
We use hand signals and all of that now. But I'd like some more effective communication. Also planning on some longer trips (I've done some before but the rest of them haven't) and felt they'd come in handy then.
Make sure the microphone you get in the unit will work at higher speeds and your buddies can recognize what you're saying. I think that was one of the biggest issues from a previous discussion.
HGToo and I use the Autocom system with FRS radios. I got 'used' intercoms from Top Gear for a decent price. They also have bike to bike systems now. The ones we have can interface with a portable music source too. You can check them out here: Autocom America
Bike 2 Bike communication is totally fun....doesn't distract from riding like you might imagine. Only adds to the fun and safety of group riding imho....Pulse : We use hand signals and all of that now. *But I'd like some more effective communication. *Also planning on some longer trips (I've done some before but the rest of them haven't) and felt they'd come in handy then.
I have the Chatterbox FRS....works reasonable, but the AutoComm setup is much better. Either way, plan on using bike power....it is much more clear and stable than batteries imho..... Some problems I was having with clarity were actually related to this, but I chased my tail with microphones before figuring it out....
My personal preference is PTT over VoX.....some will disagree, but I have found VoX to take a bit too much fidgeting
I have the VOX and it works quite well for me. I don't have to go looking for the 'talk' button with the VOX. And, there are less wires (in my system) with the VOX. If you have a quality headset with enough VOX adjustability, it shouldn't be a problem. It's all personal preference though.
The only problem with the VOX is that when I accidentally sing too loud, the microphone activates and others get to listen whether they want to or not.
I'm guessing you have to spend quite a bit of research time figuring out what you need for this system. I have been thinking about getting an MP3 player for a while now, to help me stay awake on my commute(amazing one can nod off riding a motorcycle). This sounds like it would be a nice compliment to having music, adding communication between riders and cell phone use as well.
Does anyone here use the cell phone function?Does it work fairly well?/convenient as it sounds? I'm thinking if I get really tired on the road, calling the wife or a buddy might be a good way to keep my eyes open as well.
thanks in advance for any input.
edit: sorry for thread jack Pulse, hopefully any additional info will help you too.
Same for me.....my preference also stems from talking to myself...singing etc....but I didnt want to admit it.....HondaGal : The only problem with the VOX is that when I accidentally sing too loud, the microphone activates and others get to listen whether they want to or not. *
I don't use the cell phone option...it would be too distracting for me to talk and be totally alert to what's going on around me. If I really need to make a call, it's safer for me to pull off the road and stretch my legs/gas up at that same time.
Same for me.....my preference also stems from talking to myself...singing etc....but I didnt want to admit it.....Baketech : Quote (HondaGal @ May 27 2003, 10:18am)The only problem with the VOX is that when I accidentally sing too loud, the microphone activates and others get to listen whether they want to or not. *
I also prefer to use the PTT feature over the VOX on my Chatterbox. This does make it a bit figidty and can delay some responses but aside from this it works fine. Apart from my fear of serenading my fellow riders with the latest from Metallica, VOX requires lowering the sensitivity of the mike to the extent of causing wind noise to break the mic open. This may be due to my placement of the mic. (I haven't tried to fiddle with it after initial installation)
I hate to fork this thread a bit... but I'd like to know about the CB versions of the communication devices. Frequently, I am on longer trips by myself. In the car, I find the CB provides good weather, traffic and police information so I'd like to extend that while on the bike.
Does anyone use/own a CB version of the Chatterbox (or similar) device? If so, what is the range and sound quality of the system? Does it require an external antenna?
My last question is, does the weight of the chatterbox on your helmet give you a sore neck after hours of riding?
A lot of people mount the ChatterBox on their bike somewhere, and just run the wire up to their helmet for the speakers/mic.nomad : My last question is, does the weight of the chatterbox on your helmet give you a sore neck after hours of riding?
I concur with Conq on this one....nomad : My last question is, does the weight of the chatterbox on your helmet give you a sore neck after hours of riding?
I don't care for the helmet mount...have always kept it in my tankbag, and used the long cord to connect to the pigtail coming out of my helmet....
As far as CB goes, you can use the AutoComm type setup with the radio of your choosing, FRS, CB etc.....
Ok, but I'm looking for experience with using a CB radio (and which one) on a bike... anybody? anybody? Chatterbox? Chatterbox alternative?Baketech : As far as CB goes, you can use the AutoComm type setup with the radio of your choosing, FRS, CB etc.....
Thanks for the heads up on mounting the radio elsewhere... I've always seen them clipped to helmets. Good to know they can be separated from your head.
Try asking or searching on on http://www.sport-touring.net/ *I'm sure lots of people there have done it.nomad : Ok, but I'm looking for experience with using a CB radio (and which one) on a bike... anybody? *anybody? *Chatterbox? *Chatterbox alternative?
Thanks, I will do.