StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I plan to buy a Cobra GMRS radio for communicating with others (riding buddy, wife in car, pillion(?)) while I am riding. I picked this one:
http://radioworld.ca/product_info.php?products_id=4841

I like the range, the fact that is water resistant and the 11 hours of battery life.

Does anybody have experience with this particular piece?
Should I buy a different model?
What headset is the best suited for riding that attaches to this radio?
How would you carry it? Mounted on the bike or in your pocket?

Thanks for the input in advance!

Attila
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Hi Atila,
I haven't heard of that particular model when I was searching a few months back, and I read through many long ADV threads about radios. I spent more time than I'd rather admit.

One can easily get caught in info overload... The higher end kenwoods seen to be the most used on various sites. (I also visited the ST and FJR sites as well). But they are a couple hundred a piece.

Even within the same models, folks will have very different opinions on them.

I've used a few different sets with the kids camping over the years and I have a single kenwood TK3131 for bike to bike. I use autocom for pillion and music through it. and the radio is plugged into it for bike to bike. The autocom headset is fantastic.

Find a price that's reasonable for you, weather resistance is a good feature, 1-4km is likely the usable range, not the 45km BS.

I looked at the link you gave and they have lithium batteries and no charge port. If going the lithium route make sure they can also use double or triple A's etc.
I have a set of Cobra micro talks that the batteries packed it in. I can't put regular batteries in them so I have 2 nice, (were) great working radios that are useless cause replacement lithium batteries cost more than the radios did 5 yrs ago.
I'd also recommend radios with a usb charge port so you can plug it into the bike and not worry about batteries at all.

I'm looking at a couple different sets at Canadian Tire, but waiting for them to go on sale. Backup for the bike and good for regular out and about with the wife and kids.

Your entering a whole different world when talking motorcycle communications.

Good luck

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
They don't have the model #'s on their site but it's 2 different Motorola sets. It's the only Motorola sets they have. I believe they both come with headsets and PPT buttons. Both USB chargeable, and can use alkaline batteries.
One's 129.00 the other 99. I can't remember the differences and once I see one of them go on sale I'll check each set out more thoroughly.

There' another topic going on right now in the general forum regarding radios and comms... Some good info there as well.
http://www.stromtrooper.com/showthread.php?t=51386

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
FRS\GMRS radios

\Best Buy has some inexpensive Motorolas that have frs and gmrs channels, look for the ones that say with mini usb charging port, you can charge them on the fly ........they are 79.00 per pair with batteries and a charger. get 2 so you can carry the onter batteries and change them out if they die. Use GMRS channel 22 on these radios and you will have better reception and distance. The frs channels are limited to 1/2 watt of power so only use if you meet up with a new group of folks and you do not know the frequencies on their radios. Channel 22 on a Motorola is the same frequency as channel 22 on a cobra, channel 15 on a Kenwood and channel 14 on some midlands. Good luck. Kieth
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,333 Posts
You might want to turn things around.. figure out how best to use the unit on the bike and then decide which FRS/GMRS radio fits the bill.

For example, if you were going to go with Autocom in the future then the Cobra is not one of the supported radios, and you might prefer to get a used Kenwood for different reasons or a cheapy Morotola as either will work with it.

I have Cobra FRS/GMRS radios at home and they are decent enough general purpose units. I also have Motorolas (which work with Autocom) and they are pretty much the same quality. Using the headset on the bike may be an issue, although my Brother does so but can't really communicate with us at highway speeds.

..Tom
 

·
Cat Herder
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
You might want to turn things around.. figure out how best to use the unit on the bike and then decide which FRS/GMRS radio fits the bill.

For example, if you were going to go with Autocom in the future then the Cobra is not one of the supported radios, and you might prefer to get a used Kenwood for different reasons or a cheapy Morotola as either will work with it.

I have Cobra FRS/GMRS radios at home and they are decent enough general purpose units. I also have Motorolas (which work with Autocom) and they are pretty much the same quality. Using the headset on the bike may be an issue, although my Brother does so but can't really communicate with us at highway speeds.

..Tom
I saw your posting over on ADV as well.

New_on_Strom...One thing to consider when looking at some units is the ability to purchase a battery eliminator kit. It'll allow you to hard wire the unit to the bike so you won't have to worry about batteries again.

I've been looking at the Motorola's and may just end up picking up a set of the FRS/GMRS units. The wife and I can run the FRS for now, and when we decide we want longer range we can both apply for the liscense to run GMRS.

I may talk her into purchasing one of those Autocom units (either for both of our bikes, or just mine).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
\Best Buy has some inexpensive Motorolas that have frs and gmrs channels, look for the ones that say with mini usb charging port, you can charge them on the fly ........they are 79.00 per pair with batteries and a charger. get 2 so you can carry the onter batteries and change them out if they die. Use GMRS channel 22 on these radios and you will have better reception and distance. The frs channels are limited to 1/2 watt of power so only use if you meet up with a new group of folks and you do not know the frequencies on their radios. Channel 22 on a Motorola is the same frequency as channel 22 on a cobra, channel 15 on a Kenwood and channel 14 on some midlands. Good luck. Kieth
Thanks for the idea! Best Buy fell off my radar for some reason. I'll check it there too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You might want to turn things around.. figure out how best to use the unit on the bike and then decide which FRS/GMRS radio fits the bill.

For example, if you were going to go with Autocom in the future then the Cobra is not one of the supported radios, and you might prefer to get a used Kenwood for different reasons or a cheapy Morotola as either will work with it.

I have Cobra FRS/GMRS radios at home and they are decent enough general purpose units. I also have Motorolas (which work with Autocom) and they are pretty much the same quality. Using the headset on the bike may be an issue, although my Brother does so but can't really communicate with us at highway speeds.

..Tom
Yes, I plan to have az Autocom/Motocom at a later date, so Cobra is out of the picture now. Also, it would be nice to power it from the bike and it also should run from AA battery. I'll have to do further digging.

Thanks for the info!

Attila
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I saw your posting over on ADV as well.

New_on_Strom...One thing to consider when looking at some units is the ability to purchase a battery eliminator kit. It'll allow you to hard wire the unit to the bike so you won't have to worry about batteries again.

I've been looking at the Motorola's and may just end up picking up a set of the FRS/GMRS units. The wife and I can run the FRS for now, and when we decide we want longer range we can both apply for the liscense to run GMRS.

I may talk her into purchasing one of those Autocom units (either for both of our bikes, or just mine).
Battery eliminator is a good idea.
In Canada we don't need license for GMRS.

Attila
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,025 Posts
I like Motorola radios. As to licensing, you can fill out the form online, pay the fee, and you're good to go for 5 years. The reason to go for GMRS is because you can get 5 watt radios. You can also get radios that have detachable antennas (better range) on the GMRS channels.

I can never remember my GMRS call sign. Amateur call is KA1TOX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I like Motorola radios. As to licensing, you can fill out the form online, pay the fee, and you're good to go for 5 years. The reason to go for GMRS is because you can get 5 watt radios. You can also get radios that have detachable antennas (better range) on the GMRS channels.

I can never remember my GMRS call sign. Amateur call is KA1TOX.
I think our unlicensed GMRS radios are 2W max. I have to learn more about radios, but I already see this is a whole new world.
 

·
Cat Herder
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
I think our unlicensed GMRS radios are 2W max. I have to learn more about radios, but I already see this is a whole new world.
That is what I read last night, along with a few other regulations concerning them.

In Canada, hand-held GMRS radios up to 2 watts have been approved for use without a license since September 2004.[4] Typically these are dual FRS and GMRS units, with fixed antennas, and operating at 2 watts on some GMRS channels and 0.5 watts on the FRS-only channels. Mobile units (permanently mounted in vehicles), base stations and repeaters are not currently permitted on the GMRS channels in Canada. - Wikipedia
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,333 Posts
How does the 5W unit compare to the 2W unit? Are they much better than the 2W units? I guess they have longer range...
Don't get hung up on the power of the units or the advertised range. The Antenna and the Antenna location is the most important part of the equation. The difference in real world usage between a .5 watt and a 5 watt is very small as the signal does not travel well through obstacles like terrain, foliage, building, etc.In my experience a half mile to mile or so line of sight is about all that you can realistically expect to clearly communicate with, and that is more than enough for most bike communications needs in the real world. Sometimes you will get lucky and be able to communicate further, but I wouldn't count on it

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Don't get hung up on the power of the units or the advertised range. The Antenna and the Antenna location is the most important part of the equation. The difference in real world usage between a .5 watt and a 5 watt is very small as the signal does not travel well through obstacles like terrain, foliage, building, etc.In my experience a half mile to mile or so line of sight is about all that you can realistically expect to clearly communicate with, and that is more than enough for most bike communications needs in the real world. Sometimes you will get lucky and be able to communicate further, but I wouldn't count on it

..Tom
So the advertised range is only achievable (if at all) in Nevada? Then why do they bother to put a number to it? Checking the CT website I see 32, 35, 45, 56 km range. This is pure BS.

Attila
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top