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Old 09-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #1
clintnz OP
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Homebrew bike - bike communication?

Hi All, After tips from the electronics & comms gurus. I'm about to launch into building a simple bike-bike intercom out of some 2W handheld UHF transceivers:



http://www.uniden.co.nz/NEW_ZEALAND/...sx_2_index.asp

The above set comes with car chargers & speaker mics, so the idea is to strip the speaker & mic out of those & install in our helmets, hardwire the chargers to the bikes, & wire up a PTT button on the bars. The radios will be semi permanently attached to the bikes. The problems people have with these setups usually seem to revolve around the dinky 3.5mm plugs so I think I'll seal them onto the radios with some urethane & use a heavier duty inline connector to the helmets.

I know some of you guys have built similar systems so please fire away with any comments.

Cheers
Clint
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The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
.................................................. .....with pilgrims?
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
hugemoth
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My advise would be to try them out before going to a lot of trouble installing speakers and mics into helmets. I tried the same thing a couple years ago but there was so much electrical and road noise that it just didn't work.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
clintnz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth
My advise would be to try them out before going to a lot of trouble installing speakers and mics into helmets. I tried the same thing a couple years ago but there was so much electrical and road noise that it just didn't work.
Thanks, I'll do some tests. I had heard that trying to use a basic radio's vox function on a bike was a waste of time due to the noise, so was going to go with ptt from the start. I have used similar radios & the same speaker mic in noisy enviroments before & they worked ok.

Cheers
Clint
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The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
hugemoth
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We couldn't get them to work worth a damn even using PTT. If you get them to work be sure to post the radio model, headset model, etc.. There will be a lot of people interested.

Q
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
autolycos
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Semaphore!

How 'bout this. Might be cheaper. No batteries!

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Old 09-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
booger1
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Talking is over rated, hand signals work the best.
There's a few to get you started.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #7
clintnz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autolycos
How 'bout this. Might be cheaper. No batteries!
Quote:
Originally Posted by booger1
Talking is over rated, hand signals work the best.
There's a few to get you started.
I think I'm gunna need to see a vid of you guys demonstrating those methods, while riding, to understand the concepts fully

Me an the missus have got by ok for a few years without coms, but so often we are trying to find that obscure trail turnoff, a good campsite or a nice place for lunch in a strange town etc & 2 sets of eyes are so much better than 1. I also know from having a CB in the 4x4 that it can add lots of safety being able to call the next guy back back & warn of an oncoming vehicle or other hazard.

Cheers
Clint
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #8
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I understand what yor saying. I had the chatterbox along time ago and was very unhappy with it, got rid of it.
And now I have a much better time riding because she can't tell me that she's hungry, she needs to pee, or that her mother ankles are swelling and that she may need surgery.
It's win win, she talks in the helmet and I just knod.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger1
I understand what yor saying. I had the chatterbox along time ago and was very unhappy with it, got rid of it.
And now I have a much better time riding because she can't tell me that she's hungry, she needs to pee, or that her mother ankles are swelling and that she may need surgery.
It's win win, she talks in the helmet and I just knod.
Eggfrigginzactly.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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my thoughts,

2 watts is quite a bit of power for a walki talkie.
Not sure on the legal stuff where you are, but can you use a different antenna?
those short ( loaded) rubber ducky antennas will be the limiting factor for your tx/rx range.

I predict this will work well, dependant, on the quality ( quietness) of your mic and headphone installs, and of course the traffic on the frequencies that you can use.

please update the thread with your progress, I like this sort of homebrew!
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
clintnz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouthfulloflake
my thoughts,

2 watts is quite a bit of power for a walki talkie.
Not sure on the legal stuff where you are, but can you use a different antenna?
those short ( loaded) rubber ducky antennas will be the limiting factor for your tx/rx range.

I predict this will work well, dependant, on the quality ( quietness) of your mic and headphone installs, and of course the traffic on the frequencies that you can use.

please update the thread with your progress, I like this sort of homebrew!
Thanks, The radios I got don't have removeable antenna, there are more expensive ones available that do, but the plan is to mount the radios above the dash, which is about as high as I'd put any external aerial anyway. I think the rules here with this UHF band is that you can have whatever you like up to 5W output.

Made some progress in the weekend. First we did a test with the supplied earpiece & the little mic on it's cable, tucked in the front of the helmet, this didn't work very well. I wasn't really understandable at speed.

So then I stripped out the supplied speaker mics & put these components in the helmet with the mic right in front of my mouth, this worked much better, I was easily understandable up to around 80km/h, & just understandable at 100 km/h. This was only with a thin bit of foam over the mic, so further tests will involve more wind shieldng for the mic which should improve things. The rx side was good, the speaker is just the right size to fit in easily & no problems hearing speech at 100km/h with earplugs in. I'm going to start wiring up the second unit tonight so I'll take some pics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by booger1
I understand what yor saying. I had the chatterbox along time ago and was very unhappy with it, got rid of it.
And now I have a much better time riding because she can't tell me that she's hungry, she needs to pee, or that her mother ankles are swelling and that she may need surgery.
It's win win, she talks in the helmet and I just knod.!
Well I guess I'm just lucky that when my lady says something to me, it is usually worth hearing

...I have to say that cos she stalks me on here

Cheers
Clint
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The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
tmotten
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I've been working on something similar but on the bluetooth bandwagon. Using 2 transmitters and receivers. All I needed to do was to figure out which pin on the DIN connector goes where and isolate the mic from the audio.

The mic is now the only thing. I've tried a few things like throat mics and standard condensor mics but nothing that work well enough. Just too much noise for me. Next thing I'll try is a dynamic noise cancelling mic. Thinking about this mob who say it filters out 80%.

http://www.ruggedradios.com/race-rac...-bud-jack.html

Bluetooth setups require the mic to be amplified but this isn't difficult.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:34 PM   #13
clintnz OP
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Be interested to know how it goes. I thought about bluetooth but decided that the convenience of not having to worry about batteries or chargers outweighed the convenience of no wires. That & the few bluetooth devices I have attempted to use have all been a right PITA, it's no doubt a technology that is improving all the time though.

A noise cancelling mic would be a good addition, please post up anything you find, especially if it is available cheap as a bare component

I got a radio mounted up on my bike last night, with the power supply wired in & the PTT switch wired to the flash-to-pass switch on the LH switch block that I never used anyway. My connectors should arrive today which will let me complete the setup on my bike, then I can start on Rosie's WRR. Pics tomorrow.

Cheers
Clint

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten
I've been working on something similar but on the bluetooth bandwagon. Using 2 transmitters and receivers. All I needed to do was to figure out which pin on the DIN connector goes where and isolate the mic from the audio.

The mic is now the only thing. I've tried a few things like throat mics and standard condensor mics but nothing that work well enough. Just too much noise for me. Next thing I'll try is a dynamic noise cancelling mic. Thinking about this mob who say it filters out 80%.

http://www.ruggedradios.com/race-rac...-bud-jack.html

Bluetooth setups require the mic to be amplified but this isn't difficult.
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'03 KTM 640 LC4 Enduro

The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
.................................................. .....with pilgrims?
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #14
tmotten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintnz
Be interested to know how it goes. I thought about bluetooth but decided that the convenience of not having to worry about batteries or chargers outweighed the convenience of no wires. That & the few bluetooth devices I have attempted to use have all been a right PITA, it's no doubt a technology that is improving all the time though.

A noise cancelling mic would be a good addition, please post up anything you find, especially if it is available cheap as a bare component

I got a radio mounted up on my bike last night, with the power supply wired in & the PTT switch wired to the flash-to-pass switch on the LH switch block that I never used anyway. My connectors should arrive today which will let me complete the setup on my bike, then I can start on Rosie's WRR. Pics tomorrow.

Cheers
Clint
Yeah, the powering is a bit of a PITA but once I have it all working fine which it is, after which I can work out how to simplify the wiring a bit. Not too much room for that though, but it all depend how I'm going to mount it on the bike. The BT on the person is pretty simple because you can get AA battery holders with a USB lead to keep them on charge. Off course this means you have to constantly keep some on charge.

Ideally I'd have 2 2way BT devices, but there don't seem to be many if any of those any more.

Main thing now is the mic, which I haven't gotten yet. And the project is on hold because of other projects I've got on, but I reckon it should be fine. Need a better 2way though because it doesn't come with a battery eliminator and the one I made isn't liked by the 2way.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #15
clintnz OP
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Having a fresh battery charging on the bike all the time is a good idea & would definitely make the bluetooth option less hassle, maybe adapt a mini-maglight style flashlight body into a vibe-resistant holder, you could just have the end cap poking out of the dash with the power supply tucked out of the way.

On first inspection I thought the radios would run off the supplied car chargers without batteries, It turns out they will power up & receive, but shut down, beep angrily & flash the light on the charger if one tries to transmit. Obviously the wee charger doesn't have the amps to power a broadcast. The batteries are quite securely held in the radios so I'll see how the setup copes with the vibration (if it works on a 640 it'll work on anything!) If I have issues I will look at a simple higher current 12V - 3.6V power supply.

Cheers
Clint

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten
Yeah, the powering is a bit of a PITA but once I have it all working fine which it is, after which I can work out how to simplify the wiring a bit. Not too much room for that though, but it all depend how I'm going to mount it on the bike. The BT on the person is pretty simple because you can get AA battery holders with a USB lead to keep them on charge. Off course this means you have to constantly keep some on charge.

Ideally I'd have 2 2way BT devices, but there don't seem to be many if any of those any more.

Main thing now is the mic, which I haven't gotten yet. And the project is on hold because of other projects I've got on, but I reckon it should be fine. Need a better 2way though because it doesn't come with a battery eliminator and the one I made isn't liked by the 2way.
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The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
.................................................. .....with pilgrims?
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