Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cheap Comms

Took receipt of the GSI Rider to Rider/Passenger 2 Way Intercom System for Motorcycle today from Amazon.com.

I'd found it quite frustrating to communicate with my sidecar passengers on occasion and figured at less than $35, this was worth a shot to see if I could easily talk with my "monkey" while riding Natasha, my Ural Sidecar Rig.

picture source: amazon.com

Installation was easy, just work the helmet liner piece out of the way, slip the speakers into the pocket where your ear goes, put the liner pieces back in place and do some testing.

It's powered by a couple of AAA batteries so I we'll see how long they last.  It didn't come with any instructions but some testing later I figured out what dial did what and such.  Each setup comes with it's own volume control, and I ended up setting both to high.

Miles, my #2 son and I went out for a short test ride on Natasha and the system did very well at low speeds, performance was a bit degraded at higher speeds like over 40 mph due to wind noise activating the mike, will have to play with what I believe is the "squelch" function on the control unit to account for increased wind noise.

Still, my son and I had a pleasant conversation about school and work as we cruised about the neighborhood and along Smoky Hill Road which is quite a busy road most of the time.

Initial impressions, I've got comms, now to see how long it lasts.

Update: This setup didn't last long for me.  I no longer use it mainly due to volume issues and mediocre performance.

4 comments:

Gary France said...

I tried a budget priced rider to pillion comms system and it worked fine until higher speeds, for exactly the same reason you had problems - the wind triggering the mike. I did eventually solve it, but it wasn't great, so I wish you well with yours.

Richard Machida said...

Interesting. Now you just have to remember to "unplug" before getting off the bike. Do both units plug into the box?

Charlie6 said...

Gary, yeah we'll see...

Richard, yes, but helmet units plug to central module.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

One thing that makes me nuts is the lack of standardization regarding communications kits for motorcycles. And it has been my experience that expectations exceed performance, in many cases.

I have a Scala system that is still largely new in the box. I got it to bluetooth with my Garmin Nuvi 660... Except my three-year-old Garmin unit will only bluetooth with a cell phone. (So much for that.) I like what the Scala system will do, except it does not mount with the intent to stay forever on a Nolan helmet. (WTF?)

And I looked out two other systems that offered even more in the way of compromise. I'm keeping the Scala because I will use it one day, when I have time to really fool around with it.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads