DIY Motorcycle Intercom/Bike to Bike radio +1 input... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-23-2010, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Motorcycle Intercom/Bike to Bike radio +1 input...

I have an XR650L (and hopefully soon a Wee/Vee) and have freqently had the frustration of not being able to talk to my wife, or the guy who's riding with us that day.

I have searched high and low, and cannot for the life of me find a simple solution that is practical and simple AND doesnt cost an arm and a leg.

Problem solved with just a little

I am not really sure how to start this, as I am not installing it on my motorcyle(yet) as I am away from home for a while.

Oh goodness....here we go,

Parts list:
*NADY MRC11x Radio $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-001-_-Product

*NADY MO-HEADSET $14.99 (for passenger, unit comes w/ 1 already)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-003-_-Product

* +5V Fixed-Voltage Regulator (7805A) $1.59
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062599

* TO-220 Mounting Hardware $1.99
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2102859

* Small gauge wire roll (two pair inside one sheeth)
* Silicone caulking
* mount for radio
* couple misc. parts


w/


-Ok, the problem I saw with this setup (the MRC11x) is that it only operates on batteries (3xAAA) and has a 48hr standby-runtime. So for a trip, where one might be doing constant intercom/b2b it would drain the batteries rather fast. Also dependant on the batteries, is the power output (ie-range...)

-I looked for a charger for a while, and the only one that I could was a wall charger, the problem with that, is while charging the radio shuts down. -So much for constant power...

My solution was to let my inner USN electronics technician out, and rig it up.

First, I'll explain the theory...
According to the MRC11x data sheet:
Low Battery Display Threshold ........................................... 4.3-4.6VDC
Transmit Current (4.6VDC High Power) .............................. <0.8A (TX); <30mA (STBY); <100mA (RX)
Current Drain (Intercom) .................................................. ... <100mA
Standby Current (4.6VDC) .................................................. <30mA
Power Required .................................................. ................ 4 Ni-Cad, NiMH or Alkaline AAA batteries (4.6-6.0 VDC)
Battery Life 4.6VDC (4xAAA) ............................................... >48 HR (RX)

The red lettering indicates the correct operating voltage requirements for the radio. (as well as the 'low voltage' threshold)

In order to provide power to the unit, we must 'mimic' the batteries, the only problem is that a motocycle is obviously not 4.6-6.0VDC. Luckily, for us, that is a simple fix, radioshack.com carries (most stores as well) a small model/hobby regulator called a 7805A, which accepts 0-35VDC and will regulate it down to +5 VDC up to 1A.
-Now we just need to know the requirements (mA) of the radio, well back to the handy spec sheet, we see this:
Low Battery Display Threshold ........................................... 4.3-4.6VDC
Transmit Current (4.6VDC High Power) .............................. <0.8A (TX); <30mA (STBY); <100mA (RX)
Current Drain (Intercom) .................................................. ... <100mA
Standby Current (4.6VDC) .................................................. <30mA
Power Required .................................................. ................ 4 Ni-Cad, NiMH or Alkaline AAA batteries (4.6-6.0 VDC)
Battery Life 4.6VDC (4xAAA) ............................................... >48 HR (RX)





TADA! the amprage req can be met easily. for componet's safety sake, it would be wise to be able to disapate some heat as it would be running at 80% capacity. We shouldnt need much, so the above TO-220 Heatsink should do just the trick and still not be bulky.

-So with the theory done, how do we apply it?



With the above schematic you can see how we tied into vehicle power. you have the option here to make it ignition hot, or always hot, honestly, i personally would use ignition hot as it would more than likely prolong the lifespan of all the components (radio too)

with the wires hooked to the 7805A VR, both the incoming 12vdc, and the reg. 5vdc to the device, you should now be able to silicone the heatsink/reg inside of the battery compartment with the wire trailing out. Tuck the few wires inside the battery compartment in there, and pop the lid back on. I think the easiest route here is notch a small hole in the cover for the cable, and smear a drop of silicone on the inside to protect it from the weather (abap)
the 12vdc lead wires can be hooked where ever you would like, and the radio will remember its settings as it uses a rom chip to store the data entered. (ie. remembers your station settings and ect...)



sorry for the long post, i was trying to figure out how to power this, and it hit me out of nowhere how simple it really was :beatnik:

im going to sleep, this post wore me out!! x11ty billion!
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-23-2010, 02:08 PM
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Interesting....
Although having to buy two 70 dollar radios, 15 bucks each for headsets, and various other parts. doesn't seem that cost effective.
A Scala rider set wouldn't be much more money and is all set up.

Let us know how it works while riding.

Ken

2007 DL650 Gray
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-23-2010, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggot View Post
Interesting....
Although having to buy two 70 dollar radios, 15 bucks each for headsets, and various other parts. doesn't seem that cost effective.
A Scala rider set wouldn't be much more money and is all set up.

Let us know how it works while riding.

Ken
I agree. I'd just go with the Scala unit. Unless you like tinkering :mrgreen:

Also, using a 7805 to regulate down to 5V from 12-14VDC is very inefficient and you waste a lot of power, not to mention the regulator will get very hot. Not a good way to do this. Use a small switcher power supply instead, they are just a little bigger than a 7805. The exact model number eludes me at the moment but I can dig it up if you are interested.

[SIZE="2"]2009 ABS DL650[/SIZE]
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-24-2010, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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@maggot
requires only one radio for your motorcyle, your buddy would have to buy one to do bike2bike. it IS however compatable with anything that uses the FR spectrum.

@Arne
i was going for size, as the 7805a fits in the battery compartment. i was looking at another option, a different power regulator that you would have to mount somewhere else, and run the 5v feed to the bars (power several small devices as it was like 10A or something)

ultimatly i choose size, as 'a lot of power' is relative to the device/regulator. relative to the bike output, power loss is minimal i would think
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-24-2010, 08:44 AM
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I love DIY and I love to hack things, so I understand you need (and problem).

That said, just bite the bullet and purchase an AutoCom or some other pricey, but well regarded comm system. I tried a few cheapies including one of two that I built and in the long run you will be happier (and maybe even spend less) with a "store" bought unit.

Either way, post up the solution and your comments. Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Due1Sp0rt View Post
I have searched high and low, and cannot for the life of me find a simple solution that is practical and simple AND doesnt cost an arm and a leg.
Problem solved with just a little

See http://whiskeytangohotel.com/gpi
to build your own V-Strom GPI and save, save, save!
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-24-2010, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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yeah, i have a problem, its called take things apart and see whats inside...
even worse than that, i know perfectly enough to be dangerous!

autocom? how much do they run?
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-24-2010, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Due1Sp0rt View Post
yeah, i have a problem, its called take things apart and see whats inside...
even worse than that, i know perfectly enough to be dangerous!

autocom? how much do they run?
There is hope for our problem. This was my last build; a simple one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz8_Yqm1r1E

Autocom comes in a few difference models. See:
http://www.autocom.co.uk/

See http://whiskeytangohotel.com/gpi
to build your own V-Strom GPI and save, save, save!
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-24-2010, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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sadly, i cannot access youtube from here, bandwidth restrictions

eventually i found it last night, but more inportantly i found a unit breakdown on a different site to show me the pros/cons.

looks nice, but dang, those are expensive. I have two bikes to outfit, so my costs double.
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-25-2010, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arne View Post
I agree. I'd just go with the Scala unit. Unless you like tinkering :mrgreen:

Also, using a 7805 to regulate down to 5V from 12-14VDC is very inefficient and you waste a lot of power, not to mention the regulator will get very hot. Not a good way to do this. Use a small switcher power supply instead, they are just a little bigger than a 7805. The exact model number eludes me at the moment but I can dig it up if you are interested.
something more along these lines?

http://www.powerstream.com/dcdc.htm

or were you talking about componet level?

was the power loss 'a lot of power' in reference to componet level efficiency? i dont see how this could ever draw any serious amount from the vehicles charging system.
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-25-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arne View Post
Also, using a 7805 to regulate down to 5V from 12-14VDC is very inefficient and you waste a lot of power, not to mention the regulator will get very hot.
There may be better ways, but there is not a simpler way (IMO). I have built many many many 7805 rigs to get USB power from a bike or car. So far non have failed and I didn't heat sink any of them. The bigger 7805 package device seems pretty tuff.

Power use should be a non issue unless you plan to use it without the motor running for very long time periods.

That's just my experience.

See http://whiskeytangohotel.com/gpi
to build your own V-Strom GPI and save, save, save!
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