Homebrew bike - bike communication?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by clintnz, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.uniden.co.nz/NEW_ZEALAND/p_uh720sx_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
    #1
  2. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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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.
    #2
  3. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    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
    #3
  4. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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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
    #4
  5. autolycos

    autolycos True vulgarian

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

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. booger1

    booger1 Been here awhile

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    Talking is over rated, hand signals work the best.:wave :wings :rayof :super :thumbup :fyyff :knary :flip :ksteve
    There's a few to get you started.
    #6
  7. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    I think I'm gunna need to see a vid of you guys demonstrating those methods, while riding, to understand the concepts fully :lol3

    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
    #7
  8. booger1

    booger1 Been here awhile

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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.:evil
    #8
  9. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Eggfrigginzactly.:freaky
    #9
  10. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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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!
    #10
  11. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    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.


    Well I guess I'm just lucky that when my lady says something to me, it is usually worth hearing :raabia

    ...I have to say that cos she stalks me on here :lol3

    Cheers
    Clint
    #11
  12. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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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-racing-communications-store/details/553/9/helmets-&-helmet-kits/helmet-kits/browse-by-product/offroad-helmet-kit-with-flex-boom,-ear-bud-jack.html

    Bluetooth setups require the mic to be amplified but this isn't difficult.
    #12
  13. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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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 :evil

    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

    #13
  14. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    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.
    #14
  15. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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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

    #15
  16. Rosie!

    Rosie! Little MissAdventure

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    Stalk is such a strong word, I prefer to think of it as 'appreciation' :wink:

    And the comms system was your idea. :D
    #16
  17. booger1

    booger1 Been here awhile

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    BUSTED:lol3
    #17
  18. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Some pics, radio mounted to bike & wired in:

    [​IMG]

    Car charger cut down & wired through a 2A fuse to the relay I fitted a while back to run my hot grips & other future gadgets. This relay has a fused heavier feed direct from the battery & is switched from the park light.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Clint
    #18
  19. griffo1962

    griffo1962 Long timer

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    Clint, my Uniden specifically states NOT to transmit if it is externally powered. No one I asked can tell me why but..........:ear
    #19
  20. stresssolutions

    stresssolutions n00b

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    We bought some headsets and Cobra radios. Our experience has been......marginal at best. The microphone is fine, the PTT button is very good, but there's some short at the headset connector thathas caused one speaker to not function. 2 year warranty, so they're going back.

    I'd suggest some sort of headphone/earbud use instead of speakers in the helmet....unless everyone has the same wattage radio, you won't be able to hear the low watt...like a chatterbox. That's not too clear...so I'll say that when both speakers were working, I could hear my wife, she could hear me, but rarely could we hear our friends with chatterboxes, and we were too loud for them at full power; they use custom molded earplug speakers.
    #20