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Old 05-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #181
BlueLghtning
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Originally Posted by KTM Explorer View Post
Nice. Clearly you know more than I do :-)

For bang for the buck - and range not needed over a mile, which radio make and model and which headset would you get?

MUCH appreciated -

-Craig
There are so many out there, I couldn't even begin to tell you. Basically any radio you find should meet your needs.

This site has a good outline of what's out there and allows you to do comparisons between 2 radio's. - http://www.buytwowayradios.com/ The Midland GXT1000PV and Motorola MR350R seem to be popular units. You might look at radio's that can pick up the NOAA weather alerts or maybe are waterproof in case you get caught in the rain or go for a swim in a water crossing. Plus the waterproof radio's shouldn't be affected by the dust.

Here is the comparison link - http://www.buytwowayradios.com/produ...omparison.aspx

Some things you might consider is a radio that uses rechargeable battery pack over AA or AAA batteries. Usually the rechargeable packs last longer, but the downside is you have to have a way to charge them and can't just easily replace the batteries if they die in the middle of the day. Some of them might come with a carrier that you can use AA/AAA batteries in if the rechargeable is dead and that kind of combines the best of both worlds.

If I was looking for a rechargeable one, I'd look for one that uses either a mini-usb or micro-usb plug since these are becoming the norm for phones and makes it easy to to take less cords and chargers with you.

Some other things to be aware of. Most bubble pack radio's today are a combined FRS/GMRS radio's. FRS is family Radio service and is license free use and the radio's can have a max of .5w output. GMRS is General Mobile Radio Service and legally you are supposed to have an $85 license that is good for 5 years. Most people don't have a license and the chance of being caught is probably slim, but I'm advising you legally you should have a license. GMRS radio's are able to run up to 50w, although any handheld will not run more then 5w and some don't even run that.

There are 14 FRS channels and 15 GMRS channels and 7 of them are shared which means there is a total of 22 channels. Some radio's are FRS only with only channels 1-14. Others are FRS/GMRS combined with 22 channels. This is how most FRS/GMRS radio's are layed out today with the 22 combined channels and it depends on what channel you are on for what service you are using. Don't believe any hype from a FRS/GMRS radio that claims to have more than 22 channels. That just isn't possible as there are only 22 frequencies allocated for FRS/GMRS. Usually what they have are channels with pre-defined privacy codes automatically selected on some pre-defined channel. So its not technically a different channel.

Here is a layout of the channels found on most combination FRS/GMRS radio's.
Channels 1-7 - shared FRS/GMRS. An FRS only radio will only do .5w on these channels while some GMRS might do more. This is a grey area depending on the radio and how much power you are using whether you fall under the FRS rules or GMRS rules. If its an FRS only radio with only channels 1-14, then you are fine here too since those radio's don't do more then .5w on any channel. If you are using a GMRS radio on high power, you are probably illegal.
Channels 8-14 - are FRS only channels. Any radio, regardless if it has GMRS capabilities will only do .5w on these channels. These are truly the only license free channels found on any of the radio's.
Channels 15-22 are GMRS only so only a combination FRS/GMRS radio will have these channels. These are truly license only channels since they are only found on GMRS radio's. My vote would be to stay off of these channels since its obvious you are supposed to have a license to talk on them.

Many radio's include some sort of privacy codes; CTCSS or DCS codes that can be enabled on any given channel. Some radio's will go as far as to claim these as other channels or "private channels" These do not keep your conversations private. Once again, there are only 22 total frequencies with a couple hundred privacy codes that can be enabled. All they do is not open the squelch for any radio that is not transmitting the correct code. So basically although you may not hear anyone else on the frequency you are talking on if you have a privacy code enabled, they can certainly hear you if they don't have one and you'll never know if you are talking over the top of them or not. Best bet is not to use privacy codes unless you just have a lot of interference and have no choice.

Here is a GMRS forum - http://www.mygmrs.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=14 Now these guys will definitely tell you that you should have a license to use any GMRS channel. Rightfully so, some of these guys have a lot of money invested in running repeaters on the GMRS frequencies and they don't look kindly on the bubble pack radio's that allow users easy illegal access to frequencies that users should have a license for. Thankfully, many Bubble pack radio's don't have the repeater split capabilities built into them so they can't access repeaters.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #182
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What do you think of the mics offered amongst these listings?

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...r350r&_sacat=0
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:31 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by KTM Explorer View Post
What do you think of the mics offered amongst these listings?

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...r350r&_sacat=0
If you are referring to the throat mics, those types are probably junk. There are some higher quality throat mics out there, but there are usually quite a bit more expensive. The problem with throat mics is they have to be in the right spot to work and that's tough to do while a jacket and stuff is trying to move it around as you turn your head.

The other mics will probably work when you are stopped and that's about it. Those types of mic/speaker setups really aren't meant for use while riding a motorcycle.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #184
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Yes; my experience with throat mics is they all suck till you drop $300+ on a good tac mic. Then you need a good radio ($800-ish) to plug it into.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #185
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Trust me, I've been through this.

The Motocomm is about the cheapest setup that works and even then as I said, the no noise cancelling has its caveats. For Dual Sporting, it does work pretty well. You have pretty cheap helmet headsets and you have a wide variety of FRS/GMRS radio's to choose from.

The cheap ear pieces and throat mics you see on ebay are meant more for walking around or maybe your favorite paint ball competition. They aren't going to work on a bike. You'll just be throwing your money away.

Now there are obviously many BT headsets with built in noise cancelling that work much better like the Sena SMH10, Scala G4/Q2, and even some new ones on the market like the Uclear HBC100/120, but BT has limited range so these are better for street bikes where you tend to stay closer together. Now Sena & Uclear have both introduced 2 way radio adapters (Sena SR10 & UClear WT300) that allow you add a 2 way radio into mix and get the best of both worlds, but the fact is you'll easily drop $250-$500 on many of these setups.

For under $100/rider, the Motocomm is really the way to go.

Now if you could find some used Collett setups, (Not the older square ones, but the newer rounded ones), but these are still generally pretty pricey when new.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:52 PM   #186
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Nice. I'll get the Motorola and the motocomm units.

Now what may be a silly question about (not knowing) these things :
Do you have to press the hand unit to talk?

and which motocomm unit would *you* get for the MR350R for DualSport use?

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #187
BlueLghtning
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Originally Posted by KTM Explorer View Post
Nice. I'll get the Motorola and the motocomm units.

Now what may be a silly question about (not knowing) these things :
Do you have to press the hand unit to talk?

and which motocomm unit would *you* get for the MR350R for DualSport use?
No, the Motocomm comes with a PTT button you can mount on your left hand grip.

You need to see if that's the standard 2.5mm pin on that radio? From doing some searching on ebay, that appears what it is, but until you have it in hand, or can verify, I'm not sure? So that would be the MC-552 or MC-752 headset.

This ebay ad shows that MR350 uses the same pin as the T series which is the single pin 2.5mm plug. - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Boom-Mic-PTT...-/170492027612
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:44 AM   #188
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FWIW, I picked up a set of Motorola Talkabout 9680RSAME that have the SAME technology. Just like your weather alert radio, you set the NOAA area code and when active, the radio will move you to the weather channel when an alert is signaled.

http://m.motorolasolutions.com/JSE/U...adio_B2B_US-EN
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:56 AM   #189
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I used radios I picked up at marine world. Waterproof and rugged.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50160

Charge them from the bike but, no ear piece jack
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:38 AM   #190
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I used radios I picked up at marine world. Waterproof and rugged.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50160

Charge them from the bike but, no ear piece jack
You do know its very illegal to use Marine VHF radio's on land, right? Unlike GMRS which doesn't get a lot of attention for illegal users, using Marine VHF on land will definitely get you noticed. Since you'd be the only one on the frequencies not by water, that would make it obvious you are working those frequencies illegally and put a bulls eye on you by the FCC. If you ever get caught, their fines for that aren't cheap.

I know Marine VHF radio's are pretty tempting as they are usually very rugged and waterproof, but their frequencies are off limits on land.

Now there are a couple Marine radio's out there that also are able to do GMRS or FRS frequencies. These both are very rugged and waterproof radio's.

The Standard Horizon HX471S is a marine radio, but also allows you to talk on FRS frequencies while on land. It also has the ability to pick up NOAA weather, Aeronautical frequencies, Murs, & AM & FM broadcasts. If you can find a used HX470S, they even allowed you to talk on MURS, but for some reason, they disabled that on the 471.

The Cobra HH425 is a bit cheaper than the HX471 and has your standard Marine channels, but also has 15 GMRS channels. Since the HH425 has a removable antenna which isn't allowed on FRS radio's, it actually doesn't include channels 8-14 on the radio. It just has channels 1-7 & 15-22 and will do a full 5 watts on those channels. It also receives NOAA weather broadcasts. Of course with this radio, without a GMRS license, you are still operating illegal.

Those that are in this thread, I would highly suggest you look into getting your Ham license. The Tech test is very easy and its only $15 for a 10 year license. Once you have your ham license you have the ability to obviously talk over repeater channels on 2m/440 but also a wide array of simplex channels out there too. There has been a wide influx of some pretty cheap Chinese radio's that have hit the market in the past couple years. I got my license last June and my wife got her's a few months later.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:21 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning View Post
...There are 14 FRS channels and 15 GMRS channels and 7 of them are shared which means there is a total of 22 channels. Some radio's are FRS only with only channels 1-14. Others are FRS/GMRS combined with 22 channels. This is how most FRS/GMRS radio's are layed out today with the 22 combined channels and it depends on what channel you are on for what service you are using. Don't believe any hype from a FRS/GMRS radio that claims to have more than 22 channels. That just isn't possible as there are only 22 frequencies allocated for FRS/GMRS. Usually what they have are channels with pre-defined privacy codes automatically selected on some pre-defined channel. So its not technically a different channel.

Here is a layout of the channels found on most combination FRS/GMRS radio's.
Channels 1-7 - shared FRS/GMRS. An FRS only radio will only do .5w on these channels while some GMRS might do more. This is a grey area depending on the radio and how much power you are using whether you fall under the FRS rules or GMRS rules. If its an FRS only radio with only channels 1-14, then you are fine here too since those radio's don't do more then .5w on any channel. If you are using a GMRS radio on high power, you are probably illegal.
Channels 8-14 - are FRS only channels. Any radio, regardless if it has GMRS capabilities will only do .5w on these channels. These are truly the only license free channels found on any of the radio's.
Channels 15-22 are GMRS only so only a combination FRS/GMRS radio will have these channels. These are truly license only channels since they are only found on GMRS radio's. My vote would be to stay off of these channels since its obvious you are supposed to have a license to talk on them.
...
I have suggested in the past that riders use FRS Channel 7 "Privacy" 14.
that would be 462.7125 with privacy" 107.2 Hz (I think it is). Sometimes 462.7125 is referred to as channel 14 in GMRS.

The reasons for this is that it allows every rider to use it even if they only have a FRS radio. It is still an accepted GMRS frequency and allows high power to be used. I have travelled thousand of miles using this frequency and only once did we hear someone else on it, and then only briefly. There is little if any worry about others being on it.

..Tom
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:47 AM   #192
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I have suggested in the past that riders use FRS Channel 7 "Privacy" 14.
that would be 462.7125 with privacy" 107.2 Hz (I think it is). Sometimes 462.7125 is referred to as channel 14 in GMRS.

The reasons for this is that it allows every rider to use it even if they only have a FRS radio. It is still an accepted GMRS frequency and allows high power to be used. I have travelled thousand of miles using this frequency and only once did we hear someone else on it, and then only briefly. There is little if any worry about others being on it.

..Tom
Hmm, good thinking. It would be cool to have common FRS channel that motorcycle riders monitor. I'll add that my channel I monitor.

I have a ham radio on my bike, but its capable of monitoring FRS/GMRS frequencies also.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:30 PM   #193
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Personally use 7-7 (462.7125/85.4) for comms, 1-0 for emergencies.

Much better off using no tone/"privacy code" in a situation where you want anyone to hear you - no tone means your squelch opens when anyone transmits with any code. My big radio I only encode tones, so I can converse with someone on 7-7 or 7-0.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #194
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Which motocomm setup should I get for an Arai mx helmet? I would guess this helmet is kind of like an open face helmet with regards to which motocomm setup to choose? The friend I ride with most of the time has one of those modular helmets - which motocomm would I use for that one? MUCH THANKS!
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:28 PM   #195
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Which motocomm setup should I get for an Arai mx helmet? I would guess this helmet is kind of like an open face helmet with regards to which motocomm setup to choose? The friend I ride with most of the time has one of those modular helmets - which motocomm would I use for that one? MUCH THANKS!
If you have an MX style helmet and he has the modular, I would get the boom mic which I think is the 7 series I listed. Basically the boom mic should work in any helmet anyways, so that's a safe bet.
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