Bike to bike / rider to pillion comms with FRS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-16-2008, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bike to bike / rider to pillion comms with FRS

My wife wanted comms between our two bikes. I wasn't excited about the idea, but I gave in. I wasn't interested in breaking the bank. After researching the various options I decided to try the Midland TXT710 radio. The price was great and the weather resistance feature a must. Another critical factor was the in helmet microphone and speakers. I liked the Midland setup because on paper it seemed to have everything we needed.

The radios are mounted to the right mirror. We used cell phone cases that we purchased 10 years ago when phones were large. I would like to find a black case (dying these did not work), but until then these work fine.


Case closed. The wire running from the bottom left is going out to the PTT switch. The wire on the bottom right is for connecting to the headset. This was somewhat of a quick and dirty install and better cable routing is achievable.


Headset connection cable.


PTT mounted to the left mirror.


Headset cable. This leads to the speakers and microphone mounted in the helmet.


Helmet connected to the bike.


I mounted a small camera bag to the back of the helmet to contain the wires when not in use. It blends in fairly well, but when noticed it does start conversations.


Two speakers mount inside empty ear space in the helmet. I do not feel these when the helmet is worn.


Microphone in the front. Mic is far enough forward that I cannot touch it with the helmet is on.


So how does it all work..? Very well. We both wear very effective custom made ear plugs. With the radios turned up full volume we are able to talk easily up to highway speeds. At highway speeds I find it useful to close the helmet windscreen before talking/listening. We're talking louder at that point, but still works just fine.

We have used these radios in the middle of a major thunderstorm with torrential rains. They got drenched and continued to work great. On a full charge we were able to ride 2.5 days on a single charge (about 20 hrs). Once they die just remove the battery pack and install 4 AA batteries.

We found that some frequencies work better than others. We did not like the frequencies that required us to hold the button for 1 second before talking. For us ch12 gave instant talk ability. There are probably others.

They are very good, but not perfect. First is the wire coming out of your helmet. Not ideal, but the case holding the wires out of the way makes it completely tolerable. In the cooler weather it can be hard to press and hold the PTT with bulky gloves. Recently something has happened in my wife's headset connection that is causing some occasional static. It's intermittent and I still need to figure that one out.

I purchased another set of radios and headset for my daughter when she's on the back. We put all the wires and the radio in her jacket pocket with just the headset connection and PTT switch hanging out. It's a lot better not having to yell and guess what's being said to/from her.

Bottom line I'm very happy with this setup. It's cost effective and works great. I also discovered that my wife was right. Comms between the bike is a great safety tool. I can tell her to watch a corner with gravel or whatever. I've gotten to the point where I don't like riding without comms.

I found you cannot go for a cheaper Midland radio. Long story, but we did try using one of the lower levels of Midland radio. When it did work (not always) sound quality was very poor. Very hard to understand what was being said. Not worth the time to hook it up. Go for one of the better levels of radio to make this work.


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post #2 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 12:23 AM
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nice, too bad they don't have a setup to have two headsets intercommed on the one radio for rider-pillion coms

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-15-2010, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the info Jon. My friend is likely going to order it up. Look forward to seeing you in Ohio.

Art in Edmonton
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-15-2010, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acormier7 View Post
Thanks for the info Jon. My friend is likely going to order it up. Look forward to seeing you in Ohio.
It's a good inexpensive solution. My biggest complaint is the PTT switch seems to go bad after a year. That just means I need to spend another $35 to get another.

See you in a couple of weeks.


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post #5 of 7 Old 08-16-2010, 08:47 AM
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Had a Motocom intercom/bike to bike system with Midland
GMRS radios. Everything worked fine for about 5000 miles
until it started having plug, PTT, and cable problems.
Eventually purchased two Autocomm basic bike to bike
(No Intercom) systems with speakers & mic for $99 each
on "sale" for Motorola radios. Really like the durability of
Autocom plugs, PTT, & cables.

We use camera bags ($5 each) on the handlebars similar to your
cellphone bags and have a PTT on each bike handlebar. Can take a
camera bag and mount next to trunk with PTT when riding
two up. Motorola radios use 3 AAA Duracell rechargeable batteries that
can last all day unless we talk too much.

Agree, safety is enhanced using radios.

One of the other guys I ride with has GPS, Weather Radar,
Radar detector, FM radio. He lets use know about police radar and
in combination with the GPS, roads to take to get around that
heavy rain cell ahead of us. We use channel 15 with Midland &
Motorola radios. My friend's Kenwood "might" be channel 12 talking
to us on channel 15 on our radios. We wear earplugs and can
talk at speeds up to 70MPH with full face helmets. Have not had
the system in heavy rain, yet.

Gave a friend my old Midland/Motocom unit. He uses the system
on his SV650. He even uses his highbeam "flash" button for his
PTT after disconnecting the headlight flash wiring.
His system works well with cable, plugs, & PTT modifications.

Nice work on your system. Wanted to post photos of what we use
being similar to your systems.

PTT



Autocomm system with Motorola radio



$5 Camera bag containing everything. Cable from PTT & Helmet connects
to cables coming out of Camera bag


Bill
2008 DL650

Last edited by exploring/carolina; 08-16-2010 at 10:47 AM. Reason: correction
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-16-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exploring/carolina View Post
PTT

Interesting PTT placement. Did you have to get used to it being there, or was it not a problem from the start?


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post #7 of 7 Old 08-16-2010, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt_Dad View Post
Interesting PTT placement. Did you have to get used to it being there, or was it not a problem from the start?
It's comfortable to use with the left thumb & worked well from the start!

Bill
2008 DL650
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